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Partnership Development Grants

Grants to Canada IHEs for Collaborative
Humanities and Social Sciences Projects

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Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

Deadline Date:

11/30/17 8:00 PM ET


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Grants starting at $75,000 to Canada researchers affiliated with a qualifying IHE to develop teams and partnerships for projects in the humanities and social sciences disciplines. Institutions that do not currently have approval must contact the funding source at least five business days prior to the deadline.

Partnership Development Grant proposals are expected to respond to the objectives of the Insight program or the objectives of the Connection program, or a combination thereof.

The objectives of the Insight program are to:
-Build knowledge and understanding from disciplinary, interdisciplinary and/or cross-sector perspectives through support for the best researchers;
-Support new approaches to research on complex and important topics, including those that transcend the capacity of any one scholar, institution or discipline;
-Provide a high-quality research training experience for students;
-Fund research expertise that relates to societal challenges and opportunities; and
-Mobilize research knowledge, to and from academic and non-academic audiences, with the potential to lead to intellectual, cultural, social and economic influence, benefit and impact.

The objectives of the Connection program are to:
-Facilitate the multidirectional flow of social sciences and humanities knowledge among researchers and between the campus and the larger community, in order to enhance intellectual, cultural, social and economic influence, benefit, and impact;
-Increase the accessibility and use of social sciences and humanities research knowledge among academic and non-academic audiences;
-Support the building of reciprocal relationships among social sciences and humanities researchers, and between social sciences and humanities researchers and those in a position to either co-create or use research knowledge;
-Support the development of social sciences and humanities research networks and tools designed to facilitate scholarly work; and
-Make such networks and tools more accessible to non-academic audiences.

Partnership Development Grants provide support over one to three years to teams/partnerships, led by a project director, to:
-Develop research and related activities in the social sciences and humanities, including knowledge mobilization and the meaningful involvement of students and new scholars, by fostering new partnerships for research and related activities involving existing and/or potential partners; or
-Design and test new partnership approaches for research and/or related activities that may result in best practices or models that either can be adapted by others or have the potential to be scaled up to a regional, national or international level.

Partnership funding is intended for teams working in formal collaboration between postsecondary institutions and/or organizations of various types.

A formal partnership is a bilateral or multilateral formal collaboration agreement between an applicant and one or more partner organizations, of which at least one must be a Canadian postsecondary institution and at least one must be different from the institution or organization that will administer the grant funds. Partnerships may be between academic institutions, or between one or more academic institutions and one or more non-academic partner organizations. These partner organizations agree and commit to work collaboratively to achieve shared goals for mutual benefit. Partner organizations must provide evidence attesting to the commitment that has been agreed upon. For more information, see the definitions for formal partnership and partner organization.

It is expected that students and new scholars will meaningfully participate in proposed initiatives. The quality of training, mentoring and employability plans for students and emerging scholars will be evaluated as an important part of the proposed initiative.

The intellectual leadership and governance for the creation of a formal partnership may come from within the research community and/or from partner organizations from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. However, the grant funding, once awarded, may be administered only by an eligible institution (see information under Eligibility below).

SSHRC welcomes applications involving Aboriginal research, as well as those involving research-creation.

SSHRC invites applicants and their partner organizations who wish to propose formal disciplinary, interdisciplinary, interinstitutional, 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 of the disciplines and themes eligible for funding at SSHRC.

Within the Partnership Development Grants funding opportunity, there are two categories of partnerships that may request support: existing and new.

-Existing partnerships: Support to foster new research and/or research-related partnership activities that are distinct from the partnership’s previous/ongoing partnership activities.

-New partnerships: Support 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: Disciplinary and interdisciplinary interinstitutional research initiatives designed to make a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge and understanding in the humanities and/or social sciences. While SSHRC welcomes proposals for interdisciplinary research partnerships involving natural sciences, engineering and/or health partner organizations, partnerships of this nature must adhere to SSHRC’s policy regarding the eligibility of subject matter.

-Cross-sector co-creation of knowledge and understanding: Partnerships designed to foster innovative research, training and the co-creation of new knowledge on critical issues of intellectual, social, economic and cultural significance through a process of ongoing collaboration and mutual learning.

-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 research knowledge in accessible ways in order to build institutional capacity and to increase the national and international impact and stature of Canadian research.
Related Opportunities

SSHRC and its partner organizations offer several initiatives that complement this funding opportunity.

