Research Including Students

SSHRC adjudication committees disapprove of proposals that overly rely on students' labour. SSHRC has specific expectations for Effective Student Research Training, which require proposals including students to demonstrate a rich educational experience within a reasonable budget.

Rich Research Training Experiences

For a rich research training experience, leverage resources beyond the PI. The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Offices provide professional development that meet SSHRC's expectations.

The Research Ethics Office offers essential ethics training courses for SSHRC-oriented graduate students.

Mitacs is a program that offers funding and internship opportunities for graduate students and Post-Doctoral Fellows through community-research partnerships. Contact Eric Loo at the U of A for more information.

Consider involving undergraduate students in research through the Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI) and post opportunities on the Undergraduate Research Portal.

Offer your RAs access to these writing support programs for Effective Research Training:


When budgeting for graduate students in your proposal, follow these guidelines to avoid 'padded' budgets:

  1. Consider budgeting for graduate students in one of four ways at the University of Alberta:

    • Academically-Related Employment (ARE): Paid as casual support staff on an hourly basis.
    • Graduate Research Assistants (GRA): Full or part-time positions.
    • Graduate Research Assistant Fellowship: Fellowship-based funding.
    • Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA): Teaching assistant positions.
  2. Remuneration for graduate students depends on collective bargaining agreements between the university and the Graduate Students Union. It varies based on position type (hourly, monthly, or by term) and experience level (step and range). Full-time graduate students typically have a limit of 12 hours per week and 8 hours per day.

For more details, refer to these documents:

To enhance your proposal and meet SSHRC's requirements, consider the following:

  1. Student Involvement:
    • SSHRC discourages excessive reliance on student labor. Ensure your proposal demonstrates effective student research training with a focus on a rich educational experience within a reasonable budget.
    • Utilize resources such as the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Offices' professional development options to enhance research training.
    • Include ethics training courses offered by the Research Ethics Office for SSHRC-oriented graduate students.
    • Leverage the Mitacs program to secure funding and internships through community-research partnerships.
  2. Undergraduate Engagement: Consider involving undergraduate students through the Undergraduate Research Initiative, providing them with research opportunities.
  3. Writing Support Programs: Offer access to writing support programs like Writing Across the Curriculum (WaC) and Writing Services to ensure effective research training.
  4. Community Engagement: Explore community-engaged learning opportunities through Community Service-Learning (CSL).
  5. Budgeting:
    • Avoid 'padded' budgets and any perception of funding an entire graduate program with a single grant.
    • Budget for graduate students using options such as Academically-Related Employment (ARE), Graduate Research Assistants (GRA), Graduate Research Assistant Fellowships, or Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA).
    • Familiarize yourself with the remuneration details outlined in collective agreements and relevant resources provided by the University of Alberta.
By following these recommendations, you can strengthen your proposal and align it with SSHRC's expectations.

Key information resources