Fellowship Program

Summer 2021

The Social Connectedness Fellowship empowers students and recent graduates to carry out innovative research that will inspire local and global action to build community and belonging. 

Fellows will have the opportunity to work with a partner organization and conduct research, writing, analysis, and outreach in thematic areas related to social isolation and connectedness.

Read below on how to apply to the 2021 cohort!

Learning, Leading, Growing

A key component of the Social Connectedness Fellowship is to build a supportive community among Fellows themselves, and to create opportunities for continued engagement and learning with SCSC. There will be an introductory workshop (virtual) on the theory and concepts of social isolation and connectedness, as well as other virtual workshops to strengthen Fellows’ skills in research, outreach, advocacy, and community engagement. 

Fellows will come away with: 

  • An interdisciplinary understanding of social isolation—how it manifests and pathways to overcome it.
  • Multiple opportunities to conduct primary research in a community.
  • Opportunities to lead their own community event, run an advocacy campaign, or propose another creative output.
  • Strengthened skills in research, writing, digital creativity, critical thinking, outreach, leadership, and advocacy. 
  • A new network of young trailblazing leaders.
  • Mentorship and support from SCSC, previous Fellows, and partners across a variety of disciplines.

With the support we provide, our Fellows have contributed tremendous resources to SCSC, our partners and the communities we serve. In 2020, we:

  • Worked with 10 incredible Fellows, 7 based in Canada and 3 based in South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
  • Hosted SCSC’s first-ever policy hackathon to tackle issues of social isolation related to COVID-19. Fellows had the opportunity for the first time to collaborate on research outputs and consult with Fellowship partners and other experts on older people’s rights, disability rights and gender-based violence.
  • Helped Fellows execute their community engagement deliverable, in which Fellows planned and facilitated a community project with people directly involved or impacted by their research. Highlights include a podcast with Special Chronicles looking at inclusive sibling research, a postcard project documenting stories of forced migrants, and a webinar for post-secondary staff to discuss Indigenous student support. More details about each community engagement initiative are condensed here. In total, Fellows reached over 2000 people directly last year.
  • Connected Fellows with over 100 community organizations, researchers and civil servants across a variety of fields to inform their final policy and program recommendations.

To learn more about what you can expect during the Fellowship (certain aspects won’t apply given COVID-19), read our article “A Glimpse into the 2020 Fellowship.”


2021 Fellowship

The Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness (SCSC) will be offering 11 different research positions this year with our leading core partners. Each position is different and the details are outlined in each proposal, including the partner organization, scope of the research project, key tasks and deliverables, preferred location (COVID pending) and any additional requirements of the candidate. Applicants can apply for up to two research proposals.

Step 1: Read through the 11 proposals.

  1. Peace First
  2. Grandmother Project (in French only/en français)
  3. Human Rights Watch
  4. SeeChange Initiative
  5. Motheo Training Institute Trust
  6. Data-Driven EnviroLab
  7. HelpAge Canada
  8. Friendship Bench
  9. Special Olympics
  10. The Stop Community Food Centre
  11. City of Toronto

Step 2: Choose your top 1 or 2 proposals, then download and fill in the application questions form.

Step 3: Upload the application questions form to the Google Form and complete the remaining questions.

The deadline to complete the Google Form is March 7, 2021 by 11:59 PM EST.

Please note, this is a paid opportunity. Fellows will receive compensation (hourly wage) for their full-time work. 



Overall, all candidates should demonstrate the following:


  • Passion for or first-hand knowledge in a particular SCSC thematic area.
  • Interest in human-centred, community-driven change, and building greater connectedness in the world. 
  • Interest in gaining a new lens through which to understand and approach complex community and policy issues. 
  • Willingness to commit to SCSC’s values and approach to research projects and partnership development.
  • Willingness to step out of their comfort zone in conducting research and outreach, and building relationships with the community.


  • This program is suited for candidates: 
    • In the final year of an undergraduate degree (i.e., will have graduated by the summer or end of 2021). 
    • Currently pursuing or finishing a graduate program.
    • No more than 3 years out of post-secondary education. 
    • However, other applicants who are interested in learning more and contributing to our thematic areas are encouraged to apply and will be considered for the program as well. For example, most of the educational backgrounds outlined in the proposals can be made up with equivalent work/life experiences.
  • Fully proficient in written and oral English to complete documentation and engage fully at orientation and workshops (Note: the Grandmother Project proposal is the only one that does not require full English proficiency).
  • Have access to the internet and a computer/laptop, and able to participate in Zoom meetings as required.


  • Works independently and manages time effectively.
  • Take initiatives and draws from different resources to support your work.
  • Able to carry out different types of qualitative research (secondary research, literature reviews).
  • Respectful of diversity (gender, sexuality, disability, religion, and culture). 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. 
  • Experience in community engagement and working with vulnerable/underserved populations is an asset. 
  • Public speaking, advocacy, event planning, and primary research skills are assets, but can also be learned through the Fellowship.


The Fellowship will take place from May 10 to August 27, 2021. Fellows must work full-time throughout the Fellowship period (exceptions will be made for applicants with academic programs wrapping up in late May/June). 

Applications close March 7, 2021 at 11:59 pm EST

Official full-time work begins on May 10, 2021. Fellows will be asked to attend a 1 week online orientation to meet the 2021 cohort and get acquainted with the program. This is a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the program, subject matter and the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to Celine Thomas, Fellowship Coordinator, at cthomas@scscglobal.org

Employment Practices

SCSC is dedicated to equitable hiring practices and building a diverse team aligned with our core mission and the communities we serve. Applicants from underserved and underrepresented communities in Canada and globally are encouraged to apply. 

SCSC is committed to building a supportive and barrier-free environment for all of its team members, especially for successful applicants who disclose any disability, mental health, or other support needs.