This report presents the results of an evaluation of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) Insight Grants (IG) and Insight Development Grants (IDG). The evaluation addressed the five core evaluation issues stipulated in the Treasury Board’s Policy on Evaluation (2009), which fall within two broad categories: relevance and performance. Relevance issues were assessed from 2010–11 to 2014–15, while performance issues, especially the achievement of expected outcomes, were assessed as of 2005, including for grants funded through the IG/IDG’s predecessors: Standard Research Grants (SRG) and Research Development Initiatives (RDI).
Nine evaluation methods were used to collect, analyze and synthesize data across multiple lines of evidence: a document review, a literature review, an administrative data review (including applications and final research reports), a cost-efficiency analysis, key informant interviews, a researcher survey, a student survey, survey focus groups and case studies. Insight Grants provide funds to scholars working as individuals or in teams for long-term social sciences and humanities (SSH) research initiatives. For the 2012–2014 competition years, these grants provided between $7,000 and $500,000 over three to five years.
Insight Development Grants support the development of new research questions, and experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches or ideas in the SSH. These grants are valued at between $7,000 and $75,000 over one to two years and are allocated across two categories of researchers: established and emerging scholars.
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