Academic Jobs Wiki

This page is for tracking SSHRC awards to be held during the 2014-2015 academic year.

NEW PAGE for 2015-2016 fellowship competition: SSHRC 2015-2016

SSHRC Postdoctoral 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.

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships 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; and
  • preparing to become competitive in national research grants competitions.

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

NOTE: Applicants should be aware that as of the 2014-2015 competition, SSHRC’s Postdoctoral Fellowships will undergo the following changes:

  • Postdoctoral Fellowships awards will increase from $38,000 per year to $40,500 per year for up to two years, while provision for a separate research allowance will no longer be offered.
  • Applicants will be eligible to apply up to two years after completion of a PhD (instead of the previous three-year window).
  • Applicants who have previously held a postdoctoral award from SSHRC, CIHR, or NSERC, including a Banting postdoctoral fellowship, will no longer be eligible to apply.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships evaluation criteria will align with other SSHRC grants, which assess proposals based on three main criteria: challenge, feasibility and capability.

The deadline to submit a proposal for the 2014-2015 competition is October 2, 2013.


Applying as an ABD: 31

Applying with a PhD (0-1 years out): 18

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

Total: 49

Applying to hold at a Canadian institution: 33

Applying to hold at a non-Canadian institution: 15

Official Numbers: "This year, the postdoctoral committees adjudicated 844 eligible applications. In view of the limited funds available to this program, SSHRC is able to offer 183 awards."

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Pages from Previous Years[]

SSHRC 2011-12

SSHRC 2012-13

SSHRC 2013-14

SEE ALSO: Humanities and Social Sciences Postdocs 2013-14 (Banting and Killam postdocs posted here)

Acknowledgement of application received[]

Sep 30, 2013 - I just forwarded my application. Am I supposed to receive an acknowledgement by email?

Oct 1, 2013 - just submitted as well. The application status reads as Forwarded first, and then should change to Received--usually within a day or so. Good luck!

Oct. 2, 2013 - Just submitted. Again. Here goes nothing! Good luck, everyone!

Oct. 2, 2013 - Submitted this morning. The status is still "Forwarded." Hope it changes to "Received" soon... Good bluck to you all!

Oct 8, 2013 - Submitted late on Oct 1st and received acknowledgement via email yesterday (Oct 7).

Oct. 9, 2013 -- Just received an email acknowledgement, although I submitted my application well over two weeks ago. Anyway, the acknowledgement is a giant leap for SSHRC because when I first applied (obviously unsuccessfully) in 2011 they didn't even bother to send me an email or anything.  

Feb. 1, 2014 - Anyone want to place wagers on when we'll hear from SSHRC this month (hopefully!)? --> Hmm. Well, last year people were told by SSHRC to expect results in mid-Feb, but didn't actually hear back till late Feb. I'm guessing a similar timeline...(02/01)

Feb. 2, 2014 - I'm really hoping for mid-Feb--can't take the suspense! 

Feb. 2, 2014 - I'm guessing mid-Feb-- last year there were 900 applications; this year's eligibility criteria seem to have reduced the numbers and this may speed the process up! (02/2) x2. I'm trying not to get my hopes up because of the possibly reduced application numbers. Last year I was sure I'd get it and seem to have just missed the score cutoff for funded apps. But each year is a new ballgame. Ugh.

Feb 2, 2014 - This waiting game already feels awful altough no letter can be expected at this point. I am not sure if they will do it this year - but last year they announced the mailing date via twitter: (over the years, the mailing date seems to have changed from beginning to end of February...although I hope I am wrong, I am expecting we'll hear back in early March)

Feb. 3, 2014 - I just e-mailed SSHRC and they informed me that results will probably be mailed out in the middle of the month. Looks like we are indeed looking at a timeline similar to last year's. (Good to know - thanks! Though I was really hoping it would be earlier. 02/04)

Feb. 3, 2014 - I'm going to assume Feb 20th, just so I can stop thinking about it. Though there's some relief in knowing we're all waiting in agony together!

Feb. 7, 2014 - Does anyone know whether they send emails in addition to the letters? I might be out of town when they do send the mail.

  • I applied last year and there was no e-mail - only a letter (and offers and rejections are mailed out at the same time).
  • Thanks for the info.! I'm going to have to wait when I get back, unfortunately! 

Feb. 11, 2014 - This waiting is killing me! Anyone have any updates on the date the results are mailed-out?

  • None here... but I keep checking this wiki and SSHRC's twitter every day. FML.
  • LINK to Twitter Feed:
  • Feb 13, 2014 - in response to a query on twitter they say that postdoctoral results have not yet been mailed but "will be soon" (and they will announce on twitter).

