TORONTO, ONTARIO – Three research projects at Humber College are receiving nearly $4 million through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) program’s College and Community Social Innovation Fund and the Mobilize Grant. These grants are funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to address innovation challenges across Canada.

“The COVID-19 pandemic widened disparities in access to care particularly for marginalized populations, further positioning them at a greater risk for increased poverty, food insecurity, mental health challenges, social isolation, and discrimination,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, president & CEO, Humber College. “Through this College and Community Social Innovation funding commitment, Humber can continue its mission to research how communities across the country can be supported through our government, university, and health care partners.”   

Mobilize Applied Research Program

This new grant from NSERC totals $3,250,000 over five years and will be used to help strengthen regional partnerships enabling community, municipal and university partners to respond to the health, economic, and environmental impacts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by associate dean Tania Massa, Office of Research and Innovation, Humber College will train students and emerging researchers while creating programs that engage underrepresented communities in research projects.

Partnering for health access: Developing an innovative health clinic

A grant of $360,000 over three years from NSERC and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) will help provide integrated health services for communities facing inequities and barriers to care through the delivery of a nurse-led mobile health clinic. Heidi Siu and Francisca Burg-Feret, professors in Humber’s Nursing program in the Faculty of Health Sciences & Wellness, will work with the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Mennonite New Life Centre of Toronto, and St. Francis Table on an integrated approach. The project will bridge the gap between health care and social services and provide better care for vulnerable people with complex health and social needs through these mobile health clinics.

Caring for the Thunderbird’s Nest: Geophysical and Machine Learning solutions to characterize and monitor inequitable Exposures to Ground and Air Pollution with Fort William First Nation

An additional grant from NSERC also totals $360,000 over three years. Maria Jacome, a professor in Humber’s Civil Engineering Technology program, along with researchers at the University of Toronto will partner with the Fort William First Nation (FWFN) to address a health and environmental crisis in the FWFN community. The community has noted that children under five who spent time in an area with more than a century of industrial development were most likely to experience an atypically young onset of leukemia. The research team will identify prevention, management and remediation methods in the polluted sites. The goal is to build a culturally safe nest to develop community capacity and mentor Indigenous students in environmental engineering and interdisciplinary studies in an Indigenous community setting.


About Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning     

Humber College is focused on our students' future. Humber provides career-focused education to more than 86,000 learners in-person at three main Toronto locations and online. As a global leader in polytechnic education, Humber students receive in-depth theoretical learning and hands-on experience with applied research and extensive industry connections. A comprehensive range of credentials, including honours undergraduate degrees, Ontario graduate certificates, diplomas, apprenticeships, and certificates, prepare career-ready global citizens to move seamlessly from education to employment. More than 86 per cent of Humber graduates are employed within six months of completing their studies. Visit     

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