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SECTION II: ANALYSIS OF PROGRAM ACTIVITIES BY STRATEGIC OUTCOME

2.1 Introduction

This section provides detailed information on the progress made by SSHRC in delivering on each of its priorities, plans, and expected results as outlined in the 2006-07 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP). The structure of Section II follows SSHRC's Program Activity Architecture (PAA) as set out in the RPP, that is, it reports on program activities and key sub-activities14 (the mechanisms through which SSHRC delivers its programs and services to achieve expected results), commitments and related resources,15 outputs, and results under each Strategic Outcome for 2006-07. A summary of performance is presented for each Strategic Outcome area, followed by more detailed information by program activity and key sub-activities.

SSHRC's objectives16 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.

To fulfil these objectives, SSHRC's PAA is organized into four Strategic Outcomes:

  • People: A First-Class Research Capacity in the Social Sciences and Humanities;
  • Research: New Knowledge Based on Excellent Research;
  • Knowledge Mobilization: The Transfer, Dissemination and Use of Knowledge in the Social Sciences and Humanities; and
  • Institutional Environment: A Strong Canadian Research Environment.

SSHRC pursued the following priorities associated with these key areas:

  • 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;
  • Mobilize knowledge for greater impact;
  • Contribute to the research environment in Canadian universities and institutions; and
  • Contribute to the Government of Canada's Strategic Outcome of "an innovative and knowledge-based economy" and to key government priorities such as the S&T strategy.

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

This Strategic Outcome encompasses a suite of activities that aim to address demands from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors for large numbers of highly-qualified social scientists and humanists, and to facilitate faculty renewal at universities.

The activities in this area are devoted to graduate and postdoctoral scholarships and awards, and to research grants and Strategic Research Grants programs by which student training is promoted through participation in research projects.

SSHRC's program activities under this Strategic Outcome contribute directly to the development of Canada's research capacity and the development of new knowledge based on world-class research. This is a significant contribution to the Government of Canada's Strategic Outcome of "an innovative and knowledge based economy."

The program activities under Strategic Outcome 1 are closely linked to the goals of the new S&T strategy, which talks about the People Advantage. SSHRC and its sister Councils (NSERC and CIHR) were directly involved with Industry Canada in the development of this strategy throughout 2006-07.

The following table presents a snapshot of the program activities and sub-activities, indicators, and related 2006-07 RPP commitments (performance targets) for Strategic Outcome 1.

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


Program Activity

Program Sub-activity

Performance Targets (RPP 2006-07)

Indicators for Outputs

Indicators for Results

1.1 Fellowships, Scholarships and Prizes

Overall

  • Allocate about 30 per cent of grants and scholarships budget to master's and doctoral awards (fellowships and scholarships) and postdoctoral fellowships
  • Promote student training
  • N/A
  • N/A

Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS)

  • Award 1,600 new CGSs at the master's and doctoral levels

 

  • Number of scholarships awarded, and success rates by research area (social sciences and humanities)
  • Percentage of graduate students enrolled in the social sciences and humanities receiving CGS scholarships
  • Highly qualified personnel are becoming expert in research and available to pursue various knowledge-intensive careers within universities, industry, government, and other sectors of the society and economy

Postdoctoral Fellowships

  • Offer about 140 new postdoctoral fellowships

 

  • Number of fellowships awarded, and success rates
  • Promising new scholars are able to establish a research base17 at an important time in their career (i.e., faculty renewal)

Prizes and Special Fellowships

  • Annually award the SSHRC Gold Medal for Achievement in Research, Aurora Prize, Postdoctoral Prize and William E. Taylor Fellowship
  • Number of awardees
  • The dedication, creativity and outstanding contribution of the best SSHRC-funded Canadian graduate students and researchers is recognized

1.2 Canada Research Chairs

Canada Research Chairs Program

  • Fill the full complement of Canada Research Chairs positions
  • Number and percentage of Chairs awarded by tier to researchers from Canadian universities, foreign researchers and expatriates
  • Canadian universities, affiliated research institutes and hospitals have become recognized centres of research excellence through the attraction and retention of excellent researchers

Summary of 2006-07 Performance

Based on the results achieved through the program areas and key sub-activities linked to Strategic Outcome 1: People - A First-Class Research Capacity in the Social Sciences and Humanities, described below, SSHRC is pleased to report that the program activities met all expectations.

The expected result in 2006-07 for SSHRC's Fellowships, Scholarships and Prizes program activity was the successful training of highly qualified personnel and promising scholars. This past year, these programs resulted in a combined total of 2,294 awards to exceptionally promising graduate students at the master's, doctoral and postdoctoral levels; in addition, nine outstanding scholars were recognized with special prizes and fellowships. These people represent the best and the brightest in their respective programs of study. Through SSHRC awards, fellowships and prizes, they 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.

The second key program activity under Strategic Outcome 1 is the Canada Research Chairs Program. The full complement of 2,000 Chairs has now been allocated to universities. Of the Chairs, about 20 per cent are in the social sciences and humanities. In 2006-07, 73 researchers were awarded social sciences and humanities Chairs. The Canada Research Chairs Program is a key way for Canadian universities to attract and retain world-class scholars and improve the training of promising students and researchers. The program has attracted international attention, and several other countries are looking to establish similar programs modelled on it.

The following provides more detailed information about the program activities and sub-activities supporting Strategic Outcome 1: People in 2006-07.

Program Activity: Fellowships, Scholarships and Prizes

Resources


Fellowships, Scholar-ships and Prizes

Planned (RPP) 2006-07

Total Authorities

Actual
 

Financial Resources
(millions)

$102.3

$102.2

$96.718

 

Planned

Actual

Difference

Human Resources

25 FTEs

23 FTEs

-2


Canada Graduate Scholarships

The Government of Canada provides substantial funding to the three federal research granting agencies for the CGS. The program supports up to 2,000 doctoral students and 2,000 master's students each year, with 60 per cent of the awards administered by SSHRC and going to students in the social sciences and humanities. SSHRC's CGS program seeks to develop research skills and help in training highly qualified personnel by supporting students in the social sciences and humanities who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies. This program helps train Canada's researchers and leaders of tomorrow, who will help the Government of Canada meet its Strategic Outcome of "an innovative and knowledge-based economy."

In 2006-07, 1,180 of Canada's top social sciences and humanities students received CGSs under the master's-level component of SSHRC's CGS program.19


Canada Graduate Scholarships Master's Profile

Amber Walker
McMaster University
Constructing Problems and Solutions: The Social Construction of Foreign Credential Recognition as a Social Problem and Policy Priority in Canada

When did the issue of recognizing foreign credentials first arise in Canada? How did it come to be defined as a social problem? What factors led to including foreign credential recognition in the federal speech from the throne in 2001? These are some of the questions that Amber Walker set out to answer in her research. Walker's work examines the claims-making activities of various stakeholders involved in the foreign credential recognition debate, and the resulting transformation of this social problem into a policy priority in Canada. Through her research, Walker is contributing a systematic analysis of the development through history of foreign credential recognition, and is enhancing theoretical understandings of the processes by which certain social problems come to be defined as policy priorities. Her research will also help inform broader policy and academic communities in their efforts to develop and promote various policy tools and options in this area.


 


Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Profile

Amlie-Hlne Rheault
Universit de Sherbrooke
Linguistic Representations in Qubec: Argumentation-Centred Analysis of the Epilinguistic Discourse of Young Quebec Adults

In the mid-1970s, sociolinguistics gave rise to the study of linguistic representations and, in that context, to the concept of linguistic insecurity. The purpose of Amlie-Hlne Rheault's research project is to help us better understand the relationships between speakers and their language. Her study includes an analysis of commonplaces and stereotypes in the epilinguistic discourse (discourse on language marked by value judgments) of young Qubec adults, particularly with reference to sensitive issues such as the impacts of English and the language used in the media. The type of analysis carried out by Rheault could help us understand, at least to some degree, why some standards do not take hold in Qubec. Her CGS doctoral scholarship has enabled Rheault to pursue her studies under a joint supervision arrangement with the Universit catholique de Louvain in Belgium, giving her an opportunity to work closely with renowned researchers in sociolinguistics.


Doctoral Fellowships and Scholarships


Doctoral Fellowships Profile

Melanie Dirks
Yale University
The Measurement of Social Competence Among Economically Disadvantaged Youth

As a doctoral student in developmental psychology at Yale University, Melanie Dirks' research examined the effects of poverty on children's development. During her fellowship, Ms. Dirks developed a program of research examining social competence among a sample of economically diverse, underprivileged youth, and, in doing so, developed a suite of innovative measurement tools to further examine the linkages between social competence and a number of different demographic factors. Her research has since garnered considerable attention among child-development practitioners and has been presented at a number of conferences, both local and international. Her work has been published widely and holds significant relevance and application for intervention research and youth-focused social policy. Her SSHRC doctoral fellowship provided Dirks with the opportunity to develop a new set of measures that will serve as the foundation for a research program. This program will, hopefully, provide greater insight into the occurrence of problematic behaviours and psychological symptoms among youth living in poverty, with the ultimate goal of developing more effective intervention strategies.


