Population Change and Lifecourse

Request for Proposal for Big Picture Synthesis

Knowledge mobilization is a dynamic process that involves exchanges among researchers and between researchers and research users, with the objective of informing further research, policies, and/or practices.

The Cluster Big Picture Synthesis Series is a knowledge mobilization project aimed at summarizing what is known and discussing implications on a topic or theme relevant to the Cluster’s interest from several studies by different authors. It does not involve doing any original research. The List of Possible Topics shown below was derived from discussions at the Cluster conference on “Income, health and social programs in an aging population” of 27-28 March 2013. Eligible topics for the Big Picture Synthesis Series are not limited to this list, but they need to qualify as “Big Picture Syntheses”

Synthesis grants are not intended to support original research. They are intended to support the synthesis of existing research knowledge and the identification of knowledge gaps in a format accessible to a particular audience, primarily government policy-makers.

Expected Outputs

The expected outputs from a synthesis project are:

  1. A report in 1:3:25 style: one-page key messages; three-page executive summary; and 25 pages of key findings. The report will be uploaded as a Cluster Discussion Paper;

  2. One-page press release and a four-page Research or Policy Brief following the Cluster guidelines.

  3. A version of the report publishable in a journal or a book.

  4. A presentation in a Cluster-sponsored event that includes academic and policy people as participants. The Big Picture Synthesis grants are worth up to $25,000. The proposed amount should include $3,000 for translation. All applicants and grant holders must comply with SSHRC’s Regulations Governing Grant Applications and with the regulations set out in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.


This request for proposal is open to faculty and researchers affiliated with an eligible Canadian postsecondary institution at the time of application.


The application of no more than 5 pages should address the following:

  1. Project Proponent or Team
    Provide identity and affiliations of the project proponent, or in case of a project team, identity and affiliations of the team leader and members. The applicants who are not Cluster members should provide a copy of their CVs.

  2. Project Description
    Describe the synthesis project, including the thematic focus, and the ways by which the outputs will be produced.It is possible that a synthesis project is better done in two parts: the first could be the synthesis report; the second could be the production of research or policy brief and press release, with each of the parts to be done by different persons. The second part could be done, for example, by professional or student journalists in close consultation with the authors of the synthesis paper. Should the applicant prefer not to deal with the second part, the Cluster will find the person(s) who would produce the policy brief and press release based on the synthesis paper. In either case, the proposed budget should allocate the amount of at least $500 for the writing of the brief and the press release.

  3. Project Relevance
    Describe the importance of the project to the Cluster including how the project fits in with the population change and life course theme and the interests of Cluster partners, how it relates to the mission statement of the Cluster, and how the project contributes to the goals of the Cluster.

  4. Training Component
    Specify any associated training, including training in use of complex data.

  5. Project Timeline
    Provide the dates of start and end of the project, and the time when final output (as outlined above) will be submitted.

  6. Project Budget
    Provide the project budget and justification, with specification of parts of budget that will be covered by other sources. If a professional writer (for example, a journalist) is involved, the fee should be included within the stipulated budget.

Submission of Proposals

Proposals are to be sent to the PCLC Executive Committee c/o ravanera@uwo.ca. The deadline for receipt of proposals is 15 November 2013. Applicants are encouraged to communicate in advance with regard to their intention to submit a proposal.


Applications will be considered by the Executive Committee of the PCLC cluster on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Relevance to Cluster
  2. Breadth and depth of potential KM impacts
  3. Suitability of participants and partnerships (including training component)
  4. Cost effectiveness


A final report that includes the output (described above) and a budgetary accounting should be submitted within 3 months of the end of the project. An electronic version of the synthesis report is to be sent to Susan McDaniel and Zenaida Ravanera. An electronic version and a paper copy of the financial documents have to be sent to:

Rod Beaujot,
Department of Sociology
University of Western Ontario,
London, ON N6A 5C2.