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Fellowships to Canada Students Pursuing PhDs in the Humanities and Social Sciences

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
Canada:Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

Important Dates
Deadline: 10/17/23 8:00 PM (Eastern) - Deadline for Direct Applications Save

Grant Description
Fellowships of up to $80,000 to Canada doctoral students in the social sciences and humanities disciplines. Funding is intended to support exceptional students as they pursue doctoral degrees. Additionally, this program allows fellows to find mentors in their fields and to contribute to the Canadian research ecosystem during and beyond the tenure of their awards. SSHRC welcomes applications involving Indigenous research, as well as those involving research-creation.

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships are expected to respond to the objectives of the Talent program. The objectives of the Talent program are to:

  • Support the development of the best or most promising highly qualified personnel with social sciences and humanities research and professional skills;
  • Support the best or most promising social sciences and humanities students and postdoctoral researchers selected through an adjudication process;
  • Support students and scholars in gaining exposure to international social sciences and humanities scholarship; and
  • Mobilize social sciences and humanities knowledge that has the potential to lead to intellectual, cultural, social, and economic influence, benefit and impact.

Joint initiatives and supplements

SSHRC offers supplementary funding to scholarship and fellowship award holders, some of which is offered through 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 SSHRC’s strategic objectives and mandate, inform decision-makers, and, in certain cases, address specific needs of its partners. Unless otherwise indicated, there is no separate application process for most initiatives and supplements. However, candidates must indicate they wish to be considered for an initiative or a supplement, and explain why, in their application form.

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. 


Additional Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible to apply, an applicant must:
- Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada or a Protected Person under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada), as of the application deadline;
- Not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) or SSHRC;
- Not have submitted more than one scholarship or fellowship (masters or doctoral) application per academic year to either CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC—nominations to the Vanier CGS program do not count toward this limit;
- Have completed no more than 48 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31 of the year of application.

Eligibility of degree programs:
- An eligible doctoral program must include a significant research component that leads to the completion of a thesis, major research project, dissertation, scholarly publication, performance, recital and/or exhibit. This component must be merit/expert reviewed at the institutional level as a requirement for completing the program.
- Joint programs with a professional degree (e.g., MD/PhD, DVM/PhD, JD/PhD, MBA/PhD) as well as clinically oriented programs of study, including clinical psychology, are eligible if they have a significant autonomous research component as described above.

Eligibility to hold an award:
- SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships are tenable at any recognized institution in Canada or abroad. For the fellowship to be held abroad, the award holder must have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a Canadian postsecondary institution. For award holders who do not meet this requirement, the fellowships are tenable only at recognized Canadian postsecondary institutions.
- The CGS D scholarships are tenable only at eligible Canadian institutions. There are no exceptions.
- Award holders may be eligible to hold their awards part time. Refer to the Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder’s Guide for further information.

Applicants eligible for both a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship and CGS D Scholarship will automatically be considered for both awards.

Qualifying or “make-up” years of study are not eligible for support.

Pre-Application Information
- Direct Applications: October 17, 2023 (8 p.m. eastern)
- Results announced April 2024

If a deadline falls on a weekend or a Canadian public holiday, the online application system will remain open until 8 p.m. (eastern) on the next business day.

Applicants must apply either through a Canadian institution with a doctoral awards quota or directly to SSHRC depending on their registration status at the application deadline date and/or their registration status in the calendar year of application. Failure to submit an application through the correct channel will result in an application being withdrawn from the competition.

Institution deadlines:
Applicants applying through their institution must submit their applications by the deadline set by the institution, which may be well in advance of SSHRC’s deadline. For more information about institutional deadlines, applicants should contact their faculty of graduate studies (or its equivalent).

Directly to SSHRC deadline:
Applicants applying directly to SSHRC must submit using the appropriate application portal before 8:00 p.m. (eastern time) on October 17. If the deadline falls on a weekend or a Canadian public holiday, applications must be submitted by the following business day before 8:00 p.m. (eastern time).

Applicants requiring assistance while preparing their application should communicate with SSHRC well in advance of their application deadline.

Indigenous applicants:
Institutions can recommend applications from Indigenous applicants for submission to the doctoral awards competition beyond their application quota, if applicants agree to their personal information being used for this purpose. Applicants can do so by making the appropriate selection in the application form. Indigenous applicants who have selected this option in their application and who are required to submit directly to SSHRC are automatically evaluated in the national competition.

Talent Program:

Indigenous research:


Subject matter eligibility:

Imagining Canada's Future Challenge Areas:

Help with online forms:

Application Instructions:

For additional relevant links, see the Full Grant Text RFP link.

Estimated Size of Grant
SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships are valued at $20,000 per year, up to a total of $80,000.

Term of Contract
SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships are made for 12, 24, 36 or 48 months.

SSHRC determines the value and duration of an award based on the number of months of full-time study (or equivalent) the applicant will have completed by December 31 of the year of application.

For additional information, see Fast-track joint and direct-entry programs on the Full Grant Text RFP link.

Contact Information
Apply online:

For more information, contact:
Toll-free: 1-855-275-2861

Technical inquires
Assistance with online applications
Tel.: 613-995-4273

If you need help completing online application forms because of a disability, contact your institution (scholarship liaison officer, research grant office or other applicant support office) as early as possible in the application process to investigate available supports. If your institution cannot help, or needs SSHRC to collaborate on a solution, contact

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
125 Zaida Eddy Private, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1R 0E3

Toll free: 1-855-275-2861

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