Funding News

Government of Canada Launches Review of Federal Support for Fundamental Science

June 13, 2016 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Government of Canada understands the role of science in maintaining a thriving, clean economy and in providing the evidence for sound policy decisions. To deliver on this role however, federal programs that support Canada’s research efforts must be aligned in such a way as to ensure they are strategic, effective and focused on meeting the needs of scientists first.

That is why the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, today launched an independent review of federal funding for fundamental science. The review will assess the program machinery that is currently in place to support science and scientists in Canada. The scope of the review includes the three granting councils along with certain federally funded organizations such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

The review will be led by an independent panel of distinguished research leaders and innovators including Dr. David Naylor, former president of the University of Toronto and chair of the panel. Other panelists include:

  • Dr. Robert Birgeneau, former chancellor, University of California, Berkeley
  • Dr. Martha Crago, Vice-President, Research, Dalhousie University
  • Mike Lazaridis, co-founder, Quantum Valley Investments
  • Dr. Claudia Malacrida, Associate Vice-President, Research, University of Lethbridge
  • Dr. Art McDonald, former director of the Sudbury Neutrino Laboratory, Nobel Laureate
  • Dr. Martha Piper, interim president, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist, Quebec
  • Dr. Anne Wilson, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Successful Societies Fellow and professor of psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University

The panel will spend the next six months seeking input from the research community and Canadians on how to optimize support for fundamental science in Canada. The panel will also survey international best practices for funding science and examine whether emerging researchers face barriers that prevent them from achieving career goals. It will look at what must be done to address these barriers and what more can be done to encourage Canada’s scientists to take on bold new research challenges. In addition to collecting input from the research community, the panel will also invite Canadians to participate in the review through an online consultation.

To read more about this news release, please visit this website.

SSHRC Launches New Insight and Connection Achievement Reports

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has been developing a new approach to end-of-grant reporting that is more user-friendly. As part of this process, we have created a revised and more concise achievement report. This replaces the existing final research and activity reports.

The information provided in these reports is of great value to SSHRC as it is a vital input to future planning and strategy setting. It also allows SSHRC to:

  • promote social sciences and humanities research, and show how it contributes to a better future for Canada and the world;
  • demonstrate the impact and outcomes of the research it funds, and how the findings from this research are used to improve our quality of life, enrich cultural expression, and drive prosperity, equity and sustainability through innovation;
  • monitor the performance of its funding opportunities;
  • report to government; and
  • provide input for decision-making on and the evaluation of funding opportunities.

Beginning June 6th, 2016, new achievement reports will be available to Insight Development Grant and Connection Grant recipients. They will be in a survey format on Fluidsurveys, a secure web platform, and must be submitted within six months of the end of the grant period. 

To demonstrate the impact of SSHRC-funded research, the information from the reports may be shared with Parliament, the research community and the public. SSHRC is committed to the protection of the personal information under its control. Refer to the attached Privacy Notice for more information on how SSHRC collects, uses and discloses personal information.  

Copies of the achievement reports in English and French are attached for your reference. The reports will be made available to grant holders shortly. SSHRC will also notify them when the reports are available on the SSHRC website.

We kindly ask that you share this information with your networks at your university. If you have any questions or comments, contact

Thank you for your collaboration. 

Tim Wilson, PhD
Executive Director
Research Grants and Partnerships Division 
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
350 Albert Street – Ottawa, ON  K1P 6G4
C :
T : (613) 992-4266    F : (613) 613-992-7635

NSERC Early Career Researchers – Option for Discovery Grant Extension with funds

Starting in 2016, NSERC grantees who have received the last instalment of their active Discovery Grant in April and who were classified as Early Career Researchers (ECR) at the time of award will be offered the option to extend their grant by one year, with funds, to allow them more time to establish their research program and career. Grantees who take advantage of this option will therefore receive an additional instalment at their current level of funding.

The list of researchers from your institution who are eligible to request this extension, if any, is posted on the NSERC Secure Site. You will find attached the email sent to these researchers regarding the extension option.

Grantees have until August 1, 2016 to request the extension and confirm that they will use the funds for their research program.  Researchers who do not wish to request the extension must submit a Notification of Intent to Apply for a Discovery Grant (NOI) by August 1, 2016, 8 p.m. (ET) to be considered in the 2017 competition. 

