Call for Applications: The Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness (SCSC) Social Connectedness Fellowship 2024 (multiple programs with remote participation)

The Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness (SCSC) Social Connectedness Fellowship supports young people and people with a variety of different types of lived experience to partner with groundbreaking organizations from around the world to carry out innovative research on social isolation and belonging.

UPDATE! We will be accepting applications for our Summer 2024 cohort until 11:59 pm EST on March 10, 2024.

To learn more about this year’s partner organizations, their research projects and applicant criteria, and for links to the online application forms for each project, please read the detailed descriptions.

To learn more about the 2024 program, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.

Partners, projects, and links to apply:

Coastal Research, Education, and Advocacy Network (CREAN) – “Investigating Anti-Racism and Belonging”

Partner: Coastal Research, Education, and Advocacy Network (CREAN) 

The Coastal Research, Education and Advocacy Network (CREAN) empowers vulnerable youth through research, education, and advocacy, utilizing community-based research to deepen connections and improve the lives of youth, families, and communities. They collaborate with residents and community leaders to advocate locally and nationally for youth, aiming to enhance urban living conditions. 

Project: Investigating Anti-Racism and Belonging 

From 2018-2023, CREAN’s ARIE project in British Columbia sought to comprehend racism in public high schools, propose anti-racism initiatives, and champion better educational outcomes for racialized students, driven by the recognition of the detrimental impact of racism on their health, safety, and learning. Building on ARIE’s findings, this project seeks to explore the impacts of racism and anti-racism projects on students’ well-being and sense of belonging. By utilizing this research for advocacy and policy development, CREAN aims to produce materials that spotlight the importance of anti-racism work for youth in BC, aligning with their mission to empower vulnerable and racialized youth and improve community connections. Please read the full project description

Application Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SCSC-CREAN

Key Applicant Information:  

  • Location: Canada, remote or Victoria, BC Office 
  • Preference will be given to applicants with lived experience of racialization. 

Data-Driven Envirolab – “Measuring Urban Environmental and Social Inclusion”

Partner: Data-Driven Envirolab 

The Data-Driven EnviroLab (DDL), based at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, is an interdisciplinary research group utilizing innovative data analytics to address contemporary environmental challenges. Led by Associate Professor Angel Hsu, the lab collaborates with scholars and policymakers globally to strengthen environmental policy through evidence-based approaches and information transparency. Projects include tracking climate commitments, studying urban heat disparities, and expanding the Urban Environment and Social Inclusion index (UESI) to monitor 300 cities worldwide on environmental and social indicators. 

Project: Measuring Urban Environmental Performance and Social Inclusion. Candidates will choose one of these three projects:  

  1. Evaluating Subnational Climate Policies for a new climate action report card: DDL’s Cities Climate Action Report Card assesses nearly 800 cities’ efforts to achieve net-zero emissions, aiming to identify strengths and weaknesses in climate action plans amidst concerns of greenwashing and “window dressing,” offering fellows the chance to contribute to evaluation and scoring processes focused on key criteria such as net-zero strategies, nature-based solutions, and emissions treatment.
  2. Deepening the UESI on relevant case studies for heat stress or air pollution: The UESI project focuses on improving analysis of climate change and air quality indicators, aiming to incorporate new data sources such as ozone and crowdsourced air quality data to develop high-resolution indicators for urban heat island effects and air pollution in targeted cities. The project aims to assess the impact of urban heat islands on heat stress and other environmental outcomes, integrating crowdsourced data to better understand citizen exposure to outdoor heat.
  3. Expanding socioeconomic data for equity analysis: The Fellow will explore alternative socioeconomic indicators aligned with the UESI equity framework to assess environmental inequality in global cities, focusing on whether less affluent citizens are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards or have limited access to environmental benefits, thus filling data gaps left by sparse official income reports at the neighborhood level. Please read the full project descriptions.

Application Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SCSC-DDL

Key Applicant Information:  

  • Location: USA, with a preference for someone who could work locally in their Chapel Hill office.   
  • Quantitative research skills are required.

HelpAge Canada – “The Canada HomeShare Program: Housing that Connects Us”

Partner: HelpAge Canada 

Founded in 1975, HelpAge Canada started as “Help the Aged Canada,” focusing on representation for older persons in Canadian charities and has since become a registered charity dedicated to promoting healthy aging, forming a global network with HelpAge International in 1983. As the sole Canadian organization exclusively focused on older persons, HelpAge Canada collaborates with community-based seniors’ services organizations to tailor solutions, aiming to enhance the lives of older individuals and their communities both domestically and internationally, with a vision for a world where everyone can age with dignity. 

