ASPP: About

ASPP: About


The Awards to Scholarly Publications Program is designed to assist with the publication of books of advanced scholarship in the humanities and social sciences that make an important contribution to knowledge.


The Awards to Scholarly Publications Program was established in 1941 by a group of Canadian scholars who wanted to support the dissemination of Canadian research in the humanities and social sciences. These scholars, among them noted public intellectuals Harold Adams Innis and Northrop Frye, felt strongly that the unique scholarship being produced in Canada needed to be shared. With a $5,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, the group established what was later to become the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program.

During its first decade, the ASPP funded 33 scholarly books, including works on the history of architecture in Quebec and the aboriginal people of Bella Coola, as well as several volumes of the Canadian Historical Review.

Canadian public funding for the ASPP began with the creation of the Canada Council for the Arts in 1957. In the late 1970s, the ASPP began receiving funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

In 2006, SSHRC approved new funding for the ASPP. The number of books and the grant amount were increased, and a distinct stream for translation was introduced. The ASPP now funds the publication of up to 180 books each year, plus up to five translations.

Since 1941, the ASPP has funded more than 6,000 works, contributing directly to the creation of a distinctly Canadian body of knowledge in the humanities and social sciences.

Program structure

The ASPP is a competitive funding program run by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. The Federation recognizes the best ASPP-funded books through its annual Canada Prizes.

The Academic Council, a six member committee of experienced scholars, advises the Federation on matters relating to the ASPP’s policies and strategic direction. The council meets at least four times a year to discuss policy issues and make funding decisions on Translation Grant applications.

Publication Grant applications are evaluated by the Publications Committee (pdf), a large and diverse committee of scholars that includes specialists in all of the primary disciplines of the humanities and social sciences. For each application, as many as five committee members are selected to evaluate the work and make a recommendation on funding.

The ASPP is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

The ASPP’s program year is April 1 to March 31. The ASPP functions on a constant-intake basis: applications are accepted and evaluated throughout the year.

Open Access

In October 2013, the Federation embarked on a multi-year project to develop an Open Access policy for the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP). The policy, adopted as of April 1, 2015, states that the Federation will actively promote and facilitate Open Access publishing of ASPP-funded books.

For more details, please consult the full policy.


Consult the report (pdf) for the last complete program year (April 1 to March 31), which includes a bibliography and statistics.




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