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This page is for tracking SSHRC awards to be held during the 2013-2014 academic year. 

  • For the 2014-2015 SSHRC Competition, please see here: SSHRC 2014-15

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships provide stipendiary support to recent PhD graduates who are:

  • undertaking original research;
  • publishing research findings;
  • developing and expanding personal research networks;
  • broadening their teaching experience; and
  • preparing to become competitive in national research grants competitions.

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

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships are valued at $38,000 per year, plus an accountable research allowance of up to $5,000 per award. These are taxable, non-renewable fellowships, tenable for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 24 months. The award may begin on the first of any month between May 2013 and January 2014.

Application Deadline: October 4, 2012


Stats Edit

Applying as an ABD: 36

Applying with a PhD (0-1 years out): 16

Applying with a PhD (2-3 years out): 15

Total: 66

Applying to hold at a Canadian institution: 46

Applying to hold at a non-Canadian institution: 18


Official count: "(2/25) Results: 903 eligible applications; 182 awards offered."

Pages from Previous Years Edit

SSHRC 2011-12

SSHRC 2012-13

See also: Humanities and Social Sciences Postdocs 2012-13

Acknowledgement of application received Edit

  • (10/3/12) Submitted last night and the status on the toolbar (where you "verify" and "submit") changed to "forwarded". This morning "forwarded" had changed to "received," so I guess that's an acknowledgment?
  • (10/4/12) Same here, and I am also assuming "received" is an acknowledgment. If you email, they will confirm, though.
  • (10/3/12) OP here - e-mailed and confirmed - "received" does indeed mean that submission was successful. (Am I paranoid much? Sigh...)
  • (10/5/12) anyone else have problems with the system? One of my letter writers submitted her letter 3h before deadline, but every time I tried to "verify" the application, the system told me I was missing her letter. At 5pm PST, the system removed the verify and submit buttons. So I never got my app in, but it is so obviously the fault of the terrible SSHRC online system. And everybody I've talked to at the SSHRC offices says something like "I'm sorry, but the deadline has passed." (!)
  • (10/5/12) That's terrible! For some reason, one of my referees didn't receive the referee form until I entered his/her info for the third time, but that's the only problem I had with the system... I did submit a couple of days before, though. I'm wondering something went awry because so many people must have been logged on yesterday? I seem to recall that it has crashed on the due date in previous years :(
  • (10/7/12) Terrible! I am sorry to hear that! But there definitely was something wrong with the system. One of my referees had "submitted" his form and thought he had had it done, but on my side it was "created" and not "complete." He had to re-fill the form just a day before the deadline again so I can verify and submit.
  • (10/12/12) I just want to second how terrible the online system is in case someone from SSHRC reads this. I made a tiny mistake inputing the email of one of my referees but the system nevertheless said 'email sent' even though that particular address did not exist. I was saved when the referee sent me an email asking when to expect the online form, but come on SSHRC. I'm not sure if anyone else uses a Mac as well but you cannot submit a SSHRC application using Safari (or, at least not my version). Can you imagine if you were sitting at home thirty minutes before the dealine with no access to another computer and that error message came up? Macs are ubiquitous these days and yet a commnly used browser isn't supported? Griping done.
  • Happy holidays everyone! I wish you all the best of luck with your SSHRC application.
  • Thanks! Yes, happy holidays to us all, and good luck in the New Year, everyone! I can't believe that the wait for results won't be too much longer (if they're mailed out on time, that is). 
  • Friends and rivals, has anyone contacted SSHRC to see when in February the results will be mailed out? x2
  • I called their number a couple of times (613-943-7777) to ask, but I reached an answering machine!
  • Spoke with them today. They said "mid-February" and that there was no way to hear the results any sooner (I have a postdoctoral interview before the results come out, but I need to be able to tell the institution whether I will be funded...so. Conflict.) (1/25)
  • "Mid-February"? Gah, I'm already so antsy! x6
  • (2/1/13) Only half a month to go! O_O
  • (2/1/13) Thank god it's February! The waiting is making me crazy... although I know that my chances are pretty slim as an ABD so I'm also afraid to find out what the results are :P
  • (2/1/13) Last year the results were mailed on the 2nd and received on 8th. Do you think mid-February is the mailing or receiving date?
  • (2/2/13) Judging by previous years' pattern, mid-February seems to be the receiving date. In less than two weeks, we will all have known the results. I think we should expect the first person to announce his/her good/bad news next week O_O
  • (2/2/13) Here is the response that I received: "Good afternoon,
    The results will be sent by regular mail at the middle of February 2013.
    Sincerely,
    ----"
  • Dear ----, thank you for your message. Please send me good news in the mail. Hugs and kisses, applicant.
  • I neglected to send that as a response. Guess I'm not getting funded. :'(
  • Is it normal that when I log in to my SSHRC portfolio, there's no evidence of my application? I verified it and submitted it...should it still show up there as having been submitted?
  • Mine has also disappeared. I imagine that SSHRC removes the application from your account after a certain period of time, but I don't see an explanation on the website. Does anyone else have more info? x2
    • Our applications disappeared from the website months ago. This is normal.
    • Yeah, I emailed them about this a few weeks ago, and they said that they take the applications off the website 30 days after they were submitted, so no worries!
    • Thanks!
  • How would "middle" be measured? Anyone putting bets on a Friday mail date?
    • I wish, but the earliest date I'd bet on is Friday the 15th, to be honest.
  • I bet, tomorrow (not a never ending tomorrow) but February 6th:)! x2
    • Well, the mail's been delivered on Feb. 6th and Toronto, and nothing yet.
    • I've been wrong before!
  • We should each sign up for a day to call and beg for details. This way there can be a daily report about mailing status and we can save SSHRC the headache of 950 calls a day. Sign up sheet time!
  • I stupidly gave them my UK mailing address (where I'm currently studying) instead of my Canadian address. So I'm going to have to wait AGES, most likely. Since February is a short-ish month, perhaps Friday will be the mail out date? Hopefully thinking, eh.. [>> Last year I had given an address in Europe, but the letter was sent to my Canadian address.]
  • It seems that last year's were mailed on Friday, Feb. 2. People began announcing results on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2012.  (see above comments, this year they said it would be a "mid-February" mail date)
  • I called SSHRC today (Feburary 7, 2013) and asked the lady when the letters would be sent. She told me they will be sent towards the end of next week (so towards February 14th...). Stop checking your mailboxes now, it'll be a while still.
    • BRUTAL
    • "Happy Valentine's Day. You're poor. Love, SSHRC"
  • So who is going to call on Monday?
  • I am curious: if you are not granted the SSHRC postdoc fellowship this year (and I really hope everyone will be granted one), what are you going to do? I may leave Canada for a year and work elsewhere. How about you?
    • I'll probably 1) Cry, 2) defend my diss a month or two later than I would otherwise, 3) try to sessional for a couple of semesters, publish more and keep appling for academic jobs and postdocs. If I strike out next year, I'll probably start looking for a non-academic job.
    • I was wondering: what non-academic professions are out there for someone with a PhD in humanities?
    • Defend, graduate, and work for a year while I re-apply for everything. That's it though, one more go-round then I start looking at a different career.
    • Well, I currently live in the UK, so I might just stay over here a bit longer, defend diss a bit later, do some sessional work and maybe reapply for it all over again. Honestly though, this might be my last straw. I'm leaning towards applying to medical school or engineering. Might be the time to do so...
    • I'll defend later (I have a SSRC CGS that runs until April 2014) and then.... don't know. My spouse is in the military and we won't know until later this year where he'll be posted. Depending on whether we end up in a city with a university nearby (then I'll try sessional teaching) or in a remote location (consulting in the private and NGO sector). A postdoctoral SSHRC would really be the best option for our situation. 
  • (02/11/13) Anyone call today?
    • I called this morning : the guy said « in february ». I asked "When exactly ? » and he answered « in february »...
