SSHRC Partnership Grants - Stage 1

The Partnership Grant Program is a two-stage application process. Those invited to submit a Full Proposal (Stage 2) will have submitted a successful Stage 1 application. The information provided here offers a general overview of SSHRC’s Partnership Program and internal processes/timelines. Researchers who are considering applying to this program should contact their Faculty Research Office and Institutional Research Programs Officer contact listed below well ahead of time to discuss and plan their proposed partnership. See SSHRC's overview of subject matter eligibility to ensure your proposal aligns with the mandate and objectives of SSHRC.

Value and Duration

  • Value: $20,000 [Stage 1 development funds]
  • Duration: 4 to 7 years
  • Western Research deadline for final proposal draft & ROLA: January 29, 2024
  • Sponsor deadline: February 10, 2024
  • Note: If a deadline falls on a weekend or a Canadian public holiday, the online application system will remain open until 8 p.m. (eastern) on the next business day.

Program Overview

This is a two-stage program where Stage 1 applications are submitted and successful proposals will be invited to submit a Full Proposal (Stage 2). Partnerships must advance research and/or knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities through mutual co-operation and sharing of intellectual leadership, as well as through resources, as evidenced by cash and/or in-kind contributions. Partnership Grants are intended for large teams of postsecondary institutions and/or organizations of various types that work in formal collaboration. Partner organizations may be Canadian or international institutions or organizations (public, private, not‑for‑profit) of any type. Proposals must meet the objectives outlined in one of the following programs, or may include a combination of the two programs:

Insight Connection
To build knowledge and understanding about people, societies and the world by supporting research excellence in all subject areas eligible for funding from SSHRC. To realize the potential of social sciences and humanities research for intellectual, cultural, social and economic influence, benefit and impact on and beyond the campus by supporting specific activities and tools.

Evaluation and Merit Review:

Applications are reviewed, and available funds awarded, through a competitive merit review process. SSHRC bases funding decisions on the recommendations of the merit review committee and on the funds available. Committee discussions are guided by the principle of minimum essential funding.

A multidisciplinary merit review committee adjudicates applications for both Stage 1 and Stage 2. Committee members have relevant expertise from the academic community, as well as research expertise from the public, private and/or not-for-profit sectors. The Stage 1 process is listed below. For full evaluation and merit review processes for each stage, refer to the program page.

Stage 1:

  • The merit review committee reviews the Stage 1 applications. Based on an assessment of relative merit, the committee provides SSHRC with funding recommendations.
  • Applications successful in Stage 1 are awarded a grant of up to $20,000 to help them prepare a Stage 2 application.

Application Process

  • The application is completed on SSHRC’s website (Web CV, application and instructions are located here). The application consists of online forms and text documents that are uploaded to the application in the system. Refer to SSHRC's Resource Centre for tips and information on preparing and submitting an application.
  • Partners and participants (co-applicants and collaborators) must create a SSHRC User ID in order to accept the on-line invitation that will be generated when they are added to the proposal. This includes the creation of a SSHRC CV in most cases. It is important to advise your partners and participants of this requirement, particularly those who are unfamiliar with SSHRC and its online application system. Please plan enough time in advance to complete these activities.
  • Western applicants (and Western co-applicants on externally-led applications) must complete a ROLA proposal online.

