Events and Conferences

Tips: SSHRC Writing Group

August 04, 2015

Worried about your SSHRC application? Let’s work together

Preparing a SSHRC application can be a major challenge for grad students, particularly when working solo. Answers to basic questions such as application deadlines are easily found, but the really challenging questions are more abstract: 

  • What is going to make my application stand out and increase its chances of being funded? 
  • How does the system of internal adjudication of SSHRC applications work at SFU and should knowledge of how that system works inform the way I write my proposal? 
  • Are there top-down pressures for SSHRC to fund research in certain topic areas? How much is my application’s success dependent on what is “hot” right now in the field, and should I tailor my proposal to fit into those categories?
  • If my proposal last year didn’t get funded, what went wrong? Was it just a “tough year” or is my proposed research idea just really bad? Should I start from scratch this year, or just try my best to improve the same proposal I submitted last year? Should I get new references? Is my CV not impressive enough?

These questions do not have easy answers, but if we work together to share our insights and support, we hope to increase everyone’s chances of a successful application. 

We’ve received SPICES funding to facilitate a series of peer-support based, graduate student facilitated workshops as a space for graduate students working on their SSHRC applications to come together to commiserate, share insights on the SSHRC application process, and glean information from a few key guest speakers to help us prepare the best possible SSHRC applications this Fall. 

We plan to meet for approximately two hours every two weeks from mid-August to the end of October (approximately 6 meetings). We hope to bring in at least two guest speakers over the six weeks and encourage participants to form smaller “writing groups” they meet with more regularly to workshop application materials, edit drafts etc. 

While these workshops will be focused on SFU graduate students applying or re-applying for doctoral and postdoctoral SSHRC awards, any graduate student who feels they would benefit from these workshops is welcome to join us. 

To help us fine tune our planning for this workshop series, please fill out our quick survey by clicking here: Peer-To-Peer Support Group For SSHRC Applicants Survey

Our first meeting will be on Thursday, August 13th from 9 am–12 noon in the Thesis Defense Room (Bennett Library Room 2020). Brainstorming snacks and coffee will be provided.

Scott Neufeld, Psychology, sdn2(at)
Mina SedaghatJou, Education, Msedagha(at)

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