SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships
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.
Effective fall 2019, Canada’s three federal granting agencies (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC) have now harmonized the Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral (CGS-D) program. Please visit the new CGS-D Program page for the harmonized application process and timeline. 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.
Fall 2019 competition deadlines:
- Application deadline (through The University of British Columbia): Tuesday, 17 September 2019 at 12 PM (PDT)
- Graduate program nomination deadline (to Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies): Friday, 11 October 2019 at 4 PM (PDT)
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;
- 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 2019;
- 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. This applies to applicants in regular, fast-track, joint, and direct-entry programs.
Note: Some eligibility requirements for the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships differ from those of the CGS-D.
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%)
Applications involving Indigenous research should be reviewed in the context of SSHRC’s definition of Indigenous research and its Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research. For more information, please consult the Indigenous Talent Measures page.
Students registered in a UBC degree program (or on an approved leave of absence from UBC) between 1 January and 31 December 2019 must complete the SSHRC online application by Tuesday, 17 September 2019. 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.
- Confirm eligibility
- Confirm subject matter: Select the appropriate funding agency. Applicants should complete the agency application that is best aligned with their research subject matter.
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
- 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, 17 September 2019
- 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. Transcript requirement is outlined in the application instructions.
- Online submission of letters of appraisal: Applicants are now required to 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.
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 4:00pm on Friday, 11 October 2019.
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.