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Section I: Departmental Overview

1.1 Minister's Message

Jim Prentice, Minister of IndustryThe Government of Canada is committed to creating an environment where all Canadians have every opportunity for continued prosperity.

We laid out our long-term economic plan in Advantage Canada. It identified five Canadian objectives, related to tax reduction, debt reduction, entrepreneurship, knowledge in the workforce, and infrastructure, that will help us improve our quality of life and succeed on the world stage. I'm pleased to note the commonality between these advantages and Industry Canada's mission of fostering a growing, competitive, knowledge-based economy.

Clearly, our government is making strides towards achieving our long-term goals. For example, we have provided $190 billion in broad-based tax relief over this and the next five years, including cuts to corporate, small business and personal taxes. Our debt repayment goals have been accelerated by three years. We're setting the right conditions for entrepreneurs to thrive, for research and development to flourish, for additional competition and growth in the wireless sector, and for our workforce to build on its expertise. Finally, we continue to invest heavily in our physical infrastructure to build the networks needed to carry our people, goods and services across Canada and beyond.

In May 2007, Prime Minister Harper unveiled our Science and Technology Strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage. It is a policy framework that has received wide acclaim, both in Canada and internationally. Our government believes that science and technology, and research and development, are more critical than ever to pushing forward the frontiers of knowledge, and transforming that knowledge into new products, services and technologies.

Our hard work is paying off. The economic fundamentals are in place to help us realize our goals. We boast strong public finances, an economy that is as healthy as it has been for a generation and low unemployment.

As Minister of Industry, I look forward to implementing our government's agenda for providing effective economic leadership—an agenda that provides concrete, realistic solutions to the economic challenges our country is facing.

As always, we must build on our success as a nation. In this regard, Industry Canada and its portfolio partners continue to strive towards a fair, efficient and competitive marketplace, an innovative economy, competitive industries, and sustainable communities—in short, outcomes that will help Canadians continue to enjoy a quality of life that is second to none.

It gives me great pleasure to present the annual Report on Plans and Priorities for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, outlining in greater detail its main initiatives, priorities and expected outcomes for the upcoming year.

Jim Prentice
Minister of Industry



1.2 Management Representation Statement

I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2008-2009 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide to the Preparation of Part III of the 2008-09 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:

  • it adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat guidance;
  • it is based on SSHRC's strategic outcomes and program activities that were approved by the Treasury Board;
  • it presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • it provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to SSHRC; and
  • it reports finances based on approved planned spending numbers from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Chad Gaffield



1.3 Raison d'Être

SSHRC is the federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. Through its programs and policies, the Council enables the highest levels of social sciences and humanities research excellence in Canada, and facilitates knowledge-sharing and collaboration across research disciplines, universities, and all sectors of society.

In 1977, SSHRC was created with a legislative mandate to "a) promote and assist research and scholarship in the social sciences and humanities; and b) advise the Minister in respect of such matters relating to such research as the Minister may refer to the Council for its consideration." During the past 30 years, SSHRC has pursued this mandate in three ways:

  • by investing, through fellowships and research training, in Canada's best and brightest minds to develop the talent needed across society ("people");
  • by fostering research excellence that advances knowledge and builds understanding about where we have been, where we are and where we might go as individuals, communities, and societies ("research"); and
  • by supporting the partnerships, interactions and knowledge-sharing that brings the benefits of research in the social sciences and humanities to the larger society ("knowledge mobilization").

1.4 Organizational Information

SSHRC reports to Parliament through the minister of Industry. SSHRC is governed by a 22-member Board, or Council, which the Governor-in-Council appoints to represent the interests of the academic, public and private sectors across Canada. SSHRC's governing Council meets regularly, determines program and policy priorities, initiatives, and budget allocations, and monitors their implementation. Following a change to SSHRC's bylaws in 2007, the governing Council is now chaired by the vice-president of Council, while the president serves as SSHRC's chief executive officer, manages day-to-day affairs, has a direct relationship with stakeholders and the public, and is accountable for the administration of public funds and for delivering on the Council's mandate.

SSHRC also has selection committees made up of university-based researchers and, where appropriate, experts from outside the academic community. These committees adjudicate applications to SSHRC programs in accordance with the principles of rigorous independent expert review based on excellence. [1] Each year, between 350 and 400 Canadian and international scholars and experts volunteer to serve on SSHRC selection committees. Together, they assess over 9,000 research and fellowship proposals and make recommendations, based on academic excellence and other key criteria, about which projects to fund. About 5,000 other Canadian and international experts provide written assessments of proposals to help the selection committees in their decision-making.

SSHRC's organizational structure is presented in Figure 1. Accountability for the delivery of program activities and sub-activities at the vice-president level is presented in Table 1.

Figure 1: SSHRC's Organizational Structure

SSHRC's organizational structure

Table 1: Accountability for Program Activities and Sub-Activities

Program Activity Program Sub-Activity Accountability
Strategic Outcome 1.0: People—A First-Class Research Capacity in the Social Sciences and Humanities

1.1 Fellowships, Scholarships and Prizes

1.1.1 Canada Graduate Scholarships

Vice-President, Grants and Fellowships

1.1.2 Doctoral Fellowships
1.1.3 Postdoctoral Fellowships
1.1.4 Prizes and Special Fellowships

1.2 Canada Research Chairs

1.2.1 Canada Research Chairs Program

Executive Vice-President

Strategic Outcome 2.0: Research—New Knowledge Based on Excellent Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities

2.1 Investigator-Framed Research

2.1.1 Standard Research Grants

Vice-President, Grants and Fellowships

2.1.2 Major Collaborative Research Initiatives

2.2 Targeted Research and Training Initiatives

2.2.1 Strategic Research Grants

Vice-President, Partnerships

2.2.2 Strategic Joint Initiatives
2.2.3 Initiative on the New Economy

2.3 Strategic Research Development

2.3.1 Research Development Initiatives
2.3.2 Community-University Research Alliances
2.3.3 SSHRC Institutional Grants

Vice-President, Grants and Fellowships

2.3.4 Aid to Small Universities
2.3.5 Other Strategic Research Development
2.3.6 International Opportunities Fund

Vice-President, Partnerships

2.3.7 BOREAS:Histories from the North—Environment, Movements, Narratives
Strategic Outcome 3.0: Knowledge Mobilization—The Transfer, Dissemination and Use of Social Sciences and Humanities Knowledge

3.1 Research Communication and Interaction

3.1.1 Aid to Scholarly Publications Programme

Vice-President, Grants and Fellowships

3.1.2 Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences in Canada
3.1.3 Aid to Research and Transfer Journals
3.1.4 Aid and Attendance Grants to Scholarly Associations
3.1.5 Strategic Research Clusters

Vice-President, Partnerships

3.1.6 Networks of Centres of Excellence
3.1.7 Knowledge Impact in Society
Strategic Outcome 4.0: Institutional Environment—A Strong Canadian Science and Research Environment

4.1 Indirect Costs of Research

4.1.1 Indirect Costs Program

Executive Vice-President

1.5 Voted and Statutory Items Displayed in Main Estimates

Table 2: Voted and Statutory Items Displayed in Main Estimates

Vote or
Statutory Item
Truncated Vote or Statutory Wording 2008–09
Main Estimates

($ thousands)
Main Estimates
($ thousands)
80 Operating expenditures 21,303 19,993
85 Grants 622,042 596,984
(S) Contributions to employee benefit plans 2,342 2,283
  Total Agency 645,687 619,260

