Community Engagement Grants

Community Engagement Grants are part of the Grants Program that SJRI has developed to support Affiliated Members in their transdisciplinary social justice research.


An important part of SJRI’s mandate is to encourage and support productive connections between its affiliated researchers and Niagara community partners. At the same time, many SJRI affiliates conduct important social justice-related collaborative work with community partners beyond the Niagara region; this work is also worth supporting. Therefore, SJRI considers two categories of Community Engagement Grants: 

  • SJRI Community Engagement Grant – Niagara Region
  • SJRI Community Engagement Grant – Beyond Niagara

In both cases, SJRI Community Engagement Grants are intended to support transdisciplinary social justice-focused collaborations, partnerships, events, performances and outreach activities between Brock researchers and community partners with the goal of nurturing community partnerships. While SJRI Community Engagement Grants may serve as a first step toward securing an external grant (such as a SSHRC Connection Grant), this is not a requirement.  

SJRI Community Engagement Grant proposals are expected to respond explicitly to the following main objectives: 

  • facilitate the multidirectional flow of social justice and transdisciplinary knowledge between Brock researchers and the relevant community;
  • support the development of robust reciprocal relationships between the SJRI and specific community organizations.

NOTE: The SJRI Community Engagement Grant is distinct from CRISS, BSIG, and other internal funding programs because its focus is on transdisciplinary social justice research and collaborations with a view toward building relationships and community partnerships. Therefore, funding of one time only events must be clearly justified within the context of building long-term partnerships. Other possible examples include: focus groupsa series of meetings to facilitate relationship building, and community-orientated research cafes/salons.  

Value and Duration

There is a total of $14,000 allocated to each grant type and the maximum value of each award is $7,000 for two years.

Any proposed variations from the project’s budget must be submitted in writing for approval.

Any unused money will be reverted to SJRI two years from the grant award date, unless an extension is requested and granted one month prior to this date. 

Budget variations and grant extension requests are to be sent to  

Knowledge Mobilization and Acknowledgement

A final report is to be submitted by the date stipulated in the SJRI Grant Funding Agreement and is to include information on participation, project outcomes, expenditures and additional funds secured, as applicable. If applicable, electronic copies of publications, presentations, and promotional materials developed for the project should also be included. SJRI must be clearly acknowledged in all publications and presentations that occur as a result of the grant. The SJRI Grant Funding Report template, which is shared with recipients at the time of the award announcement, includes these details. Please submit these materials to


Members of the adjudication committee shall not evaluate grant proposals involving affiliates with whom they share a conflict of interest. The names of the adjudication committee members are available upon request after the adjudication process has been completed.

In advance of each competition, a committee will be assembled that consists of  three SJRI affiliates who, ideally, provide some representation across faculties and who will serve as adjudicators for at least one year (two competition rounds). In cases when the PF is aware that there will be fewer applications to a competition round than available funding, the FSC will be notified, and the decision may be made to extend that associated deadline (which is otherwise strict) and/or to re-allocate funds across grant types. In these cases, the PF will announce any agreed upon extensions/changes to the wider membership. 

For each application, the adjudication committee members will assign a score based on the respective grant type evaluation criteria and scoring weight (see below for details). The appropriate weighting is then applied to arrive at a final score.


Only SJRI affiliates are eligible to serve as principal applicants on SJRI Community Engagement Grants. Preference will be given to applicants who have not received an SJR I Grant  in the past two years.

  • The title page of your application should include the title of your proposed project and the names, contact information and affiliations of the principal applicant as well as any co-applicants.
    • Please also clearly specify whether you are applying for a “Niagara Region” or “Beyond Niagara” Engagement Grant.
  • Attach a list of all references cited in your application (maximum 1 page).
  • The rest of the application should speak directly to the grant objectives (see above) and the evaluation criteria (see below) and be organized accordingly.
  • Applications must be single-spaced and use 12 point Times New Roman font. Applications that are not formatted properly will not be considered.
  • All proposed budgetary expenditures must adhere to Tri-Council guidelines (see also here).

Evaluation Criteria and Scoring (3 pages max + CV)

The following criteria and scoring scheme are used by adjudication committee members to evaluate SJRI Community Engagement Grant applications.

  1. Significance of the initiative and relation to applicant’s research agenda (maximum 1 and a half pages) (50%)
    • how the initiative is relevant to your research agenda;
    • social justice focus;
    • evidence of transdisciplinarity;
    • originality and significance;
    • evidence of partnership with a community organization/entity;
    • indication of and justification for participant group or audience;
    • significance to the relevant community and/or benefit to participant group or community partner;
    • expected contribution to the mobilization of knowledge including planned outcomes.
  2. Viability (maximum 1 page) (25%)
    • probability of effective and timely attainment of the proposal’s objectives;
    • inclusion of a detailed budget, indicating other grant support for the proposed project (where relevant) and clearly aligned strategies and timelines for the design and conduct of the proposed activity/activities and roles;
    • appropriateness of the requested budget and justification of proposed costs;
    • quality of community engagement and knowledge mobilization plans;
    • Other considerations:
        • All applicants must comment on if/how the proposed research plan incorporates physical distancing practices, adheres to public health guidelines and/or any other strategy and timeline considerations for undertaking the research within the current pandemic context (whatever that is at the time of application submission). If such adjustments are not relevant, please provide a justification. Explanation of these considerations will not count toward this sub-section page limit.
        • LTA applicants must ensure that the proposed timeline and funding request aligns with their current Brock-based appointment and note that any unspent funds must be returned to the SJRI at that time unless the SJRI is notified ahead of time that this appointment has been renewed, in which case access to the awarded funds will be available for the normal two-year timeframe.
  3. Training and mentoring (maximum half page) (10%)
    • quality of training and mentoring to be provided to Brock students and/or community members;
    • if training and mentoring is not relevant provide a justification.
  4. Record (no page maximum) (15%)
    • CVs of the principal applicant and co-applicants must be attached to the application.

Scoring table

Adjudication committee members assign a score for each of the criteria listed above, based on the following scoring table. The appropriate weighting is then applied to arrive at a final score.

9 to 10Excellent
7 to 8.9Very good
5 to 6.9Good
Below 5Not recommended for funding