Future Challenge Areas:

SSHRC invites all applicants to review Imagining Canada’s Future’s six future challenge areas and subquestions, and to consider addressing one or more of these areas in their research proposal. Summary reports related to the Knowledge Synthesis Grants for each future challenge area have identified possible gaps in current knowledge, which applicants may wish to further explore. While this is not an evaluation criterion for merit review, SSHRC monitors research capacity in these areas, and develops and implements strategies and knowledge mobilization activities, to enhance the contribution of the humanities and social sciences across the six challenge areas.

1. What new ways of learning, particularly in higher education, will Canadians need to thrive in an evolving society and labor market?
2. What effects will the quest for energy and natural resources have on our society and our position on the world stage?
3. How are the experiences and aspirations of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada essential to building a successful shared future?
4. What might the implications of global peak population be for Canada?
5. How can emerging technologies be leveraged to benefit Canadians?
6. What knowledge will Canada need to thrive in an interconnected, evolving global landscape?

Partnership Development Grant applicants and co-applicants from eligible not-for-profit organizations may request a salary research allowance to release them from duties to their organization.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175842

Estimated Size of Grant:

Partnership Development Grants are valued at $75,000 to $200,000 over one to three years.

Term of Contract:

Grant duration is 1 - 3 years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications must be submitted by the applicant (project director) on behalf of the partner organizations of the formal partnership.

Note: The term “institution” from here on in this description refers to both postsecondary institutions and not-for-profit organizations.

Applicants (except postdoctoral researchers and students) must be affiliated with an eligible Canadian institution at the time of application. See Institutions below for more information on institutional eligibility requirements and processes for Partnership Development Grants.

Applicants / project directors who have received a SSHRC grant of any type but have failed to submit an end of grant report by the deadline specified in their Notice of Award are not eligible to apply for another SSHRC grant until they have submitted the report.

Researchers who maintain an affiliation with a Canadian postsecondary institution, but whose primary affiliation is with a non-Canadian postsecondary institution, are not eligible for applicant status within this funding opportunity.

Please note that applicants primarily affiliated with a not-for-profit organization must have at least one Canadian postsecondary institution partner organization in order to be eligible for this funding opportunity.

Postdoctoral researchers are eligible to be applicants for this grant. However, in order for SSHRC to release grant funds, successful applicants must formally establish an affiliation with an eligible institution within five months of the grant start date, and maintain such an affiliation for the duration of the grant period.

Students enrolled in a program of study are not eligible to apply for a Partnership Development Grant. However, students are eligible to apply if they:
-Will have met all requirements for their degree before the grant is awarded, including all course work and successful defense of their dissertation, if applicable;
-Establish a formal affiliation with an eligible institution within five months of the grant start date; and
-Maintain such an affiliation for the duration of the grant period.


Co-applicants may be individuals from any of the following:
-Canadian: Postsecondary institutions; not-for-profit organizations; philanthropic foundations; think tanks; and municipal, territorial or provincial governments.
-International: Postsecondary institutions.
-Postdoctoral researchers who are affiliated with a postsecondary institution are eligible to be co-applicants.


Any individual who may make a significant contribution to the project is eligible to be a collaborator. Collaborators do not need to be affiliated with an eligible Canadian postsecondary institution.

Individuals from the private sector or federal government may only participate as collaborators.

Partner Organizations:

Partner organizations may be Canadian or international institutions or organizations (public, private, not-for-profit) of any type.


Grant funds may only be administered by an eligible Canadian institution. Institutions proposing to administer any grant awarded under this funding opportunity must hold or obtain institutional eligibility. Please see SSHRC’s list of eligible institutions.

Once eligibility is granted, the institution is invited to become a signatory to the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions, which entails a commitment by the institution to adhere to the high legal, ethical and financial standards set out in the Agreement, and ensures that the institution has the necessary structures and processes in place to achieve this objective. Please note that SSHRC will not release funding to an institution before it becomes a signatory of the Agreement.

Projects whose primary objective is curriculum development are not eligible for funding.

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants are expected to include a plan to seek and secure cash and/or in-kind support for their initiative during the life of the grant (one to three years). 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 contributions.

Any institution that does not currently have institutional eligibility and wishes to administer SSHRC grants must meet the requirements to administer grants and awards, as outlined in the Institutional Eligibility Requirements for the Administration of Grants and Awards, and must contact SSHRC at least five business days prior to the application deadline to begin the eligibility process.

The application deadline is 8:00 PM Eastern Time on November 30, 2017.

Results will be announced March 2018.

If a deadline falls on a weekend or a Canadian public holiday, the online application system will remain open until 8:00 PM (eastern time) on the next business day.

Imagining Canada’s Future’s:

Subject Matter Eligibility:

Insight Program:

Connection Program:

More information garding insitutional eligibility may be found here:

Eligibility of Subject Matter:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

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