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SECTION I: DEPARTMENTAL OVERVIEW

1.1 Minister's Message

Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry I am pleased to present the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council's Departmental Performance Report for 2006-07.

My goal as Minister of Industry, and one of the top priorities of Canada's New Government, is to ensure we maintain a strong economic environment - one that allows Canadians to prosper in the global economy. We are seeing great changes in the international marketplace. New trade agreements, rapidly advancing technologies and the emergence of developing countries are all contributing to today's business environment. Canada needs to keep pace.

Part of my mandate is to help make Canadians more productive and competitive. We want our industries to continue to thrive and all Canadians to continue to enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.

For this to happen, the government is committed to maintaining a fair, efficient and competitive marketplace - one that encourages investment, sets the stage for greater productivity, and facilitates innovation. We are relying on market forces to a greater extent, regulating only when it is absolutely necessary. Our policies have helped turn research into new products and business processes. In addition, we are making efforts to increase awareness of sustainability practices among Canadian industry, emphasizing the social, environmental and economic benefits they bring.

The Department and the Industry Portfolio have made progress on a wide range of issues this past year, most notably in the areas of telecommunications, science and practical research, manufacturing, small business, consumer protection, patents and copyrights, tourism and economic development.

The Industry Portfolio is composed of Industry Canada and 10 other agencies, Crown corporations and quasi-judicial bodies. These organizations collectively advance Canada's industrial, scientific and economic development, and help ensure that we remain competitive in the global marketplace.

We have accomplished much this year. Using Advantage Canada - the government's long-term economic plan - as our roadmap, we have made great strides toward many of our most important goals. We will continue to focus on these goals to support the conditions for a strong economy - an environment that Canadians expect and deserve.

______________________________
Jim Prentice
Minister of Industry

1.2 Management Representation Statement

I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2006-07 Departmental Performance Report for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide to the Preparation of Part III of the 2006-2007 Estimates - Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the Treasury Board Secretariat guidelines;
  • It is based on SSHRC's Strategic Outcomes and Program Activity Architecture (PAA), which were approved by the Treasury Board;
  • It presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to SSHRC; and
  • It reports finances based on approved numbers from the Estimates and the Public Accounts of Canada.

________________________________________

Chad Gaffield
President
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

1.3 President's Message

Chad Gaffield, President, SSHRC SSHRC supports and promotes social sciences and humanities research and research training. The world-class research we support is helping us better understand the human component of some of Canada's most pressing economic, cultural, technological, environmental and social issues.

The knowledge, expertise and understanding that we are building at SSHRC is not only supporting excellence in research and research training, it is also encouraging and assisting researchers, research partners, policy-makers and other stakeholders to mobilize knowledge that will put the benefits of research to work.

Our research helps us understand how Canada can prosper in a globally competitive world. The studies we fund and the activities, such as knowledge mobilization, that we support, increase our capacity to generate the knowledge we need, so that we can better address our challenges as a society. The involvement of students and new researchers in these studies and activities also helps develop the talent required by the labour force of the knowledge economy.

I joined the Council in September 2006. Since then we have been developing an action plan to realize three goals that are at the heart of our mandate: enhance the quality of research and the way we support research; facilitate research connections; and increase the impact of research activities.

One example of how we are moving forward on all three goals is the new Tri-Council Co-ordinating Committee, which was founded in 2006-07 by the presidents of the three federal research granting agencies (SSHRC, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council [NSERC], and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research [CIHR]). By working together, our three agencies are building a more integrated and effective research-funding environment that maximizes the contributions of research in all disciplines to Canadian life.

SSHRC itself has taken important steps to strengthen its governance. My position as president has been separated from the chair position at meetings of our governing council, which are now presided over by the vice-president and chair of Council. This greatly empowers the governing council's oversight capacity, while also making my own activities more transparent and accountable.

Senior management as a whole has been renewed, with new appointments to the positions of executive vice-president; vice-president, partnerships; corporate secretary; director of communications; and director of corporate performance and evaluation.

During the past fiscal year, we have also launched the Partnerships Branch, which is mandated to strengthen collaboration with policy-makers in government, the private sector and non-governmental organizations across Canada.

