Open to any discipline and for any research project in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Harris Centre’s Applied Research Fund is as inclusive as they come. As long as a project addresses an issue with policy or development implications, students, faculty and staff are eligible to enter the competition.
Successful researchers will receive up to $15,000 for a year-long project. Since 2005, the Harris Centre has awarded close to $750,000 to Memorial researchers through the Applied Research Fund program. Awarded research projects have run the gamut from fisheries to transportation, from philanthropy to theatre. And that was just last year.
“We’re interested in helping researchers with projects that can have a direct impact on the lives of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” said Bojan Fürst, manager of knowledge mobilization at the Harris Centre.
He said the fund is unique because of its focus on Newfoundland and Labrador and the applied nature of the projects it funds.
“It requires from the applicants that they think about how their research will affect those in the community at large and it encourages them to work closely with community, business or industry partners,” he said.
The focus on applied and engaged research is stressed in the evaluation process where potential impact on Newfoundland and Labrador as well as connections to non-academic partners carry significant weight.
One of the roles the Harris Center knowledge mobilization team also plays at Memorial is to act as a knowledge and partner broker.
“We can help with establishing connections between academic and non-academic partners interested in the particular research project,” said Mr. Fürst. “We strongly encourage researchers to look through the opportunities available on yaffle.ca. It’s a great way to gain understanding of the needs in the province. Most of the opportunities listed in Yaffle would also qualify as applied research projects that, if researchers choose to pursue them, could get support through one of our applied research funds.”
The Applied Research Fund is a competitive fund that requires researchers, among other things, to submita knowledge mobilization plan for their projects.
“We want to see that the researchers have given some thought to how the results of their project may affect Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Mr. Furst. “We want them to identify non-academic audiences potentially interested in the results of their research and ways in which they plan to reach those people.”
Researchers can also work with the Harris Centre staff to develop their knowledge mobilization plan.
“In the past, researchers have delivered presentations to interested groups, and sessions to policy-makers. Some researchers have included knowledge mobilization throughout their projects by involving stakeholders right from the start,” Mr. Fürst said.
Open to faculty, staff and students at Memorial, the Applied Research Fund 2013-14 cycle is now open. The deadline is Feb. 15, 2013.
Final reports from the Applied Research Fund are published on the Harris Centre website. For more information on the fund, CLICK HERE.
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