Insight Grants, 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 grants and research training supplements through three arm’s-length funding opportunities: SSHRC Insight Grants, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships and Doctoral Awards (Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program – 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.
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 grants and supplements are open to students, postdoctoral scholars, individual researchers and research teams affiliated with a Canadian postsecondary institution that SSHRC considers to be eligible to administer funds awarded through its funding opportunities.
In addition to adhering to SSHRC’s policies and regulations pertaining to Insight Grants, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships, or Doctoral Awards, 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.
Canadian Heritage will consider supplemental funding for:
- holders of a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship or a Doctoral Award (Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program – Doctoral Scholarship or SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship) who propose programs of research relevant to its policy priorities.
The Joint Initiative’s Research Grants are available for Insight Grant applications and are worth up to a maximum of $100,000 annually, but not totaling more than $250,000 in a 3-year period.
Insight Grant applicants who request funding for up to 5 years and for more than $250,000 via the Insight Grant application may also be considered for the Joint Initiative’s funding. Those applicants will be requested to resubmit an adjusted 3-year budget.
A minimum request of $7,000 is required in at least 1 year of the project.
The Joint Initiative’s Research Grant supplements worth up to $20,000 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 Doctoral Award holders, in addition to the value of their award.
For descriptions of SSHRC terms, see Definitions of Terms.
Insight Grants: October 15, 2019
SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships competition: September 18, 2019
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, 2019.
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.
Successful candidates in the current (2019-2020) SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship and Doctoral Award competitions will be considered for supplemental funding if their application keywords or title align with the Joint Initiative’s target areas of interest. In subsequent competition cycles, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship and Doctoral Award candidates will be able to indicate their interest in being considered for the Joint Initiative’s supplements in their SSHRC application form.
Applicants needing help to prepare their application should contact SSHRC well in advance of the application deadline.
Each application for a Joint Initiative Research Grant is adjudicated first by the relevant SSHRC adjudication committee. If the application is ranked above the 5th and 6th sextiles, it is then referred to the Canadian Heritage Digital Citizen Research Consultative Body, which assesses whether the research will contribute to enhance the understanding of the impacts of online disinformation in Canada.
The committee reviews each application and forms a consensus on whether the proposed research adequately meets the funding opportunity's objectives and target areas. The applications of SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship and Doctoral Award holders that are relevant to the Joint Initiative’s target areas will also be referred to the Canada Heritage Digital Citizen Research Consultative Body for a relevance review.
The Canadian Heritage Digital Citizen Initiative Consultative Body’s decisions cannot be appealed.
All grant and supplement holders are expected to use their grant or supplement funding to 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.
In addition to the reporting requirements for the Insight Grants, Grant holders will also be required to prepare a short paper targeted at the Joint Initiative’s policy objective sand practitioner communities, summarizing the key findings of their research. The deadline for the submission of these knowledge transfer materials is September 30 of the final year of the grant.
Please contact the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to apply for funding through arm's-length Insight Grants:
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
- 1-888-997-3123 (toll-free)
Agents are available to answer your questions, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm (ET).
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