Community-Engaged Research Funding Program


CERi’s Community-Engaged Research Funding Program is a grant program available to SFU faculty and graduate students. The purpose of this funding program is to encourage and support student participation in community-engaged research and art-creation projects that emerged from and address the research needs of community partners.

Our goal is to provide an opportunity for students to develop research skills, build interpersonal and professional relationships while contributing to the research needs of community partner organizations.


The program is open to any faculty member or registered graduate student at Simon Fraser University who is actively practicing CER or whose research involves CER methods.

We encourage applicants working in all disciplines at SFU, including: Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical and Applied Sciences, Health Sciences and Resources and Environmental Management.

Testimonials from past participants

I was proud and excited that our work was part of the umbrella of CER and that CERi can showcase the breadth of what CER means.

This grant gave me confidence. It made me feel like my research was important and worth investing in, since an entity like CERi is funding it. The community I work with was also able to see that I was willing to invest in them and in the project.

It was wonderful to have the dedicated time and space to do really extract something that was just completely for the community partner. The output was completed in service of their needs.

This grant has given more life to our project and acknowledges that we were dedicated to the community and to bringing research home.

Project Funding

The grants are financial rewards of up to $5,000 for research-related expenses (including stipends, travel, focus groups, surveys, workshop costs, etc.) and are intended for one semester or one 4-month research period. Applicants may apply to renew funding.

The grant does not cover the following: fundraising events, capital expenses (e.g. computers or furniture), alcohol and projects that have already happened (no retroactive reimbursements).

This program supports

  1. Faculty applicants who have an existing research grant (Tri-Council funding, Mitacs, etc.) and/or are looking for extra funds to support a student in conducting community-engaged research;
  2. Graduate student applicants who are leading their own community-engaged research projects. Faculty supervision is required as a condition of successful applicants.

Selection criteria:

  • Background/expertise of applicant: The fellowship program aims to support applicants from a diversity of identities by adhering to the University’s goals in promotion of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the selection process. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals including women, persons with disabilities, racialized peoples, Indigenous Peoples, and gender and sexual minorities. Graduate student applicants must be in good academic standing.
  • Knowledge mobilization: The degree to which the research includes knowledge mobilization opportunities CERi can support (e.g., brown bag discussion session, podcast interviews, blog post, etc.).

We’re looking for projects that:

  • Fit the definition of community-engaged research;
  • Are done in collaboration with a community partner and support community-identified goals and needs;
  • Clearly state how the project will positively impact community and how it will be shared with community partners; and
  • Are ‘research ready’ meaning the research questions and scope are clearly defined and ethics approval is completed or underway.


All applicants must:

  • Be either SFU Faculty or a registered graduate student at Simon Fraser University.
  • Have a community partner and provide a letter of support from their community partner (template is provided).
  • Provide evidence of research ethics approval.
  • Attend a midpoint check-in meeting with a CERi staff member. 
  • Submit a Final Report and an Expense Report.


Grants are adjudicated by a grant committee composed of CERi staff and SFU faculty. 

Quick links

CER Funding Program by the numbers

A total of 42 Community-Engaged research projects funded across seven faculties.

Lead researchers:

  • 22 faculty members
  • 2 postdoctoral researchers
  • 20 graduate students
  • 42 community groups

How to apply

Complete the application form and gather additional required documents as outlined in the application checklist. Submit your complete application package via email to Joanna Habdank, Program Manager at SFU's Community-Engaged Research Initiative (

Please name your documents “Your full name_Document name” and write “CER Funding Program” in the email subject line.


Inquiries about the CERi Community-Engaged Research Funding Program should be directed to Joanna Habdank, Program Manager at SFU's Community Engaged Research Initiative (

Application checklist

  • Application form (with budget)
  • Current CV
  • Letter of support from community partner (template provided)
  • Letter of support from your academic supervisor (if applying as a graduate student)