Grants & Funding

This list contains our grants in progress.

SSHRC Partnership Grant


Margaret Macintyre Latta (PI), University of British Columbia
Co-Investigators: Karen Ragoonaden, University of British Columbia; Sabre Cherkowski, University of British Columbia; Dwayne Donald, University of Alberta; Jan Hare, University of British Columbia; Nicholas Ng-A-Fook, University of Ottawa; Sandra Styres, University of Toronto; Terry Beaudry, Central Okanagan Public Schools

Working together to negotiate the practices of co-curricular-making will foster creative and critical learning that is locally derived, and will enable self-understandings within the larger world. Locally, we will work alongside community organizations to share Syilx ways to care for tmxwulaxw (our land) and to develop ways to learn and live better together that are guided by captikwł (stories). Nationally, we will create experiential curricular pathways, ways to reorient education toward reconciliation and to mobilize efforts accordingly. By the end of this five-year project, participating local educators and their students will have gained deeper understandings of Syilx culture with pedagogies responsive to the connections among land, culture, and understandings of self in the world. With our partners, we will have developed teacher education programs and professional development initiatives that can reconceptualize education towards individual and collective agency, growth, and well-being, attending to the strengths and particularities of their students and the resources of place. Through the articulation of such decolonizing co-curricular-making, education ministries, districts, and institutions will engage and mobilize reconciliation-in-action across Canada. Learn more.

SSHRC Insight Grants


Dr. Catherine Broom (PI)

Canadian national identity and citizenship has been subject to contention and confusion since Canada was first stitched together as a collection of European colonies on lands that were, and continue to be, home to rich Indigenous cultures across diverse terrains.  This research will invite Canadians from diverse backgrounds across the nation to participate in a research study exploring how they understand Canadian citizenship and identity, their views, experiences and hopes for Citizenship Education and their beliefs about what kind of society they would like Canada to aim towards.  The findings, analysed by the PI and two research assistants, will serve as a starting point for theorizing a conception of the meaning of citizenship and identity in Canada that addresses issues with previous historical narratives and Citizenship Education programs.  This new conception aims towards promoting an inclusive and flourishing democracy founded in acknowledging complexity and healing past historical wrongs and rooted in hope and belonging for all Canadians.

2021 – 2024

Dr. John-Tyler Binfet (UBC) and Dr. Christine Tardif-Williams (Brock University)

The aim of this research is to create Virtual Canine Comfort modules and assess the effects of synchronous (i.e., interactions offered via Zoom) and asynchronous (i.e., interactions offered via Youtube) modules on students’ self-reports of stress. Therapy dogs and their handlers from UBC’s Building Academic Retention through K9s (B.A.R.K.) program, a program established in 2012 and that sees over 4,000 in-person student visits each year to stress reduction sessions held on campus, will be recruited to participate in the creation of modules. By assessing students’ perceptions of their experience with the various models of virtual canine comfort modules, we can determine whether the well-established in-person stress-reduction program can be mobilized through digital delivery.


Dr. Lynn Bosetti

This study contributes to our understanding of the impact of corporate managerial practices and neoliberal ideology on the mindset and practices of faculty deans in universities in Canada.  This research will document narrative accounts of their everyday experiences, struggles and vulnerabilities in attempting to lead in sometimes toxic cultures of incivility and precarity. It will investigate how these tensions influence how leaders execute their role mandates and affects their mind-set, academic identity, mental and emotional wellbeing. It draws upon research on the emotional labor of leadership, ethics of disrupting culture, and critical hope.

2021 – 2024

Dr. Karen Ragoonaden (UBC), Dr. Heesoon Bai (Simon Fraser University) and Dr. Oren Ergas (Beit Berl College)

The research involves introducing mindfulness practices in antiracist education courses delivered over three years at two campuses: the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus (UBC O) and Simon Fraser University (SFU). The researchers hypothesize that mindfulness, as a reflective practice, has the potential to support educators as they navigate unsettling and provocative discussions relating to race, gender, culture and identity. Specifically, the research questions are: How can mindfulness practices support critical self-reflection when discussing privilege and marginalization? How do pre-service and service teachers respond, emotionally, physically and intellectually to mindfulness practices as they engage antiracist education?

$ 56,185

Christopher Martin (PI), University of British Columbia

Children and youth are most directly affected by education policy decisions. However, the extent to which they should be involved in making those decisions is highly contentious. Recent youth engagement on issues such as gun control and school safety in the aftermath of numerous US school shootings, student led-protests against proposed changes to the Ontario sex education curriculum and youth participation in public policy-debate over changes to the French university admissions system have provoked greater discussion about the participation of youth in educational decision-making than about the issues themselves.

This research aims to evaluate the extent to which children’s and youth’s perspectives can, and should, be included in democratic decision-making about educational values and policies. It will address the various challenges that democratic inclusion may encounter with respect to children, such as deficits in political understanding.