SSHRC offers two types of awards for doctoral-level study:

  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships; and
  • CGS Doctoral Scholarships.

Through the CGS Doctoral Scholarships Program,20 the Council offered support to 400 of Canada's top social sciences and humanities doctoral-level students in 2006-07.
The long-standing SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships Program provided support to 574 new doctoral fellows in 2006-07.
SSHRC is also looking at new ways to improve the environments in which students are trained. In late 2006, the Council undertook a preliminary environmental scan of student training (as reported in the 2005-06 DPR)21 as a first step in conducting a formal evaluation of the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships Program to ensure that it fully meets the requirements of a rapidly evolving research community and environment. In the interest of gathering a more complete picture of related programs, the planned evaluation of the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships Program will be part of a larger, tri-council evaluation of the CGS program, to be completed in 2007-08.

Postdoctoral Fellowships


Postdoctoral Fellowships Profile

Sylvia Fuller
The University of British Columbia
Precarious Employment and Labour Market Transitions: Considering Insecurity Over Time

Expanding on the empirical work of her doctoral research, Sylvia Fuller used longitudinal historical labour data from Statistics Canada's Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics to examine how employment patterns interact with social context and social location in shaping dimensions of precarious employment over time. The outcomes of her research will better enhance our understanding of the factors that shape workers' careers as they transition through the restructured labour market, and of the policy implications of the new economy. Fuller's work will also form the basis for renewed cross-country comparisons between Canada and the United States, which, while sharing many labour market similarities, have different geographic and institutional realities. Fuller is also a past recipient of SSHRC's Aileen D. Ross Fellowship, an award given in recognition of outstanding postdoctoral research in sociology. She has presented at various conferences and plenary sessions in Canada and internationally (Brazil, South Africa, the United States), and has published extensively on labour market reform and restructuring. Research supported by her postdoctoral fellowship, for example, has appeared in the Canadian Journal of Sociology, and she has articles forthcoming in Citizenship Studies, Social Indicators Research and the American Sociological Review (internationally ranked as the most influential sociology-disciplined journal).


The Postdoctoral Fellowships program22 supports the most promising new scholars in the social sciences and humanities and helps them establish a research base at an important time in their research career. In 2006-07, 140 new postdoctoral fellowships were offered to scholars who had recently completed a PhD or equivalent in a humanities or social science discipline.

Prizes and Special Fellowships

The Council has made a special effort to promote social sciences and humanities research through highly visible prizes and special fellowships that recognize outstanding achievements in social sciences and humanities research. The value of these prizes is far more than monetary. To the individual recipients, and from the perspective of the social sciences and humanities research community, they provide validation and both peer and public recognition of their work and contribution to their discipline's body of knowledge and ideas. Strategically, in addition to promoting broader awareness of social sciences and humanities research accomplishments, these prizes provide additional support and encouragement for continuing world-class research and knowledge development and dissemination.23


The highest SSHRC honour, the SSHRC Gold Medal for Achievement in Research, is awarded annually to an individual whose leadership, dedication and originality of thought have significantly advanced understanding in his or her field of research, enriched Canadian society, and contributed to the country's cultural and intellectual life. In 2006-07, this prestigious award was presented to Andre Lajoie, professor of law at the Universit de Montral.


Program Activity: Canada Research Chairs


Canada Research Chairs

Planned (RPP) 2006-07

Total Authorities

Actual

Financial Resources (millions)

$61.8

$61.7

$56.724

 

Planned

Actual

Difference

Human Resources

24 FTEs

22 FTEs

-2


The Canada Research Chairs Program25 is jointly administered by Canada's three federal research granting agencies, in partnership with Industry Canada, through a tri-council secretariat housed at SSHRC. In terms of its size and scope, this program remains without parallel. Its success has inspired international interest, with other countries modelling their own initiatives after the Chairs program.

Canada Research Chairs are awarded across all fields of inquiry, roughly in proportion to each discipline area's level of granting council funds. In 2006-07, the program awarded a total of 226 new Chairs and renewed 85 Chair appointments. As of March 31, 2007, there were 1,718 active chairholder appointments; of these, 45 per cent (771) were in the natural sciences and engineering, 33 per cent (562) were in the health sciences, and 22 per cent (385) were in the social sciences and humanities. The full complement of 2,000 Canada Research Chairs have now been allocated to universities, and the program now awaits the nomination of candidates to the last of these positions.26

The most recent evaluation of the Canada Research Chairs Program, conducted in 2004-05 (and reported in last year's DPR), led to a number of management responses, including improved performance-related reporting by universities and chairholders. In their 2005-06 reports,27 the universities participating in the program attested to the importance the program and the associated Canada Foundation for Innovation funds for research infrastructure have for their efforts to attract and retain top researchers. Most universities considered the Chairs awards to have positively affected their ability to retain and attract top students and postdoctoral fellows. The presence of these researchers at the universities has also had other impacts, including the creation of new research teams at 49 of the 70 participating institutions, and the reinforcement of existing teams at 57 of these institutions. As in so many areas, success leads to success, and these new and strengthened research teams serve as magnets for funding from other sources, as well as for high-profile collaborations.

As leaders in their respective fields, Canada Research Chairs publish prolifically in their academic areas and are regularly called upon to provide expert advice on pressing issues of the day. Chairholders are also actively involved in training and mentoring the next generation of highly qualified personnel. In 2005-06, chairholders reported having directly supervised the work of 2,874 undergraduate students, 2,877 master's students, 3,258 doctoral students, 1,784 postdoctoral fellows, and 1,585 other highly qualified personnel. Through their experience working with these researchers of international renown, these trainees are exposed to state-of-the-art research in their prospective fields, have the opportunity to gain new competencies, and are provided with valuable networking opportunities.


Social Sciences and Humanities Canada Research Chairs Profiles

Patricia Williams
Mount Saint Vincent University
Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Policy Change

Patricia Williams studies the economic, social, political and cultural factors relating to food security at the individual, household, community, provincial, and national levels. Her work is focused on exploring the access Canadians have to a nutritious diet and has been used to inform the development of Nova Scotia policy in this area. The workbook that resulted from Williams' participatory research, Thought About Food? A Workbook on Food Security & Policy, has spurred work in other provinces and elicited national interest in the form of an invitation from Health Canada to participate in the upcoming revision of the National Nutritious Food Basket.

Lance Lochner
The University of Western Ontario
Canada Research Chair in Human Capital and Productivity

Lance Lochner's research examines human capital formation in order to improve our understanding of skills formation, earnings inequality, and intergenerational mobility. His work focuses on three main areas of human capital formation: early development and the family; postsecondary education finance policy; and
post-school human capital formation in the workplace. Lochner's research aims to provide policy-relevant insights in each of these areas, thereby supporting Canada's efforts to renew its workforce in the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century.


Student Training: An Integrated Part of SSHRC's Grants and Scholarships

Providing training to students by engaging them in research is a concept embedded in SSHRC's research grants programs. Researchers planning to involve students in their research must provide plans for doing so and must provide the contribution the researchers have made toward training students figures in the evaluation of the researchers' track records. In addition to the scholarships and fellowships programs that provide funds directly to students and postdoctoral researchers in support of training, there are also other mechanisms through which SSHRC grant holders can provide support for training. These include the following.

  • Research assistantships paid through grants: In the majority of research and dissemination grants programs, researchers may, as part of their grant application, request funds to hire students, of any level, as research assistants to be paid an hourly wage.
  • Stipends paid through grants: Researchers may also request funds for student stipends as part of their grant application. Stipends are available for master's and doctoral students as well as postdoctoral researchers.28
  • Supplements to awards paid through joint initiatives: Within some joint initiatives, partners may support students by increasing the award offered by SSHRC by a fixed amount. These supplements are available to all CGS scholarship and SSHRC fellowship holders who meet the eligibility criteria set by the partner.

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 to support research training.

Student training plays an important role in many of SSHRC's programs. There is a variety of ways to train students and to integrate training in a given program of research. Most scholars will train their students in research techniques. Some may take conventional strategies and instruct their students in collecting and analyzing data; in helping to set up and conduct interviews; in reviewing, editing or co-authoring scholarly articles; in contributing to the planning of conferences and workshops; or in managing a website. Others may take novel approaches to training students. For instance, Daniel Fischlin of the University of Guelph has, with his students, developed a video game, targeted at students of all ages, that teaches them literacy skills through the works of Shakespeare.

Outcomes of SSHRC funding for students

According to a meta-analysis29 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, skills development and professional development. For example, in terms of research experience, student involvement in SSHRC-funded projects develops their understanding of the processes of research, including through direct involvement in all aspects of the project, from grant application to data collection, analysis and interpretation. It also exposes them to international research and researchers; develops their appreciation for inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research; provides them with access to resources; and provides guidance and direction for them to complete their graduate theses.

