SSHRC Talent Award


Applicants: check with graduate program (likely February 2020); Graduate program nomination deadline: 28 February 2020 at 4:00 pm

Annual Value



Permanent Resident

Degree Level


The SSHRC Talent Award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual who, on 1 April 2020, holds a SSHRC doctoral or postdoctoral fellowship or scholarship.  This includes, but is not limited to, a Canada Graduate Scholarship, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship or Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship.

The Talent Award is given to an individual who maintains academic excellence, has a talent for research and knowledge mobilization, and has demonstrated clear potential to be a future leader within and/or outside the academic sector. One Talent Award will be awarded by SSHRC from the nominations submitted by Canadian universities.

The Talent Award may be taken up as a fellowship to fund the recipient’s doctoral or postdoctoral research over a one-year period, or may be used, within one year of receiving the award, as a grant to support research, knowledge mobilization or other research-related activities. At least 10 per cent of the award funds must be used to promote the recipient’s research achievements.



Nominee must:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada at the time of nomination
  • Be an active social sciences and humanities researcher or student
  • Be a SSHRC doctoral or postdoctoral fellowship or scholarship holder on 1 April 2020
  • Maintain affiliation with an eligible institution (UBC) for the duration of the Impact Award

Complete eligibility criteria can be found on the SSHRC website.

Evaluation Criteria

The Talent Award is given to an individual who maintains academic excellence, has a talent for research and knowledge mobilization and has demonstrated clear potential to be a future leader within and/or outside the academic sector.

  1. Challenge - Ambition and importance (25%)
    • originality and significance of the body of work within the nominee’s fields of research
  2. Achievements - Impact and outcomes (75%)
    • originality and significance of nominee’s body of academic achievement and research, including quality of publications relative to stage of career;
    • evidence of impact of the nominee’s work within their fields of research and/or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community;
    • nominee’s ability and commitment to communicate research results within and/or beyond the academic community;
    • level of nominee’s engagement with, and quality of training and mentoring provided to, students, emerging scholars and participants, relative to the nominee’s career level; and
    • nominee’s demonstrated potential for leadership and societal contributions within and/or beyond the academic community.

Complete selection criteria can be found on the SSHRC website.

Nomination Procedures

Each graduate program or academic department may forward a maximum of one doctoral nomination and one postdoctoral nomination. Complete nomination packages must be received by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by 4:00 pm on Friday, 28 February 2020.

For each nomination package, the following components must be included. Please see the SSHRC website (under "Nomination Package") ​for detailed instructions on preparing items #2-7 below.

Note: The “Promotion Strategy” (two pages maximum) document as listed on the SSHRC webpage will be created by the applicant’s department at a later date, should the applicant be selected by SSHRC to win the award.

Presentation standards: All free-from documents (except letters), must be presented in portrait orientation; start on a new page; and use 12-point Times New Roman or comparable font.

Signatures required: On consent forms and the letters of support.  Electronic signatures are acceptable.

Note: Referees must be established authorities in the field, who have not worked with the nominee on the project being recognized (such as a supervisor) and do not have a personal relationship (family and non-professional relationships) that would constitute a conflict of interest with the nominee. Though it seems unusual to not have a letter of support from the nominee’s supervisor, the expectation is that nominees for the Talent Award will have a sufficiently strong profile and connections with other leaders in their field that they should be able to gather strong letters from referees that do not include their supervisor. Nominees for the Talent Award might be a little bit closer to the referees best placed to comment on their work, given the trainee aspects of doctoral and often postdoctoral work (thus, referees for the Talent Award may be affiliated with the nominee’s current institution), but strong, arms-length referees will be necessary for the nominee to be competitive.

Submitting Nominations

Electronic documents must be presentable copies (ideally PDFs generated from source files, rather than scans). Nomination packages should be uploaded as a single PDF file to the graduate program’s UBC Workspace folder (named G+PS Awards - GradProgram; e.g., G+PS Awards - PSYC).  Please have the nomination documents arranged in the order they are listed above (#1-7).

The naming convention to be used for electronic files is: SSHRC_TALENT_PROGRAM_LastName_FirstName.pdf. For example, an application file for Elizabeth Tolmie from PSYC would be called SSHRC_TALENT_PSYC_Tolmie_Elizabeth.pdf.

Adjudication Procedures

Nomination files will be reviewed and ranked by a committee of UBC faculty members. UBC may nominate one candidate to SSHRC for the national-level competition.

Further Information

Questions about this funding opportunity should be directed to Natalie Thorson at

The Talent Award is among a suite of Impact Awards being offered by SSHRC. Complete information about the Impact Awards program can be found on the SSHRC website