Project: The Canada HomeShare Program: Housing That Connects Us 

The Canada HomeShare program, spearheaded by HelpAge Canada, facilitates affordable housing arrangements for older adults, promoting aging-in-place through intergenerational homesharing partnerships. By creating connections between older adults and post-secondary students, the program addresses social isolation and fosters a sense of belonging, while the fellow’s research efforts will aim to understand the benefits and challenges of homesharing in various community contexts, supporting long-term community engagement and development alongside local seniors’ services organizations. Please read the full project description

Application Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SCSCHelpAge

Key Applicant Information:  

  • Location: Canada, remote, with option to work in-person in Ottawa or Toronto. 
  • Preference will be given to applicants who are older adults. 

HelpAge Canada – “How Online Support Facilitates Independent Living for Older Canadians”

Partner: HelpAge Canada 

Founded in 1975, HelpAge Canada started as “Help the Aged Canada,” focusing on representation for older persons in Canadian charities and has since become a registered charity dedicated to promoting healthy aging, forming a global network with HelpAge International in 1983. As the sole Canadian organization exclusively focused on older persons, HelpAge Canada collaborates with community-based seniors’ services organizations to tailor solutions, aiming to enhance the lives of older individuals and their communities both domestically and internationally, with a vision for a world where everyone can age with dignity.

Project: Understanding CORE – How Online Support Facilitates Independent Living for Older Canadians

Healthy Aging CORE (Collaborative Online Resources and Education, “CORE”) Canada is an innovative community-driven initiative dedicated to connecting organizations that support older adults, and advance independent living for older adults across Canada. CORE is an online platform that connects organizations and individuals, through discussion groups, communities of practice and through knowledge exchange and resource sharing. While these active groups are undoubtedly helpful, a strategic approach to discerning priority topic areas and resources at a national scale has not been undertaken. To address this, the SCSC Fellow will build off HelpAge Canada and National Institute on Aging research to identify priority topic areas at a national level, most important to supporting older adult independence and inclusion. Please read full project description.

Application Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HelpAge-OnlineCommunitiesProject-SCSC 

Key Applicant Information:

  • Location: Canada, remote, with option to work in-person in Ottawa or Toronto.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who are older adults.

Human Rights Watch – “Inclusive Adaptation: Championing Disability Rights in Climate Relocation”

Partner: Human Rights Watch 

Human Rights Watch passionately defends global human rights through meticulous investigations, widespread exposure of abuses, and advocacy for justice. As an independent international organization, they lead the charge in advancing human dignity and freedoms worldwide, catalyzing change through innovative methodologies and strategic partnerships. 

Project: Inclusive Adaptation: Championing Disability Rights in Climate Relocation Strategies 

The climate crisis disproportionately affects people with disabilities, yet there is limited data on the impacts of planned relocations on this group. Human Rights Watch aims to address this gap by investigating how government plans for climate-related relocations impact the rights and social connectedness of people with disabilities, collaborating with activists and experts to propose inclusive solutions. The Fellow will support this research by identifying government actions, documenting the effects on social ties, and proposing disability-inclusive measures for climate-related relocations, assessing government policies for inclusivity and advocating for their rights, particularly in the Philippines and potentially another Asian country, and will create visual maps of relocation plans. Please read the full project description

Application Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SCSC-HRW

Key Applicant Information:  

  • Location: Fully remote, applicants are accepted from anywhere in the world, but must be able to work hours that align with a 9-5 workday in Eastern Standard Time. 
  • Education or work experience related to law, policy, or environmental studies is preferred. 

Indigenous Climate Action – “Indigenous Divestment Toolkit”

Partner: Indigenous Climate Action 

Since 2015, Indigenous Climate Action has been an Indigenous-led organization addressing climate change through gatherings, resources, amplifying voices, supporting sovereignty, and nurturing healing justice. Guided by a diverse Steering Committee, they envision a world where Indigenous Peoples lead climate justice efforts, employing deeply relational approaches to develop strategies and resources in collaboration with Indigenous communities to uplift voices and stewardship for future generations. 

Project: Indigenous Divestment Toolkit 

This project aims to create a toolkit empowering Indigenous communities with divestment strategies, utilizing Indigenous rights outlined by UNDRIP to push for divestment from industries violating these rights, positioning Indigenous sovereignty as a financial risk for corporations and promoting a shift from extraction to regeneration. Please read the full project description

Application Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SCSCICA

Key Applicant Information:  

  • Location: Canada, remote.
  • Preference will be given to Indigenous applicants. 

Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program – “The Impact OF and ON People Involved in Inside-Out”

Partner: Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program® is an innovative educational experience that bridges the gap between campus-based students and incarcerated individuals. Held inside prisons, this semester-long course encourages dialogue across difference, challenging stereotypes and promoting diversity. By fostering deep listening and understanding, Inside-Out inspires participants to create more inclusive spaces in the world.

Project: The Impact OF and ON Formerly Incarcerated Men and Women Who Are Involved in Inside-Out Trainings and Workshops

Since the pandemic, Inside-Out has included dozens of formerly incarcerated Inside-Out alumni in instructor trainings and community workshops. These men and women are referred to as “coaches” in the trainings and “dialogue partners” in the workshops. The goals of this project include: 1) to more fully understand the impact of the coaches / dialogue partners on the training and workshop participants, 2) to more fully examine what these activities mean in the lives of the coaches / dialogue partners, 3) to explore how Inside-Out can expand these and further activities for other men and women who are formerly incarcerated. Please read the full project description.

Application Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SCSCInsideOut

Key Applicant Information:

  • Location: USA, remote.
  • Preference will be given to prior ‘Inside Students’ and people with previous experiences of incarceration
  • We are recruiting two people for this project. The two Fellows will share the  research goals and questions and each Fellow will produce their own blog, final report, and other deliverables.

Partners In Health – “Building a Roadmap for Enhanced Gender & Youth Health Services in Malawi”

Partner: Partners in Health 

Partners In Health’s mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. By establishing long-term relationships with sister organizations based in settings of poverty, Partners In Health strives to achieve two overarching goals: to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair. We draw on the resources of the world’s leading medical and academic institutions and on the lived experience of the world’s poorest and sickest communities. At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. 

Project: Building a Roadmap for Enhanced Gender and Youth Responsiveness for Health Services in Malawi

Partners in Health Malawi, known locally as Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo (APZU), is seeking to assess the gender and youth responsiveness of its services and ultimately identify opportunities for deepening the integration of gender- and youth-responsive principles within its operations.

This project will support APZU to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the gender- and/or youth-responsiveness of its services through the administration of surveys, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. The fellow will analyze and contextualize the data with a belonging lens, while integrating findings from academic and grey literature. Working with local experts, the Fellow will generate recommendations for actions APZU can take to strengthen the gender- and/or youth-responsiveness of its services. Please read full project description.

Application Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SCSC-PIH

Key Applicant Information:

  • Location: This project is prioritizing applicants from Malawi, and if required, neighbouring countries.
  • Applicants with an understanding of research methods, including course-based, and an undergraduate degree in gender studies, health sciences, global health, or a related field will be well suited to this project.

Qmunity Camp NWT – “Reviving Traditional 2SIQTIP Identity”

Partner: Qmunity Camp NWT 

Qmunity Camp NWT, established in 2019 and formally organized in 2023, celebrates and honors identities and tradition by facilitating healing through land reconnection. Their mandate focuses on creating a space where individuals can explore gender and sexual identities within traditional Indigenous practices, fostering safety, acceptance, and belonging. By providing inclusive gatherings, supporting artistic expression, and connecting youth with culture and the land, they challenge imposed binaries and strive to combat gender-based violence, aiming to spark crucial discussions on inclusion and safety in cultural and natural settings.

Project: Reviving Traditional 2SIQTIP Identity

Through this project, Qmunity Camp NWT are seeking to understand how settler colonial states disrupt traditional Indigenous identities and how communities resist colonial notions of the gender binary and heteropatriarchy, aiming to address the macro-level impacts of colonization on gender-based violence, while recognizing the power of individual and collective resistence. As such, this project, led by the selected Fellow, in collaboration with the Camp Director, seeks to investigate the impact of settler colonial states on traditional Indigenous identities and the prevalence of gender-based violence among 2SLGBTQIPA+ community members in the North, emphasizing desk-based and community-based research methods while attending Qmunity Camp programming in June and August. The final report will serve to understand and evaluate Qmunity Camp’s impact and inform their advocacy. Please read full project description. 

Application Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SCSCQmunityCamp

Key Applicant Information:

  • Location: The organization is located in Sǫ̀mba K’è, Denendeh (Yellowknife, NT), but employees can work remotely. Fellows will be requested to attend Qmunity Camp NWT programming as a part of their contract and project.
  • Qmunity Camp will help the successful applicant with their travel costs).
  • Applicants based in the Northern Territories (NT, YK, NU) will be prioritized. 2SIQTIP applicants, and Indigenous applicants will be prioritized.   

Seeds of Peace – “Making Peace Possible: Bridge-Building and Belonging in India”

Partner: Seeds of Peace

For over 30 years, Seeds of Peace has been synonymous with peace and conflict transformation for over 30 years. Headquartered in the US, they inspire and equip new generations of leaders in conflict regions with the relationships, knowledge, and skills needed to effect practical change, fostering dialogue-based solutions in conflict-ridden regions worldwide. They have directly trained and supported nearly 8,000 young adults and educators and engaged tens of thousands more through dialogue, aiming to cultivate global leaders and advance social, economic, and political changes essential for peace.

