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Updated: January 20, 1999

Community-University Research Alliances ¾
A Pilot Program from SSHRC
Posted: January 20, 1999

New Strategic Joint Initiative: Valuing Literacy in Canada
Posted: December 17, 1998

New Strategic Joint Initiative in Canadian Forest Research
Posted: December 10, 1998

New Strategic Joint Initiative: Federalism and Federations
Posted: December 9, 1998

Three New Issue Areas Targeted for Study
Posted: November 23, 1998

Community-University Research Alliances

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is launching a pilot program to help organizations within communities and university institutions combine forces and tackle issues they have identified as being of common, priority concern. SSHRC will provide core funding for a limited number of "CURA" ¾ Community-University Research Alliances ¾ to support a diverse range of innovative research, training and related activities that will, for example:
  • enhance mutual learning and horizontal collaboration between community organizations and universities
  • contribute to the social, cultural and(or) economic development of communities
  • enrich research, teaching methods and curricula in universities, and reinforce decision-making and problem solving capacity in the community
  • enhance students' education and employability through diverse opportunities to build their expertise and work-force skills in an appropriate research setting.
For comprehensive program information and application materials, please consult the
program description in the SSHRC Grants Guide.

New Strategic Joint Initiative: Valuing Literacy in Canada

Literacy is a broadly based issue with social, cultural, political and economic ramifications. Literacy skills affect the ability of Canadians to participate as full and active citizens in all facets of Canadian life. Canada needs to build on existing research in order to reflect critically on how literacy is linked to many current policy concerns, including the future of social programs, health care, the administration of justice, the use of new technologies for learning, international competitiveness and participation in the labour force. To address knowledge gaps that affect policy in the field of adult literacy, SSHRC and the
National Literacy Secretariat of Human Resources Development Canada have joined forces to offer a new five-year Strategic Joint Initiative, worth a total of $2.5 million. This Program offers three types of funding: Strategic Research Grants, Strategic Partnership Development Grants, and Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Supplements. For comprehensive program information and application materials, please consult the program description in the SSHRC Grants Guide.

New Strategic Joint Initiative in Canadian Forest Research

Canadian Forest Service (CFS), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) have teamed up to offer a new funding program, the CFS/NSERC/SSHRC Forest Research Partnerships Program. This strategic joint initiative will provide funding for forestry-related, university-based research that involves collaboration with Canadian-based non-academic users of research results in both the public and private sectors. The Program will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary research in the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering and humanities. This will allow for a holistic and adaptive approach to industry development, integrated land management, community involvement and environmental protection. For comprehensive program information and application materials, consult the program description on NSERC's website.

New Strategic Joint Initiative: Federalism and Federations

Canada is one of the world's oldest federations, and federalism has traditionally been near the centre of the Canadian political, constitutional and social experience. In order to stimulate research, training and dissemination in the field of Federalism Studies, SSHRC and Intergovernmental Affairs have joined in partnership to offer a grants program entitled Federalism and Federations. This four-year, $1.77 million program will fund targeted research through five mechanisms: Doctoral Fellowship Thesis Supplements; Postdoctoral Fellowship Supplements; Aid to Research Conferences; Research Grants and Supplements; and Virtual Institute Grants. For comprehensive program information and application materials, consult the
program description.

Three New Issue Areas Targeted for Study

As the first step in developing its new strategic themes, SSHRC began consultations in 1997 with academic, student and social/cultural organizations, universities, learned societies, think-tanks, private sector/labour groups and policy-oriented federal government departments and agencies. This exercise identified a number of pressing social and intellectual issues, and provided an opportunity for researchers, universities, governments and users of research in various sectors to help define SSHRC targeted research priorities. As a result of these consultations, SSHRC has launched three new themes under its Strategic Research Grants Program:

In a Knowledge-based economy, ideas and information are fast becoming principle raw materials of production, distribution and wealth. Economic successes and social stability will depend on the ability of individuals, communities and societies to adapt to new challenges and opportunities. The Challenges and Opportunities of a Knowledge-based Economy (KBE) theme will enable interdisciplinary collaborative research in areas that may include entrepreneurship and innovation, historical comparisons with other eras, or the cultural and environmental dimensions of a KBE.

Health research has often narrowly been defined as research in medicine, in biomedical models, in technology or health services. Now there is a growing understanding that an accurate picture of health requires research in a broad array of social, cultural, and economic factors. Interdisciplinary team research under the Society, Culture and the Health of Canadians theme may target attitudes and behaviours influencing health, the restructuring and the social history of the current health care system, differences between professional and lay meanings of health, or relationships between health, education, life cycle and development.

One of the most complex issues facing societies undergoing rapid change is the impact of globalisation on the complex web of human relationships that make up the social fabric. Interdisciplinary research is needed to explore the concept of social cohesion and to understand emerging pressures, problems and opportunities for civil society. Team research projects under the new Exploring Social Cohesion in a Globalizing Era theme may target trends in social marginalisation, understandings of the "other" in cultural productions, or the roles of public or private institutions and their impacts on social cohesion.

For complete information and application instructions, please consult the detailed description specific to each theme: