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Scholarly Types: Ever apply for a SSHRC grant?


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Working on my application right now and could use a bit of advice. How much time did you put into the application? Who wrote your letters of reference? Was it for Masters or PhD? Did you get a grant?


for others, the SSRHC is a grant given by the Canadian gov't that can be worth like 20k per year for every year of your studies. Pretty tough to get but a real help if you're doing long term study.

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Hey Blane,

I didn't apply for SSHRC, but I did the equivalent grant for the sciences - an NSERC grant. I put quite a bit of effort into it, fluffing my proposal a bit by putting a more influential/positive spin on the research I was doing at the time. In my proposal, I was extremely specific with my goals and directions and clearly demonstrated a keen interest in research. The scientific proposals are just like a short grant, so I spent a bit of time to figure out the details and logistics of how to test my hypotheses.

I managed to get several good reference letters from my supervisor/boss at the time as well as my undergrad thesis supervisor... my boss ended up becoming the VP of the university so I think that really helped. I don't know the process of selection for SSHRC, but for NSERC, it really depended on which university (if any) your application was coming out of. Each department begins with an internal selection process to send their most promising applicants to the university, then the school selects from that pool..the best from there go on to Ottawa and then get selected from a pool of applicants from canada. So in my case it depends on the year, strength of each department/university each year etc. In the end I did get one for 2 years but once coming to UofT with it, I knew I would not get one if I reapplied after the 2yrs, the competition here is far greater than in Guelph. That being said, I have no idea if the process is quite the same for SSHRC.

Anyway, hope that helps a bit.

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To answer your questions short 'n sweet:

I spent well over a week thinking about it and making rough notes and brainstorming. Spent about a week writing the actual thing and had a prof review it as well.

The application was intended for a PhD but in the end after getting it, I used it for a MSc. They are only 2 years anyway, so I would've had to reapply for a PhD - at which point, I was at UofT and didn't stand a chance at making it out of the department.

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i also got an nserc (maters level) - i'd say

1. make sure to put your research in context - describe where your work fits in to other work going on in your field. why is what you're doing valuable - to other researchers and to society.

2. spell out what you will get out of the research and what you intend to do with it (methods of analysis) - show that you have really planned it out well.

mine was a rushed application - sent out requests for reference letters about a week and a half before they were due, spent 2 afternoons writing my application. but you'd better believe it was worth that time and much more when the cheques came in.

good luck! :)

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thanks guys! Jason, I think the same is true for us. McGill has an internal selection process, and then those get sent on. I looked at the numbers, and it looks like UofT, UBC and McGill got the bulk of the $$ from SSRCH, which probably means they have the most applications.

Tom, thanks a lot. I might do that in a couple of days. I'm still at the stage of filling in the bullshit (employment history, etc.). It's more the study outline that I'm thinking about.

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