If you need additional information, do not hesitate to contact NSERC at for more information.

Program Operations Unit
Research Grants & Scholarships
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Dear CARA members,

On behalf of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), we are pleased to announce the launch of Connecting for Canada’s 150th, a unique series of Connection Grants to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017. This historic anniversary is an opportunity to highlight scholarly activities that mobilize research about Canada at 150: its past, its present and its future.  This initiative also provides support for connection activities that exemplify the contributions of Canadian institutions and researchers in the social sciences and humanities, either to a discipline or to global fields of study.

SSHRC invites interested applicants and their partner organizations to apply for support through the Connection Grants funding opportunity. Applications are subject to the evaluation criteria and scoring scheme common to all Connection Grants. However, all applicants must demonstrate how their project addresses this historic anniversary. Applicants applying under Connecting for Canada’s 150th should consult the full description of the initiative.

For more information, please contact Paula PopoviciProgram Officer, Research Grants and Partnerships Division by telephone at 613-992-0498 or email at:

SSHRC’S 2016-20 Strategic Plan

Message from Ted Hewitt, PhD, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

I am proud to share with you SSHRC’s 2016-20 Strategic Plan: Advancing Knowledge for Canada’s Future.

The plan, which has been approved by SSHRC’s governing Council in March, articulates the agency’s vision for the next four years. Its purpose is to guide our collective efforts as we work to enable excellence, create new opportunities for research and training, connect research to Canadians and, ultimately, advance knowledge for a better Canada.

Our plan has three strategic objectives:

  • To enable excellence in a changing research landscape
  • To create opportunities for research and training through collaborative initiatives
  • To connect social sciences and humanities research with Canadians

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the input that you provided to the Plan during this past year. Your suggestions have very much helped to shape this important document.

ARMA Awards 2016: Finalists Announced!
Celebrating innovation and success in research management and administration.

Nominations for the ARMA Awards 2016 are now closed. The winners will be announced at our 2016 Annual Conference Awards Dinner on Tuesday 7 June at Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

Recognition and celebration of innovation and success, both on an individual and team level, should be par for the course for an ARMA member and is an important ingredient for galvanising a community spirit amongst the profession. Supporting pioneering, world-class research requires innovative and effective research management and administration; and following the successful launch of The Carter Award in 2014, we are proud to present the ARMA Awards, recognising the sector’s leading research support professionals. 

The 2016 ARMA Awards are proudly sponsored by Research Media, ARMA’s Strategic Media Partner.

Why enter the awards?

  • Celebrate colleagues’ achievements by putting forward a nomination.
  • Showcase your successes and share your best practice with a growing, global professional community.
  • Stand out as a member of an exceptional profession.
  • Share your accomplishments and innovative thinking with your peers.
  • Be recognised for your pioneering approaches to research management and administration.
  • Enhance your team’s and/or organisation’s profile and reputation.

For more information, please visit this website.

Open letter from Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR, to Canada’s health researchers
April 14, 2016

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to you today to reaffirm CIHR’s commitment to promote Canadian health research excellence and to engage with Canada’s health research community.

As you are I am sure aware, in Budget 2016, the Government of Canada provided CIHR with an additional $30 million per year. This sends a strong signal that the new Government is firmly committed to supporting health research, and specifically investigator-initiated research, including basic science.

This new investment will be entirely dedicated to the ongoing and future Project Grant competitions with a focus on early career investigators.

Many of you have expressed concerns about the outcomes of the current Project Grant competition pilot, which is part of the transition into the new set of investigator-initiated programs launched by CIHR to better meet its mandate of supporting excellence in all areas of health research, while decreasing the administrative burden on researchers and improving the quality, fairness, and transparency of peer review.

I am keenly aware of these concerns and have taken steps to ensure that wherever possible, course corrections would be applied to ensure that the program runs smoothly and sustainably.

Thus, scientists will be involved in the reviewer selection process and mechanisms will be put in place to ensure Chair-mediated online discussions when there are major disparities in the percent rankings of reviewers.

Scientists who have served as Virtual Chairs for the online process will also be members of the face to face panels for increased continuity between the two stages of the review.

Finally, I wish to reassure the community that, contrary to rumours, the 2016 Project Grant competition (the second pilot) will be held in the fall as planned.

