This page is for tracking SSHRC awards to be held during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Description[edit | edit source]

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships are expected to respond to the objectives of the Talent program.

These fellowships support the most promising Canadian new scholars in the social sciences and humanities, and assist them in establishing a research base at an important time in their research careers.

They provide stipendiary support to recent PhD graduates who are:

  • undertaking original research;
  • publishing research findings;
  • developing and expanding personal research networks;
  • broadening their teaching experience;
  • preparing for research-intensive careers within and beyond academia; and
  • preparing to become competitive in national research grant competitions.

Fellowships will normally be awarded to candidates affiliated with a university other than the one that awarded the PhD. SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship awards are tenable at Canadian or foreign universities and research institutions.

SSHRC welcomes applications involving Indigenous research, as well as those involving research-creation.

Value: $45,000 per year

Duration: 1 or 2 years

Application deadline *: September 18, 2019

Results announced: February 2020


Stats[edit | edit source]

Applying as an ABD: 11

Applying with a PhD (0-1 years out): 4

Applying with a PhD (2-3 years out): 3

Total: 18


Applying to hold at a Canadian institution: 13

Applying to hold at a non-Canadian institution: 5

Total: 18


Selection Committee:

Committee 1, Literature and fine arts: 3

Committee 2A, History, classics, classical archaeology, philosophy, mediaeval studies, and religious studies: 1

Committee 2B, History, classics, classical archaeology, philosophy, mediaeval studies, and religious studies:

Committee 3, Anthropology, folklore, archaeology, criminology, and sociology: 4

Committee 4A, Education, linguistics, psychology, and social work:

Committee 4B, Education, linguistics, psychology, and social work:

Committee 5, Economics, law, political science, management & business, administrative studies, and industrial relations: 

Committee 6, Archival science, communications and media studies, demography, environmental studies, geography, library and information science, urban and regional studies: 4

Results received (successful)[edit | edit source]

FORMAT: Score. Discipline. Selection Committee (eg, 3/7563, 6/7566). Location: (eg, Canada, US). Status: (eg, ABD, 1yr, 2yr). Qualifications: (eg, pubs, presentations).

Feb 6. Awarded a Banting. 1/163. Political Science. Ph.D. at UofToronto, postdoc at UdeMontréal. ABD (defense March 6). 2 peer-reviewed articles (+2 in revisions). One forthcoming book. One forthcoming edited volume. One policy note for Global Affairs Canada. Many book chapters and outreach publications (media, professional journals, reports). I founded a non-profit organization to promote french speaking female experts in the media, organized a conference on emancipatory futures (1600+ participants) and trained female civil society leaders in Burkina Faso, etc.

Feb 6. Awarded a Banting (SSHRC). 18/162. Law. 8.35/7.70/7.90 (7.98 average). Halifax. Status: 2yr. Qualifications: PhD from Osgoode Hall, held SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship and Killam postdoc the past two years, immediately after finishing PhD in under four years. 2 books (one peer-reviewed), 16 journal articles (9 peer-reviewed, the rest in top flight US journals), 1 book review, 1 book chapter, on boards of several national scholarly associations, Bombadier doctoral award, major graduate paper prize, taught law for six years (including classes in my sub-field), a dozen peer-reviewer or paper prize jury positions, 30+ conference organizing positions, 40+ conference paper presentations, 30+ conference moderating or discussant positions, two BAs, two law degrees, and an LLM before my PhD. Editor-in-Chief of major Canadian law journal. Clerkship at the Federal Court and lawyer, (member of the Ontario bar). Did not get passed through university level competition for Banting two years prior when receiving my initial SSHRC postdoc.

Mar 3. (Montreal). Awarded SSHRC. 4/110. Committee 6 (Last awarded: 4.70). Media & Communication. PhD at University of Montreal (2018). First postdoc in Australia (2018-2020). Current postdoc application at McGill. Overall score: 5.23/6 (4.87; 5.17; 5.40). At the time of application: Over 350,000 CAD in funding, 8 peer-reviewed papers (7 as first author), 3 book chapters (1 as first author), 1 collective book (as 3rd co-editor), 1 book manuscript proposal under evaluation, 2 articles + 1 book chapter in press/accepted. 14 conference participations (mostly international, though I did not include all my conferences in the application due to space limitations). *** FYI, I applied to SSHRC in 2016 as an ABD and arrived 92/125 in Committee 6. A few weeks later, I came in first in my committee with the exact same project at FRQSC. Don't overthink your rejection too much; these things are definitely random-ish. 