By participating in the research process, students develop research skills that can be applied within the research context and also in professional settings. These skills include making presentations to conferences; writing and edit manuscripts for publication; conceptualizing and/or developing theories; and developing methodological approaches. They also include skills that are not directly related to research but are essential to effective career development, such as leadership skills, teamwork, time management, administrative skills, budget planning and management, and supervisory experience. Depending on the nature of the project, students may also learn how to work with non-academic participants, such as community groups; how to produce policy-relevant research; and how best to disseminate research findings to broader audiences.

In terms of professional development, student participation in SSHRC-funded research projects provides long-term benefits stemming from the relationships students develop with mentors, other students, professionals and collaborators. Students forge networks of contacts both within and outside the academic environment, which can be useful in, for example, building future collaborations or finding employment. Their participation in research projects can also affect their decisions about further education or career goals.

These and other results identified in the meta-analysis can be linked directly to SSHRC's Results-based Management and Accountability Framework indicators and measures, and validate many of the expected outcomes and performance indicators developed by SSHRC.

2.3 Strategic Outcome 2: Research - New Knowledge Based on Excellent Research

Strategic Outcome 2 encompasses SSHRC's core programs of research support: investigator-framed research, targeted research and training, and strategic research development.

Within the Investigator-Framed Research program activity, SSHRC's Standard Research Grants (SRG) program represents the Council's largest single investment, while the Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI) program facilitates collaboration on complex research undertakings.

SSHRC's activities under the Targeted Research and Training program activity, meanwhile, support research on strategic priorities identified by the Council through multi-stakeholder consultations, and in support of Government of Canada priorities as framed in federal policy and budget decisions.

Finally, the Strategic Research Development program activity is aimed at exploring and developing new perspectives, directions, modes and institutional capacity for research in the social sciences and humanities. The activity area includes special sub-activities that enable SSHRC to strategically position the social sciences and humanities within Canada and internationally.

The following table presents a snapshot of the program activities and sub-activities, indicators, and related 2006-07 RPP commitments (performance targets) for Strategic Outcome 2.

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


Program Activity

Program Sub-activity

Performance Targets (RPP 2006-07)

Indicators for Outputs

Indicators for Results

2.1 Investigator-Framed Research

SRG

  • Examine investigator-framed programs (SRG and MCRI) to determine how SSHRC can support social sciences and humanities researchers through more responsive, flexible opportunities, possibly including a discrete fund
  • Work towards the long-term SRG program goal of increasing its success rate from 41 to 50 per cent of all applicants
  • Number of new research projects and researchers supported
  • Number of grants awarded, success rates by discipline/area of research, etc.
  • A research environment conducive to graduate training, to advances in knowledge and to communication of research results in all disciplines and research areas of the social sciences and humanities is developed

 

MCRI

  • Continue to build, maintain and enhance national partnerships and networks of world-class researchers through the MCRI program
  • Number of research teams supported and average no. of researchers by team
  • Number of graduate students associated with MCRIs by level of study
  • List of issues addressed by supported teams
  • A research environment conducive to graduate training, to advances in knowledge and to communication of research results in all disciplines and research areas of the social sciences and humanities is developed

2.2 Targeted Research and Training Initiatives

Strategic Research Grants

  • Explore further opportunities for new initiatives with external partners to enhance support for research on the economic, social, ecological and political challenges and opportunities facing Canada's North
  • Plan to add a research grant component to the Image, Text, Sound and Technology program
  • Continue to support social sciences and humanities research and related activities relevant to International Polar Year 2007-2008, including the Canadian International Polar Year secretariat
  • Work with the assistant deputy ministers' ADM Impacts and Adaptation Committee to determine the best approach to supporting social and economic research related to climate change impacts and adaptations
  • Launch and support a third phase of the Ocean Management Research Network (OMRN) with Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Number of researchers and research projects supported under each ongoing strategic research theme
  • Number of grants awarded, success rates, etc.
  • New knowledge on pressing social, economic and cultural issues of particular importance to Canadians is made available for decision-making in various sectors

 

Strategic Joint Initiatives

  • No 2006-07 RPP commitment
  • Number of researchers and research projects supported under each joint initiative
  • Number of grants awarded, success rates, etc.   
  • New knowledge about issues of relevance to SSHRC's partners is generated and made available for decision-making

 

Initiative on the New Economy (INE)

  • Administer and monitor currently held INE grants, hold another competition for INE Public Outreach Grants, and continue to work on knowledge mobilization
  • Number of researchers and research projects supported under the various programs of the INE, by sub-theme
  • Advances are made in knowledge, expertise and knowledge mobilization in areas of the new economy

2.3 Strategic Research Development

Research Development Initiatives (RDI)

  • No 2006-07 RPP commitment
  • Number of RDI grants awarded
  • Number of researchers, success rates, etc.   
  • New perspectives and directions for research in the social sciences and humanities are explored

 

Community-University Research Alliances (CURA)

  • No 2006-07 RPP commitment
  • Number of grants awarded
  • Number of academic and non-academic researchers involved
  • Number of grants to community organizations, and success rates
  • Number of partners by type, etc.
  • Number of research projects within alliances
  • Number of students involved
  • Number and reach of knowledge mobilization activities
  • Community decision-making capacity is reinforced
  • Understanding, appreciation and use of social sciences and humanities knowledge by communities is increased

 

 

General Support

  • Continue to implement various commercialization measures
  • Work with a network of five universities to develop a research and public consultation program on how to build a hydrogen-based, low-carbon economy
  • Number of grants awarded and their link to SSHRC needs and goals
  • SSHRC takes advantage of unexpected opportunities for the benefit of the social sciences and humanities in Canada

 


Summary of 2006-07 Performance

Based on the results achieved through the program areas and the sub-activities linked to Strategic Outcome 2: Research - New Knowledge Based on Excellent Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities, described below, SSHRC is pleased to report that the program activities met most expectations.

Two of SSHRC's largest programs, the SRG and MCRI programs, are designed to support the Investigator-Framed Research program activity. Both sub-activities met this expectation. In 2006-07, SSHRC held one SRG competition, resulting in 1,014 SRGs for research involving 1,971 social science and humanities researchers. This is a 2006-07 success rate of 40.4 per cent, a slight increase from last fiscal year's 40.1 per cent. SSHRC also provided support for investigator-framed research through the MCRI program, funding two new awards and eight new letters of intent in 2006-07.

Through the SRG program, SSHRC continues to sustain Canada's critical mass of research expertise and the momentum on which innovation depends. The MCRI program is designed to facilitate collaboration on complex research problems, building and enhancing national partnerships of world-class researchers. Together, these two program sub-activities contribute 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.

The Targeted Research and Training Initiatives program activity involves sub-activities focused on thematic areas and subjects defined by SSHRC in consultation with the research community, decision-makers from various sectors, SSHRC's partners, and federal government departments and agencies. The sub-activities within Targeted Research and Training Initiatives contribute directly to Strategic Outcome 2: Research - New Knowledge Based on Excellent Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities by providing creative and innovative opportunities for Canadian social science and humanities scholars to conduct research and create new knowledge and capacity on issues of importance to Canadians. The program activity contributes directly to the Government of Canada's Strategic Outcome of "an innovative and knowledge-based economy" by enabling research and knowledge generation related to strategic areas important to social, economic and cultural development. Finally, the program activity and its sub-activities include significant training dimensions, which contribute to developing highly skilled and qualified people who will bring their resulting expertise to productive careers in all sectors of the economy and society.

In 2006-07, SSHRC's Strategic Research Grants provided funding to 67 new projects in three areas: 18 under the Image, Text, Sound and Technology program, 18 under the Northern Research Development Program, and 31 under Research/Creation Grants in Fine Arts.

In 2006-07, SSHRC's Strategic Joint Initiatives supported a total of 46 new awards. Strategic Joint Initiatives represent one of SSHRC's key tools for building productive research partnerships with public, private and not-for-profit organizations to co-fund targeted research in areas of shared interest, concern and expertise.

The INE was a five-year initiative with the objective of helping Canada and Canadians adapt successfully to and benefit from the new economy. In 2006-07, the penultimate fiscal year of activity for the INE, SSHRC held one INE Public Outreach Grants competition and provided three awards aimed at helping find creative and innovative ways to disseminate, transfer and broker research results to broad audiences.

In 2006-07, within the Strategic Research Development program activity, awards were given under a new Presidential Fund Initiative, Capturing Outcomes and Impacts of Canadian Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities. The development of effective methods to capture the broad societal impact of its investments is of direct, strategic importance to SSHRC, and to the Government of Canada, and supports the goal of overall accountability.

The following provides more detailed information about the program areas and sub-activities supporting Strategic Outcome 2: Research in 2006-07.

Program Activity: Investigator-Framed Research


Investigator-Framed Research

Planned (RPP) 2006-07

Total Authorities

Actual

Financial Resources (millions)

$90.6

$90.5

$99.030

 

Planned

Actual

Difference

Human Resources

50 FTEs

48 FTEs

-2


Standard Research Grants

SSHRC's largest program, the SRG program31 supports researchers across all social sciences and humanities disciplines. These peer-reviewed grants contribute to the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of research results, and to all levels of student training.

SSHRC indicated in its 2006-07 RPP that it plans to conduct an examination of investigator-framed programs (SRG and MCRI) to determine how SSHRC can support the best social sciences and humanities researchers "through more responsive, flexible opportunities, possibly including a discrete fund." This examination has been incorporated into a broader review of SSHRC's programs that is currently in the developmental stages.

In 2006-07, the SRG program received 2,538 applications, of which 2,513 were judged eligible. Of these, 1,014 proposals were funded. The funded projects involve 1,971 researchers affiliated with educational institutions across Canada.32

This represents an increase in the total number of grants awarded compared to 2005-06, when a total of 982 three-year grants involving 1,774 researchers were awarded for programs of fundamental, applied, discipline-based and/or inter-disciplinary research judged by the researchers' peers to be of the highest quality. The success rate33 for applicants was 40.4 per cent in 2006-07, a slight increase from last fiscal year (40.1 per cent). It is, however, a decline since 2004-05 (43.0 per cent).

Many interrelated factors affect success rates, including increases in the numbers of eligible proposals, increasing numbers of new faculty at postsecondary institutions, resource constraints and evolving research priorities, among other things.

The outputs34 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. A sample of 405 final research reports submitted electronically by the recipients of SRGs awarded in 200135 showed 1,631 published, peer-reviewed research outputs, of which about 48 per cent involved more than one author.

Such outputs are a critical component of knowledge dissemination, communication and interaction between researchers, which are instrumental in validating research, and generating new ideas and knowledge. Such outputs are also important vehicles for knowledge mobilization-the transfer, dissemination and use of knowledge. This can include activities such as informed public policy and program development in sectors such as education, infrastructure, and public security; and overall contributions to Canada's S&T strategy, including by increasing Canada's capacity for commercializing the results of research.

On the results and impacts side, based on data from the above sample, 51 per cent of grant recipients reported that their research could have a definite impact on understanding culture; 50 per cent on understanding social issues and social development; 23 per cent on understanding economic development, policies or practices; 24 per cent on public policy debate; 54 per cent on teaching or professional practice; 37 per cent on the development of new research methods; 47 per cent on other disciplines; and 47 per cent on international collaboration.36

As referenced elsewhere in this DPR (see section I, "External and Internal Factors Influencing Performance in 2006-07," "Measuring the Impacts of Social Sciences and Humanities Research;" and "Capturing the Outcomes and Impacts of Canadian Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities [A SSHRC Presidential Fund Initiative]," under "General Support," further in the current section). SSHRC is actively examining and developing methodologies and tools to facilitate evidence-based measurement of the impacts of social sciences and humanities research.

Social sciences and humanities research produces both direct and indirect social, economic and cultural benefits for Canadians, thereby strengthening Canada's quality of life and prosperity. For example, experts are conducting research on how the social characteristics of cities affect economic productivity. Other researchers are tracking the effects of globalization on cultural life. The new understanding that this research builds can make a significant difference to Canadians.


Standard Research Grants Profiles

Florence Piron
Universit Laval
Ethical and Political Implications of the New Public Management in Quebec and Canada: Two Case Studies Focused on Services to Citizens

The purpose of this research project was to study the ethical and political consequences of the ongoing conversion of Quebec and Canada into "new management" states, that is, ones managed according to new public management principles. Through a comprehensive analysis of government documents, Florence Piron highlighted some semantic shifts reflecting a transformation of government values. For example, the term "ethical" now refers less to respect for the collective values that the state is required to protect as trustee of the general public interest and more to certain "management values," such as courtesy, speed and efficiency. Piron conducted a number of interviews with employees and managers in the Quebec government, and the results showed that support for the transformation is not unanimous. She disseminated her findings in many peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and conference papers between 2002 and 2007.

Monika Boehringer
Mount Allison University
(Self-)representation of Women in Acadia

Working in several centres of Acadian studies, Monika Boehringer built up a body of about 80 texts written by Acadian women. Some of the women were accomplished writers, while others had no literary ambitions and were simply telling their life stories and recounting the difficulties they had to face. The collection of self-representation took final shape online at Auteures acadiennes / Women's (life) Writing in Acadie, www.mta.ca/research/awlw. Boehringer has also disseminated the results of her work in more specific forums and formats, such as book chapters, articles in scholarly journals, papers presented at national and international conferences, and public lectures.

Luigi Girolametto
University of Toronto
Language Intervention in Context: Training Educators to Stimulate Language and Literacy Development in Child Care Centres

Language delay is a serious developmental condition affecting about every one in 10 young children, and can negatively influence a child's relationships with their peers, emotional well-being, literacy outcomes, and educational success. In an attempt to address these issues, Luigi Girolametto has used "interactive strategies" of language and literacy facilitation in child day care facilities. His core interactive strategy includes increased responsiveness to children's communication attempts. This technique creates the best conditions for enhancing language and literacy development in all preschool children, including those with language disorders. The ultimate aim of his research is to train early-childhood educators how to successfully facilitate language and literacy development by providing educators with in-service training programs. Girolametto's research has generated key findings indicating that childcare educators who participated in the program were able to better facilitate children's use of language in conversational settings, increase children's language capacity and comprehension in book-reading, enhance children's print knowledge, and positively stimulate children's social interaction with their peers. It is anticipated that Girolametto's work will be a valuable contribution to ongoing development of policies and programs to co-ordinate enhanced programs for all children at risk of language delays or with confirmed language disorders.


Major Collaborative Research Initiatives

The MCRI program,37 now beginning its 14th competition, supports leading-edge research that addresses broad and critical issues of intellectual, social, economic, and cultural significance. These issues are of such breadth and scope that the research requires the participation of many scholars from across several research sites and with different perspectives and areas of expertise. The program also requires active participation from partners and stakeholders. Support for this inter-disciplinary and multi-university team research driven by critical issues is provided over a seven-year period, with each MCRI receiving a maximum grant of $2.5 million. Two teams were awarded MCRI grants in the 2006-07 competition.

Training and mentoring of students, postdoctoral fellows and young researchers is an important and, according to a 2005 performance review of the MCRI program, highly successful dimension of these large projects. The 2006-07 MCRI projects illustrate this training component well. Improvisation, Community and Social Practice, the project led by Ajay Heble of the University of Guelph,is expected to involve 31 scholars and 46 graduate students. The project's core hypothesis is that musical improvisation is a crucial model for political, cultural and ethical dialogue and action. The second new MCRI project, the Hispanic Baroque: Complexity in the First Atlantic Culture, is led by Juan Luis Suarez of the University of Western Ontario and is expected to involve 36 scholars and 50 graduate students.

According to the 2005 Performance Report on the MCRI program: "The program has particular strengths in several areas: foremost, in teaching and mentoring, where future generations of social sciences and humanities scholars have been and are being prepared to conduct research of a high level of intellectual complexity and are gaining experience in transcending disciplinary boundaries and in using their work to address broad, critical issues of intellectual, social, economic and/or cultural significance. The program has also been directly responsible for helping several groups of Canadian researchers propel themselves to the worldwide center of leading-edge research activity in their research domains; without the MCRI program, these advances would not likely have occurred. The MCRI program has also contributed to improved programs, services and policies benefiting Canadians."38


Major Collaborative Research Initiatives Profile

David Wolfe (Principal Investigator)
University of Toronto
Innovation Systems and Economic Development: The Role of Local and Regional Clusters in Canada

Examining the fundamental role that innovation systems play in the economic growth of a region, David Wolfe and his large team of co-investigators have led a major project to determine the factors that affect the success of local industrial clusters across Canada, and to analyze how the dynamism of these clusters stimulate local economic activity and innovative capacity. As active partners in the Innovation Systems Research Network, the central question of their study was "How do local assets and relationships between economic actors enable firms to become more innovative?" Based on a meta-analysis of 26 case studies, their research examined cluster dynamics in a wide range of industrial settings-from knowledge-intensive areas such as the biomedical industry to the more traditional manufacturing sectors, such as the automotive and steel industries. Prior to this study, it was widely held that strong local competition was the primary force behind the development of internationally competitive clusters. What the key conclusions from this study indicate, however, is that successful innovative capacity within industrial clusters in Canada is not purely conditioned by local or regional factors. In fact, the study cited a number of Canadian cases where firms and industries rely intensively on a knowledge base and supply architecture that are both local and global, and where the fastest and most demanding segments of their business portfolio are increasingly international in source and scope. These findings have significant implications for policy-makers and industry stakeholders at all levels, who can use the knowledge stemming from evidence-based research to adopt effective policies to stimulate local economic and innovative capacity across Canada.


Program Activity: Targeted Research and Training Initiatives


Targeted Research and Training Initiatives

Planned (RPP) 2006-07

Total Authorities

Actual

Financial Resources
(millions)

$25.7

$26.7

$28.439

 

Planned

Actual

Difference

Human Resources

43 FTEs

39 FTEs

-4


In 2006-07 the Targeted Research and Training Initiatives program activity was supported by several sub-activities: Strategic Research Grants, Strategic Joint Initiatives, and the INE.