These changes will help increase the impact of our research in Canada and abroad, and will help decision-makers and policy-makers, whether they be leaders in government, business, academia or community organizations. Alongside that of our partners in the research and broader communities, our work fuels a vibrant, internationally renowned research environment, delivers highly skilled and adaptable people, builds new understanding and innovative ideas, and helps translate knowledge into action.

I am, therefore, pleased to provide, in this 2006-07 Departmental Performance Report, evidence of how SSHRC, through the researchers and the research we support, is contributing to these goals.

 

Chad Gaffield
President
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

1.4 Program Activity Architecture

SSHRC's 2006-07 Departmental Performance Report (DPR) is structured according to the following PAA, as presented in the 2006-07 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) (Table 11, pp 46-47):


Program Activity

Program Sub-Activity

Strategic Outcome (SO) 1.0: People - A First-Class Research Capacity in the Social Sciences and Humanities

1.1 Fellowships, Scholarships and Prizes

1.1.1 Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS)

1.1.2 Doctoral Fellowships

1.1.3 Postdoctoral Fellowships

1.1.4 Prizes and Special Fellowships

1.2 Canada Research Chairs

1.2.1 Canada Research Chairs Program

SO 2.0: Research - New Knowledge Based on Excellent Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities

2.1 Investigator-Framed Research

2.1.1 Standard Research Grants (SRG)

2.1.2 Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI)

2.2 Targeted Research and Training Initiatives

2.2.1 Strategic Research Grants

2.2.2 Strategic Joint Initiatives

2.2.3 Initiative on the New Economy (INE)

2.3 Strategic Research Development

2.3.1 Research Development Initiatives (RDI)

2.3.2 Community-University Research Alliances (CURA)

2.3.3 SSHRC Institutional Grants (SIG)

2.3.4 Aid to Small Universities (ASU)

2.3.5 General Support

2.3.6 International Opportunities Fund (IOF)

2.3.7 BOREAS

SO 3.0: Knowledge Mobilization - The Transfer, Dissemination and Use of Knowledge in the Social Sciences and Humanities

3.1 Research Communication and Interaction

3.1.1 Aid to Scholarly Publications

3.1.2 Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences in Canada

3.1.3 Aid to Research and Transfer Journals

3.1.4 Aid and Attendance Grants to Scholarly Associations

3.1.5 Strategic Knowledge Clusters

3.1.6 Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE)

3.1.7 Knowledge Impact in Society (KIS)

SO 4.0: Institutional Environment - A Strong Canadian Research Environment

4.1 Indirect Costs of Research

4.1.1 Indirect Costs Program


1.5 Summary Information


Raison d'tre
SSHRC1 is the federal agency that supports and promotes social sciences and humanities research and research training in Canada. SSHRC's raison d'tre is to build knowledge and understanding by:

  • Supporting excellence in research and research training; and
  • Encouraging and assisting researchers, research partners, policy-makers and other stakeholders to mobilize knowledge that will put the benefits of research to work.

SSHRC plays a leadership role in the development of research and science policy. The Council monitors emerging research trends in the social sciences and humanities and, through its strategies and programs, helps to structure the national research effort.
SSHRC's Mandate

  • To promote and assist research and scholarship in the social sciences and humanities; and

To advise the minister of Industry regarding such matters related to research as the minister may refer to the Council for consideration.


Financial Resources


2006-07

Planned Spending (from 2006-07 RPP)
(millions)

Total Authorities
(millions)

Actual Spending 2
(millions)

SSHRC budget: $327.2
Indirect Costs program: $300.1

 

 

Total: $627.3

$627.4

$625.2


Human Resources


2006-07

Planned (from RPP)

Actual

Difference

190 full-time equivalents (FTEs)

181

9


Departmental Priorities

The following table summarizes SSHRC's priorities as identified in the 2006-07 RPP.


