Research Grants

Humber College Awarded Grants –

College and Community Innovation Program 2020



Grant: Entry-Level IE (CCIP)


Title: Institute for Design-Driven Analytics


Term: 2


Amount Rewarded: $200,000


Partners: Embedded sense, PUSH, Think Data


Principal Investigator:  Ginger Grant


Description: One of the great challenges of the information age is finding ways to effectively utilize the immense wealth of data acquired and stored by modern information systems including data from the internet, social media, connected devices and sensor technology. Analytics platforms are an emerging tool to develop metrics for data algorithm modelling on which businesses can predict trends, improve innovation and make productivity-boosting, fact-based decisions. Initially, data collection and interpretation relied heavily on descriptive analytics reports and visuals, explaining what happened in the past, and relied little on using analytics to predict the future (predictive analytics) or to make recommendations on how to do a job better (prescriptive analytics). We have incorporated these three aspects of analytics with principles of good design, into a methodology we call ‘design-driven analytics’ (DDA).


Humber College is strategically located in the Greater Toronto Area, which is home to SMEs in multiple sectors, including technology, finance, health and manufacturing. Through this NSERC award, Humber’s Institute for Design-Driven Analytics (IDDA) will employ an interdisciplinary approach, combining design, business analytics and connected technology, to develop competitive advantages for companies by investigating the relationship between business intelligence and DDA in an environment of emerging new technologies to encourage business innovation across a range of industry sectors. IDDA faculty and students will collaborate with local SMEs on applied research to develop DDA practices and products, providing a strong competitive advantage to the region. We will harness expertise from faculties across the College that incorporate analytics with the transformational power of advanced technology. Students will gain proficiency in data analytics tools, methods and interpretation and transfer this knowledge directly to industry via applied research, and upon graduation, they will help to fill data analytics and digital skills gaps.

Grant: CCSIF


Title: Affordable Housing Needs in South Etobicoke


Term: 3


Amount Rewarded: $360,000


Partners: LAMP Community Health Centre


Principal Investigator: Salomeh Ahmadi


Description: Sky-high rent, condo developments, no rent control, evictions and unstable housing are all issues standing in the way of affordable housing in South Etobicoke, Toronto, and major urban cities across the globe. The increase in cost of living coupled with a rise in rent, and stagnant wages, poses threats to those who are facing poverty, health challenges or more disfranchised populations such as students and seniors. What are the cost of living issues for low-income and working class citizens, and how can a Community of Practice be created to sustain advocacy efforts to support new models for affordable housing through social policy change?
The Affordable Housing Needs in South Etobicoke project is a partnership between the LAMP Community Health Centre and Humber College. With this research project we will uncover the cost of living issues through community based participatory research (CBPR) in South Etobicoke to develop a baseline of housing affordability; gather input from community members most marginalized to assess the impact of displacement and further marginalization; identify proactive measures to inform decision-making on issues across the ‘cost of living’ spectrum; contribute to the fight against homelessness; create inclusive and accessible communities; develop a strategy to co-develop and share possible solutions; and advocate for the building of affordable housing through social policy change.

Grant: CCSIF


Title: Community Agency Partnerships: Best Practices for the Creation of Healthy Communities


Term: 3


Amount Rewarded: $219,183


Partners: John Howard Society of Regina, Street Culture (Regina), and Regina Police Department


Principal Investigator:  Ann Corbold


Description:Youth who are at risk of entering the criminal justice system, especially those who become gang-involved, need the support of multiple community agencies. Although there is strong evidence to support implementing a network response, there is limited information on how best to do it.


Humber College in partnership with John Howard Society of Saskatchewan and Street Culture Project Inc. will be examining the characteristics of effective community agency partnership networks. Community Agency Partnerships: Best Practices for the Creation of Healthy Communities, will analyse an existing community agency partnership network to identify best practices in creating and maintaining these types of partnerships.
Additionally, the study will evaluate existing programs aimed at youth 15 – 29 who are involved with the criminal justice system, or at risk of becoming involved, to determine whether they meet agency commitment to being trauma informed, culturally sensitive, free from systemic racism, and aligned with agency commitment to reconciliation. The overarching objective of this project is to help reduce youth crime, particularly gang violence, in Canada.

Grant: CCSIF


Title: Engaging and Education Young-Adult Cannabis 2.0 Consumers


Term: 3


Amount Rewarded: $343,823


Partners:  National Institute of Cannabis Health and Education (NICHE Canada)


Principal Investigator:  Daniel Bear


Description: We will conduct a mixed methods, three phase project over the course of three years that will engage and educate young-adult cannabis users (18-30), the age group most likely to consume cannabis, and the age group
most likely to consume cannabis on a daily or near daily basis. By targeting this age group we hope to impact long-term cannabis consumption practices, thereby having the best potential for improving public health and wellbeing outcomes for decades to come. In Phase One we will gather the data necessary to understand what new public education materials need to be developed by conducting an online survey and a series of focus groups across the country. In Phase Two, we will work with Humber College advertising students, or partner organizations, and cannabis consumers to develop new public education materials focused on effectively engaging consumers with harm reduction information about cannabis 2.0 products. In Phase Three, we will launch the new materials, and being an evaluation of their efficacy before updating the materials to respond to any shortcomings identified in our evaluation. Our partners on this project include the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES), the National Institute of Cannabis Health and Education (NICHE), Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP), and Aurora Cannabis Inc.

Grant: CCSIF


Title: Experiences of hope, self-compassion and authentic collaboration: Foundations for a consumer-informed compassion-based human services delivery framework in a Canadian context


Term: 3


Amount Rewarded: $323,239


Partners:  Canadian Foundation for Animal Assisted Support Services


Principal Investigators:  Sara Nickerson-White and Tina Lackner


Description: The experiences of hope, self-compassion and authentic collaboration: Foundations for a consumer-informed compassion-based HS delivery framework in a Canadian context Human Services (HS) is a broad multidisciplinary field that is held together conceptually by the overarching goal of improving the quality of life of individuals, families, and communities in and through service delivery participation provided in public and non-profit organizations.


Since the early 2000s HS have been evolving to a person-centered delivery structure with its consumers increasingly engaged in the service delivery processes. Problematically, though, the HS field remains without an evidence base that can inform a guiding framework to root service provision principles across its  multidisciplinary workforce and varied institutions. This absence is noted in the call from the foremost professional body in the HS field, the National Organization of Human Services (NOHS) for HS research that can “build supports that are responsive to the aspirations and preferences of people who rely on HS to lead self-directed lives” (NOHS, 2019).


This study seeks to collect co-created lived experience narratives from human service Canadian consumers and providers about their lived experiences of hope, self-compassion and authentic collaboration in the course of HS service delivery. Four HS organizations with local, regional and national service coverage are partnering in this study for the purpose of deepening our understanding of how HS provision can foster the aspirations and preferences in ways that strengthen consumers’ abilities to lead self-directed lives.


Ultimately, this three-year research study will establish a consumer-informed foundation for a much-needed consumer-informed guiding framework that can aid Canadian HS organizations and service providers in their ability to be responsive to the aspirations and preferences of consumers in ways that strengthen their ability to lead self-directed lives. It will do so by bringing together community engaged scholars and applied researchers, along with a vibrant team of local and national community partner.

Grant: CCSIF


Title: Measuring the Impact of 21st Century Experiential Learning on new Immigrants Workplace Performance


Term: 3


Amount Rewarded: $360,000


Partners:  ACCES Employment


Principal Investigators:  Ginger Grant


Description: Canadian employers have consistently identified that internationally trained professionals (ITPs) are not hired for three key reasons: (1) lack of familiarity with Canadian workplace practices; (2) inability to effectively assess the relevance of work and education experience obtained abroad; and (3) lack of experience working in atypical Canadian team/matrix workplace environment. These barriers create significant underemployment for these highly skilled professionals who have immigrated to Canada, and this project is focused on overcoming these three identified barriers. ACCES Employment (ACCES) assists ITP’s who are facing barriers to employment that prevent them from integrating into the Canadian job market into their field of work that reflects their past experience.


The challenge faced by ACCES is how to measure the impact of both implemented and planned experiential learning opportunities on the employment readiness and actual employment of the ITP’s who participate in their bridging programs. The key objective of this study is to develop an evidence-informed base of information which will help measure the impact of both implemented and planned experiential learning opportunities on the employment readiness and actual employment of the ITP’s who participate in ACCES’ bridging programs. This project is intended to research and measure the impact of these learning experiences to determine efficacy and effectiveness from both an ITP and employer perspective, and to use this data to inform decisions about which are and which are not effective.