Knowledge Synthesis Grants: Evolving Narratives of Cultures and Histories

Aboriginal Peoples
Arctic and Northern Regions
Community, Regional & Enterprise Development
Creative Arts, Culture and Heritage
Environment, Energy and Natural Resources
Governance and Public Policy
Information and Communication Technology
Social Justice
Well-being, Health and Biomedical Discovery


Academic Unit: inquire with unit

Memorial Deadline: Monday 11th, December 2023

External Deadline: Thursday 14th, December 2023


SSHRC, in partnership with Canadian Heritage, Genome Canada, and UK Research and Innovation’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (UKRI-AHRC), is pleased to launch a Knowledge Synthesis Grants competition to mobilize, examine and synthesize social sciences and humanities research on  Evolving Narratives of Cultures and Histories.

Evolving Narratives of Cultures and Histories is one of 16 global future challenges identified through SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative. These complex issues, identified in 2018 following an extensive foresight exercise, reflect key challenges that Canada and the world are likely to face over the coming decades. All the challenges cross multiple sectors and research disciplines and require broad collaboration to address.

In an increasingly connected world, globalization can drive homogenized societal practices and dominating cultural perspectives. New technologies and online platforms can offer significant benefits to our society and economy, but they also bring challenges, including impacts on the discoverability of diverse content, the rise of disinformation, and questions over ownership and stewardship of cultural traditions and assets. Additionally, wars, climate change, natural disasters, shifting economic priorities and population growth put cultural heritage at risk. The world has and continues to experience the loss of languages, traditions, historical narratives and material cultural assets created over many generations. At the same time, developments in platform technologies―such as genomics and Artificial Intelligence (AI)― increased sharing and learning capabilities, and a realization that different systems of knowledge may hold solutions for global challenges provide opportunities to recover, revitalize and protect cultures and histories. These factors are leading to new and recovered expressions of identity, belonging and citizenship, changing the narratives that we tell about ourselves and each other.

The impacts of colonialism, racism and slavery continue to inform understandings of, and engagements with, cultures and histories. In the African Diaspora and Africa, calls for reparative justice to redress the legacies of enslavement and colonization continue to gain traction. In Canada, reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis requires settlers and newcomers to reconsider dominating historical and cultural narratives and respectfully engage with Indigenous Knowledge systems, cultures and traditions. Across the globe, individuals, families and communities are similarly addressing the legacies of conflicts and displacements. As marginalized and colonized populations seek recognition for losses and celebrate cultural resilience and survival in the face of adversity, they are challenging longstanding narratives about the past. Contested cultural and historical narratives can reinforce communal tensions and lead to alienation, denialism and marginalization. However, these narratives and their impacts can also change over time as they are challenged and shaped through personal experiences, education, arts and literature, cross-cultural engagements and changing political and economic contexts.

SSHRC, Canadian Heritage, Genome Canada and UKRI-AHRC have partnered on this funding opportunity to support research that will foster a deeper understanding of the state of knowledge about the global challenge of Evolving Narratives of Cultures and Histories. This competition will include two streams:

  • Stream 1 will be reserved for applications submitted by an applicant or project director affiliated with an eligible Canadian institution. Genome Canada may fund up to four projects in this stream and SSHRC, with additional funding from Canadian Heritage, may fund up to 16 projects.
  • Stream 2 will be reserved for applications jointly submitted by two applicants or project directors, one based in Canada and the other in the UK, who are affiliated with eligible institutions in their respective countries. Up to 20 projects may be jointly funded by SSHRC and UKRI-AHRC.

The resulting syntheses will identify roles that the academic, public, private and not-for-profit sectors could play in promoting more inclusive and equitable societies and can inform the development of effective tools and technologies, robust policies and sustainable practices required to support the path toward a diverse and inclusive future for all.

Please see SSHRC’s website for further information.

Funding Sources

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

This opportunity was posted by: RGCS

Last modified: September 11, 2023