Knowledge Synthesis Grants: Living Within the Earth’s Carrying Capacity

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
Oceans, Fisheries and Aquaculture
Social Justice
Well-being, Health and Biomedical Discovery


Academic Unit: Inquire with Unit

Memorial Deadline: Monday 23rd, December 2019

External Deadline: Tuesday 7th, January 2020


Adapting to live within the Earth’s carrying capacity is viewed as one of humanity’s most important challenges. Increasing pressures on the planet’s capacity to support life are generating important opportunities to explore changes in global ecosystems, to evaluate mitigation and adaptation measures, and to examine shifting values and cultures.

For many observers, developments such as rising global temperature, growing ocean acidification, frequent forest fires, decreasing biodiversity and disruptive weather patterns are symptoms of deeper issues. Human demands may be exceeding the absorptive and productive capacity of global ecosystems, with evidence indicating that pressures on several ecosystem services are near a tipping point.

A better understanding of the linkages across biodiversity and ecosystem services will help identify their potential interactions and the extent to which natural systems can continue to sustain life. The connections and interdependencies between natural and human systems likewise require further consideration, particularly with respect to adaptation and mitigation responses, governance and capacity-building, socio-economic and policy dimensions, individual and social behaviours, and Indigenous knowledge systems and legal systems. The resulting knowledge will inform possible transitions in coming decades to a more sustainable, equitable and healthy future for generations to come, and will be key to addressing pressing questions regarding humanity’s ability to live within the Earth’s carrying capacity.

Living Within the Earth’s Carrying Capacity is one of 16 new global future challenges identified through SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative. These complex issues were identified following an extensive foresight exercise and reflect key challenges that Canada is likely to face in an evolving global context over the coming decades. All of the challenges cross multiple sectors and research disciplines, and require broad collaboration to address.

SSHRC, with support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), is launching a Knowledge Synthesis Grants funding opportunity to foster a deeper understanding of the state of knowledge regarding the absorptive and productive capacity of global ecosystems, as well as the connections between natural and human systems. The resulting syntheses will identify roles that the academic, public, private and not-for-profit sectors, as well as Indigenous rights-holders, may play in advancing and supporting mitigation and adaptation responses, and may inform the development of effective tools, robust policies and sustainable practices required to support the transition to an equitable, prosperous, healthy and sustainable future.

Value $50,000
Duration One year
Application deadline January 7, 2020 (8 p.m. eastern)
Results announced March 2020
Apply Web CV, application and instructions

Additional information can be found at SSHRC website.

Funding Sources

Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

This opportunity was posted by: RGCS

Last modified: December 3, 2019