The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges globally. While much needed focus to date has been on developing and testing effective countermeasures to control the spread of the virus, examining the longer-term impacts of the pandemic—and the ensuing economic slowdown—on individuals, businesses and communities is just as important.
Social sciences and humanities research, including Indigenous research, both in disciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches, can help shed light on the nature of these impacts. It can also build knowledge on the potential strategies for managing recovery efforts, addressing inequalities in our societies, and building resilience to handle later waves of the pandemic as well as other emergencies.
Working in partnership with government, industry and not-for-profit organizations, researchers from across the social sciences and humanities can help provide the data, insight and evidence to guide action in the months and years to come.
There are a wide range of ways social sciences and humanities researchers can contribute: from highlighting the lessons of history, to probing individual and group behaviour, to exploring possible responses in policy and practice in all sectors.
SSHRC encourages projects in, but not limited to, the following themes:
- Understanding the differentiated social impacts of a pandemic, like COVID-19, using gender-based analysis, or by analyzing its political and economic effects at a regional, national or global scale.
- Designing and implementing effective and equitable recovery measures, such as fiscal and monetary policies, supply chain management measures, and social protection and employment creation initiatives.
- Building longer-term resilience and disaster preparedness, for instance, by learning from Indigenous knowledge systems, developing new emergency, public communication and work environment plans, or by rethinking communal and pedagogical approaches, artistic models and rituals.
Through Partnership Engage Grants (PEG), the PEG COVID-19 Special Initiative provides short-term and timely support for small-scale, stakeholder-driven partnerships. It will allow researchers and their partners to address urgent and specific needs, challenges or opportunities through collaborations. It will also provide a unique opportunity to foster a knowledge exchange on COVID-19 crisis related issues, challenges and impacts between postsecondary researchers and different sectors of society, including graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and other highly qualified personnel.