Social Connectedness Fellowship Program

Overview

The Social Connectedness Fellowship Program 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 in the social connectedness movement and conduct research, writing, analysis, and outreach in thematic areas related to social isolation and connectedness.

Fellows will gain knowledge and develop research specific to their partner’s objectives/mandates, as well as connect with other partners to consult and benefit from their expertise. Thus, the fellowship program enables Fellows to expand their professional networks and gain hands-on experience in research and programming, all while equipping them with new skills and a framework to tackle issues of the 21st century.

Program History

The Social Connectedness Fellowship Program began in the summer of 2017 with Fellows looking at the applications of social connectedness in the following areas:

  • Youth mental health and capacity-building
  • Urban integration of refugees and asylum seekers
  • Food security
  • Architecture and design
  • Inclusive education
  • Disability rights
  • Older persons’ human rights
  • Climate change and environmentalism
  • Community arts initiatives
  • LBTQI+ rights

Our fellows have worked in cities around the world:

  • Montreal
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver
  • Ohio
  • Boston
  • London
  • Paris
  • Dubai
  • Kampala
  • Johannesburg
  • Bucharest

Across three cohorts, many Fellows co-created their research projects and final reports with partner organizations working to build social connectedness across a variety of disciplines. Past partners have included: Data-Driven Yale, Special Olympics International, Human Rights Watch, Synergos, Partners in Health, Our Place, The Stop Community Food Centre, Médecins Sans Frontières, and more.

Due to the strong linkages and outreach with partners and community organizations, our Fellows have delivered impact-driven research. Their final research reports went on to inspire new events on behalf of SCSC, launch pilot programs with partners and directly influence community initiatives.

Our Fellows have also gone on to pursue advanced degrees in Law, Social Policy, Economics, Environment, Education, Architecture and Design, to name a few. Many have gone on to work in organizations and institutions such as UNESCO, TakingITGlobal, AMEL Association International in Beirut, UN Environment Programme, and the McConnell Foundation.