05 February 2009

Cons Commercialize SSHRC Scholarships

From Budget 2009, p106f (PDF version, English) under section "Further Developing a Highly Skilled Workforce":
Canada’s ability to prosper in today’s global, innovation-driven economy ultimately depends on the skills, knowledge and creativity of Canadians. Further developing a highly skilled workforce and ensuring that this talent is well applied is a priority.

Budget 2009 builds on investments made in the previous two budgets by providing an additional $87.5 million over three years, star ting in 2009–10, to the federal granting councils. This funding will temporarily expand the Canada Graduate Scholarships program, which suppor ts Canada’s top graduate students. This includes $35 million for each of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and $17.5 million for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. These funds will provide for an additional 500 doctoral scholarships, valued at $35,000 each per year for three years beginning in 2009–10, and an additional 1,000 master’s scholarships, valued at $17,500 each for one year, in both 2009–10 and 2010–11. Scholarships granted by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council will be focussed on business-related degrees.

Given that scholarships granted by SSHRC are, by definition, awarded to students in the SOCIAL SCIENCES or HUMANITIES, we can assume students will be hard pressed to qualify for said scholarships.

In which case, the $17.5 million set aside for SSHRC is meaningless. Few, if any, graduate students will be able to touch a penny of it.

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