SSHRC Institutional Grant

Through its SSHRC Institutional Grants (SIG) funding opportunity, SSHRC provides annual block grants to help eligible Canadian postsecondary institutions fund small-scale research and research-related activities by their faculty in the social sciences and humanities. SIG funding is intended to help Canadian postsecondary institutions develop, maintain, or strengthen research capacity and research excellence in the social sciences and humanities.

SIG funds may be used to:

  • assist social sciences and humanities researchers with modest research funding requirements;
  • support national and international knowledge mobilization within and/or beyond the research community; and
  • support the development of students.

SSHRC expects that all SIG-funded research training will incorporate appropriate dimensions of the Guidelines for Effective Research Training.

The amount of the grant awarded to the University of Guelph is determined partly by the number of faculty members in the humanities and social sciences but primarily by the total value of research grants awarded to the University by SSHRC over the three (3) previous competition years. Grants are calculated once per three (3)-year funding cycle.

The University of Guelph uses SIG funding to support small research projects and travel for research dissemination, further described below. As an institutional priority, the University of Guelph will seek to use SIG funding to incent applications to external SSHRC opportunities (e.g. Insight Grants, Insight Development Grants, Connection Grants, Partnership Grants, Partnership Development Grants, etc.) as a means of increasing application rates, and ultimately, success rates in external competitions.

Applicant Eligibility

All regular faculty members, including probationary, tenured and contractually limited term appointees, are eligible. Contractually-limited term applicants are eligible, provided they are employed under a contract with the University for a period sufficiently long to make it feasible to carry out the proposed research project and/or travel. Professors emeriti, visiting fellows and scholars are not eligible. SIG funds will support both emerging and established scholars, as defined by SSHRC.

SIG applications may be used to support research and research-related activities in one or more disciplines, thematic areas, approaches or subject areas eligible for SSHRC funding. Please see Subject Matter Eligibility for more information.

If an applicant is a prior SSHRC SIG award holder and a SSHRC application was not applied for within the three (3)-year period as required, applicants should provide rationale to the review committee for consideration. Eligibility to re-apply to SSHRC SIG is re-instated once an external SSHRC grant is applied for.

How to Apply

A Complete application package includes:

Email the complete application package to the Office of Research Services before the posted competition deadline (research.services@uoguelph.ca). Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

Funding Availability

There may be one or two Exchange and Explore Grant competitions each calendar year. A Research Alert will be published when applications are being accepted.

The maximum amount requested in any single application for the Explore Grant is $7,000. For Exchange Grants, the maximum amount requested is $3,000.

Review and Adjudication Process

Explore Grants and Exchange Grants are reviewed and adjudicated by the SIG Review Committee, chaired by the Associate Vice-President (Research Services) or designate.

Committee members from colleges with SSHRC-eligible researchers will be invited to serve for terms of three (3) years in duration. Committee members will be sought in the order of:

  1. Recent or current SSHRC Insight Grant Review Committee members;
  2. Recent or current SSHRC Insight Development Grant Review Committee members;
  3. Current SSHRC Insight Grant grantees; and
  4. Current SSHRC Insight Development Grant grantees.
  5. Active researchers in the social sciences and humanities.

Explore Grants

Explore Grants will provide seed funding for research that is to result in the development and submission of an application to an external SSHRC funding opportunity. These funds can be used as bridge grants, for data collection or project completion; visiting scholars; support for students in research, workshops/symposia; and knowledge mobilization (podcasts, etc.).

Applicants who receive an Explore Grant are expected to apply for an external SSHRC grant (any program) within three (3) years of the end of their Explore Grant in order to meet application eligibility requirements.

A maximum of $7,000 will be awarded to a single researcher in any two (2)-year consecutive period. For each SSHRC Explore Grant received, a researcher must have applied for the external SSHRC grant described in their proposal prior to re-applying for another SSHRC Explore Grant.

The following criteria and scoring scheme will be used to evaluate Explore Grant applications. The criteria are similar to those evaluated in the SSHRC Insight Development Grants program with weighting adjusted to include an additional internal consideration for linkage to future SSHRC grant.

