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Apprenticing With a Problem

Red background with orange, blue and navy border. White text reads "Apprenticing With a Problem"


Apprenticing with a Problem is a grant initiative that supports student projects and research addressing systemic social or environmental issues, in collaboration with a faculty member at Toronto Metropolitan University or community organization. Students who have made a submission to Map the System are eligible to receive up to $3,000 in funding within the same year that they participated in the program.   

Map the System is an annual initiative offered by OSI that supports students in studying and researching a complex social or environmental issue. Through the program, students identify an issue, develop their skills in critically understanding the components to the issue, and are guided through creating a report and visual map based on their learning. This funding is intended to support recent participants in continuing their research and relationships with faculty members and community leaders.

Application Deadline

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Call for Proposals: Guidelines

As Apprenticing with a Problem emphasizes research in community-engaged social change, student applicants must work on their research in collaboration with a faculty member at Toronto Metropolitan or a community organization.

Grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded for a six month period. An extension of up to six months may be granted upon written request to OSI before the expiration of the Term.

Only past Map the System participants are eligible for funding. These participants must have made a submission to the program, and apply for funding within the same year of their submission. For example, if you made a submission to Map the System 2020, you must apply for Apprenticing with a Problem funding to be used before the end of 2020.

Preference will be given to individuals from designated groups (see note below), individuals who immigrated to Canada from other countries and their children, and first-time applicants. Foreign students and permanent residents are eligible to apply.

Note: Designated groups include four groups specified in the Employment Equity Act (Indigenous Peoples, women, visible minorities, and persons with disabilities) and the 2SLGBTQ community. 2SLGBTQ  is an umbrella term for people who identify as Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, gender independent, queer, questioning, or who otherwise express gender or sexual diversity.

Completed application packages must include the following:

  •  (PDF file) Student Application Form
  • Applicant’s submission to Map the System. 
  • Applicant’s current CV. 
  • One reference letter from the partnering faculty member or community organization. 

Completed application packages are to be emailed to

Funding recipients must fulfil the following requirements:

  • Sign a Funding Agreement before any activity funded, in whole or in part, is carried out.
  • Upon completion of the project, present research findings in a community forum.
  • Upon completion of the project, submit a one-page single-spaced project summary demonstrating outcomes to be posted on the project website.
  • Upon completion of the research project, or up to sixty (60) days after the expiration of the Term, return unused research project funds to the Office of Social Innovation.
  • Throughout the duration of the project and upon completion of the project, advise the Project Coordinator of any conference, materials and publications resulting from the project.
  • Throughout the duration of the project and upon completion of the project, acknowledge the “Apprenticing with a Problem Fund at Toronto Metropolitan University” in any materials and publications resulting from project activities. Provide project updates upon request.

Applications meeting the eligibility criteria outlined above will be considered by an adjudication committee composed of selected faculty and staff.

Proposals will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment, involvement, and activism within a community and/or systemic issue. 
  • The proposed activity must reflect the values and social justice principles of the Office of Social Innovation.
  • A clear, detailed and realistic work plan and budget for the proposed activity.
  • Demonstrated capacity of the Applicant to excel in proposed activity.
  • An interview or further information may be required from the short-listed applicants.

Key Contact

For further information, please contact: