IDG Boot Camp

Insight Development Grant

"You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing" Doris Lessing

IDG Two-Day Intensive: October 29 and December 2, 2020 (9am - 4pm, online, synchronous) 

If you are planning to apply for a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (deadline: February 2 2021) the IDG Two-Day Intensive workshop will help you understand the specific sections of the application form, SSHRC's expectations of researchers applying to the IDG, and what past SSHRC adjudicators have told us about previous competitions. The first day, in October, will be a sprint through the competition characteristics and adjudication, then set you up for efficient writing of the detailed description, knowledge mobilization plan, effective student training, and initial timeline. The second day, in December, will give you that final kick to completion, will added support for budget justification and crafting of your summary. In both cases, some short, directed writing exercises will give you strategies for success, while peer exchanges will keep you on track. There will also be opportunities to ask questions specific to your proposed research.

The Two-Day Intensive is open to all continuing faculty intending to apply to the 2021 competition, and to Postdoctoral Fellows eligible to apply via the University of Alberta (confirm with the RSO whether you are eligible). Postdoctoral fellows being written into a proposal's research team may accompany (not replace) the project's PI.

Registration limited. An application is required:  link. (You must be logged in with your CCID to activate).

"You fail only if you stop writing" ― Ray Bradbury


IDG Boot Camps, every Autumn. 2020 dates: Nov 9-16, excluding Nov 11, Online, synchronous.

*The IDG 2021 Boot Camp is full*

A targeted writing group will get you started early, help you work through the IDG proposal in step-by-step fashion, and keep you writing at a steady pace. You should have a draft of your proposal by the time you need to submit your Request for Peer Review. Steady, staged writing is the best way to avoid last-minute panic, and to turn out a polished, fundable, proposal.

Writing sessions are facilitated by Dr. Heather Young-Leslie, Senior Advisor, Research Development, a multiple SSHRC (and other) grants awardee, and recent SSHRC Selection Committee member. The sessions will focus on a specific section of the IDG application. Strategies and advice will be shared in the group. There will be time for your own writing. Between sessions there will be homework. Participants will be paired for some sessions with each reading their partner's section drafts and providing verbal feedback.

This is not a drop in program. Space is limited. An application is required. Please don't apply if you cannot commit to attending all sessions.


Boot Camp outline (subject to change) 

Pre-work: SSHRC concepts: Aboriginal research, research-creation, open access, new research direction, etc.


"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on" ―Louis L'Amour

  • Understanding the competition, evaluators' merit system
  • Navigating and understanding the IDG application form
  • CCV
  • Genre writing distinctions.
  • Speaking, to write persuasively. Starting with Why.

Day 2:

"Organize, don't agonize" ― Nancy Pelosi."If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" ―Albert Einstein

  • Detailed description I: Going linear: Connecting the research question/problem and project plan/methodology.

"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass ―Anton Chekhov. "If the fact will not fit the theory, let the theory go ― Agatha Christie

  • Detailed description II: Methodology; task timeline; research team roles and responsibilities, effective research training.

Day 3:

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination" ―Albert Einstein

  • Knowledge mobilization planning; expected research outcomes and benefits

Day 4:

"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt" ―Sylvia Plath

  • Funding the work of research; Goldilocking your budget (what not to leave out)

Day 5 [finale]:

 "Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be" ―Mark Twain "I rewrote the ending of Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, 39 times before I was satisfied" ―Ernest Hemingway

  • Crafting the Summary; murdering your darlings; fatal errors; how to irritate the reviewers and not get funded. 
  • Navigating the submission process. 
  • Final plan for completing your penultimate draft.