SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis Grant: Shifting Dynamics of Privilege and Marginalization

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 12th, December 2022

External Deadline: Thursday 15th, December 2022


SSHRC is pleased to launch a Knowledge Synthesis Grants competition to mobilize, examine and synthesize social sciences and humanities research on the topic of shifting dynamics of privilege and marginalization. Genome Canada has joined SSHRC as a funding partner for this call and is seeking social sciences and humanities insights on issues related to genomics. The outcome of this knowledge synthesis grant will help to inform policy and decision-making across sectors and help to ensure a cohesive, equitable and just Canadian society.

Shifting Dynamics of Privilege and Marginalization 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 is likely to face in an evolving global context over the coming decades. All the challenges cross multiple sectors and research disciplines and require broad collaboration to address. This Knowledge Synthesis Grants funding opportunity is informed and shaped by cross-sectoral and diverse perspectives, including subject matter experts, policy leaders and community leaders and Genome Canada’s fall 2021 Future of Genomics dialogue series.

In the context of increasing global uncertainty and social volatility, the social, political, cultural and economic fabric of Canadian society is experiencing rapid, significant and diverse transformations. Concurrently, significant and rapid technological developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum technologies, in genomics sciences, and in emerging biodigital convergence pose pressing and important questions about equity, diversity and inclusion, and about the possible combination of some of these technologies and their impacts on society, economies and ecosystems.

Our colonial past, racism and slavery continue to shape processes of marginalization and privilege today. More recent events such as the rise in polarized and illiberal political views, social movements around racism and decolonization, or demonstrations around climate change call into question the dynamics of power in different societies. The continued instability in the Middle East, the Russian invasion in Ukraine and the heightened geopolitical tensions in Southeast Asia have intensified discussions about power dynamics, the collapse of the liberal international order and what new world order lies ahead. The forced displacement of tens of millions of people within countries or across borders, exacerbated by migration due to climate change, calls into question hierarchies that exist among different communities of displaced people, how and why they are accepted, supported, welcomed or not, and the respective role of nations, communities and individuals in migration. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified inequalities between the marginalized and the privileged, and has contributed to the escalation of tensions between various groups in civil society and the polarization of political thought.

The social sciences, arts and humanities are well situated to address considerations associated with a volatile, uncertain and divided world. The risks associated with the widening of the gap between the privileged and the marginalized are multifold, and can reach far and wide into the fabric of society. The concepts of marginalization and privilege are experienced and expressed in a variety of ways at the societal and individual levels, and often have specific cultural significance that evolves over time. Further, an individual, group or community could find themselves at the intersection of multiple barriers, furthering their risk of experiencing the negative impacts of marginalization and exclusion. A deeper understanding of the many forms in which the world is being reshaped, at an individual, community and societal level, is necessary to navigate the shifting dynamics of privilege and marginalization.

SSHRC, with additional funding from Genome Canada to support key issues related to genomics, is launching this Knowledge Synthesis Grants funding opportunity to foster a deeper understanding of the state of knowledge about the shifting dynamics of privilege and marginalization brought about by a variety of factors, such as old and recent socio-political events; new technologies, including genomics; the new mis/information age; and the COVID-19 pandemic. All have contributed to a more volatile and uncertain future. The resulting syntheses will identify roles that the academic, public, private and not-for-profit sectors could play in promoting a more cohesive and equitable environment, and can inform the development of effective tools and technologies, robust policies, and sustainable practices required to support the path toward a prosperous and equitable future for all Canadians.

Additional information can be found on SSHRC’s website.

Funding Sources

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

This opportunity was posted by: RGCS

Last modified: February 1, 2023