Indigenous Scholar-in-Community Fellowship

Indigenous Scholar-in-Community Fellowship


CALL FOR PROPOSALS: We are currently inviting applications for the 2023-2025 Indigenous Scholar-in-Community Fellowship. (PDF-Call for Proposals).


The history of research in and with Indigenous communities is historically fraught with issues of ethics, ownership, and dissemination. Researchers who incorporate community-engaged research (CER) practices into their scholarship are increasing aware and accountable to these histories. Indigenous researchers engaging CER practices have a unique relationship with these issues and Indigenous communities and are often more deeply impacted as a result. Thus, the Indigenous researchers at McMaster who employ CER practices in the areas of Indigenous Studies do so alongside long-established traditions, theories, cosmologies, and practices that require careful and thoughtful relationship-building and consideration when framed within research.

The Indigenous Scholar-in-Community Fellowship provides the opportunity for research collaborations with Indigenous communities, partners, and organizations to generate and mobilize knowledge in mutually beneficial ways.

The programs funds:
  • One (3 credit) course release is included for the duration of the fellowship for the selected faculty member to work with an existing Indigenous community, partner, or organization on a mutually defined research project, to be co-designed and co-governed over the course of the project (timing of course release to be negotiated with Chair/Director).
  • Salary replacement ($7500) for a staff member from host organization to work with the faculty researcher OR $7500 towards a graduate student research assistant.
  • $2500 seed money provided to the researcher to undertake the work.


The goal of the Indigenous Scholar-in-Community Fellowship is intended to support developing and experienced community- engaged Indigenous researchers working with Indigenous communities, partners, or community-based organizations to enhance their CER programs and engage in capacity and community development activities that would not otherwise be possible.

The program’s objectives are to:
  • strengthen existing (or initiated) collaborations between Indigenous researchers within the appropriate and community partners
  • provide support to community-engaged Indigenous researchers working in community settings to develop and enhance their CER programs
  • provide stable and enhanced capacity for CER to Indigenous communities and Indigenous community-based organizations
  • produce a measurable impact within the Indigenous organization or Indigenous community, which may include:
      • Enhancement of existing or development of new programs
      • Development of a community-engaged research culture
      • Integration of Indigenous Knowledge and research results into policy and practice
      • Demonstration of the uptake of knowledge by other sectors, communities, organizations, and provinces


The Office of the Provost will fund one collaborative community-engaged project, to a total value of $17,500, jointly supporting a community researcher and a researcher from the appropriate Faculty. An additional $2,000 will be awarded if a grant application is submitted (Tri-Council or external funding) within one year of completing the Indigenous Scholar-in-Community project.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Indigenous Scholar-in-Community Fellowship, an applicant must be a member of one of McMaster University’s Faculties with a teaching, tenured or tenure-stream appointment working with a researcher or staff member from a community or community organization. Ideally partner organizations will be geographically close enough that face to face interaction is possible. Where communities or host organizations are located outside the region, applicants should explain how they plan to build relationships at a distance. Preference will be given to researchers early in their career. The candidate must be Indigenous (non-Indigenous persons will not be taken into consideration, even if they have close links with Indigenous communities and/or organizations).

Application Timeline

  • Notice of Intent: Friday March 31, 2023
  • Full Nomination: Friday April 21, 2023
  • Results announced: Friday April 28, 2023

How to Apply

Notice of Intent

To apply please send a notice of intent by email to by 4:00 p.m. March 31, 2023, that includes:

  1. The name of your community partner and organization
  2. Project title
  3. Project summary of no more than four sentences.
Full Proposal

Those selected to proceed to full proposal will please provide a CV in any format, a project description of up to 3-pages, and a brief statement of support from the collaborating organization (email accepted).

Send the three documents in a single email to by 9:00 am Friday, April 21, 2023.

The proposal will include:

a. Objectives

b. Context

c. Relevant experience of applicant and community organization lead and description of existing partnership

d. Methods

e. Activities and timeline (including responsibilities)

f. Knowledge mobilization plan

g. Expected outcomes and benefits to community or partner organization

h. Plan to seek external funding

The Statement of Support will include:

The name and contact details of the interested partner and an acknowledgement that the organization is willing to release staff for the research related activities stated in the application.

Funded projects will be expected to apply for an external research grant within 12 months of completion.

Evaluation Criteria

• Clarity, focus and feasibility of the research objectives, research plan, and knowledge mobilization plan;

• Significance of research project to the community or partner organization

• Contribution to building and sustaining a longer-term research relationship

• Overall contribution of the research to the candidate’s long-range research plan;

• Feasibility of plan to secure external funding;

• Applicant’s scholarly and community-engaged contributions with emphasis on the latter (e.g., community-oriented or co-created reports, conferences, roundtables, presentations, workshops and so forth);

• Contribution to university service (e.g., sitting on decision-making committees, editorial boards, granting councils, and other learned associations)


This fellowship will be adjudicated by a Scholar-in-Community selection committee constituted by the McMaster Indigenous Research Institute (MIRI). If you have any questions, please contact:

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