How to Apply (steps and important dates)

Register, and assemble your team by December 4, 2020.

Teams can have from 1 to 5 students (for exact team requirements, see the Rules). You can work by yourself, or you can find up to four other people to begin dreaming about your idea.

Make sure everyone on your team registers for the competition and reads and agrees to the terms of Confidentiality and Conditions of Participation by December 4, 2020.

Now it’s time to dream! What will you do? What community will you engage? Write things down and don’t worry how crazy they sound (the more you write, the more you can sift the good from the bad). You might want to look at step 2 to get some ideas for what you’ll have to submit.

Submit your idea. Have one person on your team fill out the idea submission form by Friday, December 4, 2020.

Has everyone registered? This is a good time to double check that everyone on your project team has registered individually and agreed to the terms of Confidentiality and Conditions of Participation. You can submit your idea before everyone registers, but everyone on your team must be registered by December 4, 2020 in order to be eligible to participate.

When you’re ready to submit, choose one person from your team to act as your team captain and fill out the idea submission form with your team’s answers to these three questions:

  1. Briefly describe your idea, outline its goals, and describe how it will enable you to work with community partners towards innovative and meaningful impact.
  2. If successful, what outcomes and/or impacts will your target community realize by doing this project with you?
  3. What motivated your team to enter the SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition?

The deadline for idea submission is December 4 2020!

Note: if your team submits more than one “version” of the same idea, we reserve the right to choose which one we will evaluate. And remember – your ability to stay organized will say something about how viable your project is, so please attend to your idea submission with the care it deserves!

Once the Step 2 deadline has passed, all idea submissions will be reviewed by an internal team of jurors. Those teams whose project ideas represent the most promise and the best spirit of this competition will be contacted in mid-December and invited to submit a detailed proposal (next step).

We will attempt to provide feedback to those teams who are not invited to continue on to Step 3, but due to the work required to evaluate all idea submissions, we cannot guarantee this. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep trying to develop your idea! After all, we can’t accept every proposal (even if we might want to!) – don’t let us get in the way of doing something amazing in this world.

Submit a detailed proposal by January 22, 2021.

Now it’s time to get into the details. Teams will be notified of their results by mid-December. Successful teams will be invited to submit detailed proposals, and will be provided with specific requirements at that time. You should have about 5-6 weeks to prepare your detailed proposal.

Detailed proposals should convey your ideas clearly and that any plans you provide have been thought through well. And above all, your detailed proposal must reflect the intention and spirit of this competition, for example: they should clearly demonstrate evidence that you have initiated a collaborative relationship with your intended partners (hint: reach out to prospective partners early). You will also be asked to detail how you will follow any prevailing distancing or health guidelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You may want to start preparing this material with your team well before your idea submission is evaluated. Consider the evaluation criteria for project selection, consider past finalists, and think about the kinds of things you’ll need (and need to know) to both implement your project and evaluate its impact.

Present your idea to a panel of judges. Date: TBD (early-to-mid-February)

Finalists will be invited to present their project to a panel of judges that may include SFU faculty, SFU students, competition sponsors and community partners.

Whether you win an award or not, every SFU student on your team will qualify for credit on the SFU Co-Curricular Record. Taking an idea from dream to presentation takes a lot of work, and you deserve recognition for it.

And remember, whether you win funding or you don’t, you will have made connections with community partners and others who could help you develop your ideas even further.

Here’s where the magic happens

Working with your community partners, you engage in the wonderful, messy, magical process of co-creating innovative projects that strive for meaningful impact.


This might take a month. This might take a year. Building strong, reciprocal relationships with your teammates and partners will help you respond to any challenges.
Don’t take our word for it – read about it here, and here.

Share your story and reflect on the process.

A condition of accepting an award is the creation of a post-project evaluation. There are many (creative) ways you might do this. However you do it, next year’s award applicants benefit from understanding your experiences, whether your project was successful or not. We will reach out to you during or after your project to work with you (and your partners) in creating a reflective blog post for our website. Check out what other finalists have reflected on – you might pick up some valuable wisdom!

We look forward to privilege of reading through your creative and inspiring ideas for community impact! Good luck to all participants!