Awards from the SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition are intended to directly assist winning teams in the implementation of their ideas. Awards will be allocated to the students who come up with the most innovative ideas to engage neighborhoods in Surrey Centre, Brentwood, Lougheed, Metrotown and Edmonds. Teams will be assessed according to their idea’s innovation and uniqueness, as well as its community, commercial and socioeconomic significance.

There are two sets of awards, one for projects situated in Burnaby and the other for those in Surrey. The prizes are earmarked to assist the winning student/team in the implementation of their idea. Please note: teams are only eligible to win one of the awards.


Two awards funded by Blackwood Partners are available to support projects that engage Surrey Centre: a Grand Award of $3,000, and an Engagement Award of $2,000. The City of Surrey has funded an additional award of $2,000 also for projects designed to engage Surrey Centre.


This year, two new awards will be available to support projects in communities around the city of Burnaby: a $3,000 Grand award and a $2,000 Engagement. Talks with Burnaby-based businesses and organizations about future awards are ongoing. Who knows what new awards the future may hold?

Evaluation and Selection

There are three stages of evaluation in the SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition. The first step is getting your team together and submitting an idea (learn more about how it works). Then the evaluation process unfolds like this:

  1. Invitation to submit a detailed proposal. After December 1, teams whose ideas are deemed to be the most promising will be invited to submit a detailed proposal (due January 15, 2018) to the committee jury.
  2. Selection of finalists. A shortlist of teams with the most promising, creative, and feasible detailed proposals will be invited to present their ideas at final dialogue events in February 2018.
  3. Selection of winners. A winner will be selected, live, for each available prize at the dialogue events.

The selection of finalists and winners of the SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition is guided by a common set of evaluation criteria, which reflect SFU’s vision of engaging students, engaging research, and engaging community. In particular, this competition is designed to encourage community-student engagement through innovation.

When considering ideas, it is important that proposals have a high potential to make meaningful, positive change within their targeted communities: Central City and the Surrey City Centre community, or the Burnaby communities of Metrotown, Brentwood, Lougheed, and Edmonds.

Proposals should contain elements of social entrepreneurship, innovation and community building while including avenues to recognize, celebrate and champion diversity, community service and partnership. They should also be realistic, feasible and achievable, including clear indicators and measurements of impact and/or success.  It is critical that proposals be unique and authentically connected to genuine team interest.

Judges look for the following from all submissions:

  • Ideas that are compelling, unique and innovative
  • Plans that will clearly make a positive difference when implemented
  • Proposals that are focused, realistic, feasible and achievable
  • Plans that contain opportunities for community groups and businesses to be involved and participate
  • Genuine enthusiasm for the idea and a commitment to making it a reality
  • Clearly communicated, well-written and well-presented ideas
  • Proposals that include a definitive timeline, an accurate cost structure, and a propensity for success

In choosing the award winners of the SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition, all judges read the proposals of all finalists (those invited to a dialogue event) from the same community (Burnaby or Surrey).

The decision of the selection committee is final. If, in the opinion of the selection committee, there are no nominees considered suitable during a given year, no prizes shall be given.