Call for Proposals

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. Click here to download and share the Call for Proposals.

Research Themes

  1. Smart Buildings
    The ways in which we meet, work, move, share, and relax are entwined with digital tools that inform, arrange, measure, display, suggest, and prompt us through our daily experiences. As interior designers we strive to create the most effective settings in which all these activities take place, even as technology innovation continues to accelerate. What are the implications for interior designers seeking to provide the optimum human experience for a client in this ever-shifting context?  How can interior designers leverage the tools available for clients today, while maintaining flexibility for the future? What is the appropriate balance between benefits and consequences technology may present – such as the balance between connectedness and respite, convenience and privacy?
  2. Resilience
    Human nature seeks growth, change, flexibility and increased strength. We want to thrive, not just sustain. Design plays a key role in creating a resilient community with the ability to bounce back stronger from shocks and stresses. Merely sustaining is no longer enough.  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, whether that be their own changing needs over time or for a future occupant of a building? What decisions can an interior designer make that achieves 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 climatic and social?
  3. 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. At a minimum, how do we design in such a way that all voices are 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?


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.

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. Other questions may be directed to and will be publicly shared.

Selection Criteria

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Application to Practice
    The proposal will demonstrate how this research can be applied to help shift design practice, processes and outcomes.
  5. Student / Academic qualifications
    Student and educator CV will demonstrate rigor and academic excellence.


MAY 28, 2021 Proposals due
JUNE 14, 2021 Awarded Team announcedKickoff meeting
JUNE 28, 2021 50% of funding released Progress report due
JANUARY 30, 2022 Provide poster at IDEC Conference demonstrating work in progress White paper due
JUNE 28, 2022 25% of funding released
SEPTEMBER, 2022 Submission to IDEC Conference due
MARCH, 2023 IDEC Annual Conference

Congratulations to Jenna Walker, the winner of the 2021 Stantec Innovative Partnership Grant!