    • Why can't they just create a service on their website so we can see the results on our profile? It is cheaper for them and faster for us!
    • Or they could e-mail us the results!
  • (02/12/13) Anyone call today [and get someone who was actually helpful]?
    • We're all anxious to find out the results, but these daily phone calls to the SSHRC folks certainly won't get our results any faster. Lobbying for a change in the notification system (through a letter-writing campaign, for example) might, some day, have more effect. In the end, it's just a few more days of waiting--nothing life threatening, just an old-fashioned exercise in patience. That being said, here's hoping Canada Post doesn't suddenly go on strike.
    • I am perfectly happy pretending that there is hope that I got a SSHRC, the mail can take as long as it wants ;-)
    • Agreed that calling won't do anything to speed it up (though I am really hoping that Feb. 14th was accurate, rather than just "in February"). But it bears mentioning that in some cases, it's not just a matter of impatience. If you have an offer for something else that is less desirable than SSHRC, but there's an expiry date on that offer before the end of this month, then not hearing back from SSHRC sooner can really affect your path.  
    • But harassing public servants with constant phone calls isn't going to fix that either. SSHRC's way of doing things could stand to be improved, but I really doubt the people answering the phones are making those decisions.
    • I agree with both opinions above. While SSHRC's unclear schedule and delays could have a negative impact on the careers of many of us, calling them constantly won't help. I suggest we write and sign a letter and pass it around in all Canadian universities to ask the SSHRC people to: a) be more specific with schedules (we have a deadline to submit; perhaps the results should be announced by a deadline too); b) give applicants the option, upon application, to see the result on their online profile rather than receive it by mail (or something to this effect). Maybe the Postdoc Association could step in and do something?
    • Move through email or the online system itself would save them $$. Petition could work, but I'm not willing to start it... who has the time to do it? Also, I don't "harass" the public servant, I'm super polite and pleasant and they always give me the info I'm looking for (i.e., specific date). Part of their job is answering the phone, so...  (x2)
  • (2/13/13) Have any potential postdocs also applied for a Fulbright Canada Scholars Award? Their results are supposed to be out around the same time as SSHRC's, but I can't find anything on the wiki.
    • My "squeeze" applied for a Fullbright and he got word weeks ago by email that his application was shortlisted and will be considered by the US-based Committee. We'll find out on or before April 15th for Fullbright.
    • (2/13/13) Along the same lines, has anyone heard when results are coming for any of the Killam postdocs? They are also not represented on the Wiki.
    • (2/13/13) I applied to two Killams. One (UBC) I did not make it past the nomination round and found out about that in November (boo!). The second one (from U of A): I made it to the shortlist, and they supposedly mailed out letters of offer and regret January 31st. I'm tempted to email my proposed supervisor, but a bit too nervous to do so... Still haven't heard anything on that front! Could be held up mail due to all the snow storms through central and eastern Canada....
    • (2/13/13) The language on the U of A website led me to believe that U of A was mailing Killam notifications out on Jan. 31st, but I'm on the west coast and haven't recieved anything either. twoKillams, if you don't mind telling, could you let us know if someone at U of A confirmed to you that the letters have been sent out?
    • (2/14/13) You can just call the postdoc office at the U of A and they'll let you know whether you got it.
      • Thanks! I just called - and was apparently unsuccessful (History). Oh well - good luck to the rest of you!
      • Yeah, I didn't get it either. 
      • I also was unsuccessful for the U of A Killam (Anthropology)
      • Also a "no"
      • Also a no, received via email today-- Killam at Dalhousie
    • (2/14/13) UBC Killam people say that everyone will be told of the results by email by the end of this month. They won't tell you over the phone, unfortunately.
  • Happy Valentine's Day - aka SSHRC mailing day!
  • Anybody call and see if they'll confirm whether they've been mailed today?
    • I called, but I just got the answering machine.
    • Let's assume they are all at the post office . . .
    • I just called and they told me "some time this month". Argh.
  • I didn't even apply for SSHRC this year and still the suspense is killing me.
  • Does anyone know if SSHRC notifies the PostDoc Office at either your current institution or where you plan to take up your award prior to sending the letters in the mail? I would check but it's Reading Break at both institutions for me. I'm curious because they do this for MA and Doctoral awards.
  • Is it possible that the letters have already been mailed?  Perhaps, out of animosity for being bothered so much,  the folks answering the phone are deliberately witholding the date letters were sent out
    • My guess is that they are being sent out today and we'll all start receiving our letters next week. Ah, the suspense.
    • I just called and was told that they have not been sent out and won't be until the end of next week. (x2)
    • Ah, there's nothing like "bureaucratically unagile" Canadian state agencies to take their sweet time.
      • I know! It's so unfortunate we have these agencies to pay our salaries for two years. Abolish them!
    • At the least, having to answer the phone all day surely slows them down.
    • On the sshrc website, it says results will be announced in Feb. As long as they come before the end of the month, we can't reproach them for not being "on time." Yes, it's difficult being in limbo land, but take consolation in the fact that there are probably close to 1,000 of us in the same position.
  • Yes, it's official: they just told me "it will probably be by the end of next week," i.e. probably by Feb. 22, but possibly even later.
    • Thanks for the update - do you mean 'probably mailed by the end of next week' or 'probably received by the end of next week'?
    • She said they'd probably be mailed at the end of next week, unfortunately.
    • Rough. Thanks. Sigh...It doesn't really change anything for me, ultimately, but I'm getting pressure at work to make a decision one way or another (stay and work versus go and do the post-doc). SSHRC does say 'February' for notification timing, so it's totally fair, but boy do I wish they did these things electronically...I'm so obsessed with my mail box.
    • Me too! I am mailboxoholic. The suspense has no more joy. It's become an addiction (with crazy thoughts, like I wish the delayed it until April, May, or even later!)
    • I'm getting ridiculously anxious....I've already had two recent rejections and would just like to know what this will be so I can mourn if need be, and move on. (x5)
    • Agreed! Does anyone want to share their Plan B? Mine is some admin work and trying again next year...
    • I will write a novel.
    • I will also write a novel and run for Prime Minister.
    • I'm going to join CSIS. And write a novel. 
    • Maybe I'll do another PhD. Seems to be the only "jobs" showing up on some academic job search sites these days :(
    • Sigh. You know, I might actually consider doing another PhD if you could get a doctoral SSHRC more than once. Okay, I'm kidding. Mostly.
    • Last year, my SSHRC postdoc application was unsuccessful. I applied to do a second PhD, and was admitted. At the same time, I could take up a position out of Canada, and quite far. I finally decided not to do the PhD. I think if you looked everywhere in the world, you would find short term positions. They pay you more, are adventurous, and continue rather than repeat your career.
    • FWIW, contract positions do not pay more in the long run, often do not have benefits, and do not advance your career in any signficant way-only publishing does--and that's often difficult to do in these types of positions. Thats why we all want this postdoc, right?

(02/20/13) Has anyone ever received a SSHRC postdoc with zero publications? Unheard of?

  • I think it depends on your field. Have most people published by the time they graduate?
  • My brother, who has been on the selection commitee, says that it is discipline dependant. For instance, people in practice based fine arts, like music composition, their artistic output (ie. compositions, performances) matter quite a bit in this instance. 
  • I know people in anthropology who have received the postdoc without publications.  I think the program of work is more determinant than track record - even if the latter officially "counts" for half of your score.
  • Yep, very true. My brother got a SSHRC PDF in anthro without any pubs! His program of work must have gotten him what he needed!
    • Just out of curiosity, when exactly was your brother awarded a SSRHC postdoc?  With so many qualified people applying these days, it seems that it should be next to impossible to receive funding without any publications. 
    • 2005. He was then offered a tenure track position. Lucky guy.