Feb 14, 2014: A tweet from half an hour ago says results will be mailed out "by the end of next week"

  • Agh, so by mid-February they really mean late February.
  • This (mailing date of Feb 21, just like last year) probably means that people in major Canadian cities will receive their letters Feb 27 or 28 (again, judging from last year's wiki; also, Toronto letters seem to always arrive first)

Feb 14, 2014: Does anyone know how long Canadian post typically takes to get to get to the US?

  • Typically I think around a week.
  • Does anyone know why they don't do email? Is there a reason?

Does anyone have any news about the Killam postdoc competition (UBC in particular)? Has anyone heard? Last year around this time some universities had already sent out notifications (via e-mail). Sorry if this is off-topic!

  • NOTE: the UBC Killam postdoc is posted on the main Postdocs page: LINK

Feb. 17, 2014: "Happy Friday! The SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships notifications will be mailed out by the end of next week."

Feb. 19, 2014: Sorry if this is a bit off-topic when everybody is waiting to hear the results; but I was wandering whether the members of the selection commitee have any access to the identity of the applicants or there is a blind-review process. I couldn't find any specific information on this matter. Any thoughts?

I am sure they know your name -- the referees use your name in their letters, you list your pubs., etc.

  • x2 I've never heard of it being blind - and I imagine that if it was, we'd get instructions on how to prepare our apps for blind review rather than leaving it up to some poor soul on SSHRC support staff to redact thousands of pages. If you're concerned about your app ending up in the hands of someone in your field who doesn't like your work for personal reasons... well, I guess it's a risk and i is a problem that SSHRC should address somehow, but I don't think it's a very big risk. Chances are, the people reviewing your app are not in your subdiscipline or even your discipline (at least, I think that must be the case - it certainly is for the doctoral award adjudication, according to my advisor).
  • Comments from a former professor who sat on the selection committee leads me to believe that it's certainly not blind.
    • That sounds ominous. 

Feb. 20, 2014: I just wanted to throw it out there that anyone can ATIP their SSHRC Postdoc. In other words, after the results are out you can make a request and see what reviewers said about your proposal. (

  • Completed Access to Information Requests. I tried linking directly to SSHRC, but the link would not publish properly. Choose SSHRC from the side panel.
  • Did you ATIP your application? I don't think it's possible.

Feb. 21, 2014: So I am assuming everyone else is checking this page and SSHRC's twitter feed constantly. Hopefully they'll mail out letters today. I wish I had news but wanted to know what others are thinking.

Results have been mailed. [posted Feb. 21]

Feb. 21, 2014: "This year, the postdoctoral committees adjudicated 844 eligible applications. In view of the limited funds available to this program, SSHRC is able to offer 183 awards." --> This should be a success rate of around 21 per cent. Very similar to last year's.

Feb. 21: ""The SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships competition results have now been mailed. Watch your mailbox!"

  • Glad they're out, but why do they insist on doing this through regular mail only? It only strings out the process till the end of the month or early March, depending on your location - not to mention the locales that are set to lose postal service shortly!

Agreed, it makes no sense, especially since the application is entirely online!

Feb. 22 As someone has already received their results, I'm guessing the notifications actually went out THursday?? -- I was surprised by this and wondering whether it was it an example of formatting? Just because, if they actually went out Friday, is it possible for it to have been delivered even within Ottawa already? Or maybe they mailed them out Thursday evening and just didn't get around to tweeting about it til Friday morning.

  • Yes, the letters very likely were mailed out Thursday since the tweet confirming this was sent out on Friday morning at 8.30 am.

NOTE request from DISCUSSION section: For people receiving their letters, could you just note where you're physically located? I, along with some colleagues, are trying to figure out when our own letters should be arriving :) (X3)

Feb 25 - I can't concentrate on the important article I'm trying to write! I keep checking the mailbox.... According to Canada Post delivery standards it's 4 business days for national which means Wednesday or Thursday here I guess...

  • Feb 25, No letter in Kingston, ON 
  • Feb 25: Letter received in Waterloo, ON.
  • Feb 25: No letter in London, ON
  • Feb 25: Letter received in Glasgow, UK (and am shocked by the speed)
  • Feb 26: No letter in Atlantic Canada
  • Feb 26: No letter in Toronto, ON Where should I contact?
  • Feb 26: No letter in Toronto, ON either... Mississauga, to be exact... 
  • Feb 26: Letter received in Kingston, ON.
  • Feb 26: Letter received in Vancouver BC
  • Reminder: For folks who haven't received your letters, double-check what address you put in your application. In my case, the letter went to the permanent address as the expiration date of my current address has passed (although I still live here). Just a thought.
  • Feb 27: Letter received in St. John's.
  • Feb 28: Letter received in Saskatchewan.

Results received (successful)[]

REMEMBER TO POST YOUR SCORES, DISCIPLINE AND QUALIFICATIONS. (Can you mention if you are ABD or finished. Also whether you applied to do the postdoc at an institution different than --your PhD).