It is important to note that "training" is both an important activity component and important result of SSHRC's targeted research and training program activities and sub-activities. According to a meta-analysis40 of performance, evaluation and special studies conducted between 2000 and 2005, the benefits that students gain fall into three main categories: research experience; skill development; and professional development. More information about the results of SSHRC's support for training is provided in this DPR under "Strategic Outcome 1: People," above.

Strategic Research Grants


Strategic Research Grants Profile - Image, Text, Sound and Technology

Asit Sarkar
University of Saskatchewan
Building Distributed Communities of Practice for Enhanced Research-Policy Interface

In recognition of the importance and need for enhanced transfer and exchange of knowledge among community professionals and practitioners, the Building Distributed Communities of Practice for Enhanced Research-Policy Interface workshop was held at the University of Saskatchewan under the direction of Asit Sarkar. The workshop brought together an eclectic group of participants from different sectors of government, international organizations, academic disciplines, civil society organizations, and private consultancy firms to share best practices, emphasize the need for increased knowledge exchange among various stakeholders, and exchange strategies to facilitate networking. Participants explored the opportunities for various image, text and sound technologies (e.g., open source software tools, XML, artificial intelligence, etc.) to advance knowledge diffusion among individuals. Drawing on the workshop's conclusions, the International Centre for Governance and Development at the University of Saskatchewan has collaborated with the Policy Branch of the Canadian International Development Agency, the Parliamentary Centre, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in building an integrated infrastructure capable of identifying the knowledge contributed by groups and individuals working across Canada in governance and development. There is also a plan to organize a conference in 2008 that will explore strategies for consolidating and disseminating the evolving knowledge on governance and development coming from collaboration between Canadian scholars and practitioners and their partners from developing countries.


In consultation with the social sciences and humanities research community and stakeholders in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, SSHRC develops and funds strategic programs to generate new knowledge on pressing social, economic and cultural issues of importance to Canadians.

In 2006-07, SSHRC's Strategic Research Grants41 provided funding for 67 new research undertakings in three areas: 18 under the Image, Text, Sound and Technology program, 18 under the Northern Research Development Program, and 31 under Research/Creation Grants in Fine Arts.


Strategic Research Grants Program - Aboriginal Research Profile

Frdric B. Laugrand
Universit Laval
School In The Tundra-Transferring Environmental Knowledge and Promoting Inuit Perspectives on History and the Land: A Challenge for Young People and Elders in Nunavut

Recent efforts by the Inuit to promote their own perspectives on, and approaches to, their culture and society are presenting significant challenges for the Aboriginal education community and are exerting major influence on training habits. The purpose of this research project, conducted by Frdric Laugrand, his colleague Jarich Oosten and many Inuit in Nunavut (e.g., the Baker Lake Inuit Heritage Centre, the Arviat Ahiarmiut group, the Kingarjualik Inuit group, etc.), is not only to promote the perspectives of the Inuit by working with them to produce books, films and teaching materials for schools, but to develop a deeper understanding of the process and mechanisms for transferring oral knowledge from one generation to the next. This last aspect, in particular, has led to the publication of articles in scholarly journals. The project has also made it possible for the researchers and their supporters to forge excellent co-operative ties with Archives Deschtelets and the Muse d'art inuit Brousseau in Qubec City. All in all, the project has generated new knowledge on Inuit traditions, history and knowledge in the least-known regions of the Canadian North. It has also provided an opportunity to train Inuit youth in research methods and raise elders' awareness of knowledge transfer. The final results will be disseminated on a number of DVDs, in articles in international reviews, and in reports for Nunavut's communities and schools.


Strategic Research Grants are directly connected to issues of immediate and long-term interest to Canadians. Examples include the following.

The Environment and Sustainability: SSHRC, in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is supporting a third phase of the Ocean Management Research Network (OMRN). The OMRN seeks to enhance knowledge and support of the management of Canadian coasts by integrating research and policy, social science and natural science, and the human dimension into natural resource management. OMRN membership includes more than 200 researchers, managers, policy-makers, students, non-governmental organizations and industry representatives actively engaged in research and knowledge mobilization activities across Canada.42 Within the Environment and Sustainability strategic theme, SSHRC is also working with Industry Canada and other partners on the Hydrogen Economy Initiative (see "General Support," "The Social and Economic Aspects of Building a Hydrogen Economy," further in this section).

Culture, Citizenship and Identities (Including Official Languages): In 2006-07 SSHRC awarded $1.3 million under this strategic theme. As part of its efforts under this theme, SSHRC is continuing its joint initiative with Sport Canada to support research activities to help address issues related to promoting Canadians' participation in sport. The Official Languages Research and Dissemination Program, meanwhile, offered in partnership with Canadian Heritage, had its last year in 2006-07.

Image, Text, Sound and Technology: SSHRC's strategic Image, Text, Sound and Technology program aims to increase the number of academics who are able to use leading-edge information technology in their research, and to accelerate the pace at which researchers are able to acquire these types of skills and put them to use. In 2006-07, SSHRC awarded 18 Strategic Research Grants totalling $785,342 under the program.

Northern Research: SSHRC engages in activities such as participating in the European Science Foundation's multinational BOREAS: Histories from the North - Environments, Movements, Narratives program (see "BOREAS" under "Strategic Research Development," further in this section); managing its own Northern Research Development Program; and helping to shape Canada's contribution to the research of the International Polar Year 2007-2008.

Strategic Joint Initiatives


Strategic Joint Initiatives Profiles - Ocean Management Research Network

Fikret Berkes
University of Manitoba
Integrated Management, Complexity and Diversity of Use: Responding and Adapting to Change

Consistent with SSHRC's ongoing commitment to building knowledge capacity and forging new and innovative partnerships, the SSHRC / Fisheries and Oceans Canada OMRN initiative was developed to synthesize and disseminate knowledge to be used in applying critical thinking to and implementing best practices for oceans management. Within this larger initiative, Fikret Berkes and his team of co-investigators focused their research on integrated management, complexity and diversity of use in responding and adapting to change, broadly defined, with a focus on Canada's North. Specifically, the project established working groups in a number of inter-related areas, with a diverse membership, including academics from across nine universities; graduate students; government agencies; First Nations groups; and non-governmental organizations. The working groups were involved in implementation of the Oceans Act and Canada's Oceans Strategy, examining such areas as integrated coastal management, community-based management, indigenous knowledge, monitoring, Arctic ecosystem contaminants, and collaborative management in general. The main findings of the project were brought together in the book Breaking Ice: Integrated Ocean Management in the Canadian North, edited by F. Berkes, R. Huebert, H. Fast, M. Manseau and A. Diduck (University of Calgary Press, 2005). The book was distributed widely throughout the federal government, and a plain language version was prepared specifically for northern agencies and communities. The collaborative research management aspects of the project have been analyzed in a second book, Adaptive Co-Management: Collaboration, Learning and Multi-Level Governance, edited by D. Armitage, F. Berkes and N. Doubleday (University of British Columbia Press, 2007).

Metropolis Project

Franoise Armand
Universit de Montral
Centre Metropolis du Qubec

This project involves an inter-university research consortium of six Quebec universities and a network of more than 60 researchers, with a research program spanning six fields related to immigration and integration. During Phase III of the project, the Centre Metropolis du Qubec, Immigration et Mtropoles, will, as stated in the memorandum of understanding between SSHRC and the consortium of federal partners, launch a research program covering federal policy-research priorities. The centre's output during the 2005-06 fiscal year included 52 published or forthcoming peer-reviewed articles, plus eight at the submission stage, along with 106 other publications, 95 research papers, 46 public presentations, 22 training sessions and 32 media interviews.


SSHRC also develops and funds strategic programs in partnership with other funders, including government, private and not-for-profit organizations. As with the Strategic Research Grants, these programs generate new knowledge on pressing social, economic and cultural issues of importance to Canadians. The new knowledge created through such strategic research helps policy-makers, business people and the general public identify and understand opportunities related to particular research themes. The objectives of Strategic Joint Initiatives are to:

  • Help integrate strategic research results with policy-making and socio-economic development by ensuring rapid and effective communication of new knowledge to users;
  • Encourage communication between researchers and users of research and, in particular, promote consultation on the definition of needs within sectors and the most appropriate mechanisms to meet these needs; and
  • Encourage multi-sectoral consultation and promote the development of global and multi-disciplinary approaches to the study of contemporary issues.

In 2006-07, there were 14 active Strategic Joint Initiatives.43 Appendix A provides an overview of cumulative expenditures for all past and present Strategic Joint Initiatives programs.

An evaluation report on the Strategic Joint Initiatives mechanism was completed in 2006-07. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess whether the program mechanism continues to be relevant and whether it is effective in terms of governance, design and delivery. It was also aimed at providing insights into the overall results/impacts of this mechanism.

Overall, the evaluation demonstrated that the Strategic Joint Initiatives mechanism is highly relevant, particularly in the context of building connections to maximize the impact and quality of humanities and social sciences research. Defining the mechanism's place in the implementation of SSHRC's strategic directions will be a crucial step in ensuring that SSHRC gets the most out of its strategic investments in this area. Although the evaluation pointed out a number of areas for improvement in terms of management, delivery and governance, it also pointed out positive impacts in terms of developing partnerships, leveraging funds for social sciences and humanities research, and developing capacity.

