Research Partnerships and Innovation

Research Partnerships & Innovation

Strategic Transformation & Applied Research Fund


Strategic Transformation and Applied Research (STAR) is an internal funding program at Red River College Polytechnic that aims to support a broad range of activities at the College with emphasis on interdisciplinary and multi-department projects.

There are three main categories for applications:

  1. Academic Innovation
  2. Applied Research
  3. College-wide Improvements

Proposals must clearly demonstrate innovation, align with RRC Polytech strategic plan commitments, and clearly identify how the project will positively benefit and transform RRC Polytech.

Category Definition

Academic Innovation

Note: This category will capture applications normally supported by the former Program Innovation Fund (PIF).

Encourage and support innovation and improvements in the teaching and learning activities of Red River College Polytechnic. Such support could include the initiation of a new program, a new activity or service, or the elaboration of those already existing in order to increase their effectiveness or efficiency.

The following are examples of proposal themes:

  • projects supporting program/curriculum improvements from technology exploration/integration
  • new teaching techniques (blended, flipped)
  • student engagement pilots
  • community engagement
  • building community of practice
  • alignment of program with industry needs/trends.

Applied Research

Note: This category will capture applications normally supported by the former CARD Fund.

Develop and build internal research capacity within the College while providing a platform for innovation for those who are eager to conduct practical research but are in need of opportunities and resources.

The following are examples of proposal themes:

  • projects supporting technology/technical challenges that may include responding to industry problems
  • projects supporting environmental, ethical, legal and/or social research at the College
  • projects aimed at increasing the research profile of the College, both internally and externally
  • student-led research and development projects.

College-wide Improvements (New)

Supports innovation and improvements with potential College-wide impact. Proposals must clearly demonstrate what is new or innovative as it is not intended to support what is usual College business or projects that have already been supported through other means.

The following are examples of proposal themes:

  • projects supporting business improvements
  • innovation in health and safety
  • employee engagement initiatives
  • sustainability initiatives

Application Process and Timeline

STAR fund process flow chart

The process starts with the applicant completing the application form. The applicant must coordinate with team members and potential stakeholders (i.e. Finance, ITS, Facilities, Materials Management etc.) to ensure that the potential project can be supported. In most cases, the information gathered from potential stakeholders could strengthen the proposal as it could lead to a more accurate work plan.

The completed application must be sent to the Chair/Manager and Dean/Director for review and approval to be considered by the STAR Review Committee. If there are multiple applications coming from one School, the Dean will have the option to rank the applications prior to sending to the STAR review committee.

The STAR Review Committee will evaluate all applications based on the evaluation rubrics (see Appendix A).

Funding Request

Applicants are encouraged to meet with the Research Financial Administrator (Renee Scott) prior to filling out the application form. This is to ensure an accurate budget is being requested.

Note: Project budget overruns will be the responsibility of the respective department/school.

Similar to previous funds, the total project cost can be up to $10,000 (Canadian dollars). In situations where the anticipated cost of the project is more than the $10,000 per project allocation, the review committee will decide based on project merit and availability of funds.

Eligible expenses are as follows:

  • Salaries for students or professional support (contractors)
  • Operating costs (equipment, materials & supplies)
  • Related travel expenses
  • Expenses related to dissemination of research results

Note: Purchases must follow existing/current processes within the College.

Conditions of Funding

Funding is made on the understanding that the conduct of the project and all participants are subject to both the general policies and procedures outlined in this guide and the policies and procedures of Red River College Polytechnic. The College reserves the right to withdraw funding, after due notice, if it is found that the conditions are not being observed or if the project deadlines are not met.

If changes to a project are required that don’t reflect what was requested in the original STAR application, a written request identifying all the changes that are necessary in order to complete the project successfully must be submitted to the Director of Research Partnerships & Innovation (or designate) for approval.

As a condition of accepting awarded STAR funds, applicants are expected to provide a final report upon completion of the project. Applicants will also be required to present the outcomes of their project at various venues and events held at Red River College Polytechnic.

Criteria for Assessment

All proposals will be evaluated based on the following assessment criteria.

Assessment Criteria Factors Considered
Alignment to Priorities
  • Project addresses the goals, priority areas and/or outcomes as stated in the overall College Strategic Plan and/or the Academic and Research Plan
Excellence of the proposal
  • Objectives of the project are focused and coherent
  • The project team has the capacity and qualifications to contribute to the project’s overall success
  • The activities and timeline presented in the work plan are reasonable and can be achieved
  • The requested budget is justified and reasonable
Potential Impact
  • Anticipated outcome of the project is clearly articulated
  • The project team members are from different departments and demonstrates complimentary skills and/or resources that supports the project
  • Student involvement (if applicable)
Resource management
  • Hiring strategy clearly explained (if applicable)
  • Materials/equipment requisition plan established (i.e. quotes/estimates gathered)
  • Related College department’s approval secured and disposition of the equipment after the project clearly articulated
  • Related cost for equipment factored in (i.e. taxes, duties, installation costs)

Review Committee

The Review Committee will be composed of members from the Academic, Research and Support departments and will review both the proposal and the final report for each project.

Administration of Funds

Unlike the previous funds (CARD and PIF), the applicant and respective department are expected to manage and monitor the awarded funds. Applicants are expected to generate project costing working with Finance and include expense report as part of the final report submission.

Important: Funds awarded must be spent within the fiscal year (by March 31, 2024). Extensions will not be granted, therefore we encourage you to carefully consider the scope of your project to ensure that funds can be expended by March 31, 2024.

Appendix A – Evaluation Rubrics

STAR Fund Rubric Exceeds Expectations (5) Meets Expectations (3) Need Improvement (1)
Benefit to RRC Polytech Alignment to Strategic Priorities The proposal clearly articulates a strong alignment with multiple priorities in the strategic and/or academic and research plan. The proposal clearly articulates alignment with a priority in the strategic and/or academic and research plan. The proposal does not articulate a strong alignment with priorities in the strategic and/or academic and research plan.
Potential Impact The proposal clearly articulates great impact for RRC Polytech, including but not limited to innovative idea, scalable project, solves a current problem and/or meets a need at RRC Polytech. The proposal describes how the project will positively impact the RRC Polytech community. The proposal does not clearly identify the impact of the project, or the impact will likely be small and/or not scalable.
Multi-disciplinary The proposal identifies a cross-disciplinary team and/or cross-disciplinary benefits across RRC Polytech. The proposal has potential for cross-disciplinary impact and/or the project team includes consultation across disciplines. The project is unlikely to benefit other disciplines and does not include cross-disciplinary representation on the project team.
Feasibility and Logistics Budget The proposed budget is clearly identified, reasonable, and feasible. All anticipated costs are included and accounted for, including quotes where applicable. The proposed budget is complete and reasonably accounts for the costs of the project. The proposed budget is incomplete and/or does not consider the necessary costs required to complete the project.
Workplan, timeline and methods The project proposal clearly identifies team members, their role in the project, and their qualification for the role. The work plan and timelines are reasonable and attainable. The project proposal identifies a project team, work plan and timelines that are achievable. The proposal lacks details of project team, work plan, timelines and/or details included are not attainable.
(If research component is included): there is a clear research question and methods/analysis are sufficient to complete the study (If research component is included): a research question and reasonable methods are described (If research component is included): research question and/or methods are unclear or incomplete
Overall Impression Excellence of the proposal Overall impression of the proposal is exemplary Overall impression of the proposal is very good Overall impression of the project is mixed, there are general concerns about the level of detail and/or ability to complete the project as proposed