will remain at the heart of the granting process.
SSHRC research grants and scholarships are
awarded after experts from across Canada
undertake an independent merit review designed
to ensure the highest standards of excellence.
Members of adjudication committees may have
their own views on which issues they consider
most exciting and important, just as student
applicants do; but the review process and selec-
tion reflect collective expert assessment based
on a common set of published criteria regarding
academic merit rather than research topic.
What is most interesting and informative
about the annual selection of scholarship recip-
ients are the topics that students are choosing
for their research. In recent years, students have
shown significant interest in topics such as social
development and welfare, youth, violence and
education. Student interests range widely, and
changing times are no doubt inspiring students
to address questions that are facing societies here
in Canada and around the world.
But by focusing on academic merit, we can
be certain that the independent thinking and
creative inquiry that characterize excellence in
social sciences and humanities research will con-
tinue to enhance our understanding of people
with a view toward creating a better future.
Dr. Herbert-Copley is vice-president, research capacity, at the
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
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