Rules and regulations—The Storytellers 2024
National challenge for students enrolled at Canadian postsecondary institutions
Under Eligible submissions, point 6 has been updated to clarify that applicants must be enrolled at or have an affiliation with the institution where the SSHRC-funded research project is being carried out.
- The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) Storytellers Challenge (the Challenge) is open to residents of Canada who at the time of entry:
- are students (undergraduate or graduate) enrolled at a Canadian postsecondary institution; and
- are nineteen (19) years of age or older (the applicants or applicant). The Challenge is not open to postdoctoral researchers.
- Employees of SSHRC, including immediate family members and/or those living in the same household (whether legally related or not) are not eligible. For the purposes of the Challenge, immediate family members are defined as spouse, domestic partner, parents, legal guardians, in-laws, grandparents, siblings, children and grandchildren.
- Previous winners are eligible to enter the Challenge if:
- the research featured in their submission is materially different, as determined by SSHRC, from that of their previous winning submission(s); and
- they meet all other eligibility requirements.
Challenge period and entry
- To be eligible for Phase 1 of the Challenge, applicants must agree to the “Consent and agreement” form, and electronically submit their Phase 1 submission by way of the SSHRC Storytellers Secure Upload between November 1, 2023, at 8 a.m. (eastern), and January 16, 2024, at 8:00 p.m. (eastern) (the Phase 1 closing date). It is the sole responsibility of each applicant to ensure all required materials are received by SSHRC by the Phase 1 closing date.
- To be eligible for Phase 2 of the Challenge, applicants must be one of the twenty (20) finalists (as defined in section 22 below) of Phase 1 and must present, in person, before a live audience, a version of their Phase 1 submission at an event (Storytellers Showcase) at a location in Canada to be announced no later than January 2024. The presentation may be recorded and used in SSHRC's marketing communications material.
- To participate in Phase 1 of the Challenge, an applicant must submit a text, infographic, audio or video file featuring a research project or initiative funded by SSHRC and carried out at the institution at which the applicant is enrolled or affiliated at the time of submission (the Phase 1 submission).
- A Phase 1 submission must not exceed:
- 300 words for text or infographic (limit includes words in images or captions, but does not include the title of a submission, nor acknowledgements/credits) or three (3) minutes in length for audio or video; and
- 200 megabytes (all electronic files, including audio/video). (Uploading the files could take several minutes. If it takes more than five  minutes, we recommend you try again later.)
- A Phase 1 submission must be submitted as a file via the SSHRC Storytellers Challenge Secure Upload. Links to websites, public or private, will not be accepted.
- .zip (compressed version of one of the above file types)
- To participate in Phase 2 of the contest, a finalist must give a live presentation (the Phase 2 submission) at the Storytellers Showcase, featuring the same SSHRC-funded research that is presented in their Phase 1 submission. The finalists will have only one opportunity to give their presentation.
- A Phase 2 submission must not exceed three (3) minutes in length.
- Finalists are permitted to use speaking notes at their discretion.
Phase 1 and Phase 2
- Phase 1 and Phase 2 submissions must be respectful and courteous, and be in English or French or both.
- Only one entry per person is permitted in both Phase 1 and Phase 2.
- The submission must be an entirely original work created by the applicant, and the applicant must have all necessary rights in and to the submission.
- The submission must not infringe on or violate any laws or any third-party rights, including but not limited to copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary rights and must not constitute material that would be considered libelous, defamatory, a privacy violation, tortious or a contract breach.
- The applicant must obtain, and make available to SSHRC, upon request, all necessary permissions, licenses, clearances, releases, waivers of moral rights and other approvals from third parties (including but not limited to all copyright holders and all individuals appearing in the submission) necessary to use the submission, in whole or in part, in any way. This includes, without limitation, permissions to reproduce, make derivatives, edit, modify, translate, distribute, transmit, publish and broadcast the submission worldwide, by any means.
- In the event the submission is based on SSHRC-funded research that is not the applicant’s own, they must obtain, and make available to SSHRC upon request, the written approval of the project’s Principal Investigator.
- In the event the submission contains any reference to or likeness of any identifiable third party or parties, the applicant must obtain, and make available to SSHRC, upon request, consent from all such individuals and their parent/guardian if they are under the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence.
- Applicants must grant SSHRC, irrevocably and in perpetuity, the right to use the submission, in whole or in part, in any way, including without limitation, to reproduce, make derivatives, edit, modify, translate, distribute, transmit, publish and broadcast the submission worldwide (by any means) and to authorize others to carry out such acts as listed above in this section without compensation.
- Applicants, to protect their own privacy and the privacy of others, must not include personal information, including but not limited to phone numbers, social insurance numbers, banking information, resumes or email addresses in their submissions. Any submissions that appear to contain such personal information may be deemed ineligible.
- SSHRC will not accept submissions that are offensive to an individual, a community or an organization, or that are abusive or rude in tone. SSHRC reserves the right to refuse, edit or remove any of the following:
- racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, slanderous, insulting or life-threatening content;
- serious, unproven, unsupported or inaccurate accusations against individuals or organizations;
- abusive, aggressive, coarse, explicit, vulgar, violent, obscene or pornographic content;
- content that encourages or suggests illegal activity;
- announcements, solicitations, advertisements or endorsements of any organizations or corporations;
- attempts to defame or defraud any individual, group or agency; or
- unintelligible or irrelevant content.
- Twenty (20) Applicants in Phase 1 are eligible to receive $3,000 in exchange for SSHRC’s right to use their successful submission as marketing-communications content on SSHRC’s platforms (e.g., website, social media channels).
- The winning applicants of Phase 1 will be considered the 20 finalists. The finalists will be expected to attend an online research communications workshop organized by SSHRC (to be made available in English and French) before finalists present to the jury and to the Storytellers Showcase audience in Phase 2.
- Finalists will be responsible for their travel and accommodation costs. SSHRC will encourage Finalists’ institutions to support travel and accommodation costs.
- The odds of success in Phase 1 depend on the total number and quality of eligible entries received before the Phase 1 closing date.
- From among the Phase 2 submissions, five (5) Phase 2 submissions will be selected as final winners. The final winners will receive an additional $1,000, in exchange for SSHRC’s right to use their winning submission as marketing-communications collateral.
- The odds of success in Phase 2 will be no less than one in four and will depend on the number of Phase 2 submissions.
- Subject to section 34 below, SSHRC may award one (1) Engagement Prize to the finalist who most creatively and consistently promotes:
- their submission;
- the submissions of other finalists; and
- the Challenge generally.
- The recipient of the Engagement Prize will be determined by the finalists online, through voting moderated by SSHRC.
- To be eligible to receive the Engagement Prize, a finalist must attend the Storytellers Showcase (at a location in Canada to be determined), and must participate in voting for the recipient of the Engagement Prize.
- The Engagement Prize will consist of $1,000, to be announced at the Storytellers Announcement, in exchange for the SSHRC’s right to use their winning submission as marketing-communications collateral.
- The chances of winning the Engagement Prize will be no less than one in 20.
- In the case of a tie, SSHRC will determine, at its sole discretion, the recipient of the Engagement Prize.
- SSHRC reserves the right not to award the Engagement Prize for any reason.
Important information about entering the Challenge
- Submissions will not be returned to the applicants.
- Phase 1 submissions must not be shared publicly before SSHRC’s announcement of finalists.
- In the Challenge Entry Form, an applicant must consent to the use, reproduction, publication, transmission and/or broadcasting of their name, likeness and/or prize information, without compensation, in any publication or promotion by SSHRC, for the purposes of promoting the Challenge, its finalists or final winners, and/or the benefits of research in the social sciences and humanities field.
Judging the submissions
- Submissions will be judged by a panel of judges chosen by SSHRC. The decisions of the judges and SSHRC on all matters relating to Phase 1 and Phase 2 are final and not open to appeal.