Specific Requirements

  • Applicants are encouraged to present a compelling proposal that explains the need for a partnership approach for the proposed project. At Stage 1, initial discussion and development is required for the details of the partnership (formal documents and evidence of formal partnership will be included at Stage 2), knowledge mobilization plan, training and mentoring and overall partnership governance. Full KMb plan, governance, and training and mentoring sections are required at Stage 2.
  • Applicants at Stage 1 are expected to include a proposed plan to secure, over and above the budget requested from SSHRC, a minimum of 35 per cent in additional resources from sources other than SSHRC during the life of the grant (four to seven years). As an example, if $1 million is requested from SSHRC, a minimum of $350,000 in additional cash and/or in-kind support must be secured from partner organizations, resulting in an actual total project budget of $1,350,000. SSHRC recognizes that the project can grow beyond that amount as additional partner organizations become involved over the life of the grant.
  • Host Institution Letter of Support (Western letter of support): Partnership Grants are institutional/organizational applications. At Stage 1, you must attach a letter of engagement from your host institution/organization, written on official letterhead and signed by appropriate officials. While the host institution/organization does not need to confirm its contribution to the partnership at this stage, the letter should explain how the host institution/organization plans to be involved in supporting the partnership (e.g., infrastructure, cash and/or in-kind support, services, training, etc.). The letter of engagement should include a statement confirming the institution/organization’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and details about the support it will provide to advance the partnership’s EDI plan (refer to SSHRC’s Guide to Addressing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Considerations in Partnership Grants Applications). In addition, the letter should provide an overview of the host institution/organization’s research and related priorities/strategy, and of how the proposed partnership will advance those objectives.
  • Co-applicants and participants can be from all sectors:  academic, government, community-based organizations, industry, domestic and abroad.
  • Partners (academic and non-academic) must provide a letter of support that explains their interest and role in the project and any commitments of cash or in-kind support they are offering (if applicable.)
  • As with all SSHRC programs, a plan for training students is essential.
  • The proposal must present a governing structure for managing the project and its various activities.
  • Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) requirements have been introduced as part of a pilot initiative in the Partnership Grants funding opportunity. Applicants are required to consider both EDI in research practice (EDI-RP) and EDI in research design (EDI-RD):
    • EDI-RP involves promoting diversity in team composition and trainee recruitment; fostering an equitable, inclusive and accessible research work environment for team members and trainees; and highlighting diversity and equity in mentoring, training and access to development opportunities.
    • EDI-RD involves designing the research so that it takes EDI into account through approaches such as intersectionality, gender-based analysis plus, anti-racist approaches and disaggregated data collection, and analysis that includes consideration of diversity and identity factors such as, but not limited to, age, culture, disability, education, ethnicity, gender expression and gender identity, immigration and newcomer status, Indigenous identity, language, neurodiversity, parental status/responsibility, place of origin, religion, race, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.

    EDI-RP and EDI-RD will be evaluated as part of the Challenge and Feasibility evaluation criteria and applicants should embed consideration of EDI-RP and EDI-RD throughout the relevant sections of the application, as applicable.

    For more information, see the Guide to Addressing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Considerations in Partnership Grant Applications.

Important Dates

Western Research and Agency Deadlines

August – November 2023
  • Meet with your Faculty Research Office (RO) and Institutional Research Programs Officer (IRPO) to discuss the proposed partnership, institutional matching funds, and project planning needs. It's helpful to provide your RO and IRPO with a brief summary of your proposed partnership.
  • Provide information and requirements for the PG program to your partner organizations on the project.
January 15, 2024
  • Western (Host Institution) letter of support: A draft host institution letter of support submitted to Western Research IRPO for institutional review and President/VPR signature/approval.
  • Inter-institutional (Western-as-partner; co-applicants on other institution’s application): Draft Western-as-partner letters of support submitted to Western Research IRPO contact for institutional approval and signature.
  • For PIs and co-applicants (inter-institutional): If your department or faculty is making commitments to the proposal (as outlined in letters of support), provide confirmation from the person authorizing those commitments. The confirmation can be sent by email or scanned document(s).
January 22, 2024
  • Draft of full application submitted to Western Research IRPO for internal review and feedback.
January 29, 2024
  • Final full application due to Western Research IRPO for administrative review.
  • IRPO returns signed Host Institution letter of support to applicant.
  • ROLA proposal completed.
February 5, 2024
  • Applicants release full application to SSHRC system. 
  • Western IRPO to perform compliance review.
February 10, 2024
  • Sponsor deadline. Western IRPO forwards application to SSHRC.
Note: If a deadline falls on a weekend or a Canadian public holiday, the SSHRC online application system will remain open until 8 p.m. (eastern) on the next business day. 
Western IRPO will complete an administrative review of the application to confirm eligibility of the applicant and Western co-applicants. In addition, we will review your application to confirm all cash/in- kind contributions. Once complete, we will submit your application to SSHRC.

Support & Assistance

For Western applicants, the IRPO can provide services and supports to strengthen your proposal as it is developed, including editorial review and written feedback. The IRPO will work closely with you and identify the support you require, and a suitable timeline in order to provide those services. Program contact: Elizabeth Russell-Minda, Institutional Research Programs Officer.

The Knowledge Exchange, Research Impact and Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization in Research team is available to provide consultations, connect scholars to resources and undertake grant application reviews to apply a knowledge exchange, research impact and EDID lens. Please connect with:


Webinar Slides (Oct 2022) Partnership Grant - Stage 1 [2023 webinar information posted when available]

Webinar Recording LINK

Recording Password: pXtsDMT6

Additional Resources


For more information, please contact Elizabeth Russell-Minda, Institutional Research Programs Officer