Location: (eg, Canada, US)

Status: (eg, ABD, 1yr, 2yr)

Qualifications: (eg, pubs, presentations)


  • Score: 4.5/6 (breakdown: 4.30; 4.55; 4.55); English; Canada, applied to US school; one peer reviewed paper in one of the top journals in my field, one peer-reviewed book chapter, SSHRC CGS scholarships for Masters and PhD plus several internal awards, 9 conference presentations.
  • Score: 5.45/6 (breakdown: 5.45, 5.45, 5.45); History; Kingston; ABD; one single-author peer-reviewed book, several peer-reviewed articles, three major conferences.
  • Score: 4.785/6; Discipline: Arts / Humanities; Location: Montreal; 1/2 year; Post-doc at Canadian institution; Qualifications: 1 co-authored paper; 1 non-peer reviewed article; two book chapters in press; several conferences.
  • Score: 3.960/6; Political Science; Canada; 2.5y
  • Score: 5.325/6; English; Canada; ABD; applied to US school
  • Score: 4.605/6 (breakdown: 4.55, 4.65, 4.6); Public Administration; PhD granted one year ago at uOttawa; grant to be held at ÉNAP Montréal. 1 single-authored paper, 1 co-authored.
  • Score: 5.40/6 (breakdown: 5.55, 5.45, 5.30); Psychology, PhD ABD at U of T; grant to be held at Yale. 5 first author papers, 2 additional co-authored papers.
  • Score: 4.180/6 (breakdown: 3.90, 4.00, 4.40); Philosophy; Canada; ABD; applied to US school; one single authored paper, three co-authored, many conferences, CGS (MA and PhD) and other awards.
  • Score: 5.375/6 (5.55/6; 5.55/6; 5.2/6). Political Science, to be held at MIT with Noam Chomsky. I'm ABD at York University. I have one publication in International Studies Quarterly (one of the top journals in field), one book chapter with Routledge, two meaningless grad student journal publications (the journal is now defunct). I had a CGS, 2x OGS (1 declined), and many conferences on three continents. This is my second time applying for SSHRC Post-Doc, last year also at MIT with Chomsky. Only difference this year is ISQ paper, and I slightly re-wrote the Program of Work. Can't remember my score last year (and it was a different system), but I didn't do so well, so this shows how it's such a crapshoot. Good luck everyone, and thanks for the discussion on this forum: very useful. I'm gonna post my Program of Work as a sample on Sean Starrs. <--I'm not eligible for SSHRC and am just reading this for kicks/see what it takes to be competitive in this market, but this is a really nice thing to do.  Well-played, Sean Starrs!!
  • Score: 4.455/6; History; Currently ABD in the UK, award to be held in Canada; 2 articles in major journals; 1 co-authored article; 10+ Conference presentations; SSHRC awards for Masters and Doctorate and Internal awards.  Received notification in UK on 25 February 2014.
  • Score: 4.085/6 (4.15, 4.10, 4.05). Education. Queen's (Kingston), ABD, applied to be held at McGill; 6 pubs and 2 submitted; 30 conferences, CGS-SSHRC for Masters, PhD, & Michael Smith Foreign Study supplement.
  • Congrats! Did you get your letter at home or at Queen's University?
  • Score: 5.010/6 (5.00/6; 4.95/6; 5.05/6); ABD; Classics; grant to be held at York University. 1 book as editor, 2 book chapters, 4 articles in journals (2 single-authored, 2 co-authored). First time applying. Good luck to everyone.
  • Score: 4.245/6 (4.35, 3.75, 4.50); ABD; Political Science; to be held at Simon Fraser; one single-authored article, one book chapter, a couple non-peer reviewed articles, book reviews, etc., 20+ conferences.
  • Score 4.305/6 (3.5, 4.35, 4.6); Political Science; finished Ph.D October 2013 and currently on a postdoc at U of T; 6 peer reviewed journal articles (4 as 1st author, 2 as 2nd), 7 book chapters (3 as 1st, 3 as second), 4 professional reports (3 as 1st author); dozens of academic, public, and government presentation; *very* extensive knowledge mobilization through government and media sources. Continuing postdoc at U of T in same place as I am now. Heard Feb 25 and received letter at U of T. I applied last year and was waitlisted. Difference this year is applied to different location and 5 additional publications.
  • Score: 5.250/6 (breakdown: 5.50, 5.25, 5.15); Philosophy; PhD from Canadian university & current postdoc at different Canadian university; 2-year award to be held at US university; four publications at time of application; 15+ presentations/conferences. 
  • Score: 4.220/6 (3.6, 3.75, 4.75); Education; ABD in Canada; 1-year award to be held in US; 5 non-top refereed journal articles, 6 refereed conference proceedings, 25+ refereed conference presentations, a bunch of awards.
  • Are conference presentations actually refereed (i.e. the paper is submitted in its entirety upon application to present at the conference) in your field?
  • In my field - yes. Actually some conference proceedings in my field are valued as much as an article in a middle-rank journal. So this is quite domain specific.
  • Score: 4.290/6 (3.25/4.3/4.7); Religious Studies; ABD in Northeast US; to be held at Cdn U. 2 refereed pubs, 1 book chapter, SSHRC doctoral fellowship + various institutional awards/fellowships, OGS declined at MA level, 5 conference presentations. Letter received 2/25.
  • Score: 4.625 (4.65/4.65/4.6); English, US PhD ABD, to be held at McGill; 1 Peer rev. article, two bk chs, 1 co-author peer rev; CGS (declined) + SSHRC doctoral awrd + Masters OGS + c. 10 research fellowships/diss. awards; 15+ conference presentations; letter received 2/25
  • Score: 5.665 (5.25/5.80/5.75); Geography (although my PhD is Sociology); ABD in Northeast US; to be held at Cdn U.; 8 refereed articles (3 solo authored), 1 edited book, 6 refereed book chapters, 20+ conference presentations and invited talks; SSHRC masters and doctoral fellowships, plus other smaller awards; letter received 2/25
  • Score: 5.100 (4.75/5.25/5.15); Sociology; ABD; award to be held at York. 3 refereed publications (1 single-authored article in a top journal; 1 single-authored book chapter; 1 co-authored book chapter) and 1 R&R in a top journal (mentioned in the program of work); 10+ conference presentations; 1 Research Report; experience in a research center; OGS.
  • Score: 4.61/6 (4.5, 4.95, 4.45); Geography; defended in 2013; to be held in Canada. 
  • Letter on Feb. 27. Score 4.050/6 (3.50, 4.25, 4.15); English; ABD in the UK; award to be held in Canada. 2 refereed articles (1 top-tier), 1 edited collection (top-tier journal), book reviews, and lots of conferences. SSHRC doctoral/major institutional funding/other small awards. I was waitlisted last year-For this year I re-wrote/re-structured the program and published the article and edited collection.  

