SSHRC Impact Awards and Gold Medal - 2018

SSHRC Impact Awards are designed to build on and sustain Canada’s research-based knowledge culture in the social sciences and humanities. The awards recognize outstanding researchers and celebrate their achievements in research, research training, knowledge mobilization and outreach activities funded partially or completely by SSHRC.

Award funds are to be used for activities that promote and extend the work being honoured. Award funds must be used within three years on activities promoting and extending the honoured work. Gold Medal funds must be used within one year. At least 10% must be used to promote recipient’s research achievements.

Gold Medal ($100.000):  SSHRC’s highest research honour. It is awarded to individuals whose sustained leadership, dedication and originality of thought have inspired students and colleagues alike. Recipients’ achievements in research will have significantly advanced understanding in their research fields in the social sciences and humanities.

Insight Award ($50,000): Recognizes outstanding achievement arising from a research project funded partially or completely by SSHRC. It is given to an individual or team whose project has resulted in significant contribution to knowledge and understanding about people, societies and the world.

Connection Award ($50,000): Recognizes an outstanding SSHRC‑funded initiative to facilitate the flow and exchange of research knowledge within and/or beyond the academic community. It is given to an individual or team whose project has engaged the campus and/or wider community, and has generated intellectual, cultural, social and/or economic impacts.

Partnership Award ($50,000): Recognizes SSHRC‑funded formal partnership for its outstanding achievement in advancing research, research training or knowledge mobilization, or developing a new partnership approach to research and/or related activities. It is awarded to a formal partnership that has demonstrated impact and influence within and/or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community.

Talent Award ($50,000): Recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual who, on April 30, 2017, holds SSHRC doctoral or postdoctoral fellowship or scholarship (including, but not limited to, a Canada Graduate Scholarship, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship or Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship).


  • Nominees must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  • Nominees must be active social sciences and humanities researchers;
  • Nominees must have held SSHRC funding pertinent to the Award; and
  • Nominees cannot nominate themselves.

Western Nomination Process

The institution may only submit one nominee in each category.  Interested parties must submit by email to Julaine Hall ( in RDSE  a notice of interest including the following:

  • The name of the potential candidate
  • The SSHRC Impact Award they would like the potential candidate to be considered for
  • A current CV

All received submissions will be screened for eligibility and, in the case of multiple potential nominees in a given category, will be reviewed and ranked by the SSHRC ADR's.

Internal submission deadline: January 8, 2018

SSHRC Nomination Process

1. A cover letter (2 pages)

2. A nomination rationale (2 pages) describing the initiative to be honoured, including:

  • research achievements, impact, and/or outcomes
  • significance, challenge, and impact of the achievements to be honoured
  • quality and scope of training and mentoring provided to students and HQP
  • success in knowledge transfer/mobilization within or beyond academia
  • significant national or international impacts

3. Nominee’s CV and disclosure forms, plus CVs of any co-applicants

4. Supporting information for nomination rationale (3 pages for Insight, Connection and Partnership Awards; 2 pages for Talent Award and 6 pages for the Gold Medal)

  • Substantiates the nomination rationale (e.g., a list of research contributions mentioned in general terms in the rationale might here be elaborated on)
  • Summarizes work undertaken, indicating all relevant SSHRC file numbers
  • Describes research or related activities’ impact, outcomes, and other contributions

5. A promotion plan (2 pages) outlining Western’s plan to promote and celebrate the impact and outcomes of the nominee’s achievements. This should include:

  • purpose, target audiences, objectives, and key messages
  • promotional activities and an evaluation plan for measuring their effectiveness

6. Three letters of support (max 2 pages each) from referees. Referees must not have worked with the nominee on the project to be honoured, must not be affiliated with Western or its affiliates, and must not have a personal relationship with the nominee.

  • Referees must be established authorities in the nominee’s field.
  • Referees must send letters to Western, not SSHRC.
  • Letters must be signed and dated and include referee name, position, affiliation, email, and phone number.
  • Letters must state time period and capacity in which referee has known nominee.
  • Letters must offer an overall assessment of the nominee's accomplishments, including examples of how they fulfill the evaluation criteria below.

Selection Process

Selection is by a multidisciplinary, international jury from the academic, private, not-for-profit, and public sectors and is made according to the following rubric:

1. Challenge — Ambition and importance (15%)

  • originality and significance of the initiative

2. Achievements — Impact and outcomes (75%)

  • evidence of mutual co-operation and sharing of intellectual leadership and resources within and/or beyond academia
  • quality of partnership, including shared engagement and ownership
  • evidence of knowledge mobilization (e.g., publications, commissioned reports, professional practice, public discourse, public policies, products/services, etc.)
  • level of engagement and quality of training/mentoring provided to students and HQP, relative to the nominee's career level
  • evidence of influence and impact on research and societal outcomes

3. Capability — Strategy for promotion (10%)

  • quality of Western’s commitment and strategy to promote nominee achievements


Electronic submissions will not be accepted. Complete packages are to be mailed to:

350 Albert Street
P.O. Box 1610
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4


The final nomination submission deadline is March 6, 2018


Interested parties are encouraged to consult with Julaine Hall ( at Research Development & Services regarding these awards and their nomination processes.

Further details can also be found at