SSHRC – Temporary Changes to Peer Review Processes for Funding Opportunities

April 9, 2020: SSHRC remains committed to serving the social sciences and humanities research community during these exceptional times. They are working to limit the impact of the pandemic on SSHRC funding opportunities. Below are some updates on some of the steps they are taking. 

The priority is to maintain core programs. They do not want to cancel competitions and plan to continue with the current funding opportunities’ schedule to the greatest extent possible. They also intend to ensure that support for young and emerging researchers continues to be available. Under the Insight Development Grants, for example, approximately 65% of submissions to the 2020 competition came from first time applicants. They are working to ensure that the adjudication of their applications can proceed, although the usual peer review process will need to be adjusted. 

SSHRC employees are working remotely from their homes. SSHRC also recognizes that volunteer peer reviewers―who are a key part of the adjudication process―are also teleworking and managing the impacts of pandemic measures where they live. This presents unique challenges for peer review committees that typically meet in-person or by videoconference, supported by the SSHRC IT systems at the SSHRC offices. 

As SSHRC tries to deliver programs remotely, they will be implementing temporary changes to peer review adjudication. These changes include reduced feedback for applicants, who will only receive scores on the three merit criteria: Challenge, Feasibility and Capability. No narrative comments will be provided. In addition, committee meetings will be held via teleconference. These changes will be implemented for the following current and upcoming funding opportunities:

  • Insight Development Grants;
  • Partnership Engage Grants;
  • Partnership Grants – Stage 1; and
  • The upcoming Connection Grants.

This compromise allows delivery of the adjudication processes in a timely manner, without the risk of postponing or cancelling any of these funding opportunities.  

Additional updates about SSHRC programs can be found at :

photo credit: dksesha Grape Hyacinth in the sway via photopin (license)

About the Author

Kueneman, Karen
Staff, 2015 Fall
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