Strategic Outcome

Priorities

Type

1. People - A First-Class Research Capacity in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Priority 1: Support advanced, high-quality training

Ongoing

2: Research - New Knowledge Based on Excellent Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Priority 2: Expand the diverse knowledge base in the social sciences and humanities through a continuum of research funding

New

Priority 3: Enhance the connections of Canada's research community nationally and internationally

New

3: Knowledge Mobilization - The Transfer, Dissemination and Use of Knowledge in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Priority 4: Mobilize knowledge for greater impact

New

4: Institutional Environment - A Strong Canadian Research Environment

Priority 53: Complement the federal direct investment in research by helping universities cover part of the costs associated with housing the research supported by CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC

Ongoing


1.6 Summary of SSHRC's 2006-07 Performance in Relationship to Strategic Outcomes, Priorities, Program Activities and Expected Results

Strategic Outcome 1: People - A First-Class Research Capacity in the Social Sciences and Humanities4


Priority

Type

Program Activity

Expected Result(s)

Performance Status5

Planned Spending
2006-07
(millions)

Actual Spending
2006-07
(millions)

1. Support advanced, high-quality research training

Ongoing

Fellowships, scholarships and prizes

Highly qualified personnel and promising new scholars are successfully trained

Met all expectations

$102.3

$96.7

Canada Research Chairs

Canadian universities, affiliated research institutes and hospitals become recognized centres of research excellence through the attraction and retention of excellent researchers

Chairs are established in Canadian universities and awarded to researchers who are or have the potential to be world leaders in their field

Met all expectations

$61.8

$56.76


Strategic Outcome 2: Research - New Knowledge Based on Excellent Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities


Priority

Type

Program Activity

Expected Result(s)

Performance Status

Planned Spending
2006-07
(millions)

Actual Spending
2006-07
(millions)

2. Expand the diverse knowledge base in the social sciences and humanities through a continuum of research funding

New

Investigator-framed research

The best research proposals, both for basic and applied research, from both established and new scholars in all social sciences and humanities disciplines are supported by SSHRC

Met most expectations

$90.6

$99.0

Targeted research and training initiatives

New knowledge on pressing social, economic and cultural issues of particular importance to Canadians is available for decision-making in various sectors

Met all expectations

$25.7

$28.4

3. Enhance the connections of Canada's research community nationally and inter-nationally

New

Strategic research develop-ment

New perspectives and directions for research in the social sciences and humanities are explored

Canadian social sciences and humanities researchers lead, participate in and contribute significantly to leading-edge collaborative research and partnerships, in Canada and internationally

Met all expectations

$25.0

$22.8


Strategic Outcome 3: Knowledge Mobilization - The Transfer, Dissemination and Use of Knowledge in the Social Sciences and Humanities


Priority

Type

Program Activity

Expected Result(s)

Performance Status

Planned Spending
2006-07
(millions)

Actual Spending
2006-07
(millions)

4. Mobilize knowledge for greater impact

New

Research communi-cation and interaction

Advanced social sciences and humanities research and knowledge are disseminated and shared within disciplines, among national and international researchers, and with other audiences and stakeholders

Linkages and communication between researchers are enhanced

Social sciences and humanities research findings and knowledge contribute to decision-making in various sectors

Met most expectations

$21.8

$23.3


Strategic Outcome 4: Institutional Environment - A Strong Canadian Research Environment


Priority

Type

 

Program Activity

 

Expected Result(s)

 

Performance Status

 

Planned Spending
2006-07
(millions)

Actual Spending
2006-07
(millions)

5. Complement the federal direct investment in research by helping universities cover part of the costs associated with housing the research supported by CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC

Ongoing

Indirect Costs program

Contributions are made to enhancing the research environment in Canadian universities

Met all expectations

$300.1

$298.3.7


1.7 Operating Environment and Context

Objectives

SSHRC is dedicated to supporting and advancing Canada's capacity for high-quality research and research training in the social sciences and humanities. Overall, SSHRC's objectives8 are to:

  • Support independent, high-quality research that will enrich our knowledge of individual behaviour, human societies and cultures, both past and present;
  • Generate knowledge that informs decision- and policy-making in government, business, non-governmental organizations and voluntary organizations;
  • Train future researchers who will use their expertise in Canadian universities, as well as in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors;
  • Broadly share the results of research within academia and with governments, organizations and the Canadian public; and
  • Chart directions for Canadian research and advise the federal government on matters relating to research and science.

Governance Structure

SSHRC is an agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the social sciences and humanities. Created by an act of Parliament in 1977, SSHRC is governed by a 22-member Council that reports to Parliament through the minister of Industry.

In September 2006 Chad Gaffield, one of Canada's foremost social historians, joined SSHRC as its newly appointed president.9

How SSHRC Funds Research

SSHRC awards grants, fellowships and scholarships on the basis of excellence in national competitions. Decisions about which applicants to fund are made through peer review - a rigorous and independent selection process universally recognized as the most effective way to allocate public research funds.

