Criteria and eligibility

The primary goal of the CEI is to encourage the development of innovative collaborations between SFU and its communities – including non-profit organizations, industry associations, NGOs, Indigenous communities and local First Nations, municipal, provincial and federal government departments – characterized by a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

Community engagement as a method.

In 2013, SFU adopted and adapted the Carnegie definition of community engagement, describing it as the process of collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. To read more, please see: What is Community Engagement?


Proposals that meet the following criteria will be highly ranked:

  • Feature collaboration that is characterized by a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity
  • Address an area that is demonstrated to be important to the community organization or community of interest
  • Address one or more opportunities identified in SFU's Strategic Community Engagement Plan in ways that advance the priorities and values of What's Next: the SFU Strategy.
  • Involve a new SFU community partner* or substantively strengthen programming or collaborations with an existing community partner
  • Bring together the SFU community on SFU’s campuses* and connect with SFU alumni
  • Expand a successful SFU community engagement initiative to another SFU campus
  • Include an explicit plan that articulates how success is defined and how one will know when success is achieved

*Community partner refers to partnerships with organizations that are outside of SFU’s reporting structure such as non-profits, First Nations and Indigenous groups, government organizations, special interest groups, industry, for-profit organizations and businesses, community groups and city constituents. SFU community refers to SFU students, faculty, staff, alumni and on-campus partners. SFU’s campuses refers to SFU’s campuses in Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey and could refer to other locations in the community where experiential learning and research take place.


As the CEI is primarily designed to seed new activities, the duration of funding will be a maximum of one year.

Eligible Expenses

  • Interim staffing costs for new initiative development
  • Other costs associated with partnership development

Funding will not normally cover:

  • Costs for ongoing operations and administration of existing projects or initiatives
  • Costs incurred prior to being awarded funding
  • Indirect costs such as overhead
  • Costs for conferences and meetings that are eligible for funding from other SFU sources including the Vice President Academic Conference Fund
  • Costs for salaries, stipends, or travel for experts that are not affiliated with SFU