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First Ever SSHRC Grant Writing Retreat a Success



On September 17, 2016, the Office of Research Services (ORS) held its very first SSHRC Grant Writing Retreat at Vale Living with Lakes Centre.  Organized by Dr. Gillian Crozier, CRC Tier II in environment, culture and values and Laurentian’s SSHRC Leader, and Dr. Robin Craig (ORS) the event was attended by 50 prospective emerging and established SSHRC scholars , including two from Algoma university, representing a wide-range of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. Retreat participants also had the unique privilege to interact with SSHRC Program Officer, Luc Lebrun, who answered questions and participated all day via teleconference.


The primary goal of the full-day intensive workshop was to improve the efficiency and efficacy in the preparation of SSHRC grants with the assistance of specially designed resources, and supported by collaborative problem-solving assistance of peers and experts. Secondly, workshop participants were encouraged to identify mentors and/or other applicants going through the same process; i.e., people who will read and give feedback on your application. Workshop topics included: proposal planning, budgeting and deliverables, knowledge mobilization and partnership and polish and charm. The most highly anticipated session was without a doubt the SSHRC Insider Session, which featured presentations from researchers who have previously served on SSHRC adjudication committees and were able to give general advice on what separates top-scoring applications from the pack.


The organizers received plenty of positive feedback about for retreat:

“Part of the strength of it was that we had the whole day in the lovely setting of Living with Lakes. When we've done other sessions, they fall in the midst of a busy work day, and a 2-hr session is quickly crowded out by competing priorities of teaching, meetings, etc. This gave just enough distance from the daily grind to allow for some deeper thinking. And the fact that it was all free - such a bonus! Kudos to Luc for the epic skype call of 8+ hours!”

“The retreat was a really gratifying event, and you are to be congratulated for all the labour that brought together so many colleagues for such an intense and productive day--certainly a first in my time at Laurentian. That the research office is doing this means a great deal, and to have someone from SSHRC spend the entire day was extraordinary--despite my own experience I learned a lot, and it was very very worthwhile.”


As a follow up to the highly successful SSHRC Grant Writing Retreat, the ORS has developed a series of focused workshops for researchers applying to either the SSHRC Insight Development Grant or SSHRC Connection Grant competitions. The purpose of these workshops is to provide researchers with targeted information and coaching regarding the different components of the applications as well as take the edge off of a daunting task by enjoying the company of others in a comfortable and collegial setting.

For more information or to register for these workshops, please contact Dr. Robin Craig ( ext. 3213.