Applied Research & Innovation

Mission: To position Red Deer College as a leader in applied research and innovation in Alberta through the involvement of industry, faculty and students in leading-edge projects, partnerships, and scholarly activity in our areas of expertise.

Applied Research and Innovation focuses on the areas of Innovation in Manufacturing, Environment and Ecology, Faculty and Student Research and Innovation, and Health Research.  Please select an image below to learn more about these areas of research.

Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing Environment and Ecology Health Research Collaborative

Whether you find yourself inspired by a new innovative design concept, are seeking to make an impact in the health sector of Alberta, want to work on a collaborative research team, or would like to 3D print a prototype, the department of Applied Research and Innovation will assist you. 

Please explore our website for more details on our projects, services, funding, and engagement opportunities.

Research Support Fund

The Government of Canada Research Support Fund assists post-secondary institutions with the expenses associated with managing research funded by the three federal research granting agencies (Tricouncil): the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Research funding provided through the granting agencies is generally limited to direct project costs (e.g. research equipment, research assistant salaries, etc.). Institutions that receive funding for research also incur costs to manage their research enterprise, often called indirect costs of research. The Research Support Fund allows expenditures in five categories:

  1. Research Facilities
  2. Research Resources
  3. Management and Administration
  4. Regulatory Requirements and Accreditation
  5. Intellectual Property

For more information on eligible expenses and how grants are disbursed, please visit the Research Support Fund website.

In 2018-19, Red Deer College was awarded $42,320 for Tricouncil funding received by Red Deer College and its affiliated institution(s). These funds were designated to support Management and Administration.

Red Deer College’s Affiliated Institution(s)

  • Bethany Care Society – CollegeSide

Supporting Researchers Ability to Focus on Research

In support of Red Deer College’s Applied Research and Innovation (ARI) department, Research Support Fund (RSF) funding is dedicated to:

  • supporting the management and administration of grant holders
  • supporting the management and administration of the Health Research Collaborative, and
  • writing grants such as one that ARI submitted to NSERC’s College and Community Innovation Program for a Technology Access Centre

The ARI team relieves the administrative load put on RDC’s researchers allowing them to focus on their research. ARI is responsible for the management and administration of reporting activities once funding is in place. One function of this is to set up accounts with the college’s Finance department to ensure accurate and timely financial reports are submitted to the funding agencies. Other administrative assistance provided to grant holders includes purchasing, travel arrangements, hiring and onboarding of student Applied Research Technicians, and submitting employee’s timesheets to Payroll for processing.

Health Research Collaborative

Some of the Health Research Collaborative projects supported include:

  • Perspectives of poverty reduction needs - a comparison of experiences with poverty between service providers and those with lived experience
  • Perfectionism, coping, and mental health outcomes in athletes - to investigate the relationship between types of perfectionism, coping efficacy, and mental health outcomes such as stress, anxiety, and burn out in college student athletes
  • Day-Before Booking Initiative aims to determine if day-before booking will decrease no show rates, reduce wait times, increase client satisfaction/quality of life as well as increase therapeutic alliance

Grant Writing

ARI submitted a full TAC grant application to Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) College and Community Innovation Program in October of 2018. Even though the application was not approved the experience provided many learnings; in part by having the opportunity to work with a consultant and discover what the Unmet Needs are for prototyping-related services in central Alberta. This gives ARI a direction to support growth opportunities and targets that the department has not previously focused on or explored.

The Research Support Fund supports a portion of the costs associated with managing the research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, such as salaries for staff who provide administration support, training costs for workplace health and safety, maintenance of libraries and laboratories, and administrative costs associated with obtaining patents for inventions.

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2017-18 RSF Award

In 2017-18, Red Deer College was awarded $33,289 for Tricouncil funding received by Red Deer College and its affiliated institution(s). These funds were designated to support Management and Administration.

Red Deer College’s Affiliated Institution(s)

  • Bethany Care Society – CollegeSide

How Red Deer College is learning more about immigrant women’s experiences and identifying strengths and weaknesses of settlement programs and services.

‘Making a Life in Central Alberta: Voices of Immigrant Women’, is a joint project between RDC’s School of Arts and Sciences and Central Alberta Immigrant Women’s Association (CAIWA). It is a three-year research project led by Sociology instructors Dr. Choon-Lee Chai and Dr. Krista Robson that assesses settlement programs and services for immigrant women in central Alberta. The hope is to learn more about the women’s experiences and needs and identify strengths and weaknesses of settlement programs and services.

Immigrant women who took part in the research took photos to represent important aspects of their settlement experiences. They also took part in interviews and talked about their photos while telling their stories of settling and making a life in central Alberta.

These stories speak of optimism, ambition, achievement, love, family, children, faith, friendship, new opportunities, new discoveries and everyday life in central Alberta. They also speak of underemployment, social isolation, discrimination and service gaps that newcomers strive to overcome.

Dr. Chai says the initiative has been a good way to introduce students to some of our social issues.

“It’s a way for them to learn about their community, the citizens in this place and some of the challenges they face and how we can make life better for some of the community members here,” explains Chai. “It’s to improve the programs and services for immigrant women who make central Alberta their new place of residence.”

Chai adds that allowing immigrant women to have control of the research in terms of process, what photos are taken and what stories are told has also been key to the project’s success.

Halima Ali, CAIWA Executive Director, adds the good work that has come from the project and the women willing to share their stories has been a nice surprise.

“We know only a little about the challenges and the barriers they are having,” says Ali. “But what we try as an organization, we know our responsibility. We know that we are there to do whatever we can do to support them. We don’t have even a drop of the help that they need because they need a lot.”

With that in mind, Ali says they are certainly grateful for the support they receive from program funders like the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

“As an organization and as immigrants, we always want to share our stories with the community but we narrate their stories,” explains Ali. “This time, it’s them showing and narrating their story. That’s the difference this time.”

Tabitha Phiri, Research Project Coordinator, says the experience has shed some light on what services immigrant women have been unable to access up to this point because of certain barriers.

“English, if they can’t speak English and culturally competent programs,” explains Phiri. “We wanted to make sure that we actually do the research so that we could have the actual results.”

Phiri points out however, that local settlement service providers also have some strengths to make note of including the efforts being made to simply reach out to immigrants.

“The services are available to anyone,” states Phiri. “Although it’s difficult for immigrants to go because of certain limitations and certain barriers that they have but otherwise, the strength is that the services are there.”

Sheldon Spackman, rdnewsNOW

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