Academic Jobs Wiki

New Page for SSHRC Fellowships for 2013-14

Deadline: October 6, 2011

Home page of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Fellowship Competition []

For information on last year's competition (2011-12):

See also: Humanities and Social Sciences Postdocs 2011-12


How many people are applying? 33

Are you applying to hold the award within Canada? 21

Outside Canada? 12

Where did the stats from last week go? This count was in the 30s the last time that I checked.

A: I think you might be getting the above confused with last year's page ... I don't believe the count has ever gotten so high on the 2012-2013 page (at least not yet).

  • earlier this week this page was at 35, then dropped back down yesterday. Not sure why though. Not that I check on an almost compulsive basis to see if people have heard yet or anything :)
    • I noticed the change. No idea why.
  • hmmm ... could have been an error ... not sure too much stock should be put in the self-reported numbers on this page in any event. From the award letter recorded below, the official numbers: "145 of 986 applications were successful."

Receipt of application[]

Has anyone received email confirmation of receipt? (posted 11/5)

Nope. (23)


(02/02) Glad to hear others haven't received email confirmations......every now and then I have short bursts of panic that my application didn't go through.....

(03/02) I did not receive one at first; but I emailed to confirm my application had been received. I got a quick response with an application number in it!

Notification of Awards[]

(03/02) In response to an email asking when decision letters might be sent out, I received a reply that my letter was sent out today (with a confirmation of my mailing address). We should all hear soon!

(04/02) Let the sleepless nights begin......good luck to everyone!

(05/02) Good Luck everyone!

(06/02) Yes, good luck everyone! What discipline are you all in? (I'm in business.)

  • (06/02) Environment and Resource Studies
  • (07/02) English literature; Sociology of Education
  • (07/02) Sociology

(06/02) No letter yet. (Hamilton)

(06/02) No letter yet (Toronto) x 8

(06/02) No letter yet (Montreal) x 3

(06/02) No letter yet (New Brunswick)

(06/02) No letter yet (Unitet States)

(06/02) No letter yet (Waterloo)

(06/02) Nay. Still waiting (Edmonton)

(07/02) Not today (Hamilton)

(07/02) No letter today;( (Toronto) x 5

(07/02) No letter yet (Montreal) x 2

(07/02) No letter yet (Winnipeg)

(07/02) Received happy letter today (Ottawa):

  • Letter dated February 6th.
  • 145 of 986 applications were successful.
  • My score was 29.25/30. I'm ABD in Sociology.
  • Wow! What an amazing score! Congratulations! I'm pretty sure I will not be even close to getting funded, but I can't give up hope until I get that letter....
  • Is that 145 of 986 apps total, or in your field? Congratulations, by the way, those are amazing scores!
  • Must be total applications. Official stats can be downloaded here: You can see that 175 awards were actually given from 877 applications in last year's competition. You can also see the breakdowns by committee and research area. They seem to have consistently given the same % of awards as there were applicants for each committee (e.g. if 22% applicants were literature and fine arts 22% of the awards went there). It does appear that a lower percentage of applicants are being granted awards this year though across the board if the numbers above are correct.
  • Confirmed. 986 total applications.

(08/02) No letter yet (Toronto - out in Western part of the city if that matters) x 2

(08/02) Got the good news today! 26.2/30 History.

(08/02) No letter yet (Vancouver).

(08/02) No letter (Toronto-Downtown) x2

(08/02) No letter (Richmond Hill, ON)

(08/02) Received good news today in Toronto, 28.5/30 (History). [To hold in Canada, diff. university from home university. Track record was 14.4 w/ 4 peer-reviewed publications]

  • Congratulations. Were all of your publications already in print, or are some listed as forthcoming? I'm trying to get a sense of whether this makes a difference in the score calculations.
    • Three of them were in print and one was listed as forthcoming, but with volume number and pagination. I had an additional one that was in the pipeline but since it didn't have full publication information yet I mentioned it in my program of work (it related to the new project).

(08/02) No news yet (Vancouver)

Obsessive question: What size was the envelope of the acceptance letter? Thanks!

