Funding and Recognition

SFU's Office of Community Engagement runs several programs that provide funding to support and advance community engagement and community-engaged teaching, research and social impact work. As we learn about other funding opportunities that support community engagement, we will list them on this page. If you know of a program that should be listed here, please let us know by emailing:

SFU's Community Engagement Initative

Eligiblity: SFU staff and faculty
Grant amounts: Up to $10,000

SFU’s Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) offers small grants of up to $10,000 to SFU staff and faculty for projects developed with community partners that strengthen relationships and catalyze meaningful impact. The CEI has awarded over $700,000 and supported over 110 SFU staff and faculty projects to co-create community impact through cultivating mutually beneficial and respectful partnerships.

Between $100,000 – $120,000 is offered annually, in grants of up to $10,000. The CEI issues a call for proposals near the end of February, each year, and the deadline to submit a proposal generally falls in mid April. All applications are reviewed in April and May, and our goal is to communicate results and offer funding in June of the competition year. Whether your application is successful or not, you will be contacted about the result.

Each year, the program fields about four proposals for every one that wins funding – the quality of proposals is incredibly high, and is a testament to the courage and creativity of SFU faculty and staff.


SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition

Eligibility: SFU student-led teams
Grant amounts: $2,000 or $3,000

The SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition offers an opportunity for students to learn how to work in equitable partnership with individuals and organizations in the community. Since 2014, over $170,000 has been awarded to more than 65 community engagement projects tackling challenges like food justice, reconciliation, social connection, newcomer inclusion, racism, the toxic drug crisis, and more.

Up to 15 awards of $2,000 or $3,000 are offered annually. The competition generally opens in September of each year, and the initial application window lasts through until late November. Successful teams go through three rounds of evaluation, and winners are selected in early March.


Connect Fest event grants

Eligibility: Anyone who wishes to offer a free learning event at ConnectFest
Grant amounts: Up to $1,500

Connect Fest is a festival by the community, for the community. Formerly the Burnaby Festival of Learning, Connect Fest is an annual festival offered in partnership with the City of Burnaby. The festival is led out of SFU's Office of Community Engagement, and each year we offer a few "event grants" of up to $1,500 for promising event ideas that honour and showcase community knowledge and lived experience in a spirit of sharing and reciprocity. Applications usually open in October and close in December. Connect Fest takes place in late April or early May.


The Warren Gill Award for Community Impact

Eligibility: Nominated SFU faculty and staff

Recognizing and celebrating lifetime achievement in community engagement.The Warren Gill Award is presented annually to an SFU staff or faculty member who has dedicated a lifetime of work to exemplary community-engaged teaching, research and creative activity, and who has built significant partnerships between the University and the communities served by SFU.

The Warren Gill Award is conferred annually. A call for nominations is usually issued in October, and the submission deadline is usually the beginning of December.