FAQ

The Federation's membership includes over 160 universities, colleges, and scholarly associations. The Federation represents the powerful collective voice of more than 91,000 scholars, students, and practitioners from every discipline in the humanities and social sciences. However, Federation membership is comprised of organizations, not individuals. For more information on membership with the Federation, please see the Our members page

There are three types of membership at the Federation:

  • Scholarly association members represent a wide array of disciplines, from theatre arts, literature, and history, to sociology, education, and political science. These associations bring together researchers and graduate students at Canadian institutions that are recognized for scholarly excellence, creativity, and leadership. 
  • Institutional members represent universities and colleges that form the backbone of research and education in Canada’s humanities and social sciences. These institutions across Canada are linked and empowered through their membership with the Federation.
  • Affiliates are other partner organizations dedicated to issues in post-secondary education and research, whose objectives are closely linked to those of the Federation, such as research libraries or research networks.

Membership with the Federation means joining an active network of members that promotes dialogue on ideas and issues critical to the public and to research communities. The Federation offers a variety of opportunities for member participation, such as Big Thinking lectures and the national Congress of the Humanities and the Social Sciences. For more information about membership benefits, visit our Value proposition page.

The membership fee schedule is established each year by the Federation Board of Directors. Annual membership fees for association members are based on their total number of members in the last full fiscal year. Annual membership fees for institutional members are based on the total number of students enrolled at their institution in the last full fiscal year, as reported by Universities Canada.

Only association members in good standing with the Federation can attend Congress. Associations interested in attending Congress are welcome to submit an application to become members of the Federation. To apply, all you need to do is submit an application form and a few required documents to membership@federationhss.ca. Application forms can be found on the Become a member page.

Congress is one of the many benefits of being a member of the Federation. You can choose whether or not your association wants to participate in Congress; either way you remain a member of the Federation. However, your association cannot hold its conference under the Congress umbrella if it is not in good standing by the time the Congress planning cycle starts every year in September.

The Federation holds an Annual Meeting, which is attended by one representative from each of the Federation’s member associations and institutions every year. Members can influence Federation policies by voting on motions to change the Federation's bylaws and by voting in the elections held at the Annual Meeting. 

The Federation launches an open call for nominations for vacant positions on the Board of Directors ahead of the Annual Meeting. Members will receive an invitation to nominate qualified candidates by email during the window of time designated for nominations. The Federation’s Governance and Nominating Committee meets following the close of nominations to consider candidates for all vacant positions and puts forward a slate for election at the Annual Meeting. 

In 2020, the Federation established the Congress Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization (AC-EDID) to help make Congress and the Federation more equitable, diverse, and inclusive. The Committee released their report, “Igniting Change,” in April 2021, which includes 43 recommendations that the Federation is currently working to address. Read more.

In recognition of the financial challenges many members are facing, the Federation lowered annual membership fees in 2019 to pre-pandemic rates. If you have any financial concerns about paying your annual membership fees, please contact membership@federationhss.ca to discuss your options. 

If your association or institution has new executive members or a new billing contact, administration contact, or other, you can email membership@federationhss.ca with the contact's full name, email, and phone number. Additionally, you may provide updated contact details via the Member Update Form that the Federation asks members to fill out every summer. 

For all member related inquiries, you can contact Vanessa Foran, Member Relations Officer, at membership@federationhss.ca or at 613-238-6112 ext./poste 315. 

For the latest news about the Federation, its events, members, and the HSS community in Canada, you can subscribe to the Federation’s monthly newsletter, the Communiqué. The Communiqué includes information about Congress, Big Thinking lectures, the Canada Prizes, the ASPP, and new funding and other opportunities for students and researchers; in addition to links to blogs, videos, and other materials that showcase the humanities and social sciences.