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Graduate Studies

SSHRC Doctoral Scholarships and Fellowships

SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarships and the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships support high-calibre students engaged in doctoral programs in the social sciences and humanities. This support allows scholars to fully concentrate on their doctoral studies, to seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields and to contribute to the Canadian research ecosystem during and beyond the tenure of their awards. Both programs are administered through a single application.

Applications are prepared and submitted by students in the SSHRC On-line System by the internal deadline set by McMaster.  Students are no longer required to submit a paper application.  Students will now be uploading required documents and their transcripts to their application.

Applicants are now required to invite their referees via an automated email generated by the SSHRC On-line System. Letters of appraisal are to be submitted by referees using the On-Line System. Applicants will not be able to submit their application without both letters.

Indigenous applicants

Institutions may recommend applications from self-identified Indigenous applicants to the doctoral awards competition beyond their application quota. Students can self-identify as Indigenous when completing the doctoral application on the SSHRC On-Line System.

SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral

To be eligible to apply, an applicant must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, as of the application deadline date
    have completed no more than 24 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31 of the calendar year of application if previously enrolled in a master’s program
  • have completed no more than 36 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31 of the calendar year of application if enrolled in a joint program; for example, MD/PhD, MA/PhD
    • applicants who fall into this category have access to the 36-month window whether or not they were previously enrolled in a master’s program
  • have completed no more than 36 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31 of the calendar year of application if enrolled directly from a bachelor’s to a PhD program (with no time spent in a master’s program)
    • direct-entry applicants must be enrolled in their doctoral program at the time of application 
  • Eligibility for CGS D is based on the number of months of full-time study in the degree for which you are requesting funding by December 31, 2020. Two terms of part-time study count as one term of full-time study.
  • Applicants can submit a maximum of one scholarship application per academic year to either CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC. Nominations to the Vanier CGS program and applications to the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program do not count toward this limit.
  • Applicants cannot have already received a doctoral-level scholarship from CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC.

Value and duration

$35,000 per year; for 36 months

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships

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.

Value and duration

$20,000 per year; varied for 12, 24, 36 or 48 months

SSHRC Fellowship eligibility table

Number of months completed by December 31 of the year of application Duration of SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship
Between 0 and 12 months 48 months
Between 13 and 24 months 36 months
Between 25 and 36 months 24 months
Between 37 and 48 months 12 months
49 months or more Not eligible

COVID-19

Allowable Inclusions

The agencies have added “pandemic” to the list of special circumstances that applicants may cite as having an impact on their research and academic trajectory.

Transcripts

SSHRC is aware of the challenges in obtaining official transcripts in light of the current context. As a result, directions on how to process transcripts for this competition will soon follow.

Program of study

An eligible doctoral program must include a significant 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.

Indigenous Research

SSHRC’s Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research are relevant for researchers (applicants and project directors) and students preparing SSHRC applications related to Indigenous research. SSHRC provides these guidelines to merit reviewers to help build understanding of Indigenous research and research-related activities, and to assist committee members in interpreting SSHRC’s specific evaluation criteria in the context of Indigenous research. SSHRC makes concerted efforts to include experts in Indigenous research in doctoral and postdoctoral selection committees. The guidelines may also be of use to external assessors, postsecondary institutions and partner organizations that support Indigenous research.

McMaster internal application deadline:  Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

Applications are prepared and submitted by students in the SSHRC On-line System by the internal deadline set by McMaster.  Students are no longer required to submit a paper application.  Students will now be uploading required documents and their transcripts to their application.

Electronic submission of Letters of Appraisal

Applicants are now required to invite their referees via an automated email generated by the SSHRC On-line System. Letters of appraisal are to be submitted by referees using the On-Line System. Applicants will not be able to submit their application without both letters.

Selection criteria

Expandable List

Indicators of research ability and potential:

  • Quality of research proposal
    • specific, focused and feasible research question(s) and
      objective(s)
    • clear description of the proposed methodology
    • significance and expected contributions to research
  • Relevant training, such as academic training, lived experience and traditional teachings
  • Research experience and achievements relative to the applicant’s stage of study, lived experience and knowledge systems
  • Quality of contributions and extent to which they advance the field of research. Contributions may include: publications, patents, reports, posters, abstracts, monographs, presentations, creative outputs, knowledge translation outputs, community products, etc.
  • Demonstration of sound judgment and ability to think critically
  • Demonstration of responsible and ethical research conduct, including honest and thoughtful inquiry, rigorous analysis, commitment to safety and to the dissemination of research results and adherence to the use of professional standards
  • Enthusiasm for research, originality, initiative, autonomy, relevant community involvement and outreach
  • The ability or potential to communicate theoretical, technical and/or scientific concepts clearly and logically in written and oral formats

Indicators of relevant experience and achievements obtained within and beyond academia:

  • Scholarships, awards and distinctions (amount, duration and prestige)
    • Academic record:
    • Transcripts
    • Duration of previous studies
    • Program requirements and courses pursued
    • Course load
    • Relative standing in program (if available)
  • Professional, academic and extracurricular activities as well as collaborations with supervisors, colleagues, peers, students and members of the community, such as:
    • teaching, mentoring, supervising and/or coaching
    • managing projects
    • participating in science and/or research promotion
    • community outreach, volunteer work and/or civic engagement
    • chairing committees and/or organizing conferences and meetings
    • participating in departmental or institutional
    • organizations, associations, societies and/or clubs