(2/20/13): Anyone guessing (praying) tomorrow for the mail date?

  • I keep hoping that they'll announce it on Twitter or something :P
  • SSHRC Twitter says that SSHRC postdoc results have now been mailed!  Hoping good things for all, regardless of the results (sometimes good things happen in unexpected ways). Wishing the best for all, whatever that best may be. (x3)
  • Just checked twitter, I don't see the announcement.
    • I think the confusion may be due to a tweet from 2012 announcing Doctoral awards, which comes up if you google "SSHRC" and "Twitter". In any case, the letters have been mailed and that's all that matters! :)
  • I don't see the announcement on Twitter either, but I hope that you're right about it being mailed. I've been checking my mailbox like a mad person. My neighbours may call the cops because I hover around it waiting for the postman everyday! lol
  • Talk about them prolonguing the misery. Perhaps they tweeted about it prematurely and then deleted...I can't find any tweet about this :-) Oh well, let's cross our fingers that it gets sent out today or twomorrow. I'm dying over here! 
  • I just called the SSHRC : letters will be posted tomorrow morning. I asked if it could be later and she said me : 99 percent of chance that the letters will be posted tomorrow morning.
  • For those of us living in the United States, hopefully the letters get mailed early enough to make it across the border by Saturday.  Mail continues being processed in the US on Saturday, so this would improve our chances of getting letters by the middle of next week. 
  • (2/21/13) So the letters are (presumably) in the mail! Where are they coming from, anyway? Ottawa? Just trying to guesstimate how many days it'll take to arrive in my particular mailbox...
  • (2/21/13). Confirmed: they are going out this afternoon. Good luck, everyone.
  • (2/21/13). Anyone familiar with CP know whether it could be delivered in Ottawa/Kingston by tomorrow? Or more likely Monday/Tuesday?
    • If they mail out of Ottawa, then Montreal/Toronto will probably be first (Tues/Wednesday likeliest), Kingston a day later (same goes for Halifax, Vancouver, the Prairies etc). Tomorrow or Monday would be a Canada Post miracle (but hey, fingers crossed!). Ottawa to Ottawa is variable - could be by tomorrow, or not. The major CP hubs are Mtl, Toronto & Vancouver, so those are generally the first places to get served. [Full disclosure: I base all of this on my former life as a fundraising drone & obsessive postcard sender].
      • Thanks for this!
  • (2/22/13) Any guesses as to when overseas applicants might receive their letter? USA, UK, etc.?
    • USA could be up to more two weeks from mailing date.
    • I would be shocked if it took that long.  I think US recipients will get the letters between Wednesday and Friday, especially if the letters are across the border by Saturday, to benefit from weekend processing and delivery.
  • (2/22/13) Probably in the next few weeks for overseas..Although I was told that they often send it to your permanent Canadian address. I'm in the UK, and currently having silent anxiety attacks about this...(x2!)
  • I'm in the UK too, but I find that it usually takes only a few days for the post to arrive if its sent directly.
    • Thanks, air mail ftw I guess!
  • Whoever posts their results first: be sure to let us know the stats on number of applicants and number of awards granted. Thanks!
  • From looking at last year's wiki, it seems as though people in the US received their letters a week after they were sent. Letters to the UK took 10 days (or so). I still don't understand why they use the post!
    • To be fair, checking the mailbox once (or twice) a day for a week (or month) is much less headache-inducing than pressing the 'Refresh' button on the browser every minute for days.
    • I completely agree that waiting for mail is much less of a time-waster than being distracted by checking one's on-line status every 10 minutes.
    • SSHRC's twitter account says that the results have now been mailed out -- good luck everyone!
    • Wait. Online status? I just went to my SSHRC account page and it shows nothing. Just my CV. Uh oh.
    • That's because the current competition is over/closed. They wipe your account and you start over next year. Has nothing to do with our results, as far as I know
  • Will today be the day?
  • Preparing for bad news.  Only one in ten applications are successful.  Diminishing returns in a difficult market.   
  • Shit just got real.  The market *is* ridiculously difficult.  There are WAY too many Ph.D.'s out there; however, that's not the only problem.  There are way too many Ph.D.'s with absolutely stellar records.  The market is completely flooded with them.  I "thought" I had a fairly good record (solid funding, pubs, etc), but I just received *another* rejection email today for a postdoc--that's four rejections in total since January.  I'm a bit confused as I had all of my programmes of work read through by faculty in my department, and the consensus was that they were solid ("solid").  Mind you, two of the postdocs that I applied for were based out of Oxford and Cambridge respectively, so I may have been aiming a tad high there.  Either way, though, I'm on a roll!  Sadly, I expect very much so to get yet another rejection from SSHRC.  I actually feel like directing my anger at something or someone in particuarly, but I can't.  Sadly, I wasn't issued a "cavaet emptor" regarding my graduate education.  That this is so means I'm the only one to blame.  And now that I'm in my late 30's, the thought of a change of direction makes me physically sick.  Ugh.  Regarding any future plans that I may have?  I got nuthin.  I guess I'll just keep working this research assistant position.  Fancy that: a research assistant with a Ph.D.
    • I could have written the above :( Also preparing for bad news. I can honestly say, though, that I've done everything I could over the past couple of years to make myself marketable. We can only do our best. 
    • Yikes. This all rings true. I'm ABD and I realize that my chances are much lower than the rest of you with PhDs. I am bracing for bad news, and trying hard to look into that dark void of "what to do now" if the results are bad. 
    • The problem here, I think, is one of "translation".  Just because we're not sucessful doesn't neccessarily mean this translates into something negative on our part, i.e., "we're not good enough", or "our applications just didn't compare to those who were successful".  SSHRC has a limited number of spots to provide for funding (and these spots, sadly, seem to be shinking year by year), so they can--obviously--only fund a limited number of extremely qualified applicants.  As well, SSHRC has quotas: let's say that a partiuclar school--York perhaps--has 20 extremely promising applicants (all of whom have exactly what one needs to secure postdoctoral funding: publications, prior funding through SSHRC, a great programme of work, etc.  With quotas in place, though, SSHRC might only be able to provide funding to maybe half or even less of these applicants.  Does this translate into the fact that those who didn't receive  funding are "lesser" academics or scholars that those who did?  Again, not neccessarily.  It's a shitty numbers game in a lot of cases--that's all.  I hate numbers, though, so it doesn't make things easier.  So what this situation does translate into, utimately, is something completely bloody aleatory in the end.  Random chance.  That's what makes this whole process so frustrating. 
    • I'm in my early thirties and I've been out of the academic for the last couple of years while I've waited for my department to actually do the admin work needed for my PhD to be accepted (the admin at my school is extremly incompetent). I've worked for a private company since 2007 while I did my write-up and during the waiting period. Since I've worked in the private sector, my CV doesn't look so good for academia despite some publications and a book contract that I literally just received (not in time to help my SSHRC application). I know it sounds like a sob story, but what does someone in my situation do if they don't get funding? I've applied to academic jobs, but I haven't gotten even one interview. The job market is definitely hostile to over-educated people unless something comes up in academia. That said, I agree that academia  is a flooded market and I think that many of the universities have failed their PhD students in terms of helping them get a foot in the door. Hopefully there is some good news this week!
  • I do think this website, on alternate careers for PhDs in the humanities and social sciences, is great (though US-centered): http://www.careereducation.columbia.edu/resources/tipsheets/non-academic-career-options-phds-and-mas


(2/25) No letter today in Toronto.

  • (x3 for Toronto) No letter here either, and yes, the mail came and went. 
  • (x3 for Toronto) - No letter, hopefully tomorrow.


(2/25) No letter today in Vancouver

(2/25) No letter today in Victoria

(2/25) Unsurprising: no letter in NY

(2/25) No letter today in London ON

(2/25) No letter in Birmingham, UK (not surprising.)

(2/25) No letter in Kingston, ON (x2)

How about combining "No letter" reports into one line per date?

  • (2/26) No letter: Edinburgh, UK; no letter in Vancouver; does anyone know if the letter is sent to your permanent address in Canada or your current (international) address at the time of application?
  • Good question re. using permanent address. I'm also waiting for a letter here in the UK (Birmingham). I think I read in the link below that it could take 7-10 days to reach the UK via Ottawa? Fingers crossed!

(2/26) This link, which outlines the mail delivery standards for Canada Post, might be useful to many who view this wiki. You can look up when lettermail is supposed to reach your location from Ottawa using the charts. Good luck! http://www.canadapost.ca/tools/pg/manual/PGservstds-e.pdf

(2/27) Fingers crossed that letters (with good news in them) reach provinces to the west today!

(2/27) No letter today in London ON. Has anyone else in Southwestern Ontario not yet received news? Right now I feel like I'm the only one. The waiting is getting to me.

  • I'm waiting too and it's stressing me out - my mail is being re-routed to Florida, so it might be a few days yet.

(2/28) Still no letter on the prairies.

(3/1) Any news from anyone in the UK or Atlantic Canada? I've been hounding my parents in NS if they've received any mail, but nothing there thus far, or here in England.

  • Nothing in Scotland

Results received (successful) Edit

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

Score:

Discipline:

Location: (eg, Canada, US)

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

Qualifications: (eg, pubs, presentations)

  • Sucessful (Montreal, letter received tonight). Score: 25.4. Discipline: Political Science. Location: award to be held in Toronto and U.S. Status: ABD (4th year). Qualification: 1 single author peer review journal article, 2 multiple authors peer review publications, 1 R&R. + 20 conference presentations (2/3 in competitive & international conference), organized workshops and conferences, 2 reserch reports for government. [posted 2/25]
    • Congrats!! Where did you list the R&R in your application?
    • Great news.  How do you hold a postdoc in Toronto and the US?
  • Successful Toronto (26/2). 27.4. Discipline: History. ABD when I applied. An article and a chapter published. 2 articles and one chapter under review at the time of application. Several scholarships and conferences.
  • Successful Toronto (26/2).  Score 27; Literature.  ABD.  Award to be held in US.  Three published articles in field; several scholarships (including past SSHRC funding); conferences.
    • Congrats! I don't recall a place to list R&R papers in the application. I know you can only list a pub under Research Contributions if it's been accept (i.e., forthcoming). Can someone clarify?
  • Successful Toronto (26/2). Score 29. Fine Arts. PhD in hand. Award to be held in UK. One book, three peer-reviewed articles, two book chapters, SSHRC doc funding, several conferences. (Third time's a charm. Don't despair!)
    • Congrats! What do the successful envelopes look like? Thick or thin?
    • Congrats!  I'm curious about what your post-doc will be focusing on in the UK, if your comfortable sharing?  I've also applied for a post-doc in the UK in Fine Arts (haven't heard the results yet, but am still curious)
  • Successful Toronto (26/2). Score 28.5Medieval Studies. ABD. Award to be held at Oxford. Two peer-reviewed articles (one co-authored). Lots of conferences. Previous CGS at MA and Ph. D level. The envelope has three pieces of paper so it was fairly thick. 
  • Successful Peterborough (26/2) Score 23.9 (just under the line? hm) History, ABD. Three articles, CGS for my doctorate. This was my second year applying.
    • I don't get how people can be ABD and on their second or third postdoc applications. How does one just sit on an almost finalized dissertation for three years?!
      • (note I'm not the OP) Disciplines vary widely in what ABD means then!  In History, at least at my institution, ABD status is granted after comprehensive exams and a successful dissertation proposal, before any of the dissertation is undertaken.  It essentially means that course-work and readings fields are completed and you are considered sufficiently prepared to UNDERTAKE your dissertation.  Average time to completion in History is 8-9 years, so, ABD is not "sitting on an almost finalized dissertation," it's "dissertation in progress," which can means many different things.  FYI :)
        • People apply for a postdoc after submitting a dissertation proposal?
        • There are lots of reasons people can THINK they're almost done one year, and still not be done the following year. Preganancy, illness, illness of a spouse or dependent, can all happen and really slow things down. Also candidates and committees can disagree on whether the work is ready, or what direction revisions should take. Most common, though, is people running out of funding and having to take jobs (teaching or non-teaching) that take time away from the dissertation. It's very, very common. Consider that the average completion time is 6.5 years. No one aims to finish in 6.5 (or more) but it happens.
          • Or much more simply - if the post-doc works out, you hurry to graduate on time. If it doesn't you take the funding / teaching offered at your home institution for another year & keep working on the dissertation along with other pubs, conferences etc to beef up your CV for the next year's round of application.
  • Successful Toronto (26/2). Score 28.5. Philosophy. PhD in hand. Award to be held in the U.S. Two peer-reviewed articles. Previous CGS at MA and PhD levels. (Second time applying; last year was waitlisted with a score around 23.6, before the publications.)
    • This gives me hope :) I'm also in Philosophy, PhD in hand, and I submitted with 4 publications (though I have more now). Congrats!
  • Sucessful (Montreal, letter received tonight 26/2). Score: 24.4. Discipline: History. Status:  4 year after PhD - with carreer interrupted -. Qualification: one book, 7 articles in peer reviews and several books chapters (third time applying).
  • Stunned and successful. London (Feb. 27th).  Score: 23.6.  Breakdown: Track record: 10.8; Programme of work: 12.8. First time applying.  Programme: Socio-cultural anthropology. I defended my dissertation late last August.  Award to be held at Cambridge.  Two OGS's (one declined, one accepted); and a SSHRC CGS Doctoral.  Previous successful grant-writing experience.  I've got 5 articles in total (5 of which are single author); 4 submitted; 1 multi-authored book chapter; 1 book review; 1 government report; and one newsletter; two kids (sort of an academic contritbution--genetic at the very least) and a cat (a freeloader).  I have only one conference presentation (my field research didn't work out until my second last year) so I had nothing really to present.
    • I have no idea who you are but you seem awesome and I'm super glad that you were successful.  Congrats!
  • Got successful letter this morning in Vancouver. Score 27.5. ABD Psychology, applied to hold in the US. 7 peer-reviewed, 3 book chapters, 2 commentaries. Lots of conferences I guess, but I'm not sure they ever matter.
  • Received successful letter in London Ontario. Score of 25.1, to be held in Canada, phd in hand. Interdisciplinary scholar (Panel was Literary Theory, phd in interdisciplinary program). Prior SSRC and 2 OGS. 3 peer reviewed articles, 2 of which are in top tier journals. 4 book chapters. I book review. 4 co-authored monographs.  Numerous research reports. Numerous conferences, including international.
  • Sucessful (Kitchener-Waterloo Feb 27th). Score: 25.6/30 (12.5 and 13.1), to be held in Canada. PhD in hand (1yr out) in Philosophy. At time of application: 4 publications, lots of conferences, grad studies provincial award (OGS). I've since added more publications and conferences, but they didn't know that. Happy news for those waitlisted: I'm probably going to turn it down since I've been offered a job (and there may be other offers). Best of luck to you all! 
  • What do they mean when they write that the information in the letter is to be held in strict confidence? Who are we allowed to tell?
  • I wrote them that same question and they say that this means we cannot go public with our results (but SSHRC said I could tell my family, friends, and present/future supervisors)
  • When are the results 'public'? They didn't provide me with a date or anything.
  • (2/27) Vancouver, ABD, Economics 28/30, 3 pubs
  • (2/27) Successful in Ontario: Anthropology, ABD; Score: 24.5; to be held in Canada at different institution than PhD; 3 peer-reviewed pubs (one co-authored), 1 book review, 1 conference proceedings chapter; OGS & SSHRC M.A.; CGS Doctoral 4-years; numerous travel grants & 1 write-up fellowship; 10+ conference presentations (although I am relieved, this and other fellowships really are like a black box lottery...I can see from this year and past years' wikis how many people waitlisted for SSHRC could just as easily have been successful if different committee members had read the applications...so I like the advice above: "don't despair", just keep applying and eventually your lottery numbers can win!  I hope for all of our sakes that the baby boomers finally get tired and begin to retire so we can all begin our careers...)
  • (2/27) Vancouver, History, ABD, 26.5/30, 2 journal articles, MA and PhD SSHRC-CGS awards, 10+ conference presentations, to be held in Canada.
  • (2/27) Hamilton, ABD, Religious Studiessuccessful application, award to be held in Canada. 
  • (2/28) Vancouver, ABD, Geography. Score 24.9 (Track record 13.5, Program of work 11.4). To be held in US.
  • (2/28) Success in the American Midwest, Art History, Fine Arts Committee. Score 27.5, 14.5 record 13 program. First time applying, 5th year ABD at a big, non-fancy US public university. Four peer reviewed articles, of which 2 in top tier journals; 5 other pubs; 15+ national and international conferences; 4-year doctoral SSHRC and previous other awards, including a Joseph Armand Bombarbier. My two cents about this process: in general, SSHRC likes politically left-leaning and experimental research and may actively dislike private universities, which I think explains some of the disparity with people who get big US awards and no SSHRC. I have to say, the job market has been a hellishly stressful process for me, and the support and humor of the people on this forum has been an important source of support. Thanks so much, everyone, and good luck to next year's applicants!
  • (2/28) Midwest, Classics (archaeology), Classics et al. committee. 25.9 (13.2 track record). ABD. to be held in Canada. First time applying.
  • (2/28) Fine Arts (or maybe history; how do we know which discipline they put us in?), 26/30 (12/15 track record, 14/15 program), to be held in the USA. First time applying, a couple years out of my PhD. I knew my track record would be lower than my program, as I have only one peer-reviewed article, and a few non-referred contributions including conference presentations. But I've also organized conferences and seminars, had some other interesting (quasi-academic) projects on the go, and had an offer to have my manuscript peer-reviewed for publication as a book, from a reputable academic press. The letters must have been strong, and they were from well-known people. I just want to say to future applicants who feel nervous about their track records: it's impossible to predict how committees will look at things and how the various regional (etc.) quotas will play out, so go for it! 
  • (1st March) Political Science 24.3. Interestingly my score is slightly lower than last year's when I was waitlisted, and even though I now have graduated and have more publications! Go figure!!! Anyhow, while I am happy to have gotten it, I will likely turn it down (so don't despair if you are on the waiting list!). After a year outside of academia, I found that I really like my work...and I am not sure I am ready to get back into that level of stress and constant 'insecurity'.
  • Anthropology 29.9. ABD, award to be held at the institution where I completed my PhD (UWO). 15/15 record, 14.9/15 program. 8 journal articles as 1st or sole author, 1 as co-author, 1 book chapter as co-author, 20+ conference presentations, SSHRC CGS MA and PhD.
    • What could possibly be the missing 0.1 on your program? A semi-colon instead of a dash?
  • Public Policy. 26.5/30. Track record 13.7/15, program of work 12.8/15. 6 peer reviewed publications, 13 reports. 10+ conference papers. 
  • (8th March). ABD Geography, 27.5/30. Track record 14.5/15, program of work 13/15. To be held in Canada, completing PhD in the UK, 2nd time applying (first round got 17/30). 4 Publications (of which 2 in print at time of application), many conferences, SSHRC MA award, and a series of UK based awards for the PhD. Potential for close research collaboration with the Canadian Postdoc team, which I think helped a lot on this round, and we did consider Banting before deciding on SSHRC.
  • English/ Interdisciplinary, 25.4 (11.5;13.9). PhD in hand (2.5 years out). To be held in Canada. First time applying to anything SSHRC-related. Publications: 1 book in press, 2 articles, 1 review, several encyclopedia entries (do those even count?); Lots of conference presentations. Some previous funding from European institutions.

Results received (waitlisted) Edit

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

  • Does anyone know what are the chances of getting funded? Did it ever happen to anyone you know in the past? Is the budjet shrinking or there is still hope? Do they post such information online anywhere? Also, when would they announce it if they have more funding? 
A: In the past, some people on the waitlist have definitely been funded eventually; please refer to past years' SSHRC pages (linked at the top of the page) for examples. In one case, someone received an award nearly a year after being initially waitlisted. No idea what the situation will be this year though.


  • In Montreal: Recommended but not funded. 23.6
  • In Ottawa: Recommended but not funded: 23.3; finished my program (History), applied for postdoc at a different institution. I applied for the committee that included History (I don't remember which number it was). 
  • In Montreal: Recommended but not funded: 22.5; ABD (Anthropology). Applied for a postdoc at an institution outside of Canada.
  • unsuccessful 23.4, Geography Ottawa recommended but not funded. Any advice on whether the recommended list ever get funded?
  • Whoa, I don't understand the marking scales. a 23/25 and not awarded?! How does SSHRC justify this?
    • The scores are out of 30.
  • HAHAHAHA sorry but 2/25 is the date. Don't worry, honest mistake, but it made me laugh :)
  • Oh man. Sorry! I am not sure why I added up 15+15 to make 25. I'm quite ill with the flu. But thanks for that clearing up.
  • Ottawa: Recommended but not funded: 20.53; ABD (Psychology). Applied to work at a US institution. 6 peer reviewed publications (+ 1 forthcoming), 5 conference presentations, previous Joseph Armand Bombardier and OGS funding.
  • Recommended but not funded, 20.9; ABD (Psychology). Applied at a US Ivy League. 4 peer-reviewed publications (one first-author), one chapter, a dozen or so conference presentations, SSHRC doctoral, NSERC masters.
  • Toronto (to be held in Montreal): Recommended but not funded.  (History) Track Record 11/15, Program of work 9.7/15, total score 20.7/30.  ABD, second time applying, 2 journal articles, 1 book chapter, 3 forthcoming book chapters, numerous conference presentations, previous CGS at Master's and PhD level. 
  • Victoria (to be held in Ottawa, with a CRC): Recommended by not funded. (Political Science/Law). Track Record: 10.75/15; Program of work: 11/15. Total Score 21.75/30. 4 first author, peer reviewed journal articles, 1 peer reviewed 2nd author. 3 book chapters (1 of which I was second author). Dozen or so national and international presentations. Multiple presentations to government bodies across Canada. Have run a series of workshops on my displine area. Won CGS, declined OGS, received multiple rounds of funding from federal institutions in support of my work. Supported by a CRC, who I would have been working with, as well as by senior scholars in the field. 
  • Recommended but not funded, 23.4 (History).
  • Toronto (to be held at MIT, Center for International Studies): Recommended but not funded. Track Record 10.3; Program of Work 11.6. Total: 21.9. Political Science. 2 peer-reviewed, 1 book chapter, 1 Revise & Resend with International Studies Quarterly (one of top journals in IR, my supervisor mentioned in his Recommendation), 2 Research Reports for SSHRC Canada Research Chair project (my supervisor). 1 CGS SSHRC, 2 OGS (1 declined), ABD (5th year), 1st time applying. 10+ conferences, incl in Europe, NZ, US. Has anyone called to ask if they rank the waitlisters?     
  • Toronto (to be held in Canada): Recommended but not funded in Religious Studies. Total: 23.1. 3 peer-reviewed articles (2 accepted at time of application; 1 wasn't marked as "peer-reviewed" but has since changed), 1 book chapter, 1 encyclopedia entry, 10+ conference papers, previous doctoral SSHRC and OGS. This is my third and last attempt. My score was 22.7 last year.
  • Victoria (28/2).  Recommended but not funded in Fine Arts.  (ABD, 4th year) Total: 20.2  (11 & 9.2).  3 peer reviewed articles; several other articles; 5 international conference presentations + other regional conferences; regional and international exhibitions; previous SSHRCs and 5 other awards.  I don't expect to receive an offer from the waitlist, as I imagine they are given based on score and I am on the lower end of those listed.  Onwards:)  Something else must be in the works for me.
  • Vancouver (28/2). Recommended but not funded in English with 22.2 (8.9 for Track Record and 13.3 for Program of Work). ABD, one publication in press when I applied, conferences, 2 previous SSHRC awards.
  • Winnipeg (22/3). Recommended but not funded in History with 22 (12 for Track Record and 10 for Program of Work. Emailed for details of the waitlist and found out that 20 persons were ahead of me in the line and that no one who was waitlisted last year received funding.

Results received (unsuccessful) Edit

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

(2/25) Results: 903 eligible applications; 182 awards offered. 

Wow, that's slightly better than I expected!
Provenance???  Was this on the website, or did someone receive their letter?
That's a 20% success rate, its much better than in previous years! I also want to know who got that - what city? Was it from a letter? Was it good or bad news? What did the letter look like? I'm in Kingston and as of 1pm the mailman still hasn't come over... he usually drops by at around 2 pm. Getting anxious!
  • I got my letter today 2/25 (unsuccessful in Montreal) and these are the real numbers (182 successful out of 903 applications).
  • What were your scores?
  • Thank you for posting, Montreal. Sorry you didn't get it this time :(
  • Received my rejection letter today. (2/25) Second time trying and was surprised that my scores did not change from last year, even though I signed a book deal and added another publication. Media Studies. Finished PhD 2 years ago. Qualifications : 5 journal publications ; 1 Book; 1 Conference paper; over $150,000 in previous awards; 2 years sessional teaching. Track record 9.5/15 (I am dumbfounded by this score) Overall Score: 17.5
  • Sorry to hear that. You should have two scores, each out of 15. Was this your combined score?
  • Sorry to hear the bad news. Which discipline are you in if you don't mind me asking?
  • Do you think this is because your work is interdisciplinary? I have a feeling that interdisciplinary scholars are at a real disadvantage with SSHRC. I mean, a book contract and five journal publications should count for something, no? 
  • I received my rejection today too (2/25), also in Montreal. First try. Score: 19.6 in History, ABD, to be held at a different institution than my current one. Sad, since applying in the fall, i have published, done more conferences, and added service, which might strengthen my candidacy for next year's competition. Wishing you all good luck! 
  • Can you please specify the committee that reviewed your application? Each committee is different so a 17.5 in anthropology might mean a rejection, but a 17.5 in history might mean an award. Its helpful for next year's applicants! Thanks! <--OP added "History" above [2/25].
  • Received rejection yesterday. First time applying; ABD; Art History; 2 peer reviewed articles; 10+ conferences. Score: 17.7 [posted 2/26]
  • 2/26 Received rejection today. First time applying, ABD (stretching it in fact; I would be more comfortable graduating next year, if I had been awarded it I would have had to rush). Interdisciplinary (history/gender/poli sci), three co-written book chapters, several scholarships including OGS and Doctoral CGS, dozens of conference presentations, 18.5
  • Rejected. First and last application. English. Completed PhD earlier this year.  3 refereed publications, 15 conference papers, CGS SSHRC, OGS: 23.9
    • How were you not waitlisted?
  • Rejection letter (Toronto). Media Studies. ABD. 2 peer-reveiwed articles, plus one mentioned in the program of work as currently under review; 10+conferences; 2 previous SSHRC awards held, 17.8.
    • Interesting. Compare this with a virtually identical record of the successful candidate in Medieval Studies above. More than a ten point difference in score.
    • It is interesting, but I think we should remember that there are a lot of variables here that we aren't privy to. Some disciplines/fields and even subfields are more difficult to publish in than others (or it's percieved that way), we don't know the relative presteige of the journals that people posting here are publishing in, we don't know how long they've been in their programs (for the most part), how much a truly stellar program of work impacts a reviewer's view of track record and vice versa, how much a big name supervisor or proposed supervisor impacts perceptions of the candidate.... etc... I think that it's useful to document our scores and apparent matchups with the 'track record' part of the application, but there's a lot that we don't know and any conclusions drawn from this wiki are going to be imprecise at best. (x2)
    • Yeah, I agree with the above. Seems as though there are many unknown factor coming into play here. It could come down to the candidate being a particularly good fit with the proposed department of study, or perhaps not. It all seems a bit random really :/
    • I will add that I was told not to bother applying doing a media studies degree. Or at least don't plan on even the remote possibility of getting one of these fellowships. Same issues re: interdisciplinarity, etc. 
  • Rejection letter (Toronto). History. ABD. First time applying. 1 peer-reviewed article in extremely prestigous publication and one other under review at time of application; numerous conference papers; won MA and PhD CGS; held visiting PhD fellowship in Europe; was accepted to research center at Harvard with perfect mentor for my project. 18.5.
    • Any chance you could let us know which center at Harvard?
    • One of the historical research centers. Actually getting the position was difficult so this was pretty disappointing. The committee clearly hated my program of study. 9/15. Oof. Oh well, there is always next year...
    • I don't think the committee hated your programme of study. I think you overlooked one of the instructions. If am correct, you would have had to hold the postdoc in Canada, because you held the PhD fellowship abroad. Or am I misinformed?
    • I held my SSHRC CGS in Canada but I had another non-SSHRC visiting PhD fellowship in Europe for a year as well. Thet should not have precluded me from getting the award.
  • (2/26) Rejected letter (Toronto). 18.35. First time applying, ABD, anthropology, different university than for PhD. 2 years of ogs, ma sshrc, 1 year of phd sshrc, 2 book chapters, 2 journal articles in press, 2 book reviews, 1 significant non-academic publication. [despite the rejection, this was actually an encouraging result...].
  • 2/26 20.2 Geography; completed PhD in 2010.
  • (2/26) ABD University of Toronto - History of Science. I have one peer-reviewed article. I received a CGS from SSHRC previously. It was my first application. Track Record: 8.8/15. Program of Work: 9/15. Total: 17.8/30. I applied to hold the postdoc outside of Canada.
  • (2/26) PhD completed. Comparative Literature. Two peer-reviewed articles, one published edited volume, multiple European scholarships, a one-year non-Canadian postdoc fellowship, 8 conference presentations; second [and maybe last] application. Track Record: 9.8/15. Program of Work: 5.2/15 [the very same project last year was scored 9.5]. Total: 15/30. Rejected. Applied to hold the postdoc in Canada.
    •  I can't believe there is such disparity in your program of study scores between this year and last ! I guess it just shows how random some of the scoring is.
    • I can't believe it either, but I explained it to myself like this: last year's selection comittee liked the project, this year's not. And humanities cannot be measured mathematically, which boosts the randomness at times.
  • (2/26). Phd completed. Women's and Gender Studies. Five peer reviewed articles, SSHRC for 4 years PhD, FQRSC 2 years for MA, 2 year Andrew W. Mellon fellowship. 20+ conference presentations, second application. Track record: 11.14/15, Program of work, 7.56/15. Total 18.7/30. Did my PhD in the US, so applied to hold in Canada. And just want to say: got a prestigious postdoc at an ivy league for next year, and was also short listed for a second ivy league postdoc. Not that the ivy league is everything -- it's not -- but suprised by these results.  
  • (2/27). ABD Geography. 17.1/30
  • (2/27). PhD received, Literature. Applied for award in the US. Three pier-reviewed publications (one in an A-list journal that was accepted at the time of application) plus various and sundry reviews and conferences, as well as previous SSHRC and OGS funding. Track record 9, program 8.5. This is about about a 3-point drop from last year, when I was recommended but not funded. I'm completely baffled. The A-list article came out between my last application and this one, and the program of study was largely unchanged but improved, I would have thought, by a better match between the supervisor/location and my project. Nevertheless, I dropped 0.5 points for the track record and 3.3 for the program of study. Sigh.
  • (2/27) Rejected: 15.6 (Political Science) Record: 7.5 Program: 8.1. ABD, no publications (just to give you a baseline).
  • (2/28) Rejected in California: 19.2/30 (Anthropology) Record: 9.8 Program 9.4. ABD, no publications. A sincere thanks to everyone who's been contributing to the discussion.  
  • (2/27).  ABD Anthropology (archaeology), University of Toronto. Applied to hold award at McMaster. Total 21.15 / 30 (track record 10.95, program of work 10.2).  3 peer-reviewed articles (2 sole author), many conference presentations, several reports.  Recieved OGS once. I'm currently in the 8th year of my PhD. Has no one else received a two-decimal-place score? Strange.
  • (2/28) Rejection in Toronto - (Geography) 18.5/30. First time applying - Program of Work score was lower (8.5) which is strange because I thought the fit with proposed supervisor was very strong!
  • (2/28) Apparently I'm close to the worst SSHRC applicant on here.  Ph.D. completed, 3 single authored articles and about 8 conference presentations.  15.2.  Applied at different institution from my Ph.D. with an absolutely fantastic supervisor.  Super disappointing.  I guess if everybody on the "successful" and "wait" lists, as well as everybody else who got rejected with a higher score than 15.2 turns their funding down I'll be living the dream.  I hope you all get tenure track jobs!!! <--What's your discipline? (Poli Sci)
    •   The score you got may be lower than some, but I wouldn't count it as making you close to "the worst applicant" on this forum. From everything I've read, the scores seem pretty arbitrary. You were unlucky with the committee that reviewed your application - it isn't a bad reflection on you in any way, particularly since your track record is just as good as many of the other applicants. Given this, I don't believe that there is such thing as a bad application per se. This is my second time applying and I haven't seen my results yet, but it wouldn't shock me if I was unsuccessful again given the stats, Better luck with your next application:)
      • Thanks for the pep talk.  Good luck with your ap!
  • (2/28) Rejection in Wisconsin. 19.1 History of Science. Track record 8.5: ABD, no significant publications (one article in good peer-reviewed journal outside of field, a few encyclopedia entries, and a book review). Received SSHRC master's scholarship and 4-year PhD scholarship to work at current institution in the US.
  • 2/28 PhD Ethnomusicology 16.4 Track record: 8.4, One peer reviewed article, several conference presentations, international prize,  SSHRC Doctoral award.  Applied to hold award at small university that is seeking to expand its research and teaching in my area. Really aurprised-- I chose this locaiton because they could really use a Post Doc there and the proposed supervisor wassuper-excited at the prospect.
  • Shot down in Calgary, 18 pubs (9 PR),4 year PhD, SSHRC Doctoral etc. <--What are your scores and discipline?
  • 5-year ABD Political Science 12.8 Track Record 7.1: One peer reviewed article, several book reviews and conference presentations, forthcoming peer-reviewed articles and book chapter, SSHRC CGS.  Program of Work: 5.7 Applied to work in Philosophy department with researcher who recently published on the topic - very supportive.  Worked on PoW with post-doc supervisor over 3 months.  Shocked to receive such an uncompetitive score on PoW.
  • Rejection in Political Science, with a damning 13.9. This was my second attempt and at the time of application I had a phd in hand, a co-authored chapter and a published book review essay (with single-author revise&resubmits mentioned in the program, and I suspect the ref. letters) plus a good deal of conferences, etc. The track record score was 6.6, and this was lower than the first time I applied when I had no phd in hand and no chapter. More surprising was the program of work, which got 7.3/15 this time and had a 10.5 last time. The main thing I had changed is discussing my thesis in the past tense and discussing how the project builds on what I've been doing since finishing my phd, which I thought was an improvement. It was to be held at a Canadian institution, with a well established senior supervisor who had recently won a SSHRC research grant on a very closely related topic. It is a very depressing experience, for sure, they may as well have sent a post-it saying "please give up now". The market has changed drastically from what it was 5-6 years ago, and it seems that some of the successful candidates above have the kind of record that people used to get tenure for (and still do!)… Best of luck to everyone who's still eligible next year!
  • To the post above: first, you are eligible for a third attempt as well, so do not give up hope and make the third application; it will happen, hopefully. Then: my track record and program of work scoring both got worse this year in spite of the fact that I had beefed up my cv compared to last year and the program of work was very well improved. Most of this is subjective and dependent on the reviewers' pinions. So, you should not depair as it reflects a lot more about the selection committee than about the quality or significance of your research.
    • Many thanks for the words of support! Regarding future applications, I read that next year SSHRC is implementing a number of changes to the criteria, including limiting the eligibility period from the current 3yrs from date of completion to 2yrs. So it might be a close call in my case, depending on when the specific date is. There are some other changes as well, you won't be eligible if you've ever held any other kind of postdoc, and they are also increasing the value of the funding, but eliminating the research budget... It will be interesting how all of this affects the process. 
  • 3/5 Rejection ABD Religion 19.1 applied to research in Canada
  • 3/5 Rejection ABD in a Fine Arts subject. 19.5 Research in Canada. I have a feeling that it was sent to the wrong committee, or even should have been sent to NSERC since it was to do with programming and technology :/ Oh well. First try, will try again. Really wanted to do this project! Good luck everyone.
  • 3/5 Rejection ABD Criminology 21.05 applied to research in Canada
  • 3/7 Unsuccessful in Europe (to be held in Canada) PhD, Fine Arts 16.7 with 4 peer reviewed articles, 20+ international conferences. Same project, with one less article, was recommended but not funded last year with a 20.2 Not sure I'll bother trying for SSHRC a third time, my work tends to be more positively received outside of Canada, so will be shopping same project around US/UK

Discussion Edit

  • SSHRC is broken. Congrats to those who are successful and maybe I'm just bitter but the track records of those being waitlisted and rejected raises many questions about the reliability and objectivity of the evaluations. And the government wonders why we have a 'brain drain'...[end rant]
    • I honestly wonder how much track record really matters. Its clear from these stats that you have to be quite productive to be successful, but it seems that even a phenomenal track record won't help if the committee doesn't like your program of work (for whatever reason - it appears that what they do and do not like may be variable from year to year). Or maybe it's possible to have too many pubs - the postdoc is meant to give you time to make yourself competitive by publishing. Maybe some people are losing out because they're *too* competitive..?
    • Apparently SSHRC was taken to the Supreme Court of Canada over it's lack of feedback regarding unsuccessful applications, see: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National%20Office/2012/07/osos108_SSHRC_Post%20Docs.pdf


(2/25) Most of us haven't heard from SSHRC yet, but when we do, I wonder if those of us whose work is quite interdisciplinary might be able to document our committee choices (in very general terms) for the benefit of future applicants. For instance, my PhD is in a discipline that fits best into Committee 1, but my proposed project and supervisor are in many ways a better fit for Committee 2. My department advised me to submit to Committee 1 (SSHRC informed me that they couldn't advise me on this), and I did, but I'm really worried that I might have blown my chances by doing so. Maybe one of the things we can do here is document the results of our committee choices (as best we can...) and figure out (to some degree) what might be good strategies for the future. Just a thought.

  • Update from original poster for future SSHRC-seekers: I was recommended-but-not-funded in this cycle, but my the program of work score was not my problem (it was a low track record score that sunk me - the PoW score was high). Going with a committee that best fits your discipline of training would seem to be a good idea in some circumstances...
  • I also had a tough choice between committees and (as I was successful) don't think this held me back at all. If you have an interdisciplinary program of work I do think you have to take extra care to make it clear that your work contributes to the discipline encompassed by the committee you've chosen, that you understand core problems in this discipline and are familiar with its literature, and that the engagement with other disciplines positions you to do that. It's not as if you write your program of work and then choose the committee. For the record, I chose the committee of the discipline where I have always been based departmentally, where my referees and most of my research contributions are based, and where I'd likely work in the future. My work draws on other disciplines but I'm not as much part of those communities.

(2/25) Another thought: what do Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences PhDs do when they don't get post-docs/ academic jobs? I mean, most people won't, right, and sessionaling gives dismal prospects too (at least here in middle Canada). I know some people who got post-docs, but no academic job, and are right back in the same boat as those who didn't get post-docs, just delayed a few years. I know others who didn't get post-docs are are doing construction and nothing. Anyone have any examples of what people do when it looks like academia isn't going to work out? Or know people who move far away for academic positions that might not be their first choices but could be a foot in the door? Science and Health Sciences PhDs have a lot more options (government, industry), it seems, but not us...or is that just my negative perception?

  • Alternative careers are pretty discipline-specific, I think. In history, a few PhDs go into public history (museums, archives) either temporarily or permanently while maintaining an active program of scholarly research and publishing. I know people in history, sociology or political science who do research in government or the private sector or the labour movement or Non-Governmental Organizations. You can also teach community college. Or be a freelancer writer/journalist. It depends on what aspect of academia (research versus writing versus teaching) is of most interest and importance to you.
  • Programming (of the computer variety) can be an alternative career. In my field (computer music), most of my research was done by programming. This is probably going to be what I'll do if the academic route falls through....
  • Politics.  
  • It's not your negative perception. Part of the problem is that employers see that you have a PhD and they think that you are either over-qualified or want more money than the average joe. In addition to this, many employers also think that you have no practical skills (despite this not being the case in most instances) because of the many years spent in school. Suggestions of obtaining government jobs or working for NGO's seem to be good advice, however, the government is downsizing on jobs and competition is extremly high.  This is the same with many NGO's. If you are lucky, you will have money in your pocket and can get a foot in the door by doing an internship. If you want to teach, you are almost better off going to teachers college and pursuing a 'needed' teaching category like French language because the competition to get a teaching position at a college is just as tough as getting one at a university. The job market is pretty hostile all-around and the academic market is flooded with PhD's, so its really hard to get a job anywhere. The universities are losing some of the most gifted minds because of this. I'm not surprised to hear that there are people with PhD's who are on EI or are working jobs that are well below their potential.
  • I'm in English and things seem pretty bad. When I started, there were jobs in the CBC, academia seemed promising, and now I just feel like an idiot for pursuing this. Things have tanked since 'the crash' for arts jobs. I've applied for a bunch of non-academic jobs (technical writing, temp work, etc.) with no interviews, so I think what the above poster said about overqualification is pretty apt. I have a great CV (academic) and lots of practical skills. I don't want to depress people, but I'm trying to be pragmatic and understand what could be done to prevent others from being in my situation (I'm well set up now to be an educated stay-at-home parent...not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's just not my aspiration). If I do get my dream academic job (read: any academic job), I will work hard to deter all but the most promising students from pursing grad school - and I'll tell them to prepare a strong plan B. There's something wrong with the system right now - too many MAs and PhDs (as tuition grabs), no jobs. Someone needs to regulate things. I haven't heard back from SSHRC yet for the above, but if I'm successful, I'm sure my spirits will be lifted greatly...but I still won't have a job!

(2/27) Does anyone know how taking a SSHRC PDF works if it's only going to be for 4 (or maybe 8) months? I read on their site that they'll prorate the funds, but do they also prorate the research allowance? I have a job that I'll probably start in August (maybe I can negotiate for them to defer a semester or even a year), so I want to take the SSHRC for some support this summer. If anyone knows how this works, I'd really appreciate it!!  

  • You can and shd try to negotiate a year of the fellowship with your job--in my discipline (Eng lit), depts are keen to do so and it's common in cases such as yours. While it wld be best to write for the year, you could also compromise with the teaching allowance of a course per term allowed by sshrc.  
  •  I thought that it was a mininum of 1 year of support?
  • Yeah, can anyone verify this? I'm hoping to hold my award for only 6 months. Anyone know if this is possible?
  • If you read the website, it says you can't hold the award if you've accepted a TT job offer. So I don't think there's a way to make it work for summer-only funding, unless your new employer is willing to hold off making you formally accept an offer until September.
  • Congrats on your TT job! My two cents is that if you have this in hand and will start this year, you might consider letting someone else have the post-doc. A few months is a summer vacation, not a post-doc project, and this may be why they don't want to fund such short stints. On the other hand, if you don't mind a lower income for a full year, the suggestion to negotiate for one year of post-doc is great. You'll have more time to organize yourself before the crush of committee obligations and the tenure timer begin, and maybe your university can top-up your post-doc funds with your teaching salary?

(3/01) On that note, does anyone know about getting paid to teach while you're on a post-doc? I understand there are limits to how much you can teach and that you can't take other paid jobs; but do they typically pay the same that any sessional instructor would make, despite your stipend? I'm hoping that if I teach, my supervisor (in the USA) won't expect that I'll do this purely on my own stipend.

  • The award is to fund research only. If your institution wants you to teach one full class, it is an additional job and you are paid for it.

(Repasted from above on 3/13):  Does anyone know what kind of VISA we need to take our SSHRC awards to the US (especially if we plan on residing there for the year)? -- J-1


  • (3/13) About the J-1 visa: you might want to double-check that or, at least, ensure that in your own case a J-1 is appropriate.  There are restrictions attached to that visa that might complicate matters for certain SSHRC holders, especially if you're thinking of working in the US after your US-held postdoc.  As you can read here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J-1_visa), there's a 2-year home-country-stay requirement--not great if you have plans to work in the US after the postdoc.  However, a TN visa might be a good thing to investigate if you're a Canadian going to hold a PD in the US, so check out the info here: http://canada.usembassy.gov/visas/doing-business-in-america/tn-visas-professionals-under-nafta.html .  Does SSHRC offer any advice on this?  (I can dream...)


(3/22) Has anyone on the waiting list been contacted yet or called SSHRC to know when the deadline would be to hear if we're getting in?

  • (3/29) I am on the waiting list (recommended but not funded) and wrote to SSHRC with these kinds of questions. Here's the response (which isn't particularly illuminating, unfortunately): "Applicants who are advised that their application has been recommended by the committee but not funded are placed on a waiting / recommended but not funded list. SSHRC uses these lists, which are committee specific, to offer awards as funds become available. Periodically, supplementary funds may become available as a result of declines of offered awards, interruptions of awards, early termination of previous awards, etc.  These factors make it complex to predict when or if a particular candidate is likely to secure funding during this competition cycle. Consequently, while SSHRC offers candidates with their relative score (with the specific score for the track record and program of work), SSHRC does not offer candidates their committee specific ranking. Should an award become available, SSHRC will contact the next eligible alternate candidate by both email and mail.

(5/22) Does anyone know if you can do some consulting while on the SSHRC post-doc? SSHRC claims you cannot be employed in any capacity, but provides no details on whether you can do some reseach consulting? Has anyone done consulting while on a SSHRC post-doc?

(5/15/2014).  I received my PhD last year.  I have no publications and no awards or scholarships.  Should I bother applying for a SSHRC postdoc?  

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