One notable example of a SSHRC Joint Initiative is the Metropolis Project, through which SSHRC and a consortium of federal departments and agencies led by Citizenship and Immigration Canada collaborate with academic and community partners to support research and policy development on population migration, cultural diversity and the challenges of immigrant integration in cities in Canada and around the world. In 2006-07, SSHRC and Citizenship and Immigration Canada entered the final five-year phase of support for the Metropolis Project, aimed especially at securing policy research useful to decision-makers and community stakeholders.

The OMRN joint initiative with Fisheries and Oceans Canada provides another example, under a different strategic theme (Environment and Sustainability), of a successful, stable joint initiative that has contributed significantly to developing partnerships, leveraging funds and developing capacity, leading to outcomes that are relevant to Canadians.

Initiative on the New Economy

Established in 2001, the overall goal of the five-year, $100-million INE has been to help Canada and Canadians adapt successfully to, and reap the benefits of, the new economy. More specifically, the INE seeks to foster excellent research to deepen understanding of the new economy, and to develop partnerships among the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Apart from the innovative research on today's global economy that the INE has funded, SSHRC also continues to draw on the valuable opportunities for experiments in knowledge mobilization that the program has provided.

In 2006-07, the penultimate fiscal year of activity for this significant initiative, SSHRC held one INE Public Outreach Grants44 competition to find creative, innovative ways to disseminate, transfer, and broker research results to new audiences, and to create new communication activities geared to previously targeted audiences. Under another INE program, Crossing Boundaries, SSHRC awarded one grant in 2006-07 for a study on federalism and citizen focus.


Initiative on the New Economy - Research Grants Profile

Penelope Gurstein
The University of British Columbia
Canadian EMERGENCE: A Study of Employment Relocation in the Global Economy

In an effort to better understand the specific dynamics of the relocation of employment in today's highly globalized information society, Penelope Gurstein and her team of co-investigators have partnered with the international consortium on EMERGENCE (estimation and mapping of employment relocation in a global economy in the new communications environment). Together, they are studying and documenting developments in outsourcing practices in Canada in response to the introduction of new information and communications technologies and their implications for the reconfiguration of domestic and international employment patterns. This inter-disciplinary project brings together experts from economics, statistics, sociology, and geography, among others. It goes beyond the normal discourse around outsourcing and globalization and underscores the need for an array of policy-planning approaches that accommodate the increasingly networked aspects of economic production and control, and for new ways of firmly securing workers' relationships with their community. EMERGENCE Canada has disseminated its results through several national and international workshops, as well as through numerous academic publications, conference presentations, a website, media profiles, and public addresses. This project, because of its unique focus on transnational work patterns, their implications on Canadian urban communities and regions, and policy responses to these patterns, has furthered our understanding of outsourcing within urban and regional planning research.

The Canada Project: SSHRC's Initiative on the New Economy in Action

Through its INE program, SSHRC has invested over $800,000 (expenditures to date) in the Canada Project, a four-year partnership with the Conference Board of Canada. Launched in January 2003, the Canada Project fostered research and debate to improve Canada's economic competitiveness and maintain our quality of life, and brought together university-based researchers with Conference Board of Canada staff to create new knowledge about Canada's economic and social potential. The project also involved 40 private sector partners and several provincial government ministries. "The Canada Project's work on cities, resources and the economy complements a great deal of other SSHRC-funded research," said SSHRC President Chad Gaffield when the final report of the Canada Project, Mission Possible: Sustainable Prosperity for Canada,was released in January 2007. "For example, experts are conducting research on how the social characteristics of cities affect economic productivity. Other researchers are tracking the effects of globalization on cultural life. The new understanding that this research builds can make a significant difference to Canadians, and SSHRC is proud to support intellectual innovation of this kind."


Program Activity: Strategic Research Development


Strategic Research Development

Planned (RPP) 2006-07

Total Authorities

Actual

Financial Resources
(millions)

$25.0

$25.3

$22.845

 

Planned

Actual

Difference

Human Resources

27 FTEs

23 FTEs

-4


The Strategic Research Development program activity is aimed at exploring and developing new perspectives, directions, modes and institutional capacity for research in the social sciences and humanities. This includes special sub-activities that enable SSHRC to strategically position the social sciences and humanities within Canada and internationally. Strategic grants within this program activity are available to faculty, postsecondary institutions, scholarly associations and not-for-profit organizations to explore, develop, and define new perspectives, challenges, and priorities in conducting research, disseminating research results, and training new researchers. Strategic Research Development programs also help develop related research capacity by promoting new modes of research collaboration and partnership.

Relevant sub-activities in this program activity include the following.

Research Development Initiatives

The RDI program46 supports the type of environments necessary for generating new knowledge and experimenting in methods, approaches and ideas. RDIs support research that both assesses and elicits changes in direction for research and the evolution of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. Two competitions are held annually under this program. The 2006-07 competitions resulted in funding for 46 projects.


Research Development Initiatives Profile

Marc Boutet
Universit de Sherbrooke
Developing a methodology for assessing the impact of environmental education programs

It is very important to be able to prevent and solve environmental problems. Although this is generally accepted, we do not really know what the actual impact has been of new environmental education programs. The purpose of Marc Boutet's research project was to develop a comprehensive methodological tool to measure the real impact of education programs on the environment and sustainable development. Two programs from Environment Canada's Biosphre environment museum also took part in creating the tool, recognizing its usefulness and relevance. As a result, it is now possible to enhance our knowledge of the impact of environment education programs by applying the tool to more such programs.


SSHRC Institutional Grants

This program helps eligible postsecondary institutions fund small-scale research activities by their faculty in the social sciences and humanities.

Aid to Small Universities

Thisprogram helps small Canadian universities develop and strengthen focused research capacity in the social sciences and humanities.

Community-University Research Alliances

Since its inception, the CURA program47 has proven highly successful at promoting partnerships between university-based researchers and community and not-for-profit organizations. These alliances foster innovative research, training and the creation of new knowledge in areas of importance for the social, cultural, or economic development of Canadian communities. The CURA program also provides unique research training opportunities to a large number of undergraduate and graduate students in the social sciences and humanities. Ultimately, the program aims to reinforce community decision-making and problem-solving capacity.

CURA projects have been very innovative, and continue to innovate, in their techniques and methodologies for involving researchers and users in the co-creation of knowledge. The productive and diverse partnerships forged during these SSHRC-supported research projects often last beyond the life of the initial research project. Such partnerships help ensure that research findings will be incorporated into ongoing community programs and, therefore, provide the greatest possible benefit to the community from research.

General Support

Through the General Support sub-activity, SSHRC fosters and encourages increased research-related projects and activities linked to SSHRC's strategic needs and goals (including closer and intensified collaboration with Canada's other federal research granting agencies, NSERC and CIHR) or with which the Council wishes to associate itself for strategic reasons. In the 2006-07 RPP, several SSHRC activities were identified under this program sub-activity:

The Social and Economic Aspects of Building a Hydrogen Economy

This initiative began in 2005 at a joint conference supported by SSHRC and the University of Victoria. As a result of this initial conference, SSHRC committed to work with a network of five universities and various public and private sector partners to develop a research and public consultation program on building a hydrogen-based, low-carbon economy. In October 2006, the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management at the University of Western Ontario hosted the second workshop in the Building Paths to a Low Carbon Society series. SSHRC supported the Developing Sustainable Energy Policy workshop, and participated in the planning and hosting activities of the workshop's steering committee. Attended by more than 50 representatives from the private sector, government, academia and non-governmental organizations, the workshop focused on debating and refining specific policy recommendations for governments at all three levels.

The workshop's recommendations call for an investment framework to facilitate commercialization of new energy technologies; education initiatives to inform consumer choice; and concerted long-term energy planning based on multi-sector consultations. Specific technical recommendations were also developed within each of these areas. The workshop report and recommendations have been submitted to Industry Canada, Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada.

Capturing the Outcomes and Impacts of Canadian Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities (A SSHRC Presidential Fund Initiative)

Assessing the impacts of research has become a central part of the management and governance of publicly funded research and the main way by which research support agencies demonstrate the value of public investments in knowledge creation. Yet, systematic approaches for assessing the impact social sciences and humanities research has on society remain in their infancy.

The development of effective methods for capturing the broad societal impact of its investments is of direct strategic importance to SSHRC. Accordingly, in 2006-07, the Council invited proposals for research projects that would develop innovative approaches for measuring the outcomes and impacts of Canadian research in the social sciences and humanities. Through a peer-review process, three projects were selected for funding. The overall objective of this initiative is to develop tools and methodologies (including indicators) for identifying and evaluating the outcomes and impacts, whether direct or indirect, that new social sciences and humanities research knowledge has on Canada and Canadians.

International Opportunities Fund

SSHRC launched the International Opportunities Fund (IOF)48 in 2005-06 to help researchers develop, participate in and lead diverse international collaborative research activities. The IOF program, aligned with SSHRC's new international policy and strategy, acknowledges the importance of international collaboration in helping sustain excellence in research and positioning Canadian research internationally. (More information about the international policy and strategy is provided in Section IV of this DPR.)

In 2006-07, SSHRC held three IOF competitions, during which a total of 245 applications were submitted and 32 grants awarded. Results of the IOF competitions since the inception of the IOF demonstrate that Canadian researchers are actively pursuing international collaboration opportunities with researchers from a diverse range of countries on all continents, including Europe (37 per cent), South America (18 per cent), Asia and the Middle East (18 per cent), North America (12 per cent), the Pacific region (8 per cent), Africa (3 per cent), and Central America and the Caribbean (3 per cent). 

BOREAS

Research in and about the North is one of SSHRC's strategic priorities. This commitment reflects the findings of the joint SSHRC-NSERC Task Force on Northern Research and proposals made by participants in the Dialogue on Northern Research, held in Whitehorse, Yukon, in March 2004.

The BOREAS program49 is a humanities-led research initiative that funds multi-national, multi-disciplinary research teams to broaden and deepen the scope of research in and on the circumpolar North. The BOREAS program is part of the European Science Foundation's European Collaborative Research Scheme, or EUROCORES, which provides a framework for national research agencies to fund multi-national, multi-disciplinary collaborative research projects in key areas.50

The foundation is making available up to the equivalent of ‚¬1 million (C$1.6 million) to support networking, co-ordination and dissemination activities.

National research agencies from Canada, the United States, Denmark/Greenland, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Poland and Sweden contribute funding to support EUROCORES research projects by successful applicants from their respective countries. SSHRC has planned an initial investment of $300,000 annually over four years, starting in fiscal year 2006-07. This investment will support six projects approved by the European Science Foundation, each involving Canadian scholars.

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

Knowledge mobilization transforms knowledge into active service for the benefit of society. As part of this Strategic Outcome, SSHRC is committed to helping deliver social, economic, environmental, technological and cultural benefits to Canadians through social sciences and humanities research.

SSHRC's Research Communication and Interaction activities include Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences in Canada, Aid to Research and Transfer Journals, Aid to Scholarly Publications, Aid and Attendance Grants to Scholarly Associations, Strategic Knowledge Clusters, Knowledge Impact in Society (KIS), and Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE). Of particular interest is the new KIS program, through which SSHRC acts as national facilitator for 11 three-year demonstration projects hosted by universities funded under the pilot program.

Through these programs, SSHRC is supporting and facilitating knowledge mobilization to ensure that the results of social sciences and humanities research are shared between 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).

SSHRC's knowledge mobilization initiatives include support for emerging academic-community research partnerships; online repositories for research results; skills development; and online discussions, networks and special events, such as roundtables, conferences, and symposia, designed to bring those who produce knowledge together with those who use it. Along with these emerging forms of knowledge mobilization, the Council also continues to support already-established forms of dissemination, such as journals, books and academic conferences, for scholarly communication and education.

SSHRC is also building, maintaining and enhancing national, inter-disciplinary networks of researchers through the tri-council NCE program.

The following table presents a snapshot of the program activities and sub-activities, indicators, and related 2006-07 RPP commitments (performance targets) for Strategic Outcome 3.

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


Program Activity

Program Sub-activity

Performance Targets (RPP 2006-07)

Indicators for Outputs

Indicators for Results

3.1 Research Communication and Interaction

 Overall

  • Embed knowledge mobilization in SSHRC's organizational culture
  • Further develop a general knowledge mobilization strategy and specific knowledge mobilization initiatives

NCE

  • Continue to build, maintain and enhance inter-disciplinary networks of researchers through the NCE program
  • Continue tri-council discussions with currently funded NCEs about the development of indicators for the social impacts of research
  • Number of networks funded
  • Number of researchers and partners involved in networks
  • A sustainable, critical mass is reached of researchers and trainees in the social sciences and humanities, health, and the natural sciences and engineering collaborating in a multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral environment in each network's research area
  • Strong linkages and partnerships are created between university, government and industry sectors and other users (e.g., non-governmental organizations), resulting in the transfer of knowledge and exploitation of leading-edge research results with economic or societal benefits to Canada

KIS

  • Act as a national facilitator for KIS projects
  • Expand the online knowledge network of smaller INE research teams and create a similar KIS network
  • Indicators are under development51
  • Indicators are under development

Summary of 2006-07 Performance

Based on the results achieved through the program area and sub-activities linked to Strategic Outcome 3: Knowledge Mobilization - The Transfer, Dissemination and Use of Knowledge in the Social Sciences and Humanities, SSHRC is pleased to report that the program activities met most expectations.
The Research Communication and Interaction program activity contributes directly to delivering results linked to SSHRC's mandate, to its strategic plan, to Government of Canada outcomes, and to major government priorities, including the new federal S&T strategy.

In 2006-07 SSHRC presented its framework for knowledge mobilization to its governing council in June 2006, and is now developing a knowledge mobilization strategic framework and action plan. To help embed knowledge mobilization within SSHRC, the action plan will set paying increasing attention to building internal knowledge mobilization capacity as a priority. External initiatives will focus on funding special programs designed to mobilize knowledge; supporting the creation of knowledge repositories, databases and networks; and holding special events such as conferences and workshops to stimulate the dissemination, exchange and use of research knowledge.

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 the priorities outlined in the federal government's new S&T strategy. In 2006-07, SSHRC funded seven new Strategic Knowledge Clusters looking at issues from business ethics to the response of the justice system to domestic violence.

The new KIS initiative is a pilot project involving 11 three-year demonstration projects hosted by universities. KIS aims to explore the potential of different institutional funding models to support effective knowledge mobilization. In 2006-07, SSHRC funded KIS activities such as the creation of a listserv to facilitate conversations among KIS grant holders. The KIS initiative will, in particular, lead to the development of new indicators for measuring the impacts of humanities and social sciences research.

NCEs, meanwhile, supports research at universities and hospitals, in partnership with private and public sectors organizations. Through these networks, the NCE program supports research in complex areas of critical importance to Canada. The program, which is co-administered by Canada's three research funding agencies, is aimed at turning Canadian research and entrepreneurial talent into economic and social benefits for all Canadians. 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 investment, the total dedicated to NCE research, commercialization and knowledge transfer was more than $152 million.

The following provides more detailed information about the program activity and sub-activities supporting Strategic Outcome 3: Knowledge Mobilization in 2006-07.

Program Activity: Research Communication and Interaction


Research Communication and Interaction

Planned (RPP)
2006-07

Total Authorities

Actual

Financial Resources
(millions)

$21.8

$22.1

$23.352

 

Planned

Actual

Difference

Human Resources

17 FTEs

22 FTEs

5


Strategic Knowledge Clusters

A cornerstone of the Council's new strategic vision, "clustering" of research efforts promotes research interaction and knowledge mobilization. Following a pilot program in 2004, the Council launched the Strategic Knowledge Clusters program in 2006-07. The overall objective of the program is to build on and add value to research supported through SSHRC's other programs by supporting researchers in their efforts to develop and sustain creative, innovative knowledge networks.

The program calls on the research community to identify key research areas, issues and topics that would benefit from improved networking and communications-both among researchers and between researchers and those in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors who use research knowledge to address important issues. The clusters will provide unique opportunities for scholars, in partnership with these non-academic stakeholders, to apply research knowledge to issues of social, economic, political and cultural importance.


2006-07 SSHRC-Funded Strategic Knowledge Clusters

Population change and individual choice -This network will bring new evidence to policy-makers about how broad changes in our population affect key decisions individuals make and the major life transitions they experience. Leader: Roderic Beaujot, University of Western Ontario. Partners: six Canadian universities and five federal government departments.

Humanistic and social studies of science and technology -Academic experts will work with scientists, policy-makers and journalists to improve understanding of the social and cultural significance of S&T. Leader: Gordon McOuat, University of King's College. Partners: numerous Canadian and international universities, museums and research institutes.

Labour markets and progress -This network will increase the impact of labour market research on public policy by bringing multi-disciplinary specialists to work with government policy analysts. Leader: Craig Riddell, University of British Columbia. Partners: 18 Canadian and international universities, plus several labour, research, and government organizations.

Business ethics - This network will bring researchers in business ethics into discussion with leaders in the business, government and voluntary sectors. Leader: Wesley Cragg, York University. Partners: more than 45 Canadian and international universities, government departments and non-governmental organizations.

Lessons of Canadian environmental history - This network will use innovative methods to spread knowledge about the historical roots of our current ecological situation among researchers, school children, policy-makers and the general public. Leader: Alan MacEachern, University of Western Ontario. Partners: six Canadian universities, plus government departments, Aboriginal organizations, museums, and historical and conservation societies.

Response of the justice system to domestic violence - This network will promote and co-ordinate multi-disciplinary research from across Canada to address the urgent issue of intimate-partner violence. Leader: Carmen Gill, Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research, University of New Brunswick. Partners: 11 Canadian universities, plus counselling centres, family services and housing foundations, and government departments.

