Insight Grant Supplements, Postdoctoral Fellowship Supplements, Doctoral Award Supplements — Joint Initiative for Digital Citizen Research  

Canadian Heritage is partnering with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to provide research and research training supplements through three arm’s-length funding opportunities: SSHRC Insight Grants, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships and SSHRC Doctoral Awards (Canada Graduate Scholarships– Doctoral Scholarships and SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships). This funding provides assistance to selected postsecondary institution-affiliated researchers, postdoctoral scholars and students to conduct research related to online disinformation and other online harms as well as their impact in the Canadian context. Comparative approaches to these themes that are inclusive of, but extend beyond, the Canadian context are also eligible for supplementary funding.

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.

Who can apply

Initiative for Digital Citizen Research supplements are open to students, postdoctoral scholars, individual researchers and research teams who are eligible to apply to the following SSHRC competitions: Insight GrantsPostdoctoral Fellowships, or Doctoral Awards.

To be offered a supplement under this initiative, applicants must first be successful in the SSHRC competition to which they applied, and they must be affiliated with a Canadian postsecondary institution that SSHRC considers to be eligible to administer funds awarded through its funding opportunities.

Eligible projects

In addition to adhering to SSHRC’s policies and regulations pertaining to SSHRC Insight Grants, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships, or SSHRC Doctoral Awards, as applicable, proposals to the Joint Initiative must address the broad objectives described above.

Proposals should also focus on at least 1 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.
  • Disinformation outside of the internet/not online in a Canadian context.

Canadian Heritage will consider supplemental funding for:

  • holders of a SSHRC Insight Grant, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship or a SSHRC Doctoral Award (Canada Graduate Scholarships Program – Doctoral Scholarship or SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship) who propose a program of research relevant to its policy priorities.

Value and Duration

The Joint Initiative’s Insight Grant supplements, worth $20,000 and tenable for 12 months are available to successful Insight Grant recipients, in addition to the value of their grant.

The Joint Initiative’s Postdoctoral Fellowship supplements and Doctoral Award supplements, worth $10,000 and tenable for 12 months, are available to SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship and SSHRC Doctoral Award holders, in addition to the value of their award.

For descriptions of SSHRC terms, see Definitions of Terms.

Application deadline

SSHRC Insight Grants competition: October 1, 2020.

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships competition: September 15, 2021.

SSHRC Doctoral Awards competition: For applications submitted through a Canadian postsecondary institution with a quota, the institution sets the deadline. For applications submitted directly to SSHRC, the deadline is October 17, 2020.

How to apply

To be considered for funding under this initiative, applicants must:

Applicants needing help to prepare their application should contact SSHRC well in advance of the application deadline.

Funding terms

Applications are adjudicated first by the relevant SSHRC selection committee. SSHRC committees do not review the justification submitted as part of the Joint Initiative application.

If the application is successful in the SSHRC competition and includes the required justification, it is referred to the Canadian Heritage Digital Citizen Initiative’s governance committees, which assesses whether the proposed research adequately meets the funding opportunity's objectives and target areas.

The Canadian Heritage Digital Citizen Initiative’s governance committees’ decisions cannot be appealed.

All supplement holders are expected to use their supplement funding to produce a short paper summarizing the key findings of their research and participate at the annual Conference on Digital Citizen Research to be organized by Canadian Heritage. Postdoctoral Fellowship and Doctoral Award supplement holders may be eligible for additional funding to offset lodging and travel expenses related to the conference, as determined on a case-by-case basis.

Contact us

Please contact the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for more information on how to apply for the Joint Initiative for Digital Citizen Research supplements:

Insight Grants supplements


Postdoctoral Fellowship and Doctoral Award supplements


Please contact Canadian Heritage for more information on the Joint Initiative for Digital Citizen Research:

Department of Canadian Heritage

Digital Citizen Initiative

25 Eddy Street, 7th Floor

Gatineau QC K1A 0M5

1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)
1-888-997-3123 (toll-free)

Agents are available to answer your questions, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm (ET).

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