March 4. (London). Awarded SSHRC Postdoc. 9/110 (4.7/6). Committee 3 (Last awarded: 4.23). Criminology (and Sociology and Geography). Western. ABD at Windsor (tentative defense April 29th). Qualifications: 1 edited book (first author); 4 book chapters (3 first author); 4 peer-reviewed articles (all 4 first author); 3 peer-reviewed articles under review; 2 non-academic articles/interviews; 11 academic conference presentations. Approximately $113,000 (CND) in scholarships and research funding. Topic high overlap with one of SSHRC's research priorities. **Second attempt (ranked 90th on first attempt)**

--Congratulations!!!  I was curious about what has changed in your application this year. Was the biggest change in your contributions or the program of work if so in which way?

I actually switched which committee I entered (committee 6 last year, committee 3 this year), so it's dificult to know exactly what changes improved my application otherwise. All I know is I used much plainer language and stressed its connection with SSHRC's research priorities. 

March 4: Awarded SSHRC Postdoc. 22/139 (4.25). Committee 1 (Last awarded 4.13, fellowships offered: 30). Art History, ABD at Western (Postdoc to be held in the US). Qualifications: 2 peer-reviewed articles (only one sole-authored); 3 non-academic articles/exhibition catalog essays; 10 academic conference presentations (plus 2 panels/symposia organized), 3 curatorial projects, several course taught. SSHRC CGS for Masters and Doctoral. 

March 4: Awarded SSHRC Postdoc. 16/139 (4.6). Committee 1 (Last awarded 4.13, fellowships offered: 30). English Literature, PhD 2019 (US), current 1-year postdoc (Canada). Qualifications: 4 peer-reviewed articles; 3 non-academic articles/exhibition catalog essays; 15 academic conference presentations, 2 curatorial projects, 6 courses taught. SSHRC CGS for MA and PhD.

March 5. (London, ON). Awarded SSHRC Postdoc. 9/130 (4.88). Committee 1, Literature and Fine Arts (Last awarded: 4.13). PhD at Western. Qualifications: 1 edited book (sole editor) under contract, 7 peer reviewed articles (all sole author) including one in the top journal in my field, four articles under review, 3 non peer-reviewed articles, 14 conference papers, four panels chaired, several short stories and poems in various literary journals, about $100,000 in previous funding from SSHRC and OGS grants. Some topic overlap with SSHRC research priorities. One liability was that I had recently re-adjusted my research area, so there was less synergy than there could have been with my dissertation topic and publications. Second attempt, ranked around 120 with a different project that I later scrapped, for obvious reasons.

March 7: Awarded SSHRC Postdoc: 5/87. Committee 4A, (Last Awarded: 4.18, fellowships offered: 19). Linguistics, PhD 2018, currently in second year of a 2-year postdoc (USA). Qualifications: 4 peer-reviewed articles, 2 were in submission that have now been accepted, 10 peer-reviewed conference proceedings.Recieved CGS doctroal award and Micheal Smith Foreign Studies Supplement and an OGS during Ph. D. studies. Topic on Indigenous languages with mentor who is an expert. Previously applied for a Banting in 2018 but was narrowly rejected and submitted a similar topic to SSHRC that year and was also rejected (brutally, so, I might add). I also applied for an NSERC last year, but I was rejected. This is my second SSHRC attempt. I will add, this comes at a good time, because I didn't have anything lined up yet. Life saver!!

March 8 (rec'd March 4): Awarded SSHRC Postdoc: 17/139 (4.59). Committee 1 (Last awarded 4.13, fellowships offered: 30). Interdisciplinary, ABD (Canada), postdoc to be held in Canada. Qualifications: 3 peer-reviewed articles, 2 articles under review, 1 p-r book chapter, 2 book chapters under review, 14 conference papers (listed in app), 1 journal special issue co-edited, several creative publications (poetry; curatorial essays), 1 curated exhibition, ~$110,000 in doctoral and research funding (SSHRC and OGS), quite a bit of research and professional experience that relates to proposed project. Significant overlaps with SSHRC research priorities. First time applying.


Results received (unsuccessful) FORMAT: Score. Discipline. Selection Committee (eg, 3/7563, 6/7566). Location: (eg, Canada, US). Status: (eg, ABD, 1yr, 2yr). Qualifications: (eg, pubs, presentations).


