Joint Initiative for Digital Citizen Research

Canadian Heritage is partnering with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to provide research grants through the SSHRC Insight Grants program This funding provides assistance to selected postsecondary institution-affiliated researchers to conduct research related to online disinformation and other online harms as well as their impact in the Canadian context.

The Joint Initiative has 3 broad objectives:

  • to promote Canadian research that will develop better understanding — based on empirical evidence — of the impacts of online disinformation in Canada in order to better inform programs and policies;
  • to build Canada’s capacity to conduct research on and related to countering online disinformation and other related online harms, specifically in the target areas described below; and
  • to help foster a community of research in the digital citizenship and online disinformation space in Canada.

Eligible projects: In addition to adhering to SSHRC’s policies and regulations pertaining to Insight Grants, as applicable, proposals to the Joint Initiative must address the broad objectives described above.

Proposals should also focus on 1 or more of the following specific areas of research:

  • Creators and propagators of (online) disinformation in a Canadian context.
  • Digital techniques used to spread (online) disinformation in a Canadian context.
  • Sectors of Canadian society more or less vulnerable to (online) disinformation, including how disinformation may specifically affect marginalized, minority and Indigenous communities.
  • Effects of exposure to information and (online) disinformation on Canadians’ individual beliefs and behavior as well as overall mental health.
  • Different impacts of (online) disinformation in Canada and on Canada, including on democratic institutions and elections.
  • Government responses to (online) disinformation.

Canadian Heritage will consider funding Insight Grant applications that:

  • propose programs of research relevant to its policies; and
  • the SSHRC adjudication committees have recommended for funding but did not receive an Insight Grant due to budgetary constraints.

Note: The Joint Initiative is designed to complement, not replace, existing SSHRC support for research offered through the Insight program.

How to apply: Those seeking to engage in short- or long-term research on online disinformation and other related online harms and their impact in the Canadian context are encouraged to apply for funding through the Insight Grants funding opportunity and designate their application as part of the Joint Initiative.

More information on this joint program…

photo credit: mikecogh Fantasy Door via photopin (license)

About the Author

Kueneman, Karen
Staff, 2015 Fall
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