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Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Institutional Grants (SIG)

Grants to Canada IHEs for Small-Scale Social
Sciences and Humanities Research Activities

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Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

Deadline Date:

12/01/17 Midnight ET


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Grants starting at $5,000 to Canada postsecondary institutions to carry out small-scale research and related activities in the social sciences and humanities disciplines. The purpose of this program is to help qualifying institutions strengthen research excellence. Activities may be carried out by social sciences and humanities faculty and students.

Complementary to and in line with SSHRC’s three main pillars of activities (Talent, Insight and Connection) SIG funds may be used to offer:

SSHRC Explore Grants, which:
-Support social sciences and humanities researchers with modest research funding requirements at any stage of career;
-Allow for small-scale innovation and experimentation by providing funding to develop a research project or conduct pilot work; and
-Enable researchers to hire students at any level to participate in their research projects thereby contributing to their professional development; and

SSHRC Exchange Grants, which:
-Support the organization of small-scale knowledge mobilization activities, such as workshops and seminars, in order to encourage collaboration and the dissemination of research results both within and beyond the academic community; and
-Allow researchers to attend or present their research at scholarly conferences and other dissemination venues that align with SSHRC’s mandate in order to advance their careers and encourage the exchange of ideas and research results at the national and international level.

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

Supplementary funding for small institutions (less than 250 full-time faculty in social sciences and humanities):

SSHRC recognizes the importance of supporting smaller institutions and is committed to assisting them in their efforts to increase research and research-related activities in the social sciences and humanities. Therefore, SSHRC will provide eligible small institutions with a supplement to their annual block grants.

-Individuals may not hold more than one SIG-funded grant at a time for the same activity.
-The subject matter of the project or activity must be consistent with SSHRC’s mandate. (Please see Subject Matter Eligibility for more information.)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182337

Estimated Size of Grant:

The amount provided each year is calculated according to the following formula:
-$50 for each full-time faculty member whose discipline falls within SSHRC’s mandate; plus
an amount based on the postsecondary institution’s average performance, over the three previous competition years, in all SSHRC research support funding opportunities, calculated at the rate of:
-23 percent of the first $100,000 awarded;
-20 percent of the next $400,000 awarded; and
-14 percent of the remainder, if any.

This formula recognizes multi-institutional grants by distributing credit for performance to all co-applicants.

Eligible institutions that are deemed to meet the review and eligibility criteria will receive a minimum grant of $5,000 per annum.

Supplementary funding for small institutions:
-Annual block grant of $5,000: Annual supplement of $10,000
-Annual block grant of $5,001 - $9,000: Annual supplement of $15,000
-Annual block grant of $10,000 - $19,999: Annual supplement of $25,000
-Annual block grant of $20,000 or more: Annual supplement of $30,000

Note: The amounts above are maximum amounts; grant sizes will be adjusted to fit within the available funding envelope. In addition, the total combined funding (block grant + supplement) may not exceed $80,000 per annum.

Each grant awarded may not exceed $7,000 except in the case of grants awarded via the supplement to small institutions, which may exceed this maximum for both faculty and institutional capacity-building activities.

The value of grants awarded to a single project must not exceed $7,000 per year (note: large projects may not be simultaneously funded by several small grants).

Term of Contract:

SSHRC provides annual block grants for three-year terms.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for the SIG funding opportunity, a postsecondary institution must:
-Be a Canadian postsecondary institution eligible to administer SSHRC funds;
-Be independent of the federal government for the purpose of faculty employment status;
independently grant university degrees in the social sciences and humanities disciplines at the undergraduate level or beyond;
-Have submitted all outstanding reports for prior SIG and/or Aid to Small Universities grants (statement of account form and activity report) before the application deadline; and
-Have designated one individual at the vice-president level responsible for the oversight of the grant funds.

To be eligible for the supplementary funding for small institutions, an institution must meet the eligibility requirements listed above and:
-Have fewer than 250 full-time faculty members in social sciences and humanities fields; and
-Demonstrate the need for the additional funds by confirming expenditures equal to or greater than 50 per cent of the supplement allocated in the first two years of the grant (this applies to funded applications from April 2018 onward).


A postsecondary institution awarded SIG funding determines the number of competitions it will hold annually, establishes deadlines that best suit the needs of its researchers, and sets the application procedures. The institution may distribute funds between the SSHRC Explore Grants and the SSHRC Exchange Grants according to its own priorities.

However, in awarding funds, the institution must adhere to the following restrictions:
-Recipients must be affiliated with a SSHRC eligible Canadian postsecondary institution, and must maintain such an affiliation for the duration of the grant period. Researchers who maintain an affiliation with a Canadian postsecondary institution, but whose primary affiliation is with a non-Canadian institution, are not eligible to hold these grants.
-Postdoctoral researchers affiliated with the institution are eligible to receive support for eligible activities, provided they will maintain their affiliation for the duration of the grant period.
-Students are not eligible to hold SIG-funded grants; however, SSHRC encourages researchers to employ students in SIG-funded research.
-The institution acknowledges SSHRC support for its research or research-related activities and clearly brands funds used for research purposes as “SSHRC Explore Grants” and funds used for dissemination purposes as “SSHRC Exchange Grants.”

Contact Information:

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

Applications must be uploaded in PDF format to the secure site via the following URL:


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