This being said, the funding situation remains challenging, given that our funding capacity has not kept pace with the growth of the application pressure. The current Project Grant competition will therefore be highly competitive. But as we committed before implementing the reforms, the total number of Principal Investigators funded through the open grants competition envelope will not be decreased.

I am acutely aware that the current transitional period has brought uncertainty and anxiety to many in the community. The old system was well understood and, therefore, predictable. The new system is still being piloted, creating less predictability and, therefore, more unease.

I want you to know that CIHR is aware and cares about your concerns, and that we are listening to your feedback. Many of you already offered sound and helpful advice on ways to improve the system, and I thank you for your insight.

We have made many changes to our processes in response to this feedback and intend to continue doing so as time goes on. In fact, my intent is that moving forward, we adopt new ways to communicate and work together that will ensure greater clarity and transparency.

This open letter is a first step in that direction.

Alain Beaudet, MD, PhD
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research – Summary Document Highlights New Funding Programs
March 21, 2016

As announced last month, MSFHR is developing an expanded suite of funding programs that will build on our established support for BC health researchers.

Six new programs in various stages of development will meet specific funding needs identified through stakeholder consultation. These programs will complement our existing salary awards – the Scholar Program for early-career investigators and the Research Trainee Program for post-doctoral fellows – both of which will be offered on an annual basis starting in fall 2016.

To increase awareness of these programs, we have created a new summary document that is available for download. This document outlines the purpose and general objectives of each program, the expected frequency of award competitions and, where available, proposed award terms and amounts.

An overview of the full program suite is also available on our website. This page will be updated regularly as new details emerge.

We know that members of BC’s health research community have valuable insights and ideas that will help us optimize the design of these programs. We are committed to a consultative approach that will invite focused input on each program from key stakeholders across the province. Plans for this consultation are being developed in conversation with university and health authority leaders in each BC region.

We are committed to transparency as we move forward with the development of our expanded program suite. Make sure to receive the latest news and updates by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

For inquiries related to these funding programs, please contact:
Les Grad
Manager, Research Programs (Design & Development)

Communication of Competition Results

SSHRC has improved and harmonized the communication of competition results given to applicants and institutions. These changes come as a result of a review aimed at determining what feedback could be provided following adjudication that would:

  • Provide applicants with the decision (offered/not offered);
  • Allow applicants and institutions to situate the individual results within a larger context; and
  • Allow institutions to situate the results of their cohort of applicants within a large context.

New this year:

  • Applications will be “offered”, “conditionally offered”, or “not offered” funding
  • Elimination of the “recommended, not funded” category
  • Collection of all applications into one overall group by rank and divided by relative rank into sextiles
  • Results for the applicants will be provided on a one-page form that includes individual, committee, and overall results and statistics including the sextile in which their application placed
  • Institutions will receive overall and institutional competition statistics on the secure site (not for public dissemination until the official public announcement has occurred) in addition to their applicants’ results by sextiles (presented in alphabetical, not rank order) and the award decisions

At this time, changes will be made in the communication of results to the Insight Grants (IG), Insight Development Grants (IDG), Partnership Grants Letter of Intent (PG-LOI), and Partnership Development Grants (PDG) funding opportunities.

These changes are based on feedback received from the research community that the number of applications that were “Recommended, not funded” had increased in most funding opportunities over the years and the proportion of applications deemed “Recommended, not funded” was inconsistent from one opportunity to another, which made results difficult to interpret. Furthermore, it was found that the large number of “Recommended, not funded” applications sent mixed messages to individual applicants since only a small proportion of these applications are funded by SSHRC on an annual basis.

Effective immediately, the “Recommended, not funded” category has been eliminated. Applicants will now be informed that their application was either “Offered”, “Conditionally Offered”, or “Not Offered” an award. Furthermore, the results of all applications within each funding opportunity will be collected, grouped based on overall rank and divided into sextiles. The fifth and sixth sextiles (or bottom third) will be combined into one group. Applicants, as well as their institution, will be informed into which sextile category their application fell, in relation to all applications submitted to that competition. Applicants will continue to receive information on where their application ranked (by committee).