1.6 Planned Spending and Full-Time Equivalents

Table 3: Planned Spending and Full-Time Equivalents

  Forecast Spending Planned Spending Planned Spending Planned Spending
($ millions) 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Fellowships, Scholarships and Prizes 102.3 104.1 106.0 106.0
Canada Research Chairs 61.8 61.8 61.8 61.8
Investigator-Framed Research 90.6 91.0 90.3 90.3
Targeted Research and Training Initiatives 17.4 19.0 22.0 18.8
Strategic Research Development 24.7 27.3 24.3 24.3
Research Communication and Interaction 22.4 27.4 27.6 27.6
Indirect Costs of Research 300.1 315.1 315.1 315.1
Total Main Estimates 619.3 645.7 647.1 643.9
Supplementary Estimates        
 2007 Federal Budget—SSHRC 10.9      
 2007 Federal Budget—Indirect Costs Program 15.0      
2007 Federal Budget—Canada Graduate Scholarships 2.9      
 2007 Federal Budget—Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research 32.7      
 Transfer from Sport Canada—Sport Participation Research Initiative 0.7      
 Transfer from Citizenship and Immigration Canada— Immigration and the Metropolis 0.8      
Transfer from Fisheries and Oceans Canada—Ocean Management Research Network 0.3      
Transfer to the Royal Military College—Indirect Costs Program (0.7)      
Transfer to the Royal Military College —Salary Portion of Canada Research Chairs Program (0.1)      
 Federal Accountability Act funds (for evaluation activities) 0.3      
Carry-forward from 2006-07 1.0      
Compensation for collective bargaining 0.1      
Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit funds 0.1      
Total Adjustments 64.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Total Planned Spending 683.3 645.7 647.1 643.9
Less: Non-respendable revenue 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8
Plus: Cost of services received without charge 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5
Net Cost of Program 685.0 647.4 648.8 645.6
Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) 189 194 194 194

1.7 Summary Information

Table 4: SSHRC's Planned Resources and Priorities

Planned Resources 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
($ millions)

 SSHRC Budget
 Indirect Costs
Human (FTEs) 194 194 194
Priorities for 2008-11 Type
  • Optimize program design and delivery to strengthen Canada’s people and knowledge advantages
    • Develop and implement a long-term strategy for funding research in management, business and finance
    • Develop and implement a framework for the continuous improvement of SSHRC’s suite of programs
    • Identify and advance opportunities to consolidate, harmonize and align programs, procedures, and policies with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), where appropriate
    • Improve service delivery to SSHRC’s client community through the implementation of integrated business processes and new technology


  • Strengthen SSHRC’s contribution to Canada’s entrepreneurial advantage
    • Develop and implement a knowledge mobilization strategy


  • Ensure value-for-money in public investments in social sciences and humanities research
    • Improve reporting on the results and impacts of SSHRC’s investments
    • Further develop and implement performance, evaluation and audit approaches to inform decision-making and program management


Table 5: Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

    Planned Spending
($ millions)
Program Activity Expected Results 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 Contrib-utes to Priorities
Strategic Outcome 1.0: People—A First-Class Research Capacity in the Social Sciences and Humanities
1.1 Fellowships, Scholarships and Prizes Highly qualified personnel, expert in research, are available to pursue various knowledge-intensive careers within universities, industry, government and other sectors. 104.1 106.0 106.0 1
1.2 Canada Research Chairs A world-class research capacity is enhanced in social sciences and humanities in Canadian universities and research institutes through the attraction and retention of excellent researchers. 61.8 61.8 61.8 1
Strategic Outcome 2.0: Research—New Knowledge Based on Excellent Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities
2.1 Investigator-Framed Research Investigator-framed research creates a synergy contributing to observable knowledge advancement and dissemination of research results throughout the academic community and beyond. 91.0 90.3 90.3 1, 2
2.2 Targeted Research and Training Initiatives Excellent SSHRC-funded research is targeted in areas of importance to Canadians (as defined by SSHRC, in consultation with the research community and various stakeholders). 19.0 22.0 18.8 1, 2
2.3 Strategic Research Development Research institutions are supported to conduct research development, and new research and researchers are attracted in strategic and critical areas. 27.3 24.3 24.3 1, 3
Strategic Outcome 3.0: Knowledge Mobilization—The Transfer, Dissemination and Use of Social Sciences and Humanities Knowledge
3.1 Research Communication and Interaction Interactions between researchers and between researchers and users of research are taking place. 27.4 27.6 27.6 2
Strategic Outcome 4.0: Institutional Environment—A Strong Canadian Science and Research Environment
4.1 Indirect Costs of Research Universities and colleges have the necessary resources, research facilities and services to carry out and mobilize world-class research, and have the ability to meet their institutional teaching and citizenship mandates while carrying out world-class research. 315.1 315.1 315.1 1

1.8 Plans and Priorities

In July 2005, SSHRC published a strategic plan for 2006-11. The Council developed this plan following an extensive consultation that explored proposals for both minor and major changes to SSHRC's strategic outcomes, programs and activities. This consultation involved thousands of dedicated and generous individuals on campuses and communities across Canada who took part in open discussions and who wrote briefs to help SSHRC shape the future. Published as Knowledge Council: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Strategic Plan 2006-2011, the final document distilled the conclusions of the consultation into three key ambitions: quality, connections and impact. These three ambitions now characterize SSHRC's vision, which is:

  • to enhance the quality of, and support for, research and research training in the social sciences and humanities;
  • to enable connections among disciplines, including with those in engineering and the natural and health sciences, as well as between research and the larger community, in Canada and in the rest of the world; and
  • to increase the impact of research and research training for the benefit of society.