  • letters are standard sized. Thin - only 3 pages. About the size of your monthly utilities bill.
  • And the same for the rejection letter, I assume?
  • the rejection letter is only a single page, along with an additional page for the explanation of the process, so it should be thinner than the acceptance letter

Can those of you who have received good news share something about your proposed place of tenure (ie whether it's in Canada, whether it's far from your PhD university) and something about your track record and discipline?

  • Updated - I found this helpful in past years to get a view into the 'black box.'

(09/02) Still no letter in rural Nova Scotia

09/02 Good news received in Vancouver! Score of 25.3/30 (I received 16/30 last year), English. I have one peer-reviewed publication, two book reviews, about 10 conference papers. Woohoo! I was so incredibly shocked.

  • Congratulations! That's a terrific jump in scores. Can I ask this poster what changes happened between yoru application last year and your application this year? It could be useful information for the rest of us!

(from the Vancouver poster): last year I applied to hold it at the same uni, this year it's a different uni. My project is more specific and fits it better with my proposed supervisor's work. My publcations have not changed much - my two book reviews are new - but I did finish the Phd last year. I have an unofficial forthcoming pub, invited by my supervisor, which she may have mentioned in my ref letter. I'm still not sure exactly why my scores were so much higher! I do think my proposal was far better though.

09/02 Good news in Calgary! Score of 25/30 (waitlisted last year), English. Award to be held in the States.

  • And to this poster as well (from commentator above). What changed between your last year's application and this year? Thanks!
  • the main difference between last year (score of 20.1) and this year was being done the PhD and having one more peer-review article published. I also applied at a different institution this year. I think it's very difficult for ABDs to get funded.

(09/02) Successful in Ottawa (languages & linguistics; postdoc will be in the States). Score 25/30. Have 2 journal articles, 3 book chapters + several working papers/conference proceedings publications..

(10/02) happy news in Calgary. track record 12.4; program of work 13.4: to be held in Canada. 3 peer-reviewed journals in print and 2 forthcoming, 1 book chapter; several working papers and 10+conference papers. I was waitlisted last year. having 2 more jornals in print and 2 forthcoming raises my track record score 3 points. this web has been so much support for these days! thanks!

(10/02) Successful in US. Art History. Score of 26.2/30. Track Record 12.9; Program of Work 13.3. 1 forthcoming peer-reviewed article; 1 forthcoming book chapter; catalog entries; 1 forthcoming book review; 10+ conference papers; handful of fellowships. Award to be held in Canada.

(11/02) Successful to hold at US university. Score 26.5. Track Record 14/15. Program of work 12.5. 3 first author peer-reviewed in print, 1 forthcoming, 2 co-authored peer-reviewed, previous SSHRCs and other awards. Fourth-year ABD.

(11/02) Successful in Canada to be still held in Canada. Score of 29/30. Fine Arts (Musicology/Ethnomusicology). Track Record 14.2/15 Program of work 14.8/15.

(13/02) No word yet for me (Hamilton), though everyone I know has heard by now.

15/02 - No word in northern Ontario yet. I wonder when we should start worrying that a fabulous offer was lost in the mail? Why can't they just let us see the status online, anyhow?

(16/02) Received an email from SSHRC telling me that I can activate the award as early as March 15 (instead of May 1). Is everyone else getting the same offer? (My host department asked me to start in September, so unfortunately I cannot take advantage of this offer).

  • Rec'd this as well. I also can't take advantage of it as I'd arranged May 1, and realistically, that's when my current teaching gig runs out anyways. Kinda odd though, but appreciated!

March1 No letter yet (Montreal)

(26/02) OK, I'm confused. It's Feb 26 today and there is a post above dated March 1? How reliable is the info on this wiki? I propose people put the year in the date as well (e.g. 26/02/13)

This is last year's wiki.


Got my letter today (Feb 7th- Ottawa) and I am on the waiting list with a score of 24.7 (political Science) ....I am really not sure what my chances are of getting anything!

  • I was second on the short-list in the 2011-2012 competition and never made it through. A friend was fourth on the short list in 2010-2011 and was offered an award in June. So it really depends.

