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. SJRI Community Engagement Grants are for up to $4,000 in funding each, with a total of $8,000 allocated to this type of grant.

There are two competitions for funding each year (in Fall and Spring).

Please contact Julie Gregory (SJRI Project Facilitator) at jgregory@brocku.ca with any questions regarding the application and/or adjudication process.

The grants adjudication committee also strongly recommends that you contact Julie for application support at least two calendar weeks in advance of submitting an application.

The next application due date is Friday April 30, 2021. Please send your application to jgregory@brocku.ca by this date.

Description

An important part of SJRI’s mandate is to encourage 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. SJRI therefore 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 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 to the following 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.

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

Value and Duration

There is a total of $8,000 allocated to each grant type and the maximum value of each award is $4,000 for two years. Any proposed variations from the project’s budget must be submitted in writing for approval. Any unused money will revert back to SJRI two years from the grant award date, unless an extension requested one month prior and in writing is granted.

Adjudication

Members of the adjudication 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, the PF will assemble a committee 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 Project Facilitator 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). In these cases, the Project Facilitator will announce any agreed upon extension 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.

Knowledge Mobilization and Acknowledgement

Grant holders may be asked to share findings at SJRI events such as a speaker series, semi-annual general meetings, and/or on the SJRI website. 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.

Application

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

The first page/title page of your application should include the title of your proposed project and names, contact info and affiliations for the principal and any co-applicants. Please specify clearly whether you are applying to the “Niagara Region” or “Beyond Niagara” competition.

Attach a list of all references cited in your review of relevant literature (maximum 1 page).

The rest of the application should speak directly to the evaluation criteria listed below and be organized accordingly.

Applications must be formatted single-spaced with a 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.

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. Please specify clearly whether you are applying to the “Niagara Region” or “Beyond Niagara” category.

  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 budget, indicating other grant support for this project (where relevant);
    • appropriateness of the requested budget and justification of proposed costs;
    • quality of community engagement and knowledge mobilization plans;
    • strategies and timelines for the design and conduct of the activity/activities proposed;
    • 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.

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