Peer review is based on the principle that applicants' colleagues are best placed to evaluate the scholarly and scientific quality and relevance of applicants' research proposals. Peer review ensures that the process of adjudication remains as independent and objective as possible.

Each year volunteer selection committees made up of scholars and experts assess thousands of research proposals and, based on academic excellence and other key criteria, make recommendations about which projects to fund. About 4,600 additional Canadian and international experts provide written assessments of proposals to help the review committees in their decision-making. This rigorous and independent peer review process ensures that only the best research projects are recommended for funding.10

The federal government's Policy on Transfer Payments requires that SSHRC periodically request approval of the Terms and Conditions applicable to the award of its grants and scholarships. SSHRC's Terms and Conditions were renewed in September 2006 until 2011.

SSHRC works with Canadian universities and other postsecondary institutions to develop strong accountability mechanisms (in accordance with accepted terms and conditions, policies, guidelines and a memorandum of understanding) to support the financial administration of the grants and fellowships awarded to students and faculty. SSHRC, together with its sister funding agencies NSERC and CIHR, and in partnership with Industry Canada, also participates in the joint administration and delivery of three programs: the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program, the Canada Research Chairs Program, and the Indirect Costs program. The day-to-day administration of the Chairs and Indirect Costs programs is carried out by a tri-council secretariat housed at SSHRC. The Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics and the Secretariat on Research Ethics are also jointly funded by the three councils.

Through its Joint Initiatives programs, SSHRC also delivers initiatives in partnership with organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Examples of the Council's current joint initiatives partners include Statistics Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Canadian Heritage and the BIOCAP Canada Foundation. A full list of past and current joint initiatives is included in Appendix A.

SSHRC's main clientele are university-based researchers and students: about 20,000 full-time faculty11 and 49,000 graduate students12 at more than 90 universities across Canada. Collectively, they represent about 53 per cent of full-time professors and about 55 per cent of full-time graduate students in Canadian universities. Researchers at community colleges and at several not-for-profit organizations with research mandates are also eligible for funding from a number of SSHRC programs.


SSHRC funds research in more than 30 disciplines:

Anthropology, archaeology, business and administrative studies, classics, commerce, communication and media studies, criminology, economics, education, environmental studies, ethics, fine arts, geography, history, industrial relations, inter- and multi-disciplinary studies, law, linguistics, literature, management, medieval studies, modern languages, native studies, philosophy, political science, psychology, religious studies, social work, sociology, urban and regional studies, women's and gender studies


SSHRC's 2006-11 Strategic Directions

SSHRC-funded research fuels innovative thinking about real-life issues, including the economy, education, health care, the environment, immigration, globalization, language, ethics, peace, security, human rights, law, poverty, mass communication, politics, literature, addiction, pop culture, sexuality, religion, Aboriginal rights, the past and the future.

In summer 2005, SSHRC articulated a strategic plan in its Knowledge Council: Strategic Plan 2006-2011 document. The plan builds on SSHRC's traditions of research excellence to contribute to what Canada needs in the 21st century:

  • A vibrant and internationally renowned research environment;
  • Highly skilled and adaptable people;
  • New understanding and innovative ideas; and
  • A broad and systematic transformation of knowledge into action.

Over the past two years, SSHRC has been implementing the two key principles of its strategic plan - connections and impact - through initiatives such as the IOF, the KIS project, and the Strategic Knowledge Clusters program.

1.8 External and Internal Factors Influencing Performance in 2006-07

A Council in Transition

The 2006-07 fiscal year saw several changes in governance. In addition to the appointment of a new president in September 2006, there was also a significant revitalization of SSHRC's senior management team. A new executive vice-president, director of communications, and director of corporate performance and evaluation have joined SSHRC. A vice-president, partnerships, joined the agency in January 2007, leading the newly created Partnerships Branch. These changes both better reflect the needs of society and enhance corporate planning. During the year, the agency has also reviewed Strategic Outcomes and indicators to improve its performance measurement and results.