1.8.1 SSHRC and the Federal Science and Technology Strategy

Since September 2006, SSHRC's new president has engaged the research community and other stakeholders in a dialogue about the changing research and policy environment. A major event in this changing environment was the Government of Canada's new Science and Technology Strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, published in May 2007. The strategy emphasizes three advantages, all of which relate directly to central concerns of the humanities and social sciences: an entrepreneurial advantage that translates knowledge into practical applications; a knowledge advantage that generates new ideas and builds research excellence; and a people advantage that increases the supply and retention of highly skilled individuals that Canada needs to thrive in the new global economy.

The strategy is guided by four principles:

  • promoting world-class excellence;
  • focusing on priorities;
  • encouraging partnerships; and
  • enhancing accountability.

The strategy commits Canada to continued G7 leadership in public sector research in order to strengthen Canada's people, knowledge and entrepreneurial advantages. Similarly, the strategy emphasizes the importance of independent expert evaluation to ensure non-partisan transparency in the allocation of public funds. The strategy also calls for improved governance measures, a more integrated approach to supporting research, improved client service, and increased accountability and better reporting of results.

The priorities and principles of the Science and Technology Strategy are directly linked to SSHRC's ambitions of quality, connections and impact, and SSHRC's strategic outcomes of People, Research, and Knowledge Mobilization. Because the successful implementation of the strategy depends on having top-quality, comprehensive research capacity across all fields, it offers SSHRC an excellent framework within which to enhance the contribution of research and training in the social sciences and humanities to Canada and the world.

The Science and Technology Strategy calls for a concerted national effort to strengthen, co-ordinate and align our actions to mobilize science and technology (S&T) to Canada's advantage. The three federal funding agencies—SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR—in conjunction with CFI, have been working together to co-ordinate, align, and/or collaborate on their activities to implement the commitments of the Science and Technology Strategy. The granting agencies are collaborating through structured working groups that engage all levels of the organizations. They have identified four key areas for early action: international S&T, program harmonization and alignment, identifying the appropriate balance of funding in Canada's research funding system, and improving the ability to measure and report on the impact of S&T expenditures. Many of these themes are reflected in SSHRC's own priorities for 2008-11, outlined below.

1.8.2 Priority 1: Optimize Program Design and Delivery to Strengthen Canada's People and Knowledge Advantages

Support for research in management, business and finance and other priority areas

The federal Science and Technology Strategy calls on the federal research agencies to focus investments in priority areas of strength and opportunity where Canada can build global research and commercial leadership. In Budget 2007, the federal government recognized management, business and finance as one of these priority areas, allocating to SSHRC a permanent increase of $11 million per year to support research in these areas. SSHRC subsequently launched its management, business and finance initiative with the overarching goal of contributing towards innovative management, entrepreneurship, and sustainable economic development practices in Canada through peer-reviewed research and research training. In addition to improving understanding of the innovation system itself, the initiative will reinforce, for the long term, the specialized knowledge base and cadre of expertise necessary to feed Canada's S&T advantage.

In its first year, the initiative was implemented through a number of existing and proven program mechanisms. The program mechanisms were chosen for their ability to support research projects, research development activities, and knowledge mobilization activities, and one-year projects as well as multi-year projects. A longer-term plan for this investment is now required. In 2007-08, SSHRC requested an assessment of Canadian strengths in management, business and finance research, to be undertaken by the Council of Canadian Academies. The results of this independent assessment, with other analyses of Canadian capacity and state of the art in these areas of research, will inform SSHRC's long-term approach to this investment.

