SSHRC Partnership Development Grants - Fall 2023


Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)


Partnership Development Grants (PDG)


Partnership Development Grants are expected to respond to the objectives of the Research Partnerships program.

These grants provide support over one to three years to teams/partnerships, led by a project director, to:

  • develop research and/or related activities in the social sciences and humanities — these can include knowledge mobilization and the meaningful involvement of students and emerging scholars — by fostering new partnerships with existing and/or potential partners; or
  • design and test new partnership approaches for research and/or related activities that can result in best practices or models — these can either be adapted by others or have the potential to be scaled up to a regional, national or international level.

Partnership funding is intended for formal partnerships between postsecondary institutions and/or organizations of various types. For more information, see the definitions for formal partnership and partner organization.

The quality of training, mentoring and employability plans for students and emerging scholars will be evaluated as an important part of the proposed initiative. SSHRC’s Guidelines for Effective Research Training explain how students and emerging scholars can meaningfully participate in proposed initiatives.

The intellectual leadership and governance for the creation of a formal partnership can come from the research community and/or from partner organizations from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. However, only an institution that meets the institutional eligibility requirements can administer the grant funding, once awarded. For more information related to Partnership Development Grants, see the Eligibility section.

SSHRC invites applicants and their partner organizations who wish to propose formal disciplinary, interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, international and/or cross-sector partnership arrangements to apply for support through this funding opportunity. Funds are available to support a variety of formal partnership development initiatives in all the disciplines and themes that meet SSHRC’s subject matter eligibility guidelines.

SSHRC’s Partnerships Tool-Kit offers tools and resources to assist with the planning and implementation of your partnership.

Types of partnerships: There are two categories of partnerships that can request support:

  • existing partnerships to foster new research and/or research-related partnership activities that are distinct from the partnership’s previous/ongoing partnership activities; and
  • new partnerships to foster new research and/or research-related partnership activities that are undertaken by partnerships in their initial stages.

Following is a list of possible formal partnership approaches. Applicants are in no way limited to these approaches, and are welcome to combine some of the features described below.

  • Disciplinary and interdisciplinary research partnerships: Inter-institutional research initiatives designed to make a significant contribution to advancing knowledge and understanding in the social sciences and/or humanities. While SSHRC welcomes proposals for interdisciplinary research partnerships involving natural sciences, engineering and/or health partner organizations, partnerships of this nature must follow SSHRC’s subject matter eligibility guidelines.
  • Cross-sector co-creation of knowledge and understanding: Partnerships to foster innovative research, training and the co-creation of new knowledge on critical issues of intellectual, social, economic and cultural significance.
  • Networks for research and/or related activities: Networks designed to advance the innovative co-creation of knowledge, as well as training and mobilization of research, on critical issues of intellectual, social, economic and cultural significance.
  • Partnered knowledge mobilization: Partnerships designed to synthesize, apply and mobilize new and existing social sciences and humanities research knowledge in accessible ways to build institutional capacity and to increase the national and international impact and stature of Canadian research.

SSHRC welcomes applications involving Indigenous research as well as those involving research-creation.

Joint Initiatives: SSHRC collaborates with organizations from across the not-for-profit, private and public sectors to support and promote training, research and connection activities in the social sciences and humanities. SSHRC’s joint initiatives are designed to reflect its strategic objectives and mandate, inform decision-makers, and, in certain cases, address specific needs of its partners.

Learn more about joint initiatives.

For a complete list of available joint initiatives, see SSHRC’s funding search tool.

Future Challenge Areas: SSHRC invites all applicants to review Imagining Canada’s Future’s 16 future global challenges and to consider addressing one or more of these areas in their research proposal. This is not an evaluation criterion for merit review and does not offer additional or dedicated research funds for this funding opportunity.


Review eligibility criteria related to subject matter, applicants, institutions, co-directors and co-applicants, collaborators and partner organizations. 

Maximum Project Value

$75,000 to $200,000

Institutional and partner organization contributions: Applicants are expected to include a plan to seek and secure cash and/or in-kind contributions for their initiative during the life of the grant. While there is no minimum contribution requirement, institutions and their partner organizations are expected to demonstrate that a formal partnership currently exists, or is in the process of being developed, by supporting the activities of the formal partnership through cash and/or in-kind support.

For more information, see SSHRC’s Guidelines for Cash and In-Kind Contributions.

Indirect Costs

There are no indirect costs on the funding provided by SSHRC, however, indirect costs may apply to the funding provided by partners if the funds are not specifically committed in the application.

Project Duration

1 to 3 years

Special Notes

Quality and commitment of formal partnerships: Applicants should include relevant documentation to allow informed evaluation of the quality and level of commitment of the proposed formal partnerships.

Applicants must include evidence of formal partnership in their application. Evidence can include, but is not limited to:

  • governance frameworks;
  • agreements (intellectual property, conflict resolution, etc.);
  • strategic plans; and
  • other relevant documentation.

Guidelines and related support material: All applicants for SSHRC funding should consult the following guidelines while preparing their application:


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Please submit your complete application along with a signed OR-5 form to the Research Services Office, Please also click "Submit" online in the SSHRC Research Portal.

Please consult your College Research Manager well ahead of this deadline to learn more about resources available to you. 
External Deadline

Applications will be forwarded by the Research Services Office to SSHRC through the online SSHRC Research Portal.

How to Apply

Applicants and partner organizations must complete the application form (available under "Apply on the Research Portal") and follow the accompanying instructions.

Applications must be submitted electronically by the Research Services Office on behalf of the applicant for the University.

See application process.

For Questions, please contact


Toll-free: 1-855-275-2861

Office of Research

Kristin Zimmermann, Senior Grants & Contracts Specialist
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x56257

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