SSHRC Talent Award

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Award Overview

Application Deadline:

​Date set by graduate unit/Faculty

SGS Deadline:

February 16, 2018 (nominations due to SGS from Faculties)


$50,000—one award nationally

​Level of Study:

Doctoral or postdoctoral fellow

​Area of Study:

SSHRC funded disciplines

Required Legal Status:

Domestic (Canadian citizen or permanent resident)


Communicated by SGS in early March


The five annual SSHRC Impact Awards (Gold Medal, Talent Award, Insight Award, Connection Award, Partnership Award) recognize the highest achievements in social sciences and humanities research, knowledge mobilization, an​d scholarship supported by SSHRC.​ Each institution may submit only one nomination for each category in a given year. See previous SSHRC Impact Award winners​.

The SSHRC Talent Award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual who, on March 6, 2018, holds a SSHRC doctoral or postdoctoral fellowship or scholarship (including, but not limited to, a Canada Graduate Scholarship, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, or Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship).​


A nominee must:

  • be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada at the time of nomination;

  • be an active social sciences and humanities researcher or student;

  • hold SSHRC funding pertinent to the impact award category;

  • be in good standing with SSHRC; 

  • be affiliated with an eligible institution; and

  • if the recipient of an award, maintain affiliation with an eligible institution for the duration of the award.


  • cannot nominate themselves;

  • can be nominated in two sequential years for the same award, following which two years must pass before they can next be nominated in the same category;

  • can be nominated in only one category in any year; and

  • can be nominated in a subsequent year for a different SSHRC Impact Award.

Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria

The Talent Award is given to Canada’s top SSHRC-funded doctoral student or postdoctoral fellow who maintains academic excellence, has a talent for research and knowledge mobilization, and has demonstrated clear potential to be a future leader within and/or outside the academic sector and the significant impact of their current research. One award is offered nationally.

  1. Challenge—Ambition and importance (15%):

    • originality and signifiance of the research

  2. Achievements—Impact and outcomes (75%):

    • evidence of impact within and/or beyond the academic community

    • originality and significance of body of academic achievement and research, including quality of publications relative to the stage of career

    • ability and commitment to communicate research results both within and/or beyond the academic community

    • demonstrated engagement, appropriate to career level, in high-quality training and mentoring of students, emerging scholars, and other personnel

    • demonstrated potential for leadership and societal contributions within and/or beyond the academic community

  3. CapabilityStrategy for promotion (10%):

    • nominating institution’s commitment to promoting the impact and outcomes of the nominee’s achievements, and the quality of the strategy for doing so

Nomination Package & Process

Nomination Package

The nomination package must include the components listed below. Each document must start on a new page. Please do not include any additional material, as it will not be assessed. See detailed instructions on the SSHRC website ​for preparing each document below.

    1. A covering letter—application details (2 pages maximum)

    2. Change: Attachment—rationale supporting nomination (2 pages maximum)

    3. Nominee’s SSHRC CV and consent forms

    4. Supporting information for nomination rationale (2 pages maximum)

    5. Promotion strategy—outlining the Faculty/institution’s approach (2 pages maximum)

    6. Letters of support from three referees (each 2 pages maximum)​

  1. A covering letter of up to 2 pages that includes:

    • the name, current position, and institution of the person proposing the nomination;

    • the Award category;

    • the name, position, and affiliation of the nominee and any co-applicants;

    • a brief summary of the SSHRC funded work that is being put forward for consideration, including the relevant SSHRC file number(s);

    • a summary of the nominee’s overall contribution to their field of research;

    • the names, current positions, affiliations, and areas of expertise of three referees who support the nomination;

    • the name and coordinates of a contact person (typically, someone in the Research Office or Graduate Studies Office) to whom all inquiries and correspondence, including results, will be sent; and

    • the signature of the nominating institution’s president or his/her delegate.

  2. An attachment of up to 2 pages demonstrating the rationale supporting the nomination:

  3. This section should describe the program of work, research activities and achievements relevant to the Impact Award for which the candidate is being nominated, including:  ​

    • the significance, challenge, and impact of the achievements for which the nomination is being put forward;
    • the level of engagement with, and the quality and scope of training and mentoring provided to, students, emerging scholars and participants, and indication of the nominee’s career level​;
    • a description, including evidence of research achievements and, where applicable, impact and outcomes of the initiative;
    • examples of success in widely sharing, and encouraging application of, resulting knowledge and benefits within and/or beyond the academic community; and
    • evidence that outcomes resulted in significant and positive impacts in Canada and/or internationally.
  4. Nominee’s documents: SSHRC CV and consent forms:

    A signed, printed copy of the nominee’s

    • SSHRC CV;

    • Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information; and

    • Consent to Disclosure of Nomination Content for Promotional Purposes.

  5. Please also ensure that the online version of the nominee SSHRC CVs (not the Canadian Common CV) has been completed and are up to date. No information additional to the SSHRC CV itself, such as lists of publications or teaching history, will be considered by the jury.

  6. Information supporting the nomination rationale:

    Include up to two pages (if relevant) of further information supporting the rationale presented in section 2 above. It may include, as appropriate, a detailed list of research contributions, outcomes, and other activities mentioned in more general terms in section 2 (e.g., publications, conference presentations, graduate students supported or trained). Other research contributions, outcomes, and activities may also be included. When referring to SSHRC-funded initiatives, please cite all relevant SSHRC file numbers.

  7. A promotion strategy:

    Nominations must include a promotion strategy (of up to 2 pages) outlining the institution’s proposed approach for promoting and celebrating the impact and outcomes of the nominee’s achievements. Elements of a strong promotion plan include: i) purpose; ii) target audiences; iii) objectives; iv) key messages; v) promotional activities; and vi) an evaluation plan (how the effectiveness of each activity will be measured).

  8. Letters of support, of up to 2 pages each, from 3 referees:

    Three letters must be provided in support of the nominee. Referees must be established authorities in the field who have not worked with the nominee on the project being recognized, and do not have a personal relationship with the nominee. Referees should not send their letters directly to SSHRC, but, rather, to the graduate unit/Faculty making the nomination.

    Letters of support must:

    • be dated and signed;

    • sho an official letterhead;

    • be a maximum of 2 pages long;

    • include the referee's name, position, affiliation, email address, and telephone number;

    • include the name of the nominee and the period of time and capacity in which the referee has known the nominee; and

    • offer an overall assessment of the nominee's accomplishments, including examples of how these achievements fulfil the evaluation criteria outlined above.

Nomination Process

Faculty nominations are submitted to the School of Graduate Studies through the Faculty Dean or Vice-Dean, Graduate Education.

Single-unit Faculties may forward one nomination annually; multiple-unit Faculties may forward up to 2 nominations.

Please note:

  • Documentation sent directly (by the applicant, Faculty, or referee to SSHRC will not be considered.

  • Documents in a language other than English maybe require an official English translation.

  • Retain all original application materials until results are available.

Nominations are due to SGS by February 16, 2018. Each nomination package is to be submitted electronically as a single PDF file to the:

Graduate Awards Office
School of Graduate Studies
University of Toronto

Resources & Contacts

For further information, please visit the SSHRC website,​ and/or contact your Faculty Dean or Vice Dean Graduate Education office.

U of T—School of Graduate Studies​
Email: ​​

SSHRC—​Research Training Portfolio
​Tel: 613-943-7777​