SSHRC Impact Awards – $300K for Canadian Researchers

Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has granted $300K in funding to pioneering research projects, through the Council’s Impact Awards. The Awards are given out annually to recognize Canada’s outstanding scholars in the social sciences and humanities for work that impacts businesses, communities, and governments.

The Impact Awards—which include the SSHRC Gold Medal, Talent Award, Insight Award, Connection Award, and Partnership Award—will be used to further promote and develop research previously funded by SSHRC grants. Supported researchers represent an array of areas of expertise, including Politics, Architecture, Linguistics, Philosophy, and Gender Studies.

The Gold Medal Awardee received $100K, with the other recipients awarded $50K each, for a total funding amount of $300K.

SSHRC is a federal funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary research in the humanities and social sciences. Through its research grants, SSHRC supports leading-edge initiatives that contribute to a better quality of life and raise Canada’s global reputation for innovation.

In FY 2018, SSHRC awarded a total of $440.3M in Canadian research grants.

SSHRC’s Impact Awards were presented during a ceremony at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on December 4, 2019.

SSHRC Funding: Research Grants for Innovative Projects

The SSHRC Impact Award recipients are researchers whose innovative work supports practical strategies that change the ways communities, businesses, and governments impact Canadians’ lives.

Specific awards and successful research topics are outlined below.

SSHRC Gold Medal – Rethinking Canadian Multiculturalism

The Gold Medal is SSHRC’s highest honour and is awarded to a researcher with proven leadership, commitment, and originality. This year’s recipient is Will Kymlicka, a professor of philosophy at Queen’s University, whose work examines the concerns of Canadians of diverse backgrounds and argues for the collective rights of minorities, such as French Canadians and Indigenous peoples.

Kymlicka has presented his research to the World Bank, the World Social Forum, and the United Nations.

Award Amount: $100K

SSHRC Talent Award – Access for Trans Communities

The Talent Award, which recognizes outstanding work by a doctoral or postdoctoral researcher, has been granted to Jake Pyne at the University of Guelph, who studies access to services for transgender Canadians. Pyne’s work has already helped improve access for the trans community to shelters, emergency services, health care, and family law justice, as well as support for trans youth.

Award Amount: $50K

SSHRC Insight Award – Precarious Employment

The Insight Award is given to an individual researcher or team whose project has made a strong contribution to knowledge about people and societies in a global context. This year, the Insight Award was given to Leah F. Vosko at York University for her research on labour market insecurity and the increasing number of workers in precarious employment.

Vosko’s research has informed labour legislation in Ontario, and she was recently consulted on the updating of the Canada Labour Code.

Award Amount: $50K

Connection Award – Architecture of the Holocaust

The Connection Award recognizes an outstanding project that facilitates the exchange of research knowledge, within or beyond the social sciences and humanities, to create widespread impacts. This year’s recipient is Robert Jan van Pelt, a professor of Architecture at the University of Waterloo, whose work focuses primarily on the architecture of the Holocaust. Van Pelt’s research uses physical evidence to expose the lie of Holocaust denial.

Award Amount: $50K

Partnership Award – Indigenous Languages

The Partnership Award recognizes a collaboration that has a demonstrated impact within or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community. The 2019 recipient is Marianne Ignace, a linguistics researcher at Simon Fraser University, who is working with 23 community partners across BC, the Yukon, and Alaska to use digital technology to document, conserve, and teach more than a dozen Indigenous languages.

Award Amount: $50K

Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada

SSHRC grants support research that enhances understanding of modern social, cultural, technological, environmental, economic, and wellness issues. Supported research spurs innovation: researchers learn from one another’s disciplines and collaborate to achieve common goals. Communities, businesses, and governments use this new knowledge to innovate and improve people’s lives.

As well, through SSHRC scholarships, graduate students and fellows receive training in critical thinking, complex decision-making, and creative exploration—key components of social sciences and humanities research and essential skills for the 21st century workplace. Such strategies are crucial to meeting the challenges of the digital age and establishing Canada as a global innovator.

SSHRC funding is distributed through three programs.

SSHRC Talent Program

The Talent Program supports students and postdoctoral researchers, in order to develop the next generation of leaders in academia, the private sector, and government.

Amount: $17.5K to $70K max. per year, depending on the program stream

SSHRC Insight Program

The Insight Program supports research by individuals and research teams. Funded projects inform societal thinking about cultural, economic, technological, and environmental issues, with impacts across academic, public, private, and not-for-profit sectors.

Amount: $7K to $400K max. per year, depending on the program stream

SSHRC Connection Program

The Connection Program supports knowledge mobilization activities (networking, disseminating, etc.) to better engage the public in academic research and strengthen research agendas.

Amount: $7K to $25K max. for one year

SSHRC Partnership Engage Grants

Both the Insight and Connection Programs offer opportunities for collaborative activities through their partnership streams.

  • Partnership Engage Grants support collaborations between a postsecondary researcher and a partner from the public, private, or not-for-profit sector.
    • Amount: $7K to $25K for one year
  • Partnership Development Grants foster new partnerships for research and related activities.
    • Amount: $75K to $200K across one to three years
  • Partnership Grants support new and existing partnerships for research, research training, and/or knowledge mobilization for large teams at postsecondary institutions and/or other organizations.
    • Amount: Up to $20K for Stage 1; up to $2.5M for Stage 2 (by invitation only)

In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada provided SSHRC with the single biggest funding boost in Canadian history. In fiscal year 2019, SSHRC received 14,400 funding applications and awarded over 5,100 new grants and fellowships.

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Sunnie holds a PhD in English from Dalhousie University, and has published her writing in several academic journals, as well as in magazines, newspapers, and blogs. She combines years of experience as a professor in English with practical experience in the private sector as a trainer in writing and analytical thinking.

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