SSHRC upholds funding for York conference

The Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) announced Monday that it has accepted assurances from York University officials that planning for next week’s Israeli/Palestine conference is following its guidelines for grant holders.

Gary Goodyear, federal minister of state for science & technology, had asked for a review of the $19,750 grant for the conference, Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace, being held at York’s Glendon campus June 22 to 24. Goodyear asked SSHRC president Chad Gaffield to convene a second peer-review committee to assess if the conference is still worthy of public funds.

Instead, SSHRC sought assurances from York that it was following the policies detailed in its Grant Holder’s Guide for SSHRC’s Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences program. 

Below is the text of the June 15 SSHRC media release:

SSHRC awarded a grant-in-aid for the conference "Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace" through its Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences Program, following an application for funding received in November 2008. The application was peer reviewed by an independent multidisciplinary committee of scholars, using established criteria. York University, the host institution for the conference, was notified in January 2009 of the decision to provide a grant-in-aid for the conference.

In light of public discussion, SSHRC requested information from the grant holder in the context of post award procedures as stated in the Grant Holder’s Guide for the Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences program.

The grant holder [Professor Bruce Ryder of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School] has informed SSHRC that the changes in conference programming since November 2008 are minor and that the aims of the event remain unchanged in their essence. The dean of Osgoode Hall Law School [Patrick Monahan], and the vice-president research & innovation [Stan Shapson] at York University agree with him. SSHRC has accepted their assurance that planning for the conference is proceeding in a manner consistent with provisions of the Grant Holder’s Guide for the program.

As per SSHRC policies and procedures, grant holders are responsible for effective financial management and conduct of the research and related activities in accordance with the program guidelines, institutional policies and with ethical and legal standards.

As we stated publicly, SSHRC is unwavering in its commitment to independent peer review and its grant policies and procedures.