Leading social sciences and humanities researchers recognized for excellence and impact

News release

Annual SSHRC Impact Awards celebrate outstanding research contributions made by Canadian scholars

November 23, 2023

Social sciences and humanities research generates critical insights into the human condition—our behaviours, cultures, histories and connections with the world. The work of researchers across these disciplines provides a deeper understanding of people and societies, and helps inform policies and practices toward building a more resilient, equitable and just world.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the recipients of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) 2023 Impact Awards. These awards are the highest honours bestowed by SSHRC. They recognize outstanding Canadian researchers and their research achievements, research training, knowledge mobilization and outreach activities funded partially or entirely by SSHRC.

The 2023 SSHRC Impact Award winners are:

  • David Dyzenhaus, from the University of Toronto, receives the Gold Medal for his profound impacts on the field of legal philosophy and on defending the rule of law globally. The Gold Medal is SSHRC’s highest research honour and is awarded to an individual whose sustained leadership, dedication and originality of thought have inspired students and colleagues alike.
  • Jessica Davis, from Carleton University, is recognized with the Talent Award for her research focusing on the effects and outcomes of counterterrorism policy, specifically counterterrorism financing legislation, policies and practices. The Talent Award recognizes the outstanding academic achievement of a current SSHRC doctoral scholarship or fellowship or postdoctoral fellowship holder.
  • Kang Leefrom the University of Toronto, is recognized with the Insight Award for his research on lying in children and how this differs in various social and cultural contexts. His work has contributed to reforms in Canadian law regarding legal evidence obtained from children, and their role as witnesses in criminal courts. The Insight Award is given to an individual or team whose project has made significant contributions to the knowledge and understanding of people, societies and the world. 
  • Andrew Martindale, from The University of British Columbia, is recognized with the Connection Award for his interdisciplinary and collaborative work with Indigenous communities on legal systems and rights, as well as his application of geoarchaeology for the location of unmarked graves in efforts to locate missing children from Indian Residential Schools. The Connection Award recognizes an outstanding initiative facilitating the exchange of research knowledge within or beyond the social sciences and humanities community to generate intellectual, cultural, social or economic impacts. 
  • Jeremy de Beer and Chidi Oguamanam, from the University of Ottawa, are recognized with the Partnership Award as co-leads of the Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR) Network. Open AIRconnects dozens of researchers across African countries, Canada and elsewhere to scale up innovation by easing tensions between intellectual property and access to knowledge. The Partnership Award recognizes a formal partnership, which, through mutual co-operation and shared intellectual leadership and resources, has demonstrated impacts and influences within or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community. Alongside Dr. de Beer and Dr. Oguamanam, the following partners are being recognized as part of this award: Erika Kraemer-Mbula (University of Johannesburg, South Africa), Caroline Ncube (University of Cape Town, South Africa), Nagla Rizk (The American University in Cairo, Egypt), and Tobias Schonwetter (University of Cape Town, South Africa).


“Canada’s top social sciences and humanities researchers are leading the way to a better understanding of the complexities of our world and the human condition. Congratulations to the recipients of this year's Impact Awards, whose valuable contributions ignite innovative solutions and enhance our comprehension of the intricacies of our world.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“The winners of the 2023 Impact Awards are among Canada’s best social sciences and humanities researchers and scholars. Their research has influenced policy and society and has had tangible and significant effects on the lives of Canadians and others beyond our borders. Today, we celebrate the accomplishments of these SSHRC-funded researchers and the incredible contributions each has made in their fields. Congratulations!”

Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Gold Medal recipient will receive $100,000 for future research.

  • The winners of the Talent, Insight, Connection and Partnership Awards will each receive $50,000 in research funding.

  • For each award, eligible institutions nominate candidates, who are evaluated by a multidisciplinary jury made up of distinguished individuals from academia, as well as the private, not-for-profit and public sectors, from Canada and abroad.

  • The jury selects award recipients according to the selection criteria associated with each of the five awards.

Associated links


Audrey Champoux
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
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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