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Report on May 2017 SSHRC Leaders Meeting at Congress

The Office of Research Services has received the following information which we are forwarding to our e-mail list members:

If you have further questions, please contact Dr. Lisa Shapiro, email: lshapiro@sfu.ca.

First and foremost was the acknowledgement by Ted Hewitt that his optimistic assessment of the funding environment in December was misguided. The March budget did not, contrary to expectations, include increased science funding. In response to questions from the floor, it was argued that there is a continued need to explain WHY research is important. In particular, there is a need for a greater understanding that innovation is essentially social. Funding of technology is prioritized, but technological innovation lies stagnant unless it makes an impact on and is taken up by society. Also from the floor, concerns were raised about the Fundamental Science Review's recommendation for increased collaboration and integration of research councils impact on SSHRC. Hewitt's response suggested that there is already strong collaboration amongst tri-councils, and that perhaps the language applies to other entities.

Other issues discussed include the collection of equity data of CRC process as well as other competitions, the increase of modes of international research collaboration, and the TRC Call for Action Framework.

There was, in the context of Canada 150 an exhortation to value and take pride in Canadian intellectual heritage.

In the coming year, work will continue on the implementation of the principles around data management and the development of a data management policy. There will be online consultation on the draft policy in the Fall. The Draft policy includes the following aims:  

a. Institutions need to develop internal research data management policy [Equity across institutions]
b. Data management plans by researchers and submitted to research officer
c. Agency retain right to see plans (to evaluate system/needs)
d. Researchers deposit data directly related to published articles and encouraged shared data
            Would not supercede ethical, aboriginal, business considerations
            Repository needs to secure privacy
e. Meetings with Associations at Congress

A number of questions were raised with regard to the interaction of Data Management policies with Research Ethics and privacy concerns.  Ethics concerns are of particular importance with respect to research involving First Nations communities, and the key there is to have clear protocols and well-articulated principles.

Also in the coming year, there is expected to be a harmonization of grants management system integration of NSERC and SSHRC under review(CIHR is not included). A proposal with government. The hope is to merge existing portals into one portal. This may involve some revision of the CCV.

While success rates for SSHRC IG have rebounded, application rates have dropped. Faculty are encouraged to apply. 
There will be new programs/new branding of existing programs:
  • a new IDG stream
  • Institutional grants will be rebranded as SSHRC Explore/SSHRC Exchange (rather than Small SSHRCs)
  • new Partnership Engage grants.
There are new joint initiatives with MITACS, Sport, Defense, and Genomics 

Imagining Canada's Future has completed its first iteration. Version 2.0 will launch in September.

If you have any follow up questions, I will try to answer them to the best of my ability.


Lisa Shapiro  email: lshapiro@sfu.ca
Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences o. 778.782.9025 
Professor of Philosophy f. 778.782.3033
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6