- As part of the evaluation process, judges are provided with, and are asked to complete an unconscious bias training module created by the Tri-agency. The module helps mitigate unconscious biases and ensure fairness in the evaluation process.
- At the time of adjudication, any judges deemed by SSHRC to have a real or perceived conflict of interest with a submission under consideration will be recused from discussions of that submission. A judge will be considered to be in a conflict of interest if the submission involves:
- a friend;
- an immediate family member (as defined above);
- an institutional colleague; or
- a person with whom the judge is involved in a dispute.
- If SSHRC, at its sole discretion, deems that an insufficient quantity or quality of submissions has been received, SSHRC reserves the right not to award any prizes and terminate the Challenge.
- Phase 1 submissions that meet all eligibility requirements will be judged as follows:
- 30% Creativity/Engagement (compelling your audience)
- 30% Persuasiveness (communicating the impact)
- 40% Clarity (explaining the research)
- Phase 2 submissions that meet all eligibility requirements will be judged as follows:
- 40% Creativity/Engagement (compelling your audience)
- 30% Persuasiveness (communicating the impact)
- 30% Clarity (explaining the research)
Finalists and final winners
- Each of the finalists will be notified by email in March 2024 that their submission has been successful and how to claim the applicable prize. If an individual declines the prize, the prize may be awarded to another Phase 1 submission in accordance with these Challenge rules and regulations.
- Each of the final winners will be notified, during the Storytellers Announcement (location to be determined) that their submission has been successful and how to claim the applicable prize. If an individual declines the prize, it may be awarded to another Phase 2 submission in accordance with these Challenge rules and regulations.
- Before collecting a prize and within five (5) calendar days of being notified that their submission has been selected, any finalist or final winner will be required to provide consent and release confirming, among other things, compliance with these Challenge rules and regulations; acceptance of the prizes awarded; and consent that their personal information, such as name, likeness, institution of enrolment and/or prize information, may be used, without further compensation, in any publication or promotional material, by SSHRC, for the sole purposes of promoting the Challenge, its finalists and final winners, and/or the benefits of research in the social sciences and humanities.
- Names of finalists will be made public in March or April 2024 for Phase 1. Names of final winners will be announced in May 2024 for Phase 2 via social media channels and other means, including SSHRC’s website.
- SSHRC reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Challenge for any reason. Any notification of such action may be posted online on SSHRC’s website and/or via social media channels, and applicants are encouraged to periodically check for such notifications.
- SSHRC reserves the right to change Challenge rules and regulations without reason, including, if necessary, to comply with any applicable law. Any notification of such action may be posted online on SSHRC’s website and/or via social media channels, and applicants are encouraged to periodically check for such notifications.
- By entering this Challenge, applicants agree to abide by these Challenge rules and regulations, and acknowledge that SSHRC shall not be responsible for any damages, costs, demands, claims or losses of any kind incurred by any applicant as a result of participating in this Challenge.
- This Challenge shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Ontario and any applicable federal laws. These rules and regulations govern all aspects of the Challenge and are binding on all applicants.
- This is a skills-based Challenge and is void where prohibited by law.
- SSHRC is not responsible for entries that are delayed, lost, misdirected, incomplete, damaged or destroyed. Any entry that is tampered with, unreadable, unintelligible or mutilated will be ineligible. SSHRC is not responsible for telephone, computer or network malfunction or error (whether technical or human in nature), communication disruption or other forces beyond its reasonable control.
- Any personal information collected in order to administer the Challenge is under the control of SSHRC and will be managed in accordance with the Privacy Act. Information collected for the purposes of administering the Challenge may be subject to disclosure in accordance with the Access to Information Act. Personal information of finalists and final winners, such as name, likeness, institution of enrolment and/or prize information may be used, without compensation, in any publication or promotional material by SSHRC for the sole purposes of promoting the Challenge, its finalists and/or final winners, and/or the benefits of research in the social sciences and humanities.
- Questions regarding the collection, disclosure and use of the applicants’ personal information may be directed to Storytellers@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca.
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