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Criteria for Funding

Criteria for funding
  • The project addresses issues related to politics, privilege or power hindering health equity.
  • It focuses on the intersection of health, equity and social innovation, according to the following conceptualization of the terms:
    • Health is far broader than simply being free of disease (Huber et al., 2011).  It is also the ability of individuals or communities to (a) adapt, self-manage and thrive in the face of physical, mental and social challenges, including ageing and the presence of incurable chronic disease(s) and multi-morbidity; (b) heal when damaged; and (c) to expect death peacefully. 
    • Equity is the absence of systematic disparities between groups with different levels of underlying social advantage/disadvantage - that is, wealth, power, or prestige [Braveman and Gruskin, 2003]. 

    • Social Innovation is the process through which knowledge or ideas are transformed into new products, tools, services, processes or models that simultaneously meet social needs (more effectively than alternatives) and create new social relationships or collaborations [adapted from European Union, 2015].
  • It is led by an early career faculty member (tenure track or status appointment) of the U of T, who will act as Principal Innovator (PI) or co-PI. The PI must provide a list of currently funded projects and must clearly and explicitly justify that the proposed project is distinct from currently funded work. Proposals that do not specifically address this distinction will be returned without review. Faculty who have current grant funding over $25,000 from any source are not eligible to apply unless the Seed Grant project will be distinct from the currently funded work. Faculty with current funding of $250,000 or greater are not eligible as PIs (nevertheless, they could participate as co-PIs or team members in the proposal).
  • It involves students and community-based organizations as partners or Co-PIs.
  • It promotes partnerships between academic and community organizations (e.g. An academic PI and a Co-PI from a community organization)
  • It is implemented in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).  This geographic scope has been selected for this first edition of the RFP to strengthen existing relationships and promote new ones among social innovators in the city, while harnessing the diversity, knowledge and skills of its diasporas as a means of improving health equity for all. Strong partnerships with global academic, and community or policy organizations, are highly desirable, where appropriate. 
  • It focuses on:
    • The transformation of an idea into a social enterprise, OR
    • Scaling up an existing social enterprise focused on creating or spreading health, or increasing health equity.

Each funded team must engage in impact assessment that validates their value proposition through methodologies suitable to the evaluation of social innovations at different stages in their life cycle. Applicants are strongly encouraged to select established evaluation approaches 2,3,4.
The seed grants are not intended to fund studies of existing social innovations, or policy development, or to prepare grant proposals, or publications.