Challenge – The aim and importance of the endeavour (40%):

  • Originality, significance and expected contribution to knowledge
  • Appropriateness of the theoretical approach or framework
  • Appropriateness of the methods/approach
  • Quality of training and mentoring to be provided to students and HQP
  • Potential for the results to have influence and impact within and/or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community

Feasibility – The plan to achieve excellence (20%):

  • Appropriateness of the proposed timeline and probability that the objectives will be met
  • Expertise of the applicant in relation to the proposed project
  • Appropriateness of the requested budget, justification of proposed costs
  • Quality and appropriateness of knowledge mobilization plans
  • Indications of other planned resources including leveraging of cash and in-kind support from other sources

Capability – The expertise to succeed (20%):

  • Quality, quantity, and significance of past experience and published and/or creative output
  • Evidence of past knowledge mobilization activities
  • Quality and quantity of past contributions to the development of training and mentoring students and HQP

Linkage to Future SSHRC Application (20%):

  • Appropriateness of the proposed Explore Grant project to contribute to the development of a future application to an external SSHRC competition
  • Indications of how the proposed Explore Grant project and the future external SSHRC grant tie into the applicants recent and ongoing research activities

Exchange Grants

A maximum of $3,000 will be made to successful applicants in any one (1) calendar year. Applicants may only submit one (1) application in each competition, but a single application might cover a number of activities all leading to the development of one (1) external SSHRC application.

Exchange Grants are intended to subsidize the cost of travel required to support national and international knowledge mobilization within and/or beyond the research community. The proposed travel cannot be related to research funded by existing SSHRC support.  Exchange Grants can reimburse travel expenses which have occurred in the past.

Applicants who receive an Exchange Grant are expected to apply for an external SSHRC grant (any program) within three (3) years of the end of their Exchange Grant in order to meet application eligibility requirements.

The following criteria and scoring scheme will be used to evaluate Exchange Grant applications. The criteria are similar to those evaluated in the SSHRC Connection Grants program with weighting adjusted to include an additional internal consideration of linkage to future SSHRC grant.

Challenge – The aim and importance of the endeavour (30%):

  • Expected contribution to the preservation of, access to and/or mobilization of research knowledge
  • Quality and significance of the research being mobilized
  • Quality of training and mentoring to be provided to students and HQP, and opportunities for them to contribute
  • Potential for the project results to have influence and impact within and/or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community

Feasibility – The plan to achieve excellence (30%):

  • Appropriateness of the proposed timeline and probability that the objectives will be met
  • Appropriateness of the requested budget and justification of proposed costs
  • Indications of other planned resources including leveraging of cash and in-kind support from other sources

Capability – The expertise to succeed (20%):

  • Quality, quantity and significance of past experience and published and/or creative outputs
  • Evidence of past knowledge mobilization activities
  • Quality and quantity of past contributions to the training and mentoring of students and HPQ

Linkage to Future SSHRC Application (20%):

  • Indications of how the proposed or past travel will contribute to the development of a future application to an external SSHRC competition
  • Indications of how the travel and the future SSHRC grant tie into the applicants recent and ongoing research activities.

Award Terms and Conditions

Current guidelines on the use of grant funds, outlined in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration apply to all grants provided through the University of Guelph’s SIG (both the Explore and Exchange Grants). Please ensure only eligible expenses are included in your budget.

Research undertaken must comply with the University’s policies on the conduct of research. Furthermore, funds will not be released until the required human participant protocols, as applicable, are approved. For information on the use of humans in research, please see the University’s policy and procedures on using human participants in research.

Explore Grants

Funds awarded will normally be expected to be spent within two (2) years of the date of award. Only in exceptional circumstances will requests for extension of the period of the grant be considered. These must be received in writing by the Director of Research Support Services within two (2) months prior to the termination date of the award. Funds not spent within two (2) years of the date of award will be recalled.

Exchange Grants

Travel funds awarded are to be spent within sixty (60) days after the date of travel unless retroactive funding has been sought. If funds are not applied to the purposes described in the Exchange Grant application for which the award was made, the funds will be recalled.

Contact information

For questions, please contact:

Ornella McCarron
Grants Officer, Research Support Services (Grants and Contracts)
Office of Research Services
omccarro@uoguelph.ca