Got my letter (Feb. 7--Montreal), Recommended but not funded. 21.6 in History. Track record was low (10.4) despite having a completed PhD, 1 published book (co-author), 1 published article, 2 OGS, 1 SSHRC, and a ton of conferences. Annoyed to say the least!

  • That seems ridiculous! Why would you get that kind of track record score? SSHRC mystifies me.
    • ​I've always had a hard time with SSHRC. I was the only PhD student in my department with a book and somehow could never crack the top 3. I finally got it in my third year.

(08/02) Montreal. 20.3 (political science) recommended for funding but not funded; on waiting list :(

(08/02) Toronto 20.2 - Interdispclinary - recommended but on waitlist - track record low at 9.4. BUT, I managed to land a job, so I can't really cry about it.

(08/02) Score 23.8 "recommended but not funded" (Toronto; Religious Studies)

(09/02) Score 20.3, recommended but not funded. Literature.

(09/02) Score 20.1, recommeded but not funded. Literature.

(09/02) Score 23.6, recommended but not funded; on waiting list. Philosophy. Track record 11.3, Program 12.3. SSHRC said info about where you are on the waitlist will be available "in a few weeks."

(09/02) Score 20.9. recommended but not funded. 20.9 / 30. Vancouver

(09/02) Score 20.8. recommended but not funded. Montreal. Literature. Does anyone know if you are allowed to apply to this again next year if you're already applied twice?

  • I've read it somewhere on Job Wiki (possibily last year's page) that some one interpreted you're no elibgible to apply after "more than two applications" as that you can apply for three time (as at the point to apply for the third time you only have a record of applying twice) and got it. So I'd assume you can appllie for three times)
  • Yes, you can apply three times.

(9/02) Score 22.7 rec. but not funded in literature cttee, but program was cultural studies.

(9/02) Score 24.3 rec. but not funded.

(10/02) Score 19.6 rec. but not funded in literature committee. United States.

(11/02) Score 20.2 rec. but not funded in fine arts. Europe, to be held in Canada

(13/02) Score 22.4, recommended but not funded in English literature, to be held in Canada.

(13/02) Score 20.9, rec. but not funded, political science, to be held in USA.

(14/02) Score 24.3, rec. but not funded, History, to be held in Canada (14/02) After contacting SSHRC about my ranking on the waiting list. Here is the answer I got:

" Applicants who are advised that their application has been recommended by the committee but not funded are placed on a waiting / recommended but not funded list. SSHRC uses these lists, which are committee specific, to offer awards as funds become available. Periodically, supplementary funds may become available as a result of declines of offered awards, interruptions of awards, early termination of previous awards, etc. These factors make it complex to predict when or if a particular candidate is likely to secure funding during this competition cycle. Consequently, while SSHRC offers candidates with their relative score (with the specific score for the track record and program of work), SSHRC does not offer candidates their committee specific ranking. Should an award become available, SSHRC will contact the next eligible alternate candidate by both email and mail."

But I was under the impression that some people last year knew their ranking...Too bad!

(14/02) I was able to find out my ranking last year by calling. I was waitlisted again this year and received a similar response to above. It appears that you can no longer find out where you are on the waitlist.

(14/02) Score 21.7, rec. but not funded, History, to be held in Canada (15/02) Score 22.7: "recommended but not funded" (Toronto; Religious Studies)

(28/05) Anybody on the waitlist heard anything yet?

(05/06) It is now June and I was wondering if anyone waitlisted has heard anything.? I did contact SSHRC and they will not reveal anything about waitlist location.


(07/02) Letter dated Feb. 6 2012. Score 23.6/30. Recommended for funding but not funded.

  • Sorry to hear that; are you on the waitlist now? What discipline?

(08/02) Score 19.4/30. Not recommended for funding. (Montreal)

(08/02) Score 17.4. Not recommended for funding. (Toronto, history). My "track record" was abysmally low, only 7.9. What goes into that score? I had 3 OGS scholarships, and one SSHRC doctoral (1-year), and I finished in approximately six years. No publications (at the time of application), however.

