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CAIF APPLICATION FORM FOR MCGILL UNIVERSITY APPLICANTS

Please review the following information carefully before submitting your application at the bottom of the page.

Fellowship Overview

EWB Canada launched the Canada-Africa Innovation Fellowship program in 2021 with the aim of providing a unique and rare opportunity for undergraduate students and recent graduates based in Canada and sub-Saharan Africa to work together and develop innovative and viable solutions to complