A Systems Approach to Social Change: New Funding Call

This application call is now closed

The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (PWIAS) has launched a call for applications to fund new interdisciplinary working groups to produce publications using a systems approach towards understanding the root causes of the multiple interlocking crises that our society is grappling with. These publications should present the working group's analysis of how we can build a more resilient society that respects each and every person's humanity and our deep ecological embeddedness. The publications should:

  1. Identify the necessary large-scale social changes 
  2. Analyze their interconnectedness from a systems perspective
  3. Recommend an optimal sequence and approach towards implementing these changes 

The publications will be published on the PWIAS website prior to being submitted to academic journals, and will aim to influence policy decisions in different areas of society and levels of government. Applications must take a highly integrative, holistic approach to identifying the root causes that underlie multiple crises. We seek projects proposing to do work that is not readily fundable by other sources and that draws on knowledge from diverse disciplines.

We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. 

Working groups must have demographic diversity, including gender balance (≥ 40% self-identified as female or gender non-binary).  Evidence for the positive impact of institutional and demographic diversity on the productivity of working groups has been shown by several groups (Campbell et al, 2013, Hampton and Parker, 2011).  Preference will also be given to working groups who plan to hold a week-long virtual or in-person meeting to work intensively on achieving the objectives of their proposal.  The Institute will provide additional resources to facilitate an in-person meeting if required.  The meetings may be held at a location decided by the group, and do not have to be held on campus.  Working group members can include non-UBC scholars and non-academic participants, and must include at least one UBC faculty member who will be responsible for administering the award.

Successful applicants will receive up to $20,000 per project. Award funds may be used for, course release for academic lead member; virtual or in-person meeting expenses; compensation for a working group coordinator; compensation for a communications specialist to connect the group to media and decision makers; honoraria for non-academic working group members; undergraduate and graduate student involvement; knowledge mobilization to engage relevant audiences on completion of paper (e.g., hosting virtual townhall meetings, creation of videos or other artistic formats, for upload on PWIAS YouTube channel); other eligible research expenses as per UBC policy LR2.  Primary research and data collection are not eligible in this call.

Application must be three pages maximum, and must include:

  • Title, proposed start date, and target date for completion of the publication
  • Abstract (100 words max.)
  • Names and affiliations for all working group members, including areas of expertise
  • Description of the proposed work
  • List any other proposed outcomes and their target completion dates
  • Budget description

The abstract will be reviewed for eligibility to the program call.  Eligible projects will be invited to submit a concept proposal for further consideration.