UW/SSHRC RIF program


Under the University of Waterloo (UW)/Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Research Incentive Fund (RIF) award program, the Faculties and Office of Research collectively offer a one-time $10,000 award (dependent on available funds) to support scholars whose SSHRC applications were ranked in the top 50% percent of applications but were not offered an award. These guidelines clarify the purpose of the UW/SSHRC RIF award, the SSHRC programs to which RIF awards apply, and the terms associated with a RIF award.

Funds will only be awarded when a re-application can be made for the same activity. Insight Grants, Insight Development Grants, and Partnership Development Grants are eligible for the UW/SSHRC RIF Award program. Partnership Grants at Stage 1 (Letter of Intent) will be considered on a case-by-case basis pending availability of funds. Neither Partnership Engage nor Connection grants will be awarded a RIF. Those who accept a UW/SSHRC RIF award are ineligible to apply for any other UW/SSHRC funding (such as internal Explore and Exchange Grants) until the award has been closed.

Purpose of the UW/SSHRC RIF program:

The award program provides funding to assist researchers in:

  • Conducting preliminary research with the intent of developing a stronger external SSHRC grant application
  • Enhancing their curriculum vitae by dissemination of research results through activities such as attendance at a conference, networking, and the preparation and submission of publications

RIF Awards may be used for any SSHRC-eligible expense. Please refer to the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration (TAGFA) for full details on eligible and ineligible use of funds.

Terms of UW/SSHRC RIF Awards:

Before access to the funds can occur, the recipient must agree to:

  • Accept the terms of the UW/SSHRC RIF Award
  • Provide a copy of the evaluation scores and feedback that you receive from the SSHRC adjudication committee. This information will be used to assist you in developing a stronger application for the next competition
  • Provide a valid Research Ethics number if your project involves human or animal research
  • Provide a one-page memo to the UW/SSHRC secretary in the Office of Research, outlining the proposed use of the $10,000 award, including a budget and timeline
  • Submit a grant application to SSHRC (Insight, Insight Development, or Partnership Development competitions) within the next two grant competition years


  • RIF awards are expected to be spent within the fiscal year. If more time is required, arrangements must made at the time of award with the UW/SSHRC secretary in the Office of Research


SSHRC collects all eligible applications into one group by rank and then divides by relative rank into six categories (sextiles). Applicants are listed in alphabetical order within each sextile category.

Those who are not offered an award but appear in the first three sextiles (i.e. the top 50%) are eligible for a UW/SSHRC RIF Award.