$ 100,000

Karen Ragoonaden (PI), UBC; Margaret Macintyre Latta (Co-PI), UBC; Tina Fraser (Co-PI), UNBC; Ross Hoffman, (Co-PI), UNBC.
Collaborators: School District 23; Aboriginal Programs and Services, UBC O; UNBC

This study aims to examine the similarities between Mindfulness and Indigenous knowledges. An ancillary aim is to examine how integrating Mindful practices into university courses, whose focus is on Indigenous knowledge, impact on identity and on the wholistic well-being of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal student populations. Specifically, the following three objectives have been identified:

  • Identify similarities relating to Mindfulness and to Indigenous knowledge
  • Determine if the integration of Mindfulness and Indigenous knowledge in university courses impacts on identity and the well-being of students
  • Develop a framework that identifies conditions under which Mindfulness and Indigenous knowledge can inform curriculum, practice and policy in higher education

SSHRC Connection Grant


Dr. Margaret Macintyre Latta and Dr. Bill Cohen

SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant


Dr. John-Tyler Binfet and collaborators, Central Okanagan Public Schools’ Alan Lalonde and Sherri McKinnon

The aim of the research is to enhance the teaching of social emotional learning (SEL) within school district 23 and to ensure consistency around the opportunities for students to practice and develop their social and emotional competencies.  The team will work together to co-create a series of SEL training modules to fortify teachers’ foundation knowledge and ability to create SEL-rich learning opportunities for students.

SSHRC Explore & Exchange Grant


Dr. Bill Cohen



Dr. Sabre Cherkowski



Dr. Scott Douglas

In recent years, Canada has welcomed ever greater numbers of multilingual immigrants (newcomers) with varied and developing levels of English as an additional language (EAL) skills (AMSSA, 2017; Mendocino, 2019). As these newcomers take their place in society, they often continue to face a range of linguistic and socio-cultural challenges (Cheng, Im, Doe, & Douglas, 2021; Douglas, Doe, & Cheng, 2020). This application for a SSHRC Explore and Exchange Grant seeks funding to hire Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) to work on a pilot research study identifying the relationship between a university-based EAL access initiative and the additional language socialization process for multilingual newcomers in work, study, and community settings, with additional language socialization understood as a multidirectional process in which newcomers interact with each other, language resources, and community members to develop their EAL skills, general knowledge, and intercultural awareness as they become recognised members of the community (Duff, 2007; Duff, 2012; Duff & Anderson, 2015). This pilot research project will contribute to a more nuanced understanding of EAL teaching and learning and the additional language socialization process and lead to improved EAL programming.

Collaborating with the principal investigator and a PhD Student developing the non-credit EAL courses as part of the EAL Access Initiative, the GRA funded through this grant will receive extensive training and mentoring in research ethics and participant recruitment as well as data collection, preparation, analysis, interpretation, and reporting within a qualitative research tradition. The GRA will also have an opportunity to co-write the findings with the PI and PhD student to disseminate new findings—building research competencies. It is further anticipated that the GRA will collaborate with the PI and PhD student to present this work at both the provincial (BC TEAL Annual Conference) and national (Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics Annual Conference) levels. This work is a crucial foundation for the development of a SSHRC Insight Grant funding application to be submitted in October 2023.
Research participants for this study will be recruited from a non-credit 36-hour EAL course offered through the OSE as part of the EAL access initiative (January to April 2023). Within a qualitative tradition taking a case study approach (Duff & Anderson, 2015) with thematic inquiry methods (e.g., Douglas, 2020; Douglas, Doe, & Cheng, 2020), data collection will consist of an open-ended questionnaire, classroom observations, and semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2022) will be deployed to code key data extracts (Saldaña, 2013) and gather those codes into meaningful themes that illuminate the relationship between studying in an EAL access initiative and additional language socialization for newcomers to Canada. The analysis will be flexible, iterative, and recursive (Mills & Gay, 2016), with the reliability and validity of the findings achieved through an awareness of researcher reflexivity and interrater consensus building sessions (Creswell, 2007; Creswell & Guetterman, 2019). The findings will inform future curriculum development and program delivery in the EAL access initiative as well as set the stage for a larger research project into better understanding the additional language socialization process for newcomers in higher education, workplace, and community contexts.

British Columbia Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research  – Pilot Project Grant


Dr. Bill Cohen

The YEEHAH pilot project seeks to develop, design, and evaluate a Syilx Okanagan led equine-assisted therapy framework for youth informed by community, Syilx storyways, Syilx horsemanship and connection to  tmixw- – all things alive. The pilot will inform the development of new Indigenous tools, methodologies, protocols, theoretical models or frameworks for other Indigenous Equine Facilitated Wellness programs.

This project ultimately seeks to develop a novel Syilx intervention to improve the wellbeing and life-outcomes of youth; a population experiencing exponentially high rates of mental health challenges, trauma, marginalization and associated poor health outcomes (Government of Canada 2021). Secondly, it responds to the relative absence of research on Equine Assisted Interventions based on Indigenous concepts of therapeutic human-horse relationships and activities; developed and studied in communities in which horses are traditionally central to cultural identity, such as the Syilx Okanagan; and activates local connections with land and environment as an element of wellbeing. Lastly, it contributes to the academic knowledge based around decolonizing approaches to developing and documenting community driven Indigenous wellness interventions and acknowledges that human health is deeply connected to the tmixʷ including all that is living: water, land, plant, animal, human and non-human. tmixʷ is a concept of life-force involving “many strands which are continuously being bound with each other to form one strong thread coiling year after year always creating a living future.” (Armstrong, 2009, p. 3).

University of Exeter – UBC Humanities Collaboration Fund

$21,404 (£12,435)

B. Onciul, University of Exeter; M. Lazzari, University of Exeter; K. Ragoonaden, UBC; V. Magnat, UBC

This collaboration will further develop the ongoing Culture, Creativity, Health and Wellbeing project and will, among other opportunities, allow for Professor Onciul to engage with community sites in the Okanagan regarding TRC commitments and to contribute to course delivery with the Okanagan School of Education.

UBC Excellence Fund

2018 – 2021

Heather Berringer (Co-PI), UBC Okanagan Library; Amanda Brobbel (Co-PI), Writing and Research Services UBC Okanagan Library; Scott Roy Douglas (Co-PI), UBC Okanagan School of Education; Lori Walter (Co-PI), UBC Okanagan Centre for Scholarly Communication

Although existing literature points to the particular skills required to support post-secondary students using English as an additional language (EAL) effectively in writing centres, there is limited research on what development opportunities tutors require to gain these skills. To develop a better understanding of writing tutors’ professional development needs, the current study investigates what tutors already know and do not know in relation to tutoring students using EAL. Data collection consists of questionnaires, focus groups, and interviews.  Qualitative thematic analysis points to new insights into the development of writing tutor training resources, with the goal of improving writing support for EAL students. Building on these findings, a series of workshops and accompanying tutor development materials are being piloted and evaluated for effectiveness in supporting students using EAL.

The University of British Columbia Eminence Fund


K.Ragoonaden, UBC; V.Magnat, UBC; T. Willard, UBC; S. Dow-Fleisner, UBC; R Sharon, UBC; V. Kelly, SFU; E. Adams, First Nations and Inuit, Health Office, Deputy Chief Medical Officer; B. Onciul, University of Exeter; K. Thomadis, University of Exeter

This research cluster team is exploring synergies between cultural, creative and mindfulness practices that have the potential to foster and sustain health and well-being. This cluster draws on the collective expertise of researchers from Canada, the U.K. and France to co-develop an arts-based community-engaged research model.


PI’s: Kathleen Martin Ginis and Mary Jung
CO-PI: Stephen Berg, Susan Holtzman, Charlotte Jones, Donna Kurtz, Jonathan Little, Lesley Lutes, Nelly Oelke, Ross Hickey, Kathy Rush

This interdisciplinary team from the Faculty of Health and Social Development, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, Faculty of Education and Faculty of Medicine will design, implement and evaluate interventions that address three community-identified health priorities: mental health and aging, obesity and diabetes, and aboriginal and rural health.  Using systematic, evidence-based, and community-engaged processes, the research ream will help guide current and future UBC Okanagan researchers in undertaking meaningful community health research and knowledge translation activities.

UBCO Critical Research Equipment & Tools (CRET) Program


Dr. Christopher Martin

The funding will be used to purchase much needed equipment to support researchers that require space to meet online and simultaneously connect in-person with research and community partners.


Dr. Stephen Berg 

The funding will be used to purchase sensory equipment and tools for early childhood research at the UBC Okanagan Child Care Centre, as well as facilitate training opportunities for graduate students and further community engaged research and collaboration.

Centre for Ethics and Education Research Grant

$25,000 USD 

Christopher Martin (PI), University of British Columbia

This research will articulate and defend an account of political authority over higher education. In particular, the project focus on the argument that state political authority over higher education systems should be grounded in its ability to secure aims argued to be intrinsic to higher education’s democratic function. It will then detail the relationship between this authority and liberal democratic values such as personal autonomy and equality. Finally, the project will apply this conception of authority to policy issues such as place of higher education in markets, the political autonomy of universities, and role (and limits) of higher education in serving particular social, economic and political ends.

Central Okanagan Foundation


John-Tyler Binfet, University of British Columbia

This research aims to identify high school students’ views of kindness and to identify examples of their kind behaviour. In light of the BC Ministry of Education’s emphasis on social and emotional learning for students, investigating this topic holds the potential to inform parents and educators on a topic important to the healthy and optimal development of adolescents.