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Background information: Community and College Social Innovation Fund

Community and College Social Innovation Fund

The Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) is an initiative to connect the talent, facilities and capabilities of Canada’s colleges and polytechnics with the research needs of local community organizations. Administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), CCSIF provides $15 million to increase college capacity for engaging in collaborative projects with community organizations and local businesses.

Under this initiative, colleges and polytechnics can partner with community organizations and businesses to apply for up to $200,000 in funding (with a potential 20 per cent additional funding to cover associated overhead and administrative costs) to undertake collaborative social innovation projects to improve community well-being. These projects are intended to address pressing social issues at the community level, including poverty reduction, homelessness and crime prevention.

Selected projects will explore effective ways of engaging citizens, delivering community services and strengthening communities. This can take the form of a product, process or program leading to positive social outcomes for the communities involved.

The Community and College Social Innovation Fund aims to:

  • foster social innovation by connecting the talent, facilities and capabilities of Canada’s colleges and polytechnics with the research needs of local community organizations;
  • facilitate the development of applied research, bringing together researchers, students and partners to address challenges pertaining to social innovation;
  • contribute to practical improvements in college and polytechnic program design, service delivery and management, in fields such as justice and security, social services, early childhood education and local community development;
  • enhance the skills and career prospects of college and polytechnic students by involving them directly in collaborative research activities with community partners; and
  • enhance the applied research capacity of Canada’s colleges and polytechnics, allowing them to better carry out applied research and knowledge mobilization activities, in collaboration with—and to the benefit of—community organizations.

A second round of recipients is expected to be announced in spring 2016.