SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships

Deadline

Tuesday, 15 September 2020 at 12 PM (noon) PDT

Annual Value

$20,000

Citizenship

Canadian
Permanent Resident

Degree Level

Doctoral
 

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowships support high-calibre students engaged in doctoral programs in the social sciences and humanities. This support allows scholars to fully concentrate on their doctoral studies, to seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields and to contribute to the Canadian research ecosystem during and beyond the tenure of their awards.

Note: Both the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships and the Canada Graduate Scholarships—Doctoral Scholarships (CGS D) are offered through one annual national competition. Applicants need to submit only one application to be considered for one or both awards. As each award has notable differences, applicants must read the descriptions for each award carefully to determine if they are eligible to apply and hold each award. Applicants eligible for both the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships and CGS D Scholarships will automatically be considered for both awards.

Fall 2020 competition deadlines:

  • Application deadline (through The University of British Columbia): Tuesday, 15 September 2020 at 12 PM (PDT)
  • Graduate program nomination deadline (to Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies): Friday, 9 October 2020 at 4 PM (PDT)
 

Eligibility

Complete eligibility criteria are available on SSHRC's funding opportunity page.

To be eligible to apply, an applicant must:

  • be enrolled in an eligible doctoral program that includes a significant, autonomous research component that leads to the completion of a thesis, major research project, dissertation, scholarly publication, performance, recital and/or exhibit;
  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, as of the application deadline date;
  • have completed no more than 48 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by 31 December 2020;
  • not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) or SSHRC;
  • submit only one doctoral award application in a given academic year to either SSHRC, CIHR or NSERC. Nominations to the Vanier CGS program do not count towards this limit.

Notes on completed months of study:

  • SSHRC considers all studies counted toward the doctoral degree for which funding is requested whether or not they were completed at the degree-granting institution.
  • The months of study completed are calculated starting from the date on which an applicant is officially registered in the doctoral degree program.

Fast-track, joint and direct-entry programs

For applicants registered in a master’s program and then transferred to a doctoral program (fast-track), the months of study completed are calculated starting from the date on which the applicant transfers into the doctoral program.

For applicants registered in a doctoral program in which they obtain a master’s degree (e.g., MA/PhD), the months of study are calculated starting from the date on which an applicant is officially registered in the joint program (including the master’s portion of the program).

For applicants registered in a doctoral program directly from an undergraduate program (i.e., never enrolled in a master’s program), the months of study completed are calculated starting from the date on which an applicant begins the doctoral program. These applicants, however, may be eligible to apply to the CGS M program for their first year of doctoral funding.

Note: Some eligibility requirements for the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships differ from those of the CGS-D (ex. months of study eligibility).

Evaluation Criteria

Complete evaluation criteria are available on SSHRC's funding opportunity page.

The evaluation of SSHRC doctoral award applications is based on the following criteria:

  • Research ability and potential (50%)
  • Relevant experience and achievements obtained within and beyond academia (50%)

SSHRC’s Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research are relevant for researchers (applicants and project directors) and students preparing SSHRC applications related to Indigenous research

Application Procedures

Students registered in a UBC degree program (or on an approved leave of absence from UBC) between 1 January and 31 December 2020 must complete the SSHRC online application by Tuesday, 15 September 2020 at 12:00 pm PDT. Please follow the application instructions

Both the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships and the CGS-D are offered through a single annual national competition. Applicants should refer to the online descriptions for each award to determine their eligibility to apply to and hold each award, as there are notable differences. Applicants eligible for both the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships and the CGS-D will automatically be considered for both awards. Only one application is required for consideration of one or both awards.

Instructions:

  1. Confirm eligibility
  2. Confirm research area: Select the appropriate funding agency. Applicants should complete the agency application that is best aligned with their research subject matter.  
    1. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
    2. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
    3. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
  3. Determine where to submit an application (through a Canadian institution such as UBC or directly to the appropriate agency). See the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships page for guidance. If applying via UBC, complete the application by the UBC application deadline, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 at 12:00 pm PDT.
  4. Read the application instructions and complete the SSHRC online application
    • Online submission of transcripts: Applicants are required to upload their up-to-date official transcripts of their complete academic record as 1 single PDF file. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they submit their complete, official, up to date transcript package in their online application, even if some of the transcripts were obtained from their UBC graduate program.  The transcript requirements are outlined in the application instructions.
    • Online submission of letters of appraisal: Applicants invite their referees via the SSHRC online application. Letters of appraisal are to be submitted by referees using the online system. Applicants are responsible for inviting two referees: one referee should be very familiar with their research and abilities (i.e., current or previous research supervisor) and the other should be sufficiently familiar with their research and abilities to provide a meaningful commentary. Applicants will not be able to verify their application until each referee form has been successfully verified and completed. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure their referees complete and submit their assessments in advance of the application deadline.

Affiliated Fellowships-Doctoral application: SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships applicants applying through UBC do not need to submit a separate Affiliated Fellowships-Doctoral application. To be considered for criteria-based Affiliated Fellowships, students should submit the criteria-based Affiliated Fellowships checklist to their graduate program by the application deadline.

Nomination Procedures

Graduate programs review and rank the applications they receive, and forward their top applicants to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Nominations must be submitted by graduate programs to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by 4:00 pm PDT on Friday, 9 October 2020.

Adjudication Procedures

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship applications are first reviewed and ranked by the applicant's UBC graduate program. The graduate program forwards a limited number of its top-ranked applicants to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, which oversees a university-wide adjudication. Adjudication committees composed of UBC faculty members review and rank nominated applications and select which applications will be forwarded to the national competition. UBC's nominees are forwarded to SSHRC, which oversees a nation-wide competition that selects which SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship applications will be funded.  Results are announced in April each year.

Further Information

SSHRC's FAQs provide helpful information and tips for applicants.

For further information, please visit the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships page.