A strengthened Corporate Secretariat has been established to support the renewal of council governance and to work closely with SSHRC's sister agencies on the evolution and interpretation of the tri-council Memorandum of Understanding on the Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards and a number of shared policies, including for the ethical conduct of research involving humans (the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans).

Over the past year, SSHRC has also continued to take additional steps to enhance quality, enable connections and increase the impact of knowledge mobilization and research in the social sciences and humanities.

In 2006-07, SSHRC launched its Strategic Knowledge Clusters program. These clusters are intended to link researchers, co-ordinate special initiatives and synthesize research on issues that will affect Canadians' quality of life for decades to come.

The past fiscal year was, for all these reasons, very much a period marked by transition. The appointment of a revitalized management team and forward-looking organizational restructuring, however, will contribute significantly to SSHRC's capacity to achieve its intended results.

2006 Granting Council Review

As part of the larger review of the accountability and value-for-money of the granting councils' activities announced in the 2006 federal budget, Industry Canada commissioned a review of SSHRC and NSERC late in 2006. The resulting report strongly endorsed the value of social sciences and humanities research, acknowledging its significant contribution to society while noting that many of Canada's social sciences and humanities graduates go on to become leaders in all sectors of society. SSHRC has already proactively addressed a number of the review's specific recommendations on governance and management structures. The granting council review provided input into the development of the new Government of Canada science and technology (S&T) strategy. Most of SSHRC's responses to the review are being addressed in the context of the strategy.

Advantage Canada and a New S&T Strategy

In November 2006, the federal government announced Advantage Canada, "a strategic, long-term economic plan designed to improve our country's economic prosperity both today and in the future.13 Advantage Canada focuses on five "advantage areas": fiscal, knowledge, infrastructure, entrepreneurial and tax. The strategy identified the need to increase private-sector research and development investments, to increase the practical applications of research, and to create a well-educated, skilled and flexible workforce.

Advantage Canada also emphasizes the government's focus on "turning research into innovations that provide solutions to . . . important societal challenges."

SSHRC's planning and operating environment in 2006-07 was influenced by the development phase of a new S&T strategy and its implications for SSHRC as the federal funding agency for social sciences and humanities research.

Measuring the Impacts of Social Sciences and Humanities Research

With the significant increases in federal funding for research that have occurred over the last decade, and the concurrent increased demand for government accountability, new efforts are being made to capture the benefits of public investments in research, including social, environmental, technological, economic and cultural benefits. Inspired by research results in performance measurement and evaluation, and in keeping with the federal government's stated intentions to develop better measurement instruments, in 2006 SSHRC launched a series of initiatives to advance thinking in measuring the impact of social sciences and humanities research.

In addition, SSHRC is collaborating with research agencies around the world in efforts to develop new approaches to measuring outcomes and impacts. In launching this work, SSHRC has been pursuing three objectives: 1) to contribute to the Government of Canada's initiatives on research and development indicators; 2) to benefit from the expertise of the social sciences and humanities research community; and 3) to develop and test new approaches for measuring the outcomes and impacts of research.

In 2006-07, SSHRC planned and undertook activities in line with these objectives. It launched a special competition and funded three projects to test new approaches for capturing the impacts of research. Alongside other government organizations, SSHRC also participated in Industry Canada activities exploring indicators of S&T impact being used by different organizations within the federal system. It also engaged the research community by planning a symposium on this issue.

Key Risk Areas

Considering that SSHRC's clientele represents Canada's largest research community, and taking into account the high level of expectations for the quality and value of social sciences and humanities knowledge, SSHRC is at risk of not meeting the expectations of both its research community and external stakeholders (e.g., federal government, private, not-for-profit and other public organizations). Also, peer-reviewed selection processes are at risk worldwide, given the increased pressures generated by the large number of funding programs using this approach, as well as by the pressure on academics to publish the results of their research.

SSHRC's Integrated Results-based Management and Accountability Framework and Risk-based Audit Framework has, as part of the Council's submission for the renewal of its Terms and Conditions, been prepared in order to comply with the federal government's Policy on Transfer Payments. The integrated framework provides detailed information about the key risks involved in managing SSHRC programs to attain expected results, as well as the strategies in place to effectively and efficiently monitor the achievement of results and to mitigate risks.

1.9 Link to Government of Canada Outcome Areas

Since 1997 the Government of Canada has made significant investments in academic research as part of an overall strategy to enhance Canada's capacity to innovate and compete regionally and globally.

