The Social Innovation Fellowship connects Edmonton-based businesses and non-profit organizations that need applied research support for a social innovation, social entrepreneurship or social change initiative with a research Fellow who is a University of Alberta graduate student.
Applications are closed. Watch for the next call in September 2020.
Invitation to apply
If you are a University of Alberta graduate student or a post-doctoral fellow, you are invited to submit an application to work on an applied research project with a local partner organization between January and June (approximately 15-20 hours/week).
Accepted Fellows receive a stipend of $10,000 plus $1,000 for project expenses. The Fellow mentors a Junior Fellow, who is an undergraduate student from MacEwan University.
Types of projects
Research Fellows work together with a Junior Fellow on a social innovation project. Social Innovation Fellowship applied research projects explore social innovation concepts and methods. Broadly, social innovation means using new ideas and solutions to tackle social issues and have a positive impact on society. This includes social entrepreneurship and social enterprise approaches, where business models are used to address social issues.
Research projects, which are identified by a partner organization, can relate to any sector and field, including health, social services, business, fine arts, community development, sciences and engineering. Examples of potential projects include:
Examining supports and barriers to engaging in socially conscious business practices
Exploring ways that artists and arts organizations can be involved in animating empty storefronts
Investigating the potential for plastic water bottles to be reused as building bricks
Examining if and how temporary pop-up parks impact active transportation and physical activity
Fellow eligibility (2019–2020)
Fellows may be from any discipline, including health, social services, business, fine arts, community development, sciences and engineering. To participate, Fellows must:
Be enrolled as a University of Alberta graduate student or post-doctoral fellow (PhD granted within the last 5 years).
Be recognized by the University of Alberta as a full-time student for the duration of the project.
Work with their Partner Organization and an Academic Advisor to develop a research project that achieves both Partner and Fellow objectives.
Involve and mentor an undergraduate MacEwan Junior Fellow in the research process.
Work on-site with their Partner during some parts of the project.
How to participate
Review potential projects identified by partner organizations. If you see a project that aligns with your research interests, secure an Academic Advisor and submit a Fellowship application. You may apply for up to two projects, but can only be matched with one. To ensure the research addresses meaningful community needs and the results will be useful and relevant, only projects identified by partner organizations will be considered.
2019–2020 Fellowship projects
Your Academic Advisor can be from any discipline and does not need to be from your home faculty or department. However, they must be a University of Alberta faculty member and be eligible to hold Tri-Council research funds.
Your Academic Advisor is responsible for supervising you on this research project, similar to a thesis supervisor. Specifically, they will:
Help you develop a collaborative research proposal with your Partner organization.
Coordinate transfer of funds between the Social Innovation Institute and University of Alberta (specific details to be provided).
Oversee disbursement of the $10,000 stipend to you.
Participate in meetings with the other Fellows.
Sign a final report and complete an exit survey.
Develop an applied research proposal with your Partner and Academic Advisor and submit it to Mitacs for approval. Since funding is provided by Mitacs, proposals must first be successfully approved by Mitacs in order to proceed. In your planning, describe the role that an undergraduate MacEwan Junior Fellow would play in supporting your research.
If your research proposal is approved by Mitacs, work with your Partner, Academic Advisor and Junior Fellow to implement your collaborative applied research project between January and June (approximately 15-20 hours/week), receiving a stipend of $10,000 plus $1,000 for project expenses. Engage in professional development workshops and cohort discussions with other Fellows.