  • Ah, that is really too bad to hear. It seems to be a bit of a blackbox, but based on past wiki discussions for previous years, I think it's pretty scattershot (i.e. ppl w/ many awards - like you - and even publications recieving low scores, while others w/ seemingly less accomplished track records get higher). With a record like that I hope something else is sure to come up soon!
  • Last year I received the same track record score (7.9), and I finished in 5.5 years (including a mat leave), had 2 previous SSHRCs, a bunch of other scholarships, 1 publication, and 10 conference papers, including a refereed one. I'm not sure why my score was so low - I know I haven't published a book or anything, but I was just finishing my doctorate! I wish we knew more about their reasoning.

(08/02) Score 17.9. Not recommended for funding. (Hamilton)

(08/02) Score 18.6. Recommended for funding but not funded. On waiting list - how and why is a mystery given the score. (History)

  • Odd. My score was 18.8 (History), and I am not on a waiting list.

(08/02) Score 19.6 Recommend for funding but not funded (Toronto; Philosophy).

(08/02) Score 20.1 and Not recommended for funding and not on waiting list (???? can anyone explain?) (Toronto; Psychology) My track record score was 9.6 despite having the following: 3 first-authored peer-reviewed pubs, 2 ogs, 1 sshrc (doctoral for 2 years), 10+ conference presentations. What does it take to have a higher track record score, enough to get funded? How do I have a higher score but not on the waitilist with some of the people who posted above me with lower scores?

  • That's too bad, sorry to hear about that. It just shows some of the rediculous judgments involved here. I think waitlist positions are determined by committee not overall..
  • All scores are relative scores within committee, not absolute scores. So if you got a low score it doesn't mean they thought you were bad, just other applicants for that committee they thought were better. Note there were over 100 more applicants overall this year and about 30 fewer awards handed out.
  • Sorry to hear that. What adds to the total score? (Sorry for this beginner's question) Track record score, , and???
  • Track record score plus program of work score, both out of 15 for a total score of 30.
    • Thanks.
    • I understood that the references are important in the application. Would stronger references add some points to track record score?

(08/02) Score 17.5, not recommended for funding (Toronto, Comp Lit)

(09/02) Score 18.4, not recommended for funding (Winnipeg)

(09/21) Score 21.25, not recommended for funding. (Calgary, Education)

(09/02) Score 19.7, not recommended for funding (Toronto, Marketing). Not surprised as my application was an attempt to essentially switch academic fields, from the field of my PhD into the professional field where I'm working. Ah well, industry awaits!

(09/02) Score 16.95 (Sociology). I've got the low score here thus far! Regardless, I was "recommended for funding but not funded." I guess different disciplines may have different cutoffs, but I have no clue why SSHRC gives out these "recommended for funding, but no funding available" responses. Is this a jab at perceived underfunding from the feds? Does more funding ever become available? Or, is it just a recognition that your record/proposal wasn't without merit, and perhaps in a world with infinite resources, they'd be willing to fund it?

  • That probably means you are on the waiting list. I got the excat respond for my doctoral fellowship and were granted the scholardship months after. So, basically they're saying is that if there are more funding (or someone defers the offers), you might get it.

(10/02) Score 16.8 (Communication), not recommended for funding (Edmonton). Now the new low on the board! I could understand why I got a low on the program. My supervisor has told me that my project might be too "uncoventional" for SSHRC and I was not sure if I put myself in the right committee/discipline. But, I really don't understand how my track record is only an 8 when I have 3 peer-reviewed publications (one in the top-teir journal!) and a SSHRC doctoral plus other major awards. Do anyone think the reference letter from the doctoral supervisor might make lots of differece? I know she is not too keen on my postdoc project and the person I applied to work with. There is always a next time!

(10/02) Score 15.95 (Media Studies), Not Recommended for Funding. Thats the the lowest score thus far on this board. Received pretty low scores on both fronts: track record I could understand, since I have no publications. But I was majorly disappointed with the scores for program of work. Like the poster above I too am not sure if the committee/discipline chosen would have made a difference.

