Here in Canada, the beginning of April brings news of success (or not) in the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Standard Research Grant competition.
The applications went in last October. The committees met in the last couple of weeks to make their decisions. The federal government’s fiscal year starts on April 1 so SSHRC will communicate the results to university research offices by that date and transfer the funds for successful grantees.
For successful researchers this signals the beginning of a flurry of activity:
- You need to get the ethics review process started. (No ethics approval = no $$$)
- You should also advertise the Research Assistant positions you have for this summer.
- You might need to book travel to archives or field sites.
- You should look into internal competitions for teaching release or talk to your Dean to negotiate a reduced teaching load to enable you to make the most of your grant funds.
Unfortunately for about 70% of those who applied last October, April 1st brings bad news. To add insult to injury you will only know that you weren’t successful. The score and comments won’t arrive for at least another month.
This is tough. Your project is probably excellent, most are, but there just isn’t enough money to fund all the excellent research.
You need a way to keep your research momentum.
- Find out what internal funding your university provides for unsuccessful applicants. Plan to submit an application.
- Figure out what you can do to move your project forward. Plan to do that this summer.
- Evaluate your publication plans. Make sure you have things in progress, and that more will be submitted this summer.
When the comments and scores arrive, you will be able to make some decisions about whether and when to reapply.
I have been helping social science and humanities researchers with SSHRC grants since 2005.
My basic service involves a 1-hour conversation during which we can address the comments from your previous application and make a plan for submitting a better one. Then when you have redrafted the proposal, I will provide detailed comments on the draft. This service is $500 + GST/HST
If you decide, based on our conversation, that your time this summer would be better spent doing something other than redrafting the proposal, I’ll refund the portion of your fee that covered the review of the draft (that’s a $350 refund).
I won’t just send you off into the void, though. I’ll help you figure out what to tell your head of department, dean, and anyone else that is pressuring you to reapply. And I’ll help you develop a plan for becoming more competitive for a future competition or otherwise advancing your research and scholarship.
If you think that sounds good but you aren’t quite ready to click that button, contact me with your concerns and I’ll see if I can address them.