Stantec Innovative Partnership Grant


This grant invites a student/academic research team to partner with a Stantec practitioner to explore a question of interest within one of 3 themes listed below, as they pertain to either workplace, healthcare, or educational facilities.

Research Themes

Design Justice

Design Justice explores the relationship of design, inclusivity and diversity to uncover structural inequities in the interior environment and the processes by which they are designed. How do we design in such a way that all voices authentically expressed and heard? How do our designs manifest experiences for people to feel safe, included, and equal? What are the opportunities in design that will encourage individuals to thrive and be their best selves? What is the contribution of interior design to a diverse and flourishing society?

Innovation & Creativity

As the exchange of information and methods of expressing our reactions become more and more fast pace, the pressure to respond immediately to the current social climate with new ideas and solutions has increased. The ability to think creatively and flexibly is a highly valued commodity across all aspects of society. How can the environments in which we learn, work, or heal play a role supporting innovation and creative thinking of its occupants? What design elements or strategies might be applied to encourage people to be more inventive and imaginative as they approach their tasks?


Human nature seeks growth, change, flexibility and increased strength. Design plays a key role in creating a resilient community with the ability to bounce back stronger from shocks and stresses. In an increasingly volatile environment, how can interior designers offer our clients choices that help them meet their current needs in a way that allows flexibility for the future? What design decisions can provide beauty, functionality, and durability while lowering the environmental impact of our projects? How can we create spaces that foster social resilience, enhance local identity, strengthen community cohesion, and provide refuge from tumultuous events, both climactic and social?


Stantec seeks proposals from (1) educator and (1) student (graduate or rising senior undergraduate) from CIDA accredited programs with whom to partner on a research project related to one of the themes described.

A grant of $3,000 will be awarded to the selected student and educator team. The distribution of funds will occur in phases as the above action items are completed. No indirect (i.e., Facilities & Administrative) or overhead costs should be included in proposals.

The successful grant recipients will work with Stantec interior designers to fulfill their research proposal. The division of labor between Stantec, educator, and student may vary based on the proposal and topic, but the intention is for all three parties to work virtually and collaboratively, providing equal effort and input so as to maximize the value of the three unique perspectives brought to the project. At minimum, the team will:

  1. Create an intermediate report sharing their progress.
  2. Submit a proposal to present their project at IDEC’s Annual Conference.
  3. Author a whitepaper to share their completed findings.
  4. These 3 items are considered minimum deliverables, and the team is encouraged to disseminate findings as widely as possible.

Applicants are invited to reach out to Stantec during the application process to pose questions.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria. The successful proposal will provide:

A Compelling Question

The research initiative will be creative, forward-thinking, and have the potential to make a significant impact for how interior designers improve quality of life. The proposal will demonstrate how this research relates to one of the themes within either a workplace, healthcare or educational capacity.

A Comprehensive Workplan

A workplan outlining the scope of work to be undertaken and the associated timeline to achieve the various deliverables and milestones. It will also describe the roles and strategic integration of the interior design educator, student, and practitioner, and show how each will be an active participant and how their strengths and perspectives will be leveraged.

Sound Research Methodologies

The research methodology will be well-articulated using any combination of quantitative or qualitative research methods.The research methodology will meet all ethical standards and be applicable to the research question.

Application to Practice

The proposal will demonstrate how this research can be applied to help shift design practice, processes and outcomes.

Student / Academic qualifications

Student and educator CV will demonstrate rigor and academic excellence.


MAY 2, 2023

Proposals due

August 9, 2023

Awards announced

August 9, 2023

Kickoff meeting 50% of funding released

January 29, 2024

Progress report due 25% of funding released

March 6, 2024

Provide poster at IDEC Conference demonstrating work in progress

June 24, 2024

White paper due 25% of funding released

September 2024

Submission to IDEC Conference due

March 2025

IDEC Conference

Past Recipients


Debra Harris

Thank you to IDEC Sponsors and Partners