Currently, as a graduate student in the social sciences, my supervisor has given me a short list of federal institutions that give out the majority of grants to all levels of academia, they share similar proposal formats, and they're only mildly competitive. There are a few other bodies, usually nonprofits with extra rules or with a target minority in mind, but that is all. This system is quite simple, easy, and predictable. My question is, if I end up moving out in the future, for a postdoc or professorship, probably to the US, do the expectations change? Could it get more complicated? How much will I have to adapt?

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    I'm currently in Canada, in case that piece of information is needed.
    – Al-Amry
    Oct 23, 2022 at 14:00
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    Prediction is hard. Especially about the future. (Various sources)
    – Buffy
    Oct 23, 2022 at 14:04
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    First time I ever hear SSHRC scholarships described as “mildly competitive” or are you thinking of other agencies? Indeed, as far as I know the Canadian system has limited funding in the social sciences (at least compared with the natural sciences). Or maybe your expectations as to the monetary value of the scholarship are very low… Oct 23, 2022 at 14:39
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    The US generally funds a smaller percentage of grants but for more money. Oct 23, 2022 at 21:24
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    I have never reviewed SSHRC grants but I would not count that chick before it hatched. Oct 23, 2022 at 21:52

2 Answers 2


The culture around grants and funding varies significantly from country to country. For example, in Belgium the majority of public resource funding is dispersed through research councils internal to universities. In Denmark, a significant part of research funding comes from private charities connected to major companies (e.g. Carlsberg). In the US, the funding mostly comes from a larger number of smaller grants each paying for maybe a student, or some summer salary. In the EU, there is more of a focus on massive 5-year grants that will pay for a small army.

When applying to a position in new country, it is often important to be aware of these differences and sculpt your application around these differences.


Thing change. Usually it is fairly gradual, with occasional big bumps (like COVID or War in Europe).

For the gradual changes you will adapt as your career progresses.

For the big and abrupt changes, you will be in the same situation as everyone else.

But, no one can really predict what will occur over, say, a 40 year career. Yes, things will change. How? Well, that is much harder to even contemplate.

As a citizen, however, you can also work toward positive changes. Education at the moment would benefit from increased funding at all levels and in every place.

  • I was thinking more about geographic changes, as in, is my described situation similar to others in the US and other places?
    – Al-Amry
    Oct 23, 2022 at 14:18
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    Some places have structures similar the US. Much of the EU, for example. But if you need to move around and need funding, look and analyze before you jump. I have no ideas about, say, Peru or Moldova.
    – Buffy
    Oct 23, 2022 at 14:25

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