Rebuilding First Nations communities - This network will engage academics from diverse disciplines to work with First Nations peoples in their efforts to reconstruct their communities. Leader: Carole Lvesque, Institut national de la recherche scientifique. Partners: 16 Canadian and international universities, and 10 First Nations organizations.


Knowledge Impact in Society

During 2006-07, SSHRC staff were closely involved with the 11 KIS projects to aid knowledge mobilization and knowledge exchange. For example, through KIS, SSHRC supported the creation of a listserv to facilitate conversations among KIS grant holders. SSHRC staff continue to work closely with a number of the KIS projects (for example, SSHRC staff sit on the management board of the KIS project at Memorial University, and serve as outside advisors to the KIS project at York University). Site visits and a national conference of representatives from the 11 KIS projects have been planned for 2007-08 to focus on best practices in applying research-based knowledge. The KIS program has also been promoted by SSHRC staff in a number of venues (e.g., the Ontario and national conferences of the Canadian Association of University Research Administrators).53

The 2006-07 fiscal year also saw progress in the development of new indicators for measuring the impacts of humanities and social sciences research. With the help of KIS committee members, the best plans for assessing and evaluating progress and success have been identified from the 86 applications submitted through the program. Discussions have already started with grant holders from the 11 KIS projects on metrics, outputs and outcomes, and additional discussions are underway with NSERC and CIHR on measurements and impacts.


Knowledge Impact in Society Profile

Robert Greenwood (Principal Investigator)
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Mobilizing Knowledge for Sustainable Regions in Newfoundland and Labrador

With a central focus on active community engagement and collaboration, partners from the Harris Centre at Memorial University, the College of the North Atlantic, and the Rural Secretariat and its nine regional councils, have joined together on a unique initiative to link community issues and stakeholders in Newfoundland and Labrador with applied university research in the social sciences and humanities. Funded through SSHRC's KIS program and the Memorial University Regional Inventory, this inter-disciplinary project under the supervision of Robert Greenwood is establishing an accessible way to deliver timely information on emerging social, labour and economic issues affecting provincial and regional sustainability. This project will also ensure that local community stakeholders throughout the province will have access to timely, high-quality social sciences and humanities research in order to develop constructive change in policy and regional development.


Networks of Centres of Excellence

These partnerships among universities, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations are aimed at turning Canadian research and entrepreneurial talent into economic and social benefits for all Canadians. These nation-wide, multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral partnerships combine excellent research with industrial know-how and strategic investment. The NCE program is jointly administered by Canada's three federal research granting agencies, in partnership with Industry Canada, and is housed within NSERC.54

"Currently the NCE Program supports more than 6,000 researchers and highly qualified persons in 71 Canadian universities. The program partners include 756 Canadian companies, 329 provincial and federal government departments, and 525 agencies from Canada, along with 430 international partners-making it a truly national and international program."55

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 research, commercialization and knowledge transfer was more than $152 million.

There are currently 16 established NCEs, each falling within the following areas of strategic importance for Canada: information and communications technologies; the environment and natural resources; health and life sciences; and engineering and manufacturing. All 16 NCEs involve multi-disciplinary research and include social scientists. For example, the Canadian Language & Literacy Research Network56 works to ensure that Canadian children gain the language and literacy skills they need to achieve academic, economic, social and personal success later in life. Canada's competitiveness in the future depends on today's children being able to communicate effectively. The network engages more than 165 researchers at 37 Canadian institutions, with more than 235 trainees and over 100 partner organizations from the public, private, and voluntary sectors. Its knowledge-exchange activities, meanwhile, ensure that the research can be readily applied by educators, practitioners and policy-makers.

In 2006-07, SSHRC and its sister agencies, NSERC and CIHR, continued to work collaboratively with currently funded NCEs on the development of indicators for the social impacts of research.


Networks of Centres of Excellence Profile

Louis Fortier (Scientific Director)
Universit Laval
ArcticNet
Arctic research networks from Russia, Norway, France and the United States are taking part in a Canadian-led initiative that will provide the most comprehensive picture yet of the impact of climate change on the entire Arctic region.

The ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellence has been awarded $815,000 in new funding to create a network of Arctic research networks, where scientists will share technical expertise and data on a rapidly transforming region that has become far too complex for any one nation to study.

It will produce the intelligence Canada needs to respond to the major Arctic issues moving to the forefront of the political agenda, including the health of Inuit, intercontinental shipping, national sovereignty and oil and gas development.57


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

Strategic Outcome 4 encompasses the Indirect Costs program.58 This program complements 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. The term "indirect costs" indicates the central and departmental costs that underpin an institution's research activities, but that are not attributable to a single research project. These include the costs associated with maintaining research space, running libraries, maintaining information technology infrastructure, administering research, meeting regulatory requirements, and managing intellectual property and knowledge transfer.

The following table presents a snapshot of the program activities and sub-activities, indicators, and related 2006-07 RPP commitments (performance targets) for Strategic Outcome 4.


Program Activity

Program Sub-activity

Performance Targets (RPP 2006-07)

Indicators for Outputs

Indicators for Results

Indirect Costs of Research

Indirect Costs program

  • Conduct an overall evaluation of the Indirect Costs program (2008-09)
  • Number of grants awarded by institution, type, region, etc.
  • Percentage of funds invested by output area
  • Contributions are made to an enhanced research environment in Canadian universities

Summary of 2006-07 Performance

Based on the results achieved through the program area linked to Strategic Outcome 4: Institutional Environment - A Strong Canadian Research Environment, described below, SSHRC is pleased to report that the program activity met all expectations.

The Indirect Costs program is administered by the Canada Research Chairs secretariat (housed at SSHRC) on behalf of the three national research funding agencies.

In 2006-07, SSHRC provided $298.3 million through the Indirect Costs program to support activities such as provision of research spaces, library acquisitions, maintenance of research databases, and financial administration services for research. The federal government's contribution to defraying the costs associated with federally supported research helps maintain a sustainable and competitive research environment for recipient institutions. It also helps smaller postsecondary institutions, which cannot benefit from the economies of scale realized by larger universities, in their efforts to increase their research capacity.

Program Activity: Indirect Costs of Research


Indirect Costs of Research

Planned (RPP) 2006-07

Total Authorities

Actual

Financial Resources (millions)

$300.1

$298.9

$298.359

 

Planned

Actual

Difference

Human Resources

4 FTEs

4 FTEs

0


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 allocation formula provides for a higher rate of indirect costs payment to smaller institutions, which are not able to benefit from the economies of scale realized at larger research centres. Institutions must apply for their Indirect Costs grant each year, indicating in which of the program's five eligible categories they intend to use the funds allocated to them.

The infusion of federal funding through the Indirect Costs program has resulted in demonstrable improvements to the university research environment in Canada. Through investments in research facilities, institutions have begun to address deferred maintenance and are increasingly 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. As well, by investing funds to hire grant facilitators, a number of institutions have been able to support researchers' efforts to attract additional external funding-thereby leveraging funds from additional sources.

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.

Institutions also report that the stability and flexibility of the Indirect Costs funding has enabled more strategic planning around supporting the research enterprise than occurred in the past. Contributing to this is the fact that Indirect Costs funds are earmarked for research support. Universities are, therefore, able to make stronger arguments for continued investment in the research enterprise at times when there may be pressure on budgetary committees to invest more heavily in either direct research costs or teaching.

Some of the most instructive information about the difference the program has made arises from reflections on where an institution would be if not for the program. For example, one institution speculated that, without an Indirect Costs grant to help it pay for important investments in infrastructure, it would have had to introduce a hiring freeze in order to cover these costs. This would have represented 50 to 70 fewer faculty positions, and the termination of 50 per cent of the staff in its research office.


Supporting the Research Enterprise - What it Looks Like

University of King's College (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
The University of King's College is a small university with faculty whose research interests are heavily focused on the humanities. The university invested much of its modest Indirect Costs grant in acquiring and subsequently paying the subscription fees for a database of publications on the history of science, technology and medicine. The institution, whose library acquisitions are driven primarily by the needs of its undergraduate curriculum, would not have been able to acquire this database if not for the support of the Indirect Costs program. Researchers at the university explained how having new access to these materials broadened perspectives for their research into the development of science, technology, and medicine, and how it will allow them to take a new approach in training students to do research.

The University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia)
The research-intensive University of British Columbia used part of its Indirect Costs grant to help fund the development of a new Researcher Information System that helps researchers track the status of ethics approvals for their research. This electronic system was designed so that researchers can spend more time doing research and less time following up on paperwork. The automated system, which tracks the university's approximately 11,000 active studies requiring ethics approval, is able to validate researchers' submissions in a fraction of the time it would have taken a manual process; has eliminated massive amounts of paper flow, as well as the associated turnaround time; and has increased compliance with the requirements of the nearly 4,400 agencies presently tracked in the system. Without the Indirect Costs grant, university representatives say, this system would not have gotten off the ground. As it stands, the successful rollout of the ethics tracking platform will serve as the base on which the university intends to build a larger, one-stop Research Information System that will provide comprehensive support to researchers on all aspects of their grants.