(11/02) Score 18/30, much lower than last year, despite the fact that my record was much stronger. I finished in 5.5 years, had very good recommendation letters, 2 publications, and a good research project to be carried out at a Ivy League institution in the US, with a very well know scholar. I wonder if the fact that I applied to a different committee harmed my score. I am from Philosophy but applied to the Political Science,Law etc. committee.

(11/02) Score of 15.1/30. I have to say I am surprised. I am ABD at a top ivy league school, have a long history of fellowships and awards and am the finalist or winner of some very prestigious postdocs in the US. I also have a couple offers for tenure-track jobs. So what gives with SSHRC? One thing I don't have is any publications, but this isn't at all unusual for an ABD in my field.

  • I don't think where you are doing your PhD matters as much as your program of work/track record. Since you're lumped into other committees, maybe the lack of publications matters? I also gather that American Ivy programs don't stress publications as much as Canadian schools, but that's a bit of a generalization. In any case, who needs a SSHRC if you have "very prestigious" ones and Tenure-Track offers in the kicker? You can use this as a funny story in the future.
  • Thanks for the response. I don't mean to boast about anything but I am just surprised that I scored so low given that I've been rather successful with other competitions (the "very prestigious" fellowships I refer to normally have several hundred applicants competing for 3 or 4 positions, so competition is more intense than for SSHRC, which is also a very prestitious award). I have some close friends who will be entering the job and postdoc market in a few years so would like to know what the winning combination is for SSHRC as it is clearly different from other postdocs. You are probably right that American ivies don't stress publications much; personally I have received absolutely no pressure or even encouragement to publish, it's not seen as important until after we have jobs or postdocs. Thanks again and good luck to everyone!
  • After talking to a few fellow recent graduates, I get the impression that SSHRC randomly pulls out numbers from a hat. I have a book, an article, a book review and two forthcoming articles, and yet my track record is lower than a colleague that has none of the above. The whole process seems so random. It's also fact that some professors don't take their appointments on SSHRC selection committees that seriously. A few of my colleagues have sat on these SSHRC postdoc committees, and let me tell you that ranking applications is very low on their list of priorities, very low.

Questions & Discussion[]

(05/02) Does anybody know if having been put on the waitlist for the 2011 application makes a difference for this application? (Nope, makes no difference. Everybody starts the next year with a clean slate.)

(07/02) Is there a bias towards funding students who will take the money to Canadian vs. international institutions? Not officially, but for the past few years at least, you have a better chance if you're taking your SSHRC out of the country.

What evidence are you basing that claim on? Check out the annual stats on the SSHRC website. It's pretty interesting. (07/02)

Any idea if decisions on the Bantings are likely to be announced earlier than last year, as well? Seems like SSHRC is pretty on the ball this year. Be nice not to have to wait until early April.

  • (08/03) Still no word on the Banting. Anyone else know anything?
  • (12/03) Nope, nothing yet, either.
  • (27/03) Still haven't heard.
  • (30/03) Still no news about the Banting. Today is supposed to be the notification date.

(08/02) Will the decision letter also go directly to our proposed supervisor?

No, she/he will not know. I know this because I applied last year.

I'm thinking of applying next year but I don't know if it is worth it. My undergrad transcript is awful, my MA transcript is ok. I hold a university doctoral studies award but have never gotten any other scholarships or fellowships. Is there any point in applying for a SSHRC postdoc? (I have two pubs and 10 conference papers).

SSHRC does not look at transcripts when evaluating applicants for postdoctoral funding. To my understanding, as far as SSHRC is concerned, your publications, your reference letters, and your intended research (Program of Work) are much more important. So, since you already have two publications, it sounds like it would be worthwhile to apply.

Oh i see....thanks very much! One last question for anyone.... what does "track record" mean and how is it evaluated?

(26/04) I have now been waitlist by SSHRC twice, and the strange thing is that the second time, my Program of Work score went up but the Track Record actually went down! It only went down .1, but one would hope that it would at least stay the same if there were any sort of consistency. I was ABD the first time, while the second fell after I had defended and submitted my dissertation, but before convocation. Could it be the case that SSHRC doesn't count you as actually finished until you've convocated?

It is now mid-may and I am wondering if anyone has heard anything from SSHRC about the waitlist?