Results received (waitlisted)[]

  • Recommended by not funded. 4.65/6.00 in Challenge, 4.15/6.00 in Feasibility, 4.00/6.00 in Capability. Total score of 4.175/6.00. I'm in Philosophy. I'm ABD, coming from an Ivy League school (US), applying to a Canadian school. Good luck to you all. Edited to add: mail arrived in Toronto on February 24 (Tuesday).
  • ​4.175 Philosophy Guy following up. It looks like I'm 0.005 below another philosopher who was funded. (Huge congratulations to you, by the way!) Given that they are funded and that I am not, I strongly suspect that I am near the top of the waitlist in my pool. I will follow up to let anyone know if funding ever comes through for me.
  • 4.175 Philosophy Guy following up again. I was just informed that I am first on the wait list (in my committee). However, they also said that "SSHRC has not been in a position to offer any alternate awards since the 2010 competition." In other words, fellow waitlisters: nope. I'm really sorry, everyone. I followed up for a bit more clarity on how or why this is the case (since surely someone during that time has declined an award or terminated an award early). But I'm not expecting anything positive. Again, I'm very sorry.
  • Philosophy Guy, thanks for posting this. I'm really confused about SSHRC is saying to you. It clearly states on the letter "should additional funds become available, you will be advised." Why would a waitlist even exist if it wasn't to redistribute funds from someone who is unable to accept the award? I've had colleagues in the PhD SSHRC competition receive funding after being on the waitlist. If you do receive more information from SSHRC that could clarify the situation, please let us know.
  • I was really confused by this as well. I was told I was on the waitlist, they told me what number, but then they also said the same thing as Philosophy Guy was told, namely that no alterante awards have been made since 2010. I'm really confused by this though, as I'm SURE there has not been a 100% rate of acceptance amongst those who were offered awards. Also, I think I remember reading on previous years' discussion boards about people being offered funds eventually (who had been on the waiting list). Anyone else have any insights on this situation??
  • Read posts from previous years. Some individuals claim that they have received awards. Not everyone can accept a SSHRC, because they receive a tenure-track job or did not complete their doctoral requirements. I believe that there are multiple wait-lists. although you are no. 1 in your field you may be 20 overall...
  • Waitlist update on August 16, 2014. This is 4.175 Philosophy Guy again. I found out yesterday (August 15) in a letter dated two days ealier (August 13) that I'd been offered the post-doc. I wonder if anyone further down than me was also offered a spot. In any case, it looks like it's not impossible to move from the recommended-but-not-funded to the funded pile. Thanks for the help and info everyone.
  • Score: 4.025/6 (3.10 Challenge, 3.60 Feasibility, 4.65 Capability). Media & Communication Studies. ABD at a Canadian school, applying to Cdn school. 3 publications, 20ish conferences, extensive admin & ctte experience. 2x OGS, SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship. Mail arrived in Toronto Feb 24 (Monday).
  • Score: 3.68/6. History. ABD at Canadian school, applying to Canadian school. 1 publication, bunch of conferences and reviews. SSHRC doctoral, OGS. 
  • Score: 3.875/6. Fine Arts (Music Research). ABD at Canadian school, applying to another Canadian school. 2 publications, 15+ conferences. SSHRC Masters and PhD funding. Mail arrived in Montreal February 25 (Tuesday).
  • Recommended but not funded (Geography). Challenge= 3.15/6, Feasibility=3.55/6, Capability 4.25/6 and Total score 3.820/6. Received letter on Monday 24 Feb in Montreal. ABD, thesis submitted and to be defended in March 2014, position to be help at Udem Geography department, current PhD at UQAM all in Montreal. 12 publications as lead author at time of applying with alteast 6 published by either Springer or Elsevier journals(sci). Two conferences, proposed supervisor a top tier Prof, holder of SSHRC Doctoral award and several UQAM internal awards. Good luck guys.
  • Recommended but not funded (History). Challenge= 4.50/6 Faisaibility= 4.25/6 Capability = 3.50/6 Total score: 3.925/6 Two journal articles,  10 + conferences papers. SSHRC Masters and PhD + other major funding. ABD at US R1 university applying for U of T. Received Feb 26 in the U.S. Good luck everyone.
  • Recommended but not funded (Arts and Humanities- literary arts). Total Score 3.9. Anyone in Literary Arts who got recommendation, could you please post your score? I'd love to know how far down the line is my name.
  • Recommended but not funded (Environmental Studies). Total score = 3.62 (4.05 Challenge / 3.95 Feasibility / 3.25 Capability). ABD at time of application, but with defense scheduled. Highly interdisiplinary academic background (advantage or disadvantage?). At time of application: 1 accepted peer-reviewed journal article (lead author), 2 book chapters (1 sole author in international anthology; 1 as co-author). Approx. 10 conference presentations (2 in Europe). Had received SSHRC CGS for PhD, 8 other international/national/internal awards plus a Governor General's award.