Applicants will receive the following:

a.     Overall competition statistics
b.     Results for their specific application
i.      Decision (Offered/Conditionally Offered/Not Offered)
ii.      Final Scores
iii.      Rank within the committee
iv.      Sextile category in overall ranking
v.      Committee comments (if applicable)
vi.      External Assessments / Expert Panel Reports (if applicable)

SSHRC will also provide institutions with more information regarding the results of the applicants from their institution and overall standing in the competition.

Institutions will receive the following:

a.     Overall competition statistics
b.     Institution competition statistics
c.     Results for all applications submitted via the institution:
i.      Decision (Offered/Conditionally Offered/Not Offered)
ii.      Recommended Amount (for those offered an award)
iii.      Sextile category in overall rankings (the list of applicants will appear in
alphabetical order within the sextile category.

The results of the most recent Insight Grants and Partnership Development Grants competitions will be released in the coming weeks on the secure site; however, do not hesitate to contact Andrew Wakefield should you have any questions.

Dominique Bérubé, PhD
Vice-president, Research programs | Vice-présidente, Programmes de recherche
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada
350 Albert Street  |  350, rue Albert, Ottawa, ON   K1P 6G4
E  |  C
T  613.995.5495
Andrew Wakefield
A / Manager,   | Gestionnaire p. i. 
Programs Planning and Operations Division | |  Division de la planification et des opérations des programmes
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada

350 Albert Street  |  350, rue Albert, Ottawa, ON   K1P 6G4
E  |  C
T  613.947.4095

New: Joint Call for International Collaborative Projects on the Sustainable Management of Water Resources in Agriculture, Forestry, and Freshwater Aquaculture

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) would like to remind the community of its involvement in the Water JPI Joint Call focusing on the sustainable management of water resources in agriculture, forestry and freshwater aquaculture sectors.

Alongside Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), NSERC is collaborating with 21 countries to support this call. NSERC’s participation in this joint program reinforces the importance of fostering close relationships with domestic and international partners. Going global allows our research community to access a pool of knowledge and expertise to further contribute to world-class research.

Two types of projects are available through this funding opportunity:

  • Projects involving Canadian researchers and their European partners; and
  • Projects involving Canadian researchers, European partners and researchers from low and middle income countries (LMICs).

Canadian researchers may be eligible for NSERC funding through both types of projects. NSERC will provide up to $750,000 CAD in total funding to the 2016 join call. IDRC’s funding envelope totals $250,000 CAD and will be reserved for applicants from LMICs.

Interested applicants should consult the 2016 Joint Call web platform.

In addition, there is an opportunity for Canadian researchers to obtain funding to support the mobility of students in their proposals, through the MITACS Globalink Research Awards and Globalink Partnership Awards. This provides an excellent opportunity for senior undergraduates and graduate students to undertake research in a university lab or complete a research internship at a company in Europe in successfully-funded projects. In total, Mitacs will provide support for up to 10 students per year for a total of $50,000 CAD per year.

For more information on Canada’s participation in this joint call, please contact NSERC at 613-943-1320 or

NSERC Participating in New Digging Into Data Challenge Competition

NSERC is pleased to announced that it is participating in the 2016 Digging into Data Challenge funding competition launched by the Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP).

By collaborating with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Fonds de recherche du Quebec – Societe et culture (FRQNT/FRQSC), NSERC sees the competition as an opportunity to support research projects that use “big data” to address questions in the social and natural sciences, humanities and engineering. This research is expected to involve sets of data so large and/or complex that traditional processing applications are inadequate. These data sets can include sources such as texts, images, music, photographs, audio or audiovisual data.

“The Trans-Atlantic Platform offers an important venue for global research collaboration,” said B. Mario Pinto, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. “I am pleased to support a computer science and mathematics research component as part of this worthwhile endeavour. Researchers are generating exponentially increasing amounts of data. New data mining techniques to analyze them promise breakthrough discoveries with benefits as far-ranging as they are unexpected.”

NSERC will fund the computer science and mathematics component of up to six projects with up to $100,000. The projects must involve both social sciences or humanities partners and partners outside of Canada. SSHRC-eligible partners can also apply for up to $100,000 for the project. If the project lead is based in Quebec, the project leader can apply to the FRQSC/FRQNT for an additional supplement of up to $75,000, bringing the total maximum Canadian funding for a project to $275,000.

More information is available on the Trans-Atlantic Platform website.