First Year of Social Innovation Fund Closes

For us, the meaning of innovation is constantly changing. And while it’s easy to picture an applied researcher in a white lab coat, the reality is that innovation comes in many different forms.

Recognising the diversity of New Brunswick innovation and a gap in the research funding landscape for the social sciences, we launched our Social Innovation Research Fund (SIRF) back in March 2019, as a two-year pilot project in partnership with the New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network (NB-SPRN.

The SIRF is for projects that stand to positively impact the province, like our other funds but is solely focused on socially innovative projects that will benefit New Brunswick through:

  • creating lasting changes to systematic challenges that have left vulnerable people behind;
  • better quality of life for all New Brunswickers; or
  • solving a complex social problem in the province that has a direct or indirect cost to local, provincial, federal governments or other organizations delivering services

We received 39 applications from May-June 2019, with a requested total of $1.161 million. We granted nine applications, totaling $200,000 in funding. Here is the list of researchers and projects we’ve chosen this year:

2019-2020 SIRF Round 1 Awardees/Alternates

Researcher

Institution

Funding Awarded

Project Title/Description

Bill McIver

NBCC

$30,000

Non-profit organization data collection tool plan to collect, analyze, and share data among social service organizations.

Janine Rogers

MTA

$15,000

Cultural literacy program for NB Museum which brings adult learners to the museum for independent learning and cultural awareness.

Shelley Doucet

UNB

$30,000

Transition strategy for youth with complex needs in pediatric care to adult care.

Grant Handrigan

UdeM

$15,000

Active school travel planning pilot program in Moncton area.

Susan Reid

STU

$20,000

Connecting incarcerated mothers with their children via video conferencing.

Michelle Lafrance

STU

$20,000

Information and system navigation for older adults and their caregivers in NB.

Céline Surette

UdeM

$25,000

Interactive mapping tool to measure cumulative impacts of natural resource development on NBers.

Murshed Chowdhury

UNB

$20,000

Study of and development of strategies to improve short- and long-term retention of immigrants in NB.

Gül Çalişkan

STU

$25,000

Community based narrative inquiry into economic immigrant retention in Fredericton.

We’re extremely proud to be backing such worthy projects and pleased to have NB-SPRN’s expertise available to help evaluate applicants and contribute funding. The SIRF has a total value of $400,000 for the duration of the pilot project – we’ve contributed $300,000, while the remainder was funded by NB-SPRN. We expect to support around 15 projects during the fund’s two-year pilot project. If successful, we hope to see the pilot project turning into a permanent fund. The second round of calls for proposals for the SIRF will be opened on Nov 14 and will close on Jan 27.

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