Results received (unsuccessful)[]

  • Well, might as well get this started! ABD, 1 major publication, 10+ conferences, a whackload of external and internal scholarships. History and philosophy of science. Applied to hold at a Canadian uni. SCORE: 2/6.
  • I'm so sorry, OP :( I think it's really hard for ABDs to get this.  
  • Score: 2.875/6; Social Psychology; Canada; ABD; 2 first author, 1 book review, 10+ presentations, int/ext scholarships, applied for postdoc at other uni
  • Score: 2.145/6; Canada; ABD; 2 sole author; 2 co-authored; 3 first author forthcoming; 15+ presentations; 5 ogs; other int/ext scholarships; applied at another uni. Very dissappointed :( <--Discipline? OP: Social work.
  • Score: 3.170/6: Canada; ABD; Classics; no publications; 10 oral presentations; 2 OGS; SSHRC support for PhD; other national fellowships (private funding bodies). Applied to hold at a foreign university.
  • Score: 2/6; Fine Arts; Canada; ABD; 2 sole-authored journal articles; 2 book chapters; 1 forthcoming book chapter; several non-refereed pubs; 20 conference presentations; SSHRC doc fellowship; 3 OGS (one declined); applied to hold in US.
  • Score: 3.125/6; History; Canada; PhD in 2012; 2 sole-authored articles, 1 forthcoming book chapter, several non-refereed pubs; 2 OGS. Applied to hold at a Canadian institution.
  • Score: 2.435/6; Social Psychology; Canada; ABD; 2 first-authored articles, 1 co-authored article, 15 conference presentations. Applied to hold at another Canadian institution.
  • Score: 3.375/6; UK; PhD in 2013; three articles, one book review, co-editorship and contributor to one collected volume in publication, 15+ presentations; applied to hold in Canada <--Discipline?
  • This is totally unprofessional, but can I just say that this is bullshit? It feels so much better to get it out: Score 3.5/6; PhD in 2013; Education; 9 peer reviewed pubs (7 sole authored); 12 conference pres (1 invited speaker); SSHRC doc fellowship & other funding; applied to hold in Canada and Sweden
    • YES, with your stats, you can definitely say that this is bullshit! I am nursing my own rejection (with less!) so I really feel your pain too - 9 peer reviewed publications? So. wrong.
  • Score: 2.970/6; Communication Studies; Canada, PhD in 2012; three articles; 20+ presentations; funding from my university; applied to hold at a French Canadian institution (letter received in Montreal on Feb. 25; FYI rejection letter consists of two pages: the first page, a standardized-and-personalized rejection letter containing your score with breakdown; the second, a bilingual recto-verso document describing the selection procedures).  
  • Score: 3.20/6; History; ABD PhD in Canada and applied to stay in Canada; 2 articles and 1 forthcoming; several conferences; MA and PhD SSHRC CGS.
  • Score: 1.3/6; Political Science; Australia, ABD (now complete); 1 journal article, 1 book chapter (both sole author), more than a dozen conference presentations, most at very competitive major international meetings in my field. Applied to hold in Canada. I am floored. I wasn't expecting to be successful, but I wasn't expecting such a low score either.
  • Score: 2.96/6 ; History; PhD in 2013 in UK, applying to hold in Canada; 1 non-refereed article, 1 review, 4 conference papers; Recieved full institutional funding for MA and PhD.  Definitely didn't expect a mark under 3, but seeing the above rejection marks gives me a much better perspective.
  • Score: 2.96/6 ; English; PhD in 2013 in Canada, applying to hold in Canada; 5 refereed articles out or in press, 10 conference papers; SSHRC CGS. Same as above: didn't expect to get it, but didn't expect to do worse than last year's application, when I was ABD and only had 3 pubs.
  • Score: 3.85/6 (5; 4.75; 2.85); Education; Canada & US; 1yr; 2 sole author non-top tier & 1 co-author (2nd) pubs; whack of conference presentations; MA SSHRC
  • Score: 2.965 out of 6, Media and Communication Studies, applying from Canada to Canadian institution; ABD, 4 refereed articles (one co-authored, two in major journals in the field), over 15 international conferences (several of these refereed). This was my first time applying and my score seems fairly reasonable. But at the same time, reading this website and scores from previous competitions, it is pretty clear that the adjudication is quite arbitrary and very subjective.
  • Score: 3.075/6 (3.25;3.5;2.75) Social Sciences. PhD 2013, to be held in US at major institution. 3 peer reviewed and 1 forthcoming. Many non-peer-reviewed public sector scholarly contributions and many conferences.  At least I'll have 3 more peer-reviewed and a co-editor book deal by the fall. I thought this application was so much better than the last... sigh,it's days like this that make me want to go do something completely different....something in which I could save for retirement...


