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SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships

Fellowships to Canadian Students Pursuing
PhDs in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

Deadline Date:

10/17/19 - Deadline for Direct Applications


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Fellowships of $20,000 per year to Canada students pursuing doctoral degrees in the social sciences and humanities disciplines. Funding is intended to support high-caliber doctoral students and allow them focus on their doctoral studies, find the best mentors in their fields, and contribute to the Canadian research ecosystem during and beyond the tenure of their awards. SSHRC welcomes applications involving Indigenous research, as well as those involving research-creation.

SSHRC Doctoral Awards are expected to respond to the objectives of the Talent program. The objectives of the Talent program are to:

  • Support the development of the best or most promising highly qualified personnel with social sciences and humanities research and professional skills;
  • Support the best or most promising social sciences and humanities students and postdoctoral researchers selected through an adjudication process;
  • Support students and scholars in gaining exposure to international social sciences and humanities scholarship; and
  • Mobilize social sciences and humanities knowledge that has the potential to lead to intellectual, cultural, social, and economic influence, benefit and impact.

Subject matter:

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships support and promote research excellence in a wide variety of disciplines, including interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research. Applicants should complete the application that is best aligned with their research subject matter to ensure that it is reviewed by experts in disciplines closest to their field(s) of study. Applicants who are uncertain should consult the guidelines for selecting the appropriate federal granting agency.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175208

Estimated Size of Grant:

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships are valued at $20,000 per year.

Term of Contract:

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships are made for 12, 24, 36 or 48 months.

SSHRC determines the value and duration of an award based on the number of months of full-time study (or equivalent) the applicant will have completed by December 31 of the year of application.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility of degree programs:

An eligible doctoral program must include a significant, autonomous research component that leads to the completion of a thesis, major research project, dissertation, scholarly publication, performance, recital and/or exhibit that is merit/expert-reviewed at the institutional level as a requirement for completion of the program.

Joint programs with a professional degree (e.g., MD/PhD, DVM/PhD, JD/PhD, MBA/PhD) as well as clinically oriented programs of study, including clinical psychology, are eligible if they have a significant autonomous research component as described above.

To be eligible to apply, an applicant must:

- Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, as of the application deadline date;
- Not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) or SSHRC;
- Submit only one doctoral award application in a given academic year to either SSHRC, CIHR or NSERC. Nominations to the Vanier CGS program do not count towards this limit;
- Have completed no more than 48 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31 of the year of application.

Eligibility to hold an award:

- SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships are tenable at any recognized institution in Canada or abroad. For the fellowship to be held abroad, the award holder must have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a Canadian postsecondary institution. For award holders who do not meet this requirement, the fellowships are tenable only at recognized Canadian postsecondary institutions.
- For applicants who qualify for both a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship and a CGS-D Scholarship, the CGS scholarship is only tenable at an eligible Canadian institution. There are no exceptions.
- Award holders may be eligible to hold their awards part time. Refer to the Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder’s Guide for further information.
- Qualifying or “make-up” years of study are not eligible for support.

Pre-Application Information:


- Direct Applications: October 17, 2019
- Through a Canadian institution with a quota: Contact your institution
- Results announced: April 2020

Institution deadlines:
Applicants applying through their institution must submit their applications by the deadline set by the institution. The institution will review all applications received, rank them and submit the recommended applications to SSHRC by 8:00 p.m. (eastern) on November 21. Institutions will notify applicants of the outcome of the institutional evaluation.

Directly to SSHRC deadline:
Applicants applying directly to SSHRC must submit using the appropriate application portal before 8:00 p.m. (eastern time) on October 17. If the deadline falls on a weekend or a Canadian public holiday, applications must be submitted by the following business day before 8:00 p.m. (eastern time).

Applicants needing help while preparing their application should communicate with SSHRC well in advance of the application deadline.

Talent Program:

Indigenous research:


Subject matter eligibility:

Imagining Canada's Future Challenge Areas:

Help with online forms:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Application and Instructions:


Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
350 Albert Street
P.O. Box 1610
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon