TORONTO, ONTARIO – Two research projects at Humber College each received $360,000 through the College and Community Social Innovation Fund. The grants have been awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). 

“Colleges, CEGEPs and polytechnics are key players in responding and adapting to the research and innovation needs of businesses and community partners across Canada,” says Professor Alejandro Adem, President of NSERC. “Through the College and Community Innovation program, they collaborate with local organizations to support their communities, strengthen their local economies, and train their students in essential technical skills to enter the workforce. On behalf of the tri-agencies, I look forward to seeing how the projects announced today will contribute to strengthening Canada’s innovation ecosystem.”  

The two Humber projects will help bridge the employability gap for international learners and support cannabis harm reduction training for pharmacists across Canada. 

“These projects are examples of Humber’s dedication to research, innovation and active community engagement,” said Ann Marie Vaughan, president and CEO of Humber College. “Humber wants to dismantle barriers faced by international students and find innovative ways to educate people about their health. Thanks to NSERC’s support, Humber researchers and their partners can address critical issues Canada is facing today.”  

The gift totaling $720,000 will fund the two research projects over the next three years. 

In Transition: Bridging the employability gap for international learners through integrated solutions 

International students in Canada often face challenges when transitioning from post-secondary into the workforce. Given the global competition for talent, a coordinated approach to engage government, post-secondary institutions, community organizations and industry is needed to address barriers faced by international students. Through Humber’s International Graduate School, Principal investigator Dr. Parveen Gill and her team will work with the Jamaican Canadian Association and Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto to map the journey of the international student from graduation to permanent residency documenting challenges and developing an innovative framework for new supports and programming that validates the skills and competencies of international learners and expedites pathways to full-time employment. The objective is to retain talent contributing to Canada’s labour market to bridge the skills shortage.  

Developing Pharmacist’s Capacity to Support Cannabis Harm Reduction  

Efforts to provide evidence-informed clinical and harm reduction information to cannabis consumers has been a challenge due to persistent stigma and misinformation. By building on the success of previous research projects, Humber in collaboration with Memorial University of Newfoundland, the Canadian Pharmacists Association, Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction and Canadian Public Health Association aims to provide pharmacists with unprecedented training tools to engage effectively with cannabis consumers, supporting safe and mindful cannabis consumption. Led by Principal Investigator Dr. Daniel Bear, the project identifies training gaps, creates a knowledge pathway for pharmacists to address cannabis-related inquiries and includes public education resources and accredited courses for pharmacists, providing essential workplace skills and research opportunities for student research assistants. 


About Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning 
Innovation. Opportunity. Partnership. Support. At Humber College, we bring it all to more than 86,000 learners, in-person and online. As a global leader in polytechnic education, Humber provides in-depth theoretical learning, hands-on, work-integrated experiences and applied research opportunities to students at three main Toronto locations and beyond. Extensive industry connections, experienced faculty and a comprehensive range of credentials, including honours undergraduate degrees, Ontario graduate certificates, diplomas, apprenticeships, and certificates prepare career-ready global citizens for success in the future world of work. Visit  

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