About the Federation

An influential national voice

*NEW* (click the image to open flipbook animation)

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences has been promoting research, learning and an understanding of the contributions made by the humanities and the social sciences to a free and democratic society for 75 years. Established in 1940, with a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 85,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. 

We are a not-for-profit charitable organization with a mandate to:

  • Promote the value of research and learning in the humanities and social sciences
  • Support the dissemination of knowledge to the public and the public policy community
  • Provide a range of services to individual members and member institutions

We work closely with many partners, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, other federal research-granting agencies, postsecondary groups and organizations with a stake in Canadian R&D and innovation.

As the voice of our country’s learned societies, academic institutions and other organizations with a direct interest in social sciences and humanities scholarship, the Federation aims to:

Read the Federation infographic for an overview of our activities.


The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences helps to build an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society by advancing understanding of peoples, cultures, institutions and social relations.


The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences convenes an active network of scholarly associations and postsecondary institutions to promote dialogue on ideas and issues that are critical to the public and research communities.

Strategic Plan

Informed by consultations that began in 2014, the Strategic Plan 2016-2020 sets out the mission, vision and strategic directions of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences for the next five years. As part of this planning process, the Federation assessed progress against the 2011-2015 strategic framework, consulted with members and partners, and undertook an environmental scan. The environmental scan included a review of the alignment of our human and financial resources to our strategic goals and our capacity to adapt to the challenges and opportunities of the dynamic environment affecting Canadian scholarship and education.


Annual reports

Financial statements

Click here to read our advocacy principles.