Feb 21 - as the image of a potential rejection letter flashes before my eyes I'm trying to come up with a Plan B.  If I get rejected from both postdocs to which I'm applying I have 0 plans. Would any of you like to share if you have a backup plan, and if so, what you intend to do?

  • I'm defending shortly and have nothing lined up, so I'm planning to find something to do to pay the bills and regroup - keep publishing, keep applying for postdocs and jobs - for a while if I fail with SSHRC. I'm thinking more and more of going into the private sector or looking for a public job in this grim market, either temporarily or permenently
  • (OP) ^^ I'm thinking pretty much the same thing.  Unfortunately, the altac groups I've become familiar with are really just social gatherings or a support group with wine - there have been no happy stories of industry/government/private sector/alternative teaching jobs.  My school's career services suggested going into consulting.  That said, I feel that I will be applying for, more or less, every local university sessional gig and all the TT job that pops up in my field in North America.
  • I do not have a plan B. I will probably do part time teaching to apply next year. Does anyone know what kinds of non-academic jobs one with a doctorate in Humanities could apply to?
  • Google it - there are a growing number of articles and communities that offer advice for Humanities PhDs looking for non-traditional academic or non-academic jobs. The consensus seems to be that there are probably a lot of different jobs that you could be eligible for depending on your skills - many more than could be listed here- and that you should search widely, work your connections, and think creatively about the skills and knowledge that you acquired during your program (which can differ a lot among individuals within a specific discipline) and before.
  • ^^^ Sounds a bit too optimistic an assessment for me. In fact, the consensus is that alt-ac positions are as scarce as TT jobs, so that particular career avenue is certainly not a solution. Private sector jobs are a different kettle of fish, of which I don't know anything. I, for one, don't know of many people with PhD in medieval history or Victorian poetry enjoying wonderful private sector careers. Government jobs perhaps?
  •   For what it's worth, at least one classicist friend-of-a-friend I know if did recently get a  swanky private-sector job. And not because he secretly had some finance experience on the side, as I understand it.  Do not despair; it's hard, sure, but not impossible.
  • Nothing very specific planned. I'll selectively apply for non-TT teaching positions and/or adjuncting locally, and focus on next year's job market (for which I will have the Ph.D in hand). If nothing works out next year, I'll be thinking more seriously about plan Bs outside of academia. Have no idea what the "alt-ac" job market looks like for humanities Ph.Ds.
  • On a different topic, the numbers for this year's competition (183/844) are the best by a small margin that they have been in recent years (2012-13 was rough - 145/986.) The other years recorded on the Wiki are 2011-12: 175/877, 2013-14: 182/903. I'm not sure whether I wanted to know that, but, for what it's worth...
  • Should I get rejected (for a second time!) from SSHRC and the other British post doc I've applied for, then I'm registering for LSATs, DATs and MCATs ASAP.
  • Re: alt/ac, one possibility is getting a job at a university, but in admin (research officer, working for faculty of grad studies or similar) rather than teaching/research. I don't plan to pursue these jobs myself but they're worth looking into if you want a 9-5er with decent pay & benefits -- grad. degree(s) & familiarity with research grant apps. etc. are usually req'd. so I imagine most people on here'd be qualified.
  • I would just encourage you to think more broadly than the specialization you've done your degree in. I'm a year out (currently a Postdoc at U of T, applying for the second time to SSHRC postdoc) but while look at alt ac I use a resume that IDes the various skills, compotencies, etc that I've developed during the Ph.D and MA. You'd be amazed: ability to stand up and present on topics in short order, strong writing and analytical skills, ability to professionally research topics (and, in a new work environment, 'catch up' to what's going on in that space in a month using your skills), long- and short-form work, presentationt o media, and so forth are helpful. Also, you may have developed project management skills (cradle-grave for administrating a SSHRC-funded program, for example) and other 'business friendly' skills. In effect, go through *everything* that you've done over the course of your Ph.D and consider the process of getting the degree as a set of micro-jobs: what skills did you develop and demonstrate at each state, what broad compotencies did you manifest, etc. As someone who routinely works with non-academic professionals in corporate and government spaces it's becomes very apparent to me that the Ph.D brings with it a pile of useful skills, just ones that we internalize as part of the profesional development process.
