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New Canadian Research Grants to Philosophers

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Submitted by Richard Zach on Mon, 07/16/2007 - 10:29am

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada has posted a list of new Standard Research Grants for 2007. (Last year's projects were discussed here.) This year's stats: 88 applications (2006: 85, 2005: 96, 2004: 92), 26 grants, for a success rate of 29% (2006: 37%, 2005: 38%, 2004: 48%). This year, new scholars (? 5 years beyond PhD) had a success rate of only 22% (2006: 29%, 2005: 38%, 2004: 29%). Full stats here.

If someone knowledgeable about SSHRC funding policies, procedures, and politics reads this, I would be really interested to know why the success rate has been declining so sharply--it's gotten almost twice as hard to get a project compared with 3 years ago! And contrary to what they said in their big SSHRC Transformation report they hdon't seem to have increased funding to new researchers. But maybe just in philosophy?

An incomplete list of successful SRG proposals follows. I've included the total dollar figures over the 3-year duration of the grants (in CAD), but these shouldn't be taken as an indication of the quality of the project. The funding rate depends on the requirements of the project (travel, research support) and on the amount of graduate student funding, not just on the ranking of the proposal. One may guess that the biggest awards (over $70,000) include Research Time Stipends, i.e., teaching relief, which is very hard to get. The grants aren't broken down by specialty or department in the full (71-page) list, so I had to guess the philosophy projects from the titles and/or researchers. Please email me or comment if you notice an omission.

  1. Berryman, Sylvia A., The University of British Columbia. The philosophical reception of mechanics in ancient Greece. $41,000
  2. Dyzenhaus, David L., University of Toronto. The rule of law in the new normal. $24,398
  3. Demopoulos, William G., The University of Western Ontario. Methodological and metaphysical aspects of the applicability of mathematics. $83,375
  4. Ereshefsky, Marc F., University of Calgary. A Philosophical study of biological homology. $74,103
  5. Hellie, Benjamin, University of Toronto. The slightest philosophy. $38,350
  6. Larivée, Annie, Brock University. Vers une éthique du souci de soi : réappropriation contemporaine d'un concept philosophique ancien. $45,990
  7. Marion, Mathieu, Université du Québec à Montréal. Fondements philosophiques de la sémantique des jeux : rationalité et connaissance. $44,638
  8. Matthen, Mohan P., University of Toronto. How we see things. $101,300
  9. Morton, Adam, University of Alberta. Intellectual virtues of limitation-management $66,546
  10. Myrvold, Wayne C. and Harper, William L., The University of Western Ontario. Scientific inference: enriching the probabilistic framework. $54,608
  11. Nadeau, Robert, Université du Québec à Montréal. Économie et connaissance : sur l'épistémologie de Friedrich Hayek. $53,671
  12. Parsons, Glenn G., Ryerson University. A philosophical study of human beauty. $19,260
  13. Piché, Claude, Université de Montréal. Kant et Reinhold, la portée philosophique de deux conceptions divergentes des lumières. $49,700
  14. Piché, David, Université de Montréal. La théorie de la connaissance d'Hervé de Nédellec : édition critique de Quodlibeta, traduction et étude historico-philosophique. $71,924
  15. Schlimm, Dirk and Hallett, Michael, McGill University. Geometry and logic from Pasch to Hilbert. $54,280
  16. Weisberg, Jonathan J., University of Toronto. Synthesizing formal epistemologies. $33,825
  17. Wilson, Jessica M., University of Toronto. Hume's Dictum and the causal connection. $31,400
  18. Yi, Byeong-Uk, University of Toronto. Plurals: their logic and semantics. $61,570
  19. Weinstein, Steven, University of Waterloo. Multiple time dimensions. $49,615

Two out of the five new Strategic Research Clusters are philosophy-related: "Clustering the humanist and social studies of science in Canada" includes Canadian philosophy/ers of science, and the "Canadian business ethics research network" is, well, applied ethics.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada also sometimes funds research projects by philosophers. This year there are (at least) two new 5-year discovery grants (with per-year figures) to people in philosophy departments:

  1. Pelletier, F. Jeffry, Simon Fraser University. Inference: Theories and computation. $34,000
  2. Zach, Richard, University of Calgary. Computational aspects of the epsilon calculus. $14,000

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 07/16/2007 - 1:52pm

2 additions for UdeMontréal1- Lagueux, Maurice (retired but still associated with the dept), Université de Montréal $58,053with Fournier, Marcel , Université de MontréalArchitecture et projet académique des universités nord-américaines2-Bodéüs, Richard , Université de Montréal $83,536Aristotelica, recherches sur les oeuvres d'Aristote et de ses commentateurs anciensThanks again for writing up this listCheersFrédéric BouchardPhilosophie UdeMontréal

Submitted by Greg Restall on Mon, 07/16/2007 - 9:04pm

Congratulations on your grant, Richard!

Submitted by Mohan Matthen on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 11:20am

It is indeed alarming that there were only 21 grants to philosophers this year, despite a relatively steady application pool. Do you know what the success rate was in terms of the award, and whether this has declined sharply as well? Of course, the most important indicator would be total amount of money granted. Mohan Matthen

Submitted by Richard Zach on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 12:43pm

Further analaysis < HREF="http://www.ucalgary.ca/~rzach/logblog/2007/07/sshrc-funding-stats.html" REL="nofollow">here<>. It's Stephen Harper's fault!

Submitted by Mohan Matthen on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 2:36pm

One more philosopher who got a grant: Anjan Chakravartty of the University of Toronto. Also Patricia Glazebrook of Dalhousie University, though her topic does not seem philosophical. One question: did all the philosophers on your list get grants through the Philosophy Committee? Some, e.g., David Dyzenhaus, who is in the Law Faculty at the University of Toronto, and cross-appointed to Philosophy, may have applied to a different committee.Mohan Matthen

Submitted by Richard Zach on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 3:41pm

Chakravartty, Anjan , University of Toronto. Forms and functions of scientific representation. $28,175Glazebrook, Patricia A.C., Tiessen, Rebecca L., Dalhousie University. Policy and women's agriculture in North-East Ghana. $59,500The list only gives names, affiliations, titles, and grant dollars. They won't be in the search engine (where one can search by committee and discipline) for a while. Grants may also come from Committee 1 (Classics, ancient and mediaeval studies, religious studies, classical archaeology), 2 (History, history of science, technology and medicine), 3 (Fine arts: history and philosophy of art, architecture, theatre, music, film, dance), and applied ethics from 20 (Health studies and social work) or the business/economics/public policy committees. Until it's in the search engine, there's no way to know.

Submitted by Mohan Matthen on Wed, 07/18/2007 - 6:38pm

One more question. It is true that the Standard Research Grant programme has been dealt a very serious blow -- a 25% reduction since 2004. But is it clear that this reduction is traceable to cuts in funding to SSHRC? Top brass at this agency have beggared Standard Research Grants for years -- in favour of directed research and research "networks". It might be that the cut was due to internal reallocation. Mohan Matthen

Submitted by Richard Zach on Wed, 07/18/2007 - 6:50pm

Good point. The funding cut to SSHRC (down to $13m from $15m; 13%) is not proportional to the 23% cut to the SRG program.

Submitted by Richard Zach on Wed, 07/18/2007 - 7:52pm

Ok, it looks like (a) I unfairly blamed the Conservative government, nad (b) Mohan is right:The SSHRC budget for "investigator-framed research" for 2007/08 is $90.6m, and it wasn't significantly more the previous years. In previous years, almost all of that went to SRGs, I guess. Now $20m less goes to SRGs. I don't know where the rest goes now--Research Clusters, maybe?< HREF="http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_initi/2007/05/results_from_a_.html" REL="nofollow">This<> is an interesting related post.

Submitted by Mohan Matthen on Thu, 07/19/2007 - 2:44pm

Thanks Richard. It is all part of a very disturbing trend towards institutionally directed research. Is there something that we can do about this, I wonder?

Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 07/21/2007 - 11:32am

RIchard, thanks for the analysis and congratulations on your own grant. Many things trouble me with the way grants are adjudicated. I was reading one of your older blogs and I think you are right that less-than-noble considerations often come into play. This much ought to strike anyone reading the list of successful applicants: - Grants go overwhelmingly to the big schools (consider how many went to UdeM- Grants are awarded to "serial-awardees": the more you had in the past, the more you are going to get- Certain fields in philosophy are very poorly represented.- There also seems to be an equity issue emerging. - The success rate of new scholars is steadily going down and at a quicker pace than that of regular scholars. This is a very disturbing situation. I don't know who is to blame. The members of adjudication committees who make the decisions based on "less-than-noble considerations" or SSHRC. One thing is sure, I do believe that a separate competition for new scholars would be very helpful as they seem to be at un unfair disadvantage, competing with established scholars with the big names and award-winning histories. - Disgruntled.