Government of Canada invests in doctoral social sciences and humanities research talent

News release

For Immediate Release

New funding supports graduate students across Canada to pursue research into critical social issues

November 2, 2020, Ottawa, Ontario – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

During this period of worldwide social uncertainty, the insights of our Canadian social science and humanities researchers can be transformative. They can help us better understand and navigate the needs of our society, the challenges we face, and how we move forward together to build a better, more inclusive Canada―and world.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, today announced that the Government of Canada is investing $26 million over the next four years to support 540 doctoral researchers across Canada through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowships competition. This funding will allow graduate students to pursue research in areas of critical social importance, such as the effects of climate change; the development of sustainable food systems; Indigenous languages; law and environmental revitalization; the impacts of chronic and recreational cannabis use; and psychological resilience from past traumas.

SSHRC recognizes that a more diverse and equitable research ecosystem contributes to research excellence, and the agency is committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion across its research funding programs. Among the recipients announced today, 65.1% self-identified as women, 4.8% as Indigenous, 8.3% as persons with a disability and 22% as members of visible minorities.


“Our government has always believed that the best investments are based on quality data and research. Social sciences and humanities are helping Canadians navigate complex societal issues; informing sound decision-making across government, business and community sectors; creating jobs; and securing a better future for our country and our kids. I want to congratulate this year’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship recipients, and look forward to the transformative work they will do.”

—The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“SSHRC’s investment in research is a demonstration of our commitment to supporting the high-calibre students of today and the change-makers of tomorrow. Their research findings and insights will be critical to making sense of the evolving world around us and will help guide governments and citizens’ behaviours and actions as we work toward a better future for all of society.”

—Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council 

Quick facts

  • The SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships are offered through one annual, national competition and are valued at $20,000 per year.

  • Through SSHRC’s Talent program, this funding opportunity supports the development of Canada’s next generation of researchers and leaders within academia and across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

  • These Fellowships support and promote research excellence in a wide variety of disciplines, including interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research.

  • SSHRC invites all applicants to review Imagining Canada’s Future’s 16 future global challenges, and to consider addressing one or more of these areas in their SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships research proposal.

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John Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Media Relations
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

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