The Urban Challenge Grant (UCG) program at the School of Cities builds multidisciplinary scholarly communities of practice within the University of Toronto around complex urban challenges. The grants fund timely research, knowledge dissemination and community engagement to address emerging research questions, and provide seed funding for pilot studies that could ultimately lead to transformative or high-impact research.

Grants are given to U of T faculty and postdoctoral fellows, and are made based on a comprehensive application process. The goal of this program is twofold. First, we seek to build multidisciplinary scholarly communities of practice around complex urban challenges in order to advance knowledge. Second, we are keen to create new and just ways to help communities in Canada and around the world thrive.

Participating researchers meet regularly with the School of Cities research community, engage with external stakeholders, and work closely with School of Cities staff on ways to maximize the impact of research through relevant dissemination events – ranging from exhibits, public performance, documentary film production or storytelling to policy briefs or data visualization.

3.0 Urban Challenge Grants: Migration, Belonging and Thriving 

In 2023 the School of Cities launched a new thematic focus on Migration, Belonging and Thriving. New grants will be announced shortly that tackle the interactions between these areas. University of Toronto faculty and postdoctoral fellows from the humanities, social and natural sciences will receive funding for research that crosscut the areas of migration, belonging, and thriving.

Communities form and reform ways of handling difference and of thriving. The social and physical infrastructure of cities can either support or divide communities; it can either cultivate diversity or foster segregation. How we understand and design environments and institutions shapes our ability to thrive.

Researchers across disciplines are engaging with the idea of thriving, seeking to support vibrancy in cultural, natural, and economic life. From science and engineering to health and the humanities, research focuses on the attachment to place and community, along with the struggle to belong and express differences. This year we are supporting projects from across the University that examine migration, belonging and thriving as either separate or interlinked issues.

Check back soon for more information on the 3.0 Urban Challenge Grants.