In addition to developing and strengthening its support for research in the priority areas of management, business and finance, SSHRC is also investigating opportunities to work with the other granting agencies in strengthening their joint support for research in other priority areas. In particular, the agencies are exploring a tri-agency initiative for research on the environment (see section 2.2.2.).

In 2008-11, SSHRC will develop and implement a long-term strategy for funding research in management, business and finance.

Continuous improvement of programs

In pursuit of its ambition to enhance the quality of and support for research and research training in the social science and humanities, SSHRC now offers roughly 35 separate grants and scholarships programs. These have been created and modified over the years to generate new research talent, support innovative research, and facilitate the dissemination and application of new knowledge. Over the past 10 years, SSHRC has been an innovator in developing funding models and establishing research themes, often on a pilot basis, with many positive results. The longer-term implications of these newer programs on overall program coherence must now be assessed. Recent evaluations of programs, as well as the evaluation of the Strategic Joint Initiatives program mechanism, have also suggested a need to review program design and objectives. The need to examine SSHRC's suite of programs with an eye to overall coherence has also been confirmed in discussions between the president and the research community. The examination of SSHRC's program offerings will be complemented by an assessment of SSHRC's peer-review practices by a blue ribbon panel of international experts.

In 2008-11, SSHRC will develop and implement a framework for the continuous improvement of SSHRC's suite of programs.

A harmonized Canadian research funding landscape

SSHRC is committed to pursuing the ambition of a connected research landscape that is both inclusive and dynamic. As more and more researchers across all disciplines emphasize the need to put people in the picture, new strategies for advancing knowledge are reflecting the human dimensions of topics that were once considered to be strictly technological or scientific.

The increasing call for interdisciplinary and cross-science research presents opportunities and challenges for Canada's established research granting agencies. Separate funding programs and application processes present barriers to researchers working at the exciting and fertile interface of disciplines. This is why the federal Science and Technology Strategy calls for a more integrated tri-council approach to funding research, and calls on the granting agencies to consolidate, harmonize and align programs, where appropriate. In particular, there are promising opportunities for new inter-agency collaboration on the current federal S&T priority areas: environment, health, natural resources and energy, and information and communication technologies.

In 2008-11, SSHRC will identify and advance opportunities to consolidate, harmonize and align programs, procedures and policies with NSERC, CIHR and CFI, where appropriate.

Improved service delivery

SSHRC recognizes that, with an academic environment that is increasingly research-focused, and a research funding environment that is increasingly competitive, the administrative requirements related to preparing research proposals are significant and time-consuming. Researchers also devote time and energy to serving the research community by participating in the peer-review process as reviewers or as committee members. Without compromising on the elements of the process necessary to ensure fairness and effectiveness in funding the most promising research, SSHRC can alleviate the administrative burden on researchers through improved integrated business processes and tools.

In 2008-11, SSHRC will improve service delivery to its client community—Canadian researchers and trainees in the social sciences and humanities—through the implementation of integrated business processes and new technology.

Each of the activities under Priority 1, all aimed at optimizing program design and delivery, have clear links with each other. The separate projects will be managed in such a way that early results from one can inform the development of others. For instance, the examination of SSHRC's suite of programs will help identify opportunities for alignment with the program offerings of the other funding agencies. As well, improvements to service delivery will be developed with an eye to opportunities for harmonizing SSHRC's application and funding processes with those of the other funding agencies.

1.8.3 Priority 2: Strengthen SSHRC's Contribution to Canada's Entrepreneurial Advantage

A knowledge mobilization strategy

An important strategy for realizing Canada's entrepreneurial advantage is effectively mobilizing knowledge and expertise towards practical application beyond academia. Knowledge mobilization helps ensure that the full economic and social value of public investments in research is realized. This mobilization is all the more direct when the research is undertaken in partnership between researchers and practitioners in the sectors in which it will potentially be applied. More and more, universities themselves are assuming a responsibility to foster connections between their campuses and their communities, and are becoming local hubs for creativity and innovation.

SSHRC has taken a leadership role in facilitating knowledge mobilization. It is the focus of SSHRC's third Program Activity Architecture strategic outcome, and has been an ongoing focus of its strategic planning in recent years. Over the past decade, the Council has created new dedicated funding mechanisms to support knowledge mobilization activities. Such funding mechanisms were in place when SSHRC invested a portion of its 2007 $11 million budget increase to fund creative and productive interactions between researchers and practitioners in management, business and finance. (See section 2.3 for more information on SSHRC's knowledge mobilization efforts.)

To better achieve its Knowledge Mobilization strategic outcome, SSHRC has, over the last two years, created a new vice-president position (vice-president, partnerships), and a new Knowledge Mobilization division. It has established the SSHRC Leaders, composed of senior administrators representing nearly 60 Canadian universities, who have been nominated to serve as points of contact with SSHRC on issues of research support, knowledge mobilization and building new partnerships with stakeholders. To consolidate all of what SSHRC has learned in its experience with knowledge mobilization over the last several years, and to guide the further development of SSHRC's activities toward this strategic outcome, an updated and flexible knowledge mobilization strategy is now required.

In 2008-11, SSHRC will develop and implement a knowledge mobilization strategy.

1.8.4 Priority 3: Ensure Value-for-Money in Public Investments in Social Sciences and Humanities Research

Improved reporting on results and impacts

Research in the social sciences and humanities has major impacts on society, as it advances knowledge and builds understanding about individuals, groups and societies in the past and present. However, the challenge remains of how to assess and communicate the nature and magnitude of those impacts. Being able to articulate the impacts of public investments in research is an important part of improving SSHRC's accountability to Canadians.

Addressing this challenge goes beyond the familiar counting of journal articles and books, or indicators such as citations. Rather, it requires expanding the focus to encompass outcomes such as when research helps to change thinking and behaviour in everyday life. Since the process by which research affects the larger society is often complex and sometimes unpredictable, no single indicator of these impacts can capture the full value of the research. SSHRC is addressing this challenge through its impacts initiative, which includes:

  1. funding new research on developing new approaches and methodologies to assess the return on public investment in research;
  2. collaborating with NSERC, CIHR, CFI and Industry Canada, to develop impact assessment frameworks; and
  3. improving internal capacity to identify, collect and communicate the results of SSHRC-funded research.

The impacts initiative supports the Science and Technology Strategy commitment to improve the ability to measure and report on the impact of S&T expenditures.

In 2008-11, SSHRC will continue to work towards improving reporting on the results and impacts of its investments.

Improved performance, evaluation and audit approaches

Another aspect of SSHRC accountability relates more directly to assessing the Council's overall performance as an organization, as well as the performance of its granting programs. SSHRC undertakes evaluations of its programs, policies and systems in accordance with its risk-based evaluation plan, and collects data for performance measurement in accordance with its performance measurement framework. SSHRC is currently transitioning from a three-year, risk-based evaluation plan to a five-year, full-coverage evaluation plan, adhering to statutory obligations under the Federal Accountability Act. SSHRC has also been actively preparing for the release of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's new evaluation policy, and will be able to begin implementing it soon after its release, anticipated in 2008.

SSHRC continues to work with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to improve its performance, evaluation and audit activities, and will focus next on improving the processes by which its performance, evaluation, and audit findings inform its decision-making and program management. To help achieve this, the Council has established a Performance and Evaluation Committee made up of members of SSHRC's senior management. SSHRC will also be adding additional staff to its Corporate Performance, Evaluation and Audit Division. These changes will further SSHRC's capacity to continue evolving as a high-performing learning organization.

In order to ensure a robust internal audit function, SSHRC has restructured this function in alignment with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's 2006 Policy on Internal Audit. As a first step in this restructuring, SSHRC entered into an interim service agreement with NSERC for shared internal audit services in July 2007. The shared approach allows for a greater scale and economy of operations, facilitated by the fact that NSERC and SSHRC already share common administrative services, in which most of the core management controls reside. The restructuring will also enable SSHRC to meet the Policy on Internal Audit requirement for the chief audit executive to provide annual holistic opinion to the president and audit committee on the effectiveness and adequacy of SSHRC's risk management, control and governance processes, and report on individual risk-based audits.

The shared approach will avoid duplicating efforts in delivering both the holistic assurance function and individual risk-based audits involving SSHRC and NSERC's common management controls. The transition toward shared audit services for NSERC and SSHRC is underway and will continue in 2008-09.

In 2008-11, SSHRC will further develop and implement performance, evaluation and audit approaches to inform decision-making and program management.

1. See