  • For people receiving their letters, could you just note where you're physically located? I, along with some colleagues, are trying to figure out when our own letters should be arriving :)  (X3)
  • Feb. 24 - I remember from previous applications that only a limited number of postdocs would be allowed to be held at foreign institutions (I believe it was a percentage). Unfortunately, I cannot find where I read this nor can I find anything about this in this year's award. Does anyone else know where to find this?
  • I've never heard of this, and in fact, from what I recall of wiki discussions in previous years, people who had done their PhDs in Canada and were looking to take their postdocs to a foreign uni seemed to have a slight edge.
  • I recall seeing this somewhere, but I think it was in relation to the Banting postdocs, or some other SSHRC competition.
  • Feb 26 - For those who are unsuccessful, did you recieve a breakdown of your score (challenge, feasibility, capability) or just the final weighted avg? I'm trying to understand how scholars with a good track record are receiving such low marks, and I'm wondering whether the answer is in not aligning your proposal with the evaluation criteria?  To receive a score below 3, something must be off with the proposal I think, and the evaluation criteria should tell you what you need to improve for next year's competition. My letter should arrive today or tomorrow (in British Columbia).
  • You get a separate score for each of the three categories: Challenge (20%), Feasibility (30%), Capability (50%). It doesn't help a whole lot in terms of helping you improve, because each category takes into account a multitude of factors.
  • In terms of something being 'off', that would be a logical conclusion. However, I can't work out what that would be in my specific case. I had multiple and very successful experts in my field read and comment on my proposal prior to submission. They were very enthusiastic about the project. I wish we could even get two sentences of written feedback to work out what was 'off'.
  • The biggest help for me with my doctoral and post-doctoral award was reading a successful proposal from a colleague in my discipline.  If you are able to track one of those down and read it, it should give you a clearer idea of the frustratingly ambiguous things to which their adjudication criteria apply.  I'm a big believer (from personal experience and anecdotal evidence from people who have sat on adjudication committees) that the proposal is the crux of the application.  As we've seen here, you can have a ridiculously impressive publication record, but this only represents your "capability" to undertake a novel research project.
    • I don't know... I tailored my program of work to the criteria very carefully (and had a very high program of work score last year - but a low track record [I was ABD with only one forthcoming pub] did me in) after reading many, many successful proposals and having several very successful experts give feedback, including former SSHRC adjudicators, and got a pretty low score (not far over 3) this year despite the tight POW and a prize-winning peer-reviewed pub, among other things. In this light, I do wonder how much subject matter plays into the evaluation of 'importance' and the evaluation of the proposals in general. And how carefully the adjudicators even read the applications. This is totally bitter and biased, but I think my proposal was a hell of a lot more original and spoke to the selection criteria a lot more clearly than many of the successful apps I looked at in preparation.
  • Also, does anyone know what the adjudication process for this competition is? Are the proposals read by the 5 people who sit on SSHRC's PDF committee ONLY (names on SSHRC website), or are the proposals sent out for external review and then ranked by PDF committee?
  • I have heard the applications are read by two people only, so there is a lot of variablity in the scores. Also heard of people submitting the exact same proposal two years in a row and getting a low score one year, and being funded the next. 
  • I requested further information about my scores and was quite surprised by the discrepency between the scores given by the two adjudicators. One gave me an overall score of 2.9 (unsatisfactory), while the other gave me an overall score of 4.56 (good - very good). The difference in their score was particularly divergent in the category "Challenge" which is described as "originality and potential significance of the proposed program of work." I was given a 2.5 by one adjudicator and a 4.8 by the other. I think that we get the impression that this is a fairly objective process (especially when difference between .08 can mean funding vs. no funding) but clearly this is not the case. It also makes me wonder why they don't use three adjudicators to try and get a more fair average.