ProjectMaking Peace Possible: Bridge-Building and Belonging Through Interfaith Education

Seeds of Peace India aims to expand their interfaith programming, including two iterations of their Interfaith Harmony Camp and/or a national-level interfaith harmony conference, to address India’s interfaith conflict. The Fellow will be integral in designing and implementing these initiatives, focusing on understanding the strengths and impacts of interfaith programming through tasks like network mapping and enhancing monitoring and evaluation frameworks. This project offers the selected Fellow an opportunity to contribute to program improvement and impact assessment, engaging in research to inform strategy, measure impact, and potentially collaborate on multimedia or community-action projects such as the national Interfaith Harmony Conference or a short film about the Interfaith Harmony Camp. Please read full project description.

Application Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SCSC-SeedsofPeace

Key Applicant Information:

  • Location: Mumbai, India. Preference will be given to candidates in India
  • Proficient in English, comfortable with Hindi, writing and research skills.

Special Olympics International – “The Impact of Family Engagement on Special Olympics Parents”

Partner: Special Olympics International

Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for over 4 million individuals with intellectual disabilities worldwide, fostering physical fitness, courage, and joy while promoting friendship and inclusion. With programming in 201 countries across seven global regions, Special Olympics aims to drive social change, improve health, and build inclusive communities to enable full social participation and lifelong fitness for people with intellectual disabilities.

Project: The Impact of Family Engagement on the Social Emotional Well-Being of Special Olympics Parents

Over the next three years, Special Olympics aims to develop and implement a global family strategy focused on engaging, educating, and empowering families of athletes to promote inclusion. This project will seek to provide insights into current family engagement practices, assess their impact on the social-emotional well-being of parents, identify best practices, and offer recommendations for future family engagement initiatives. The overarching goal of this project is to help Special Olympics understand the impact of family engagement on the social emotional well-being of Special Olympics parents from low- and middle-income countries. In line with SOI’s “Nothing About Us Without US” principle, the Fellow will work alongside a Special Olympics athlete leader on all phases of this project. Please read the full project description.

Application Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SCSC-SOI

Key Applicant Information:

  • Location: Remote. This Fellowship is open to applicants from anywhere in the world.
  • Successful applicant will need to maintain work hours that align with the Washington, D.C.-based team.
  • This project will involve working alongside a Special Olympics athlete, who will be the co-researcher for this project.

Synergos South Africa – “Leadership Lessons on Active Citizenry Towards Building Belonging”

Partner: Synergos South Africa

Synergos is dedicated to systemic change in South Africa, fostering collaborative leadership, partnerships, and participatory governance to promote equitable access to human rights and services, with a focus on reducing poverty through sustainable solutions and increased impact. Through initiatives like the Municipal Leadership and Governance Initiative, Synergos strengthens municipal leadership, participatory governance, and active citizenry, particularly focusing on youth and women’s voices to foster social connectedness and collective action through transformational dialogue processes.

Project: Leadership Lessons on Active Citizenry Towards Building Belonging and Connectedness

The selected fellow will assess Synergos’ “Bridging Leadership and Social Connectedness” work, focusing on how communities and municipalities foster a sense of belonging. Their tasks will include evaluating program strengths, impacts, and areas for improvement, mapping partner roles, identifying best practices for building collective values, and emphasizing systems thinking and collaboration to support productive collaboration between community teams, municipal officials, and leaders. The goals of this project are to 1) Build lessons from Synergos’ programmes, to create best practices for enhancing community voice and participation, 2) advocate for community voice and active citizenry, recognizing that participation in community fosters belonging, purpose, care, protection, and agency for all, and 3) inform how community leadership can promote active community participation, cultivate a sense of place, and encourage ownership of community challenges and solutions. Please read full project description.

Application Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SCSC-Synergos

Key Applicant Information: 

Location: Remote, South Africa. Preference will be given to candidates located in South Africa.

The Relationships Project – “Creating a Pattern Library for Relationship-Centered Practice”

Partner: The Relationships Project

The Relationships Project catalyzes and supports the prioritization of good relationships as fundamental, fostering a community of practitioners across the UK and beyond. Their work focuses on creating spaces for connection and shared learning, deepening understanding of relationship-centered practice, and translating effective strategies to embed relationship-focused approaches into practice consistently.

Project: Creating a Pattern Library for Relationship-Centred Practice

The research fellow will play a pivotal role in developing the Pattern Library for Relationship-Centred Practice, which aims to provide practical guidance and resources to practitioners seeking to prioritize relationships. Their tasks will involve conducting practitioner-led conversations to gather insights, experiences, and wisdom, as well as conducting desk research to underpin theory and collate useful resources for each pattern. Please read full project description.

Application Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SCSCRelationshipsProject

Key Applicant Information:

  • Location: Remote, GMT +1.
  • Applicants can apply from anywhere in the world, but must be able to work hours in alignment with the SCSC team in EST, and the UK team in GMT+1.

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