March 4. Rejected SSHRC Postdoc. 36/110 (4.55/6). Committee 6 (Last awarded: 4.7/6, 23 grants awared). Location: urban planning at UC, Davis (California). ABD at UofT (tentative defense June 2020). Qualifications: 5 peer-reviewed articles (all 5 as first author); 2 peer-reviewed articles under review; 1 book chapters (as first author); 2 Gov. reports; +15 academic conference presentations. Approximately $160,000 (CND) in scholarships and research funding. Reseach aligned with one of SSHRC's research priorities. 

March 6 - Rejected from Postdoctoral Fellowships Committee 2A. History. 18/63. Canada. Finished PhD December 2017. 7 peer reviewed publications, 2 publications under review, 7 conference presentations, and 15 other publications.  

March 4 - (London) Unsuccessful Committee 3. Score 3.4. 56/110 (ouch). 1 peer review publication, many conference presentations, over $200,000 in previous funding including SSHRC Masters and SSHRC Doctoral. Reseach aligned with two of SSHRC's research priorities. 

Feb 6 - Rejected from Banting. Political Science. 57/163. Canada. ABD 5th year. 20+ peer reviewed publications in top journals, several other publications, created training and inclusivity programs across the country to foster academic development in undergraduate and graduate students, peer reviewed for several journals and conferences. It's been a slice, academia. I'm done.

- I'm so sorry. If it's any consolation, I was advised from a very good source this year not to even apply for the Banting as an ABD (which I currently am). Apparently the Banting typically goes to people with PhD in hand, often who are already on their second postdoc, in addition to being 'leaders in their field.' I personally have seen a few exceptions to this, but the general rule seems to be true. Of course there's also a certain (large) degree of subjectivity in any kind of process like this (ie. judged by humans), and it may have very little to do with the quality of your project or qualifications (I'm sure almost ALL of the applicaitons that go to the Banting competition are worthy of funding, but they have to make decisions somehow and its impossible to know what those criteria ended up being). Anyway, I feel your sentiment here, this process is devastating - best of luck whatever you decide.

-Thanks. I'm pretty over academia at this point. Hard work is no longer rewarded in this field. Best of luck to you also.

- I'm so sorry. Sometimes the best decision is really to say f**k it. Best wishes to you in whatever you do next - wherever you go will be lucky to have you!
- You should not quit yet, especially if you are ABD! Academia is harsh, and Banting, I believe is NOT looking for the most peer-reviewed publications, but how you explain their impact. I was awarded one and my cv looks less impressive, but perhaps more socially-oriented. That being said, I also heard being ABD does not help...
-Congratulations! It seems like they might be looking for people who are activists, possibly more than researchers these days! Things have changed even since 5/10 years ago...
-Haha! Well - let's say activists/researcher. There is still a certain threshold for academic cv quality.

DISCUSSION / Q&A[edit | edit source]

Anyone else assuming (perhaps in vain!) they'll send them out today or tomorrow, per usual, rather than early March, like last year? (When the deadline was extended due to a technical hiccup). I asked SSHRC on Twitter but so far no response.

-Someone posted in another forum that SSHRC replied to an email and said they will mail letters probably on 28th (Friday).

-- Oh, great! Thanks for passing that along.

--- From the GradCafe forums (https://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/121233-sshrc-postdoctoral-fellowship-2020-2021/?tab=comments#comment-1058743661): "I emailed them. They said the letters were sent out today. Good luck!  This is what they said: " Good morning,  The Postdoctoral competition results will be mailed today, February 28. Sincerely, ***"

02 March- Has anyone received a letter today?

- On GradCafe someone from Ottawa says no letter today: https://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/121233-sshrc-postdoctoral-fellowship-2020-2021/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-1058744853

- I am in Ottawa and did not receive it either.

- Someone said on Twitter that they received the letter today in Ottawa. - I am in Toronto, and I received SSHRC letter today (March 4th).


- I received mine in Montreal this morning (3 March).

--Would you mind sharing the overall and committee based stats?

--- Sure thing. Applications: 749; Fellowships Offered: 160 (21.4%); Fellowships Not Offered: 589 (78.6%) 

Thank you!

- Received letter in Montreal as well (March 3)

--- Reports on Twitter and GradCafe of letters in Toronto, too.

March 4 - Received in Sackville, NB


Washington, DC letter received on 3/4 -- false alarm, this was a SSHRC tax form....

--Anyone gotten letters in the US yet? Been a week and nothing on my end. In the Midwest (03/07)


March 4 - Received in Calgary.


March 6 - Received in Regina

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