22 January 2016

GBC researchers awarded SSHRC Social Innovation grants

The results of the first round of the SSHRC Social Innovation program for college researchers were announced yesterday. GBC has been awarded four awards - including the #1 ranked proposal in the country for GBC professor Jaswant Kaur Bajwa.

Congratulations to our winners, and to all college and polytechnic researchers across the country. 

This pilot program has been inundated with applicants - GBC had three additional awards recommended for funding that were not awarded due to lack of funding in the pilot program.

Here is our press release:

Four research teams at George Brown College have been named as first round recipients of the pilot program of the Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF), through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The results were announced today by Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario. Total funding received by George Brown faculty for their research is $931,900.

"Social innovation has long been a vital component of George Brown's applied education and research mandate. For our faculty and researchers, the community is an extension of the classroom," said Robert Luke, Vice-President of Research and Innovation at the college. "This SSHRC pilot program represents a significant opportunity for our researchers to sustain meaningful social innovation initiatives, all designed to build a lasting bridge between thought leaders at the college and polytechnic level and the communities that surround them."

SSHRC-CCSIF funding will provide $15 million over three years in support of social innovation research projects at colleges and polytechnics. This pilot initiative will connect the talent, facilities and capabilities of Canada's colleges and polytechnics with the research needs of local community organizations. The fund aims to enable colleges to increase their capacity to work with communities, with the goal of developing partnerships that foster social innovation in areas such as education, integration of vulnerable populations, health and community development.

The George Brown researchers— Monica McGlynn-Stewart (Centre for Community Services and Early Childhood); Elise Hodson(Centre for Arts and Design); Charles Anyinam (Centre for Health Sciences); Jaswant Kaur Bajwa (Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies)—are tackling a diverse set of research topics designed to leave an impact on the community, including: the use of digital technologies in children's literacy development; promoting empowerment of postsecondary students with disabilities using online and mobile social media technology; using technology to help in holistic crisis planning for at-risk youth in Ontario; and education strategies for victims of torture and political oppression.

The researchers have paired with leading community partners to put the research into action, including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), National Educational Association of Disabled Students, the Peel District School Board and the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT). For full project partners and descriptions, visit our website.

About George Brown College
Toronto's George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. From its three main campuses located across the downtown core, George Brown offers 148 full-time and 1,600 continuing education programs across a wide variety of professions to a student body of approximately 64,000 (including those enrolled in full-time, part-time and continuing education programs). Students can earn diplomas, post-graduate certificates, industry accreditations, apprenticeships and four-year bachelor degrees.

For further information: Lisa Marchitto, Corporate Communications Manager, George Brown College, Office: 416-415-5000 ext. 3767, Lisa.Marchitto@georgebrown.ca