SSHRC's investments contribute to significant advances in knowledge, understanding and expertise in the social sciences and humanities, and to the development of a first-class research capacity in Canada. These investments are an integral part of an effective science policy. The Council is committed to supporting excellence in social sciences and humanities research and research training; to supporting research, knowledge mobilization and capacity-building that has social, economic, technological, environmental, and cultural returns for Canadians; to helping shape the research enterprise; and to contributing to innovation.

Canada's Performance, the Treasury Board's annualreport to Parliament, shows how SSHRC's activities and programs contribute to the Government of Canada's Strategic Outcome area of having "an innovative and knowledge-based economy" as part of a "sustainable economy." SSHRC directly supports this Strategic Outcome through programs and activities that focus on the following areas.

  • Train researchers and highly qualified personnel for Canada's future. In 2006-07, SSHRC invested about 31 per cent of its total grants and scholarships budget directly towards training Canada's next generation of researchers and highly qualified individuals. In addition, data from financial reports and activity reports filed by researchers suggests that about 30 per cent of funds allocated through SSHRC's grants programs are used in support of research training. These individuals contribute as experts and leaders in every sector of the economy - from business, government and politics to education, social services, and the arts.
  • Create new knowledge about, and understanding of, pressing economic, social, technological, environmental and cultural issues relevant to Canadians. SSHRC achieves this through various program mechanisms including, for example, by supporting MCRIs in which Canada leads major international teams of researchers addressing issues such as globalization and labour market mobility.
  • Ensure a first-class research environment conducive to graduate training and new perspectives and directions for research. SSHRC achieves this through programs such as doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships, which, ultimately, train highly qualified personnel expert in research and available to pursue various knowledge-intensive careers within universities, industry, government and other sectors of society and the economy.
  • Mobilize the dissemination, exchange and use of knowledge based on social sciences and humanities research. For example, in 2006 SSHRC launched the Strategic Knowledge Clusters program, which supports Canadian researchers as they build national and international research networks centred on strategic themes. This is one expression of SSHRC's priority "to mobilize knowledge for greater impact," which is part of its Strategic Outcome 3, Knowledge Mobilization. The Strategic Outcome is focused on maximizing the benefits of research for Canadians through more intense and sustained connections between researchers and users of research, and through more widespread and effective mobilization, transfer and application of knowledge created through research.

On behalf of the government and people of Canada, SSHRC plans and manages social sciences and humanities research funding programs that, within an international context, and in compliance with federal accountability requirements, address national objectives, strategies and policies.

1.10 Overview of SSHRC's 2006-07 Performance

Throughout the fiscal year, SSHRC focused on the following key priorities linked to the Strategic Outcomes in its PAA:

  • Support advanced, high-quality research training;
  • Expand the diverse knowledge base in the social sciences and humanities through a continuum of research funding;
  • Enhance the connections of Canada's research community nationally and internationally; and
  • Mobilize knowledge for greater impact.

The Council's priorities and program activities are directly connected to Government of Canada priorities, specifically, the government's outcome area of "an innovative and knowledge-based economy." SSHRC's programs in support of social sciences and humanities research contribute directly to the development of highly skilled, highly qualified people - a critical success factor in a knowledge-based society.

SSHRC supports a strong, diverse knowledge base that includes research on current issues vital to Canadians, such as the complex social, economic, technological,  environmental and cultural changes associated with the knowledge-based economy. SSHRC aims to maximize the benefits of such research, including through more widespread and effective mobilization, transfer and application of knowledge in all sectors of Canadian society.

In 2006-07, SSHRC took important steps to strengthen its governance, operating and management structures, as well as its connections with the research community. Until this year, SSHRC's president served as both chief executive officer of the agency and chair of its governing council. Amendments to the SSHRC bylaws were adopted by the governing council in 2006-07 and approved by the Governor-in-Council, so that governing council is now chaired by the vice-president of Council. These changes to the way the Council governs itself and SSHRC are strongly supported by leading research on public- and private-sector governance. As well, they reflect the Government of Canada's priorities of accountability and transparency.

Senior management has also been renewed, with new appointments to the positions of executive vice-president; vice-president, partnerships; corporate secretary; director of communications; and director of corporate performance and evaluation. In addition, a new Partnerships Branch was established, to strengthen knowledge mobilization and collaboration.

Finally, measuring impacts and results is a challenge confronting research in all disciplines worldwide. SSHRC is currently collaborating with its sister agencies and bringing the expertise of the Canadian and international social sciences and humanities research community to bear on this matter. The Council is actively examining and developing methodologies and tools to facilitate the measurement of impacts of social sciences and humanities research.

The rest of this section provides an overview of progress made in each of SSHRC's four key Strategic Outcome areas, summarizing the Council's key activities and results in 2006-07. A more detailed report on program activities and key sub-activities under each Strategic Outcome is presented in Section II.

Strategic Outcome 1: People - A First-Class Research Capacity in the Social Sciences and Humanities

This Strategic Outcome involves a suite of activities aimed at addressing demands from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors for large numbers of highly qualified people trained in the social sciences and humanities. In addition, strong demand in the university sector is driven by the need for accelerated, and unprecedented, renewal of faculty. The activities in this area are devoted to graduate and post-graduate scholarships and awards, as well as research grants and strategic research grants programs that promote student training through participation in research projects.

In 2006-07, 1,180 of Canada's top social sciences and humanities students received scholarships under the master's level component of SSHRC's CGS program. Through the CGS Doctoral Scholarships program, launched in 2004-05, the Council also offered support to 400 of Canada's top social sciences and humanities doctoral students in 2006-07.

The long-standing SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships Program provided support to some 574 new doctoral fellows in 2006-07. In the same year, 140 new postdoctoral fellowships were offered to scholars who had recently completed a PhD or equivalent in a humanities or social science discipline.

Through SSHRC awards, fellowships and prizes, students and new researchers receive training and experience that equips them to meet Canada's needs for highly skilled and qualified researchers, professionals and leaders in all sectors of the economy.

In addition, the data from the financial reports and activity reports filed by researchers suggests that about 30 per cent of funds allocated through SSHRC's grants programs are used in support of research training. According to a meta-analysis of performance, evaluation and special studies conducted between 2000 and 2005, the benefits that students gain as a result of SSHRC grants fall into three main categories: research experience, skill development and professional development.

SSHRC also continues to recognize outstanding achievements by a number of world-class social science and humanities researchers and scholars through a suite of prestigious awards and prizes. In 2006-07, SSHRC's Gold Medal for Achievement in Research was presented to Andre Lajoie, professor of law at the Universit de Montral.

The Canada Research Chairs Program, meanwhile, is jointly administered by Canada's three federal research granting agencies, in partnership with Industry Canada, through a tri-council secretariat housed at SSHRC. Canada Research Chairs are awarded across all fields of inquiry, roughly in proportion to each discipline area's level of granting council funds. As of March 31, 2007, there were 1,718 active chairholder appointments, 20 per cent of which were in the social sciences and humanities.

Strategic Outcome 2: Research - New Knowledge Based on Excellent Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities

The program activities in this Strategic Outcome area contribute directly to the Government of Canada's outcome of "an innovative and knowledge-based economy" by enabling research and knowledge generation related to strategic areas important to social, technological, environmental, economic and cultural development.

The SRG program represents the Council's largest area of investment. In 2006-07, the program funded 1,014 research projects involving close to 2,000 researchers. The success rate for SRG applicants in 2006-07 was 40.4 per cent (a slight increase from 40.1 per cent last fiscal year).

The outputs of SRGs include peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters; websites, video productions, databases and newsletters; and peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed conference papers and proceedings. Such outputs are a critical component of knowledge dissemination, communication and interaction between researchers, and are also important vehicles for knowledge mobilization - the dissemination, exchange and use of knowledge.

The MCRI program facilitates collaboration on complex research undertakings. The program contributes directly to SSHRC's overall objectives of supporting independent, high-quality research; generating knowledge that informs decision- and policy-making; training future researchers who will use their expertise in Canadian universities, as well as in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors; and broadly sharing the results of research within academia and with governments, organizations and the Canadian public.

Among its targeted research and training initiatives, SSHRC's activities range from Strategic Research Grants targeting five strategic research priorities (Aboriginal research; the environment and sustainability; culture, citizenship and identities, including official languages; image, text, sound and technology; and northern research) to several ongoing support programs, such as Aid to Small Universities and Aid to Scholarly Publications, which, although relatively small in dollar value, are nonetheless of considerable importance in meeting SSHRC's overall mandate "to promote and assist research and scholarship in the social sciences and humanities."

An evaluation report on SSHRC's Strategic Joint Initiatives mechanism was completed in 2006-07. Overall, the evaluation demonstrated that this mechanism is highly relevant, particularly in the context of SSHRC's strategic emphasis on building connections to maximize the impact and quality of humanities and social sciences research.

TheINE will mark its last year in 2007-08. An evaluation of this major initiative is currently underway. During the past year, SSHRC held two final competitions for research proposals for public outreach related to INE research findings from the initiative's five-year duration. The purpose of the Public Outreach Grants is to find creative, innovative ways to disseminate, transfer, and broker research results to new audiences, and to create new communications activities geared to previously targeted audiences. In addition, through the INE, SSHRC partnered with the Conference Board of Canada to fund the Canada Project. The project fostered research, knowledge synthesis, and debate to improve Canada's economic competitiveness and maintain our quality of life.

Strategic Outcome 3: Knowledge Mobilization - The Transfer, Dissemination and Use of Knowledge in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Knowledge mobilization encompasses SSHRC's commitment to enabling and facilitating the delivery of social, economic, technological, environmental and cultural benefits to Canadians through social sciences and humanities research. SSHRC is supporting and facilitating knowledge mobilization to help ensure that the results of social sciences and humanities research are shared among researchers themselves, and between researchers and users of research (i.e., policy-makers, decision-makers, and professionals and practitioners from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors).

In 2006-07 SSHRC more precisely articulated its framework for knowledge mobilization, and the Council is now developing a knowledge mobilization strategic framework and action plan.

Strategic Knowledge Clusters are SSHRC's newest approach to broadening and intensifying the impact of social sciences and humanities research, and fit hand in hand with changes in how the social sciences and humanities research community approaches and conducts research. In 2006-07, SSHRC provided funding to seven new Strategic Knowledge Clusters looking at issues ranging from business ethics to the response of the justice system to domestic violence.

The KIS pilot project, meanwhile, aims to explore the potential of different institutional funding models to support effective knowledge mobilization. In 2006-07, SSHRC supported KIS activities such as creating a listserv to facilitate conversation among KIS grant holders. An important output of the KIS pilot will be the development of new indicators for measuring the impacts of humanities and social sciences research. The KIS programs take the form of funds-matching systems and leveraged more than $1.1 million in 2006-07 from recipient universities.

Housed at universities and hospitals, Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCEs) promote partnerships between these and private and public sectors organizations. The NCE program supports research in complex areas of critical importance to Canada. For example, the Canadian Language & Literacy Research Network works to ensure that Canadian children gain the language and literacy skills they need to achieve academic, social, economic and personal success in life. In 2006-07, the networks stimulated outside cash and in-kind investments totalling almost $70 million, including more than $27 million from participating private sector companies. Including the program's own investments, the total dedicated to NCE research, commercialization and knowledge transfer was more than $152 million.

Strategic Outcome 4: Institutional Environment - A Strong Canadian Research Environment

The Indirect Costs program is a tri-council program that operates in accordance with the separate Terms and Conditions set out for it by Treasury Board, and the distinct objectives for which it was established.

The Indirect Costs program is managed within the Canada Research Chairs secretariat, which is, in turn, hosted within SSHRC. Universities and colleges across Canada receive Indirect Costs grant allocations based on the average research funding they have received from the federal research granting agencies over a rolling three-year period.

The infusion of federal funding through the Indirect Costs program has resulted in demonstrable improvements to the university research environment in Canada. Institutions have begun to address deferred maintenance and are better able to provide adequate spaces in which to conduct research. Institutions are also investing Indirect Costs funds to cover the costs of technicians and support staff; to bring databases, journals and other collections to researchers' fingertips, allowing researchers to access the information they need to be competitive and stay at the cutting edge; and to install upgraded information technology that allows researchers to keep pace in the information age.

Institutions have reported that the overall suite of investments made possible by the Indirect Costs program has been important to their ability to retain and attract researchers. In 2006-07, $298.3 million was provided to Canadian institutions through the program.