  • I was just waitlisted (recommended but not funded). Has anyone ever heard of someone from the waitlist actually getting the funding, ultimately? It seems like the chances are slim to none. Any stories about how / when / where, etc.?
  • I've seen some discussion of this happening on previous wikis (you could take a look through) though my sense from that is that it is quite rare... Sometimes people get jobs late in the spring, though, or don't meet the December cutoff for completing their diss requirements.
  • I received an offer off of the waitlist in the 2010 competition, and was notified about it in Fall 2010, so late that the period of the fellowship had already begun and I was only a couple of months away from hearing about the 2011 competition.  This meant my reward was paid retroactively for the first year.  Needless to say I don't think this is common, but it can happen...
  • As noted above, I am on the waitlist in my pool (Philosophy) and I am 0.005 below someone who has been funded. With that in mind, two questions. First, does anyone know if SSHRC does 'ties'? (Could there be someone who is tied with the person above me but who isn't funded, despite having the same score?) Second, if there are ties, does anyone have any sense of how they're adjudicated? I am thinking that I must be near/at the top of the waitlist in my pool, given the 0.005 difference. So, I'm wondering: if someone above me declines their award, what would have to happen in order for it to go to me?
  • You should write SSHRC about this. I'm curious to hear what they say.
  • OP here. I've written to them. We'll see if they give me any information about my waitlist placement, whether there are ties, etc. I'll pass along any information I receive.
  • [REPEAT FROM ABOVE, IN CASE PEOPLE ARE ONLY LOOKING DOWN HERE.] Waitlist update on August 16, 2014. This is 4.175 Philosophy Guy again. I found out yesterday (August 15) in a letter dated two days ealier (August 13) that I'd been offered the post-doc. I wonder if anyone further down than me was also offered a spot. In any case, it looks like it's not impossible to move from the recommended-but-not-funded to the funded pile. Thanks for the help and info everyone.
  • Does anyone know whether SSHRC is going to confirm that those in this competition are actually eligible (ie. defended less than 2 years ago)? Or are they using the honour system? I know of someone who was ineligible (defended 2011) who applied this year and had a proposal adjudicated (outcome: waitlisted) ... is anyone checking this stuff!!? If they did confirm defence dates, maybe some of the folks on the waitlist would move up in the ranking ...        
  • -- I believe that before SSHRC activate your fellowship, you need to submit a letter from your uni confirming that you do have your degree. Which is probably when they see if people are or or not eligible.
  • I've also been waitlisted. Scored 4.025. My thoughts, which are purely speculative: it seems likely that 5-10 people in any given year would decline their award, for various reasons--people get jobs, or other fellowships, or don't finish on time, or their life goes in a different direction, etc. So, I would think that anyone on the waitlist with a score above 4.0 has a decent chance that funding may come through. Certainly, the philosophy candidate that scored 0.05 below someone that recieved an award has a pretty good shot. Of course, none of us should get our hopes up, but I think it's unlikely that there would ever be a 100% acceptance rate. Am I way off in thinking this? I may just be deluding myself as a coping mechanism for coming so close...
    • This is the 4.175 philosophy person from above, following up again. Please see my note above (in the wait list section). I received some bad news for all of us on the wait list. I'm very sorry. :-( [Feb 27]
  • I live in dowtown Toronto and still have not received my letter, am I the only one?

  • 2/26 Different topic: does anyone know if you need to live in proximity to the U you're affiliated with for the post-doc? Obviously there are advantages to doing so but does SSHRC have any regulations on this?
  • 2/26: My understanding is that SSHRC postdocs are non-residential. I swear I saw this when applying but can't find anything on it now. I'm one of those who would likely split my time: one semester teaching, one semester living elsewhere researching/writing. Does anyone else recall the non-residential clause?
  • Found it under FAQs: 6. Will I need to reside in the vicinity of the institution with which I am affiliated? SSHRC does not have a residency requirement; however, please keep in mind that among the goals of the fellowship are the development and expansion of personal research networks and the broadening of teaching experience. We ask that your relationship with your institution and supervisor be consistent with the needs of your project and the goals of the fellowship.

US Visa

  • For a PR not holding a Canadian passport, is it required to get an H-1B visa to assume the SSHRC Postdoc? Any thoughts?

Installments? (March 9)

Does anyone know how the funds are awarded. I know that you have to request 2 installments. Does that mean the entire $40,500 is paid at once at the start of each academic year (or whenever you request the award start date)? Or is it monthly? or by semester?

My understanding is that there are four equal payments every six months, beginning whenever you take up the award: