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APPLYING FOR A SSHRC STANDARD RESEARCH GRANT

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APPLYING FOR A SSHRC STANDARD RESEARCH GRANT Powered By Docstoc
					          APPLYING FOR A SSHRC
       STANDARD RESEARCH GRANT
                                           1

                                      BY
                                SUSAN BENNETT
                         SSHRC MENTORING COORDINATOR




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
           What is a Standard Research Grant?
                                           2

 An award of up to $250,000 over a 3-year period (no
  more than $100,000 in any one year) to support and
  foster excellence in social sciences and humanities
  research
 Individual or team proposals
 Single or interdisciplinary fields




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                  SSHRC’s objectives
                                           3

 Support high quality independent programs of
  research
 Train future researchers
 Contribute to development/elaboration of new
  theoretical or methodological approaches to research
 Assist the communication of research results within
  and beyond the academy




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                Am I ready to apply?
                                           4

 Track record (assess CV from disciplinary
    perspective)
   Do I have a well-defined research question?
   Have I done the background preparation? (No
    fishing trips!)
   Have I tested the water for this project?
   NOTE: SSHRC has reduced funding for
    health-related research--see
    http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/39190.html



Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                           Maybe not …
                                                5

 Build CV--show recent, lively research career
  appropriate to stage of career
 Seek seed funding at U of C (through URGC
  programs, SSHRC development grant) or SSHRC
  (Research Development Initiative)
 Do thorough review of area of interest
 Disseminate preliminary findings




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                           Maybe yes….
                                                6

 Substantial contribution to field about to be or
  recently published (dissertation to monograph)
 Initial research complete (pilot study, preliminary
  conference or print publication)
 Literature review completed
 Results from previously funded research




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                           How to Start
                                                7

 What is my research question?


MUST JUMP OFF THE PAGE
MUST CAPTURE COMMITTEE’S IMAGINATION
MUST MAKE SENSE FOR YOUR PROFILE AND
 YOUR FIELD




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                      How to Start (2)
                                             8

 Do I have a three-year research program?
MUST HAVE A PLAN AND A SERIES OF
 OUTCOMES
MUST BE DO-ABLE IN A THREE-YEAR PERIOD




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                              Am I a “new” scholar?
                                           9

 Not yet PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR on a SRG,
 MCRI, or Strategic Grant
AND ONE of the following:
Completed highest degree less than 5 years
 Held tenure-track position less than 5 years
Never had a tenure-track position
Career interrupted or delayed for family reasons




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                            Am I a new scholar? (2)
                                           10

 Advantage is that the weighting shifts from 60%
  track record/40% research program
 to
 60% research program/40% track record (if this is
  advantageous to you)




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                  What committee do I apply to?
                                           11

 29 committees--see SSHRC website
  (http://www.sshrc.ca/web/apply/program_descri
  ptions/standard_e.asp)
 Committee members (lists on website for 2009)
http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/site/about-crsh/committees-
  comites/standard_research-ordinaire_recherche-eng.aspx)
 Past results (searchable by keyword under
  “Winning Research”)
 Committee 15 (interdisciplinary)
 Call the program officer(s)


Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                           How will I be evaluated?
                                           12

 Record of research
(normally 60% weighting)

 Program of research
(normally 40% weighting)




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
               Evaluation of Record of Research
                                           13

 Over last 6 years (unless career interruption)
[2003 & later. What is appropriate for stage of
  career? A major accomplishment?]
 Quality and significance of published work
[Venues, peer-review, “A”-lists journals, etc.]
 Originality and impact of previous research
[Reviews, awards, prizes, reprint, citations]




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
           Evaluation of Record of Research (2)
                                           14

 Importance of other scholarly activities
[Visibility in field]
 Recent output
[Active scholar, up-to-date]
 Dissemination to non-academic audiences
[If appropriate, in context of discipline]




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
              Evaluation of Research Record (3)
                                           15

 Productivity from previous grants
[Outcomes, different project, other funded work]
 Training of future researchers
[Record with graduate students]




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
             Evaluation of Program of Research
                                           16



     Originality and contribution to advancement of
      knowledge
    [What’s new, how does it advance discussions in
      your field]
     Appropriateness of theoretical
      approaches/framework
    [Why you’re choosing your approach]



Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
        Evaluation of Program of Research (2)
                                           17

 Appropriateness of the research
  strategies/methodologies
[Why you are proceeding the way you describe]
 Good literature review
[Situate your project in the field, stress what’s original]




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
        Evaluation of Program of Research (3)
                                           18

 Suitability of plans to communicate research
[How are you going to publish your findings? Justify
  your choices]
 The nature and extent of research training
[How will you use students and how do they
  benefit?]




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                            The application process
                                           19

 NOTICE OF INTENT (NOI)


Non-binding
Online mid-June
Simple, short form
Due by August 15th




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                  The full application
                                           20

 Due Research Services no later than October 1st
 Recipients of in-house “Development Grants”--draft
  applications due in electronic format to Lori Foster
  at Research Services (foster@ucalgary.ca) no later
  than August 21st for internal review
 Start as early as possible!




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                Program of Research
                                           21

SSHRC’s criteria:
 Clear and precise objectives
 Clear theoretical or conceptual framework
 Define all key terms and concepts
 Provide a complete literature review
 Append a list of all references cited
 Explain and fully justify methodology




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                           Program of Research (2)
                                           22

 Build in a timeline
 what you are doing
 when you are doing it
 what are the outcomes
 how will you measure success during the project
  and afterwards
 link to budget




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                           Program of Research (3)
                                           23

 Two audiences
 Experts in your field (external assessors)
 General scholarly audience (members of the
  committee)
• Give your project a strong, clear title--avoid the
  temptation to be clever!




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                 One-page summary
                                           24

 VERY IMPORTANT PAGE--how you will be
  recognized and remembered by the adjudication
  committee as a whole
 Don’t simply cut and paste a chunk of the longer
  program description
 Capture the readers’ imaginations
 Capsule, reader-friendly version (satisfy experts and
  interest general audience)




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                           Budget
                                             25

 Justify, justify, justify EVERY ITEM
 Committees looking to make cuts
 Average grant around $80,000 this year
 Logical for stage of program:
   field research early on (year one?)
   only disseminate when you have some results
   fewer budget needs in final years
   use of students




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                           Budget (2)
                                               26

 SSHRC’s advice:
 Reasonable and fully justified budget
 Check the list of eligible and ineligible expenses (SEE
  WEBSITE)
 Explain role of students
 Link between research objectives and budget (cross-
  reference)




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                           Budget (3)
                                               27

 Do you need to travel? Why?
 Be precise. Which conferences and to what purpose?
 Computer hardware/software and other equipment--
  be reasonable. No luxury items!
 Tailor students to project--writing a book doesn’t
  require 6 PhDs as RAs




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                 Budget justification
                                           28

 Use all the provided space!
 Don’t leave doubts
 If you ask for $ for something, explain why it is
  essential item
 Don’t whine or complain
 Emphasize the outcomes




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                           Training
                                              29

 Work with graduate students to date
 What’s typical in your program? (If you have few
  opportunities, explain that)
 Supervisions, committees, research assistants
  employed
 Skills training for their careers
 Value-added in their programs
 Outcomes through co- and/or single-authored
  publications/conferences


Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                   Presentation of CV
                                           30

 6 year record--from 2003, NOTHING earlier;
  carefully organized with full bibliographic detail,
  consistent format (no cut and paste!), full page
  numbers
 Most important research achievements page is for
  earlier accomplishments
 Productivity from previous grants
 A/B readers may check: “R”/forthcoming etc.
 Don’t create doubts



Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                              Special Circumstances
                                           31

 Make sure they are “special”
 Deal with circumstances succinctly and matter-of-
  factly
 Serious health problems, death of a loved one, ageing
  parents, and leaves (maternity, parental, adoption,
  etc.)




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
          How do I choose my list of assessors?
                                           32

 SSHRC wants TWO assessments--one of yours and
  one of theirs
 Choose wisely (familiarity, likely support, agreed in
  advance)
 Conflict of interest (check with SSHRC, shouldn’t
  appear on your CV at all)




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                    What happens after I submit?
                                           33

 SSHRC sends to external reviewers--increasingly
  difficult so pay attention to your own list of
  assessors (14,000 potential assessors contacted
  produced 5,600 reviews)
 Files to committees, right at the end of the Fall
  Term
 Each file assigned an “A” and “B” reader
 Meetings in Ottawa in February




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
               What happens after I submit? (2)
                                           34

 Large number of files, small envelope of money
  (success rate in the 33-39% range, last year 904
  from 2731 applications)
 Top 15% in rankings don’t get discussed except for
  budget--that’s always scrutinized




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                       Top 4 Critiques
                                              35

 SSHRC says these are:
 Incomplete or outdated literature review
 Lack of theoretical rationale
 Lack of specificity and justification in the
  methodology
 No link between the conceptual framework and the
  methodology




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                What else to avoid …
                                           36

 Messy layout
 Exceeding page limit
 Ignoring other instructions
 Criticizing scholars
 “Trust me”
 No definition of roles and responsibilities for team
   members/students




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                           What else to avoid … (2)
                                           37

 Loading the application with co-investigators and
  collaborators for CV “value” but no role
 Exaggerated claims (“change the world”)
 Budget doesn’t add up
 Ask for a $8000 laptop to word process
 Ask for students to bring books from the library
 Ask to go to the same conference every year




Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
               Resubmission of SRG application
                                           38

 Read the readers’ reports AND committee minute-
  -what can I learn?
 Ask for feedback (colleague, mentor)
 Explicitly address in revised application
 Use the page provided to address comments (what
  I’ve done since last submission especially
  important)
 Choose new assessors
 Don’t complain



Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)
                                Contact Information
                                           39

 SSHRC Program Officers--see list:
http://www.sshrc.ca/web/apply/background/standar
  d_officers_e.asp
 Research Services
Lori Foster (foster@ucalgary.ca); 220-3785
Gabrielle Clark (gmclark@ucalgary.ca); 220-5647
 Mentoring Coordinator
Susan Bennett (sbennett@ucalgary.ca); 220-6450
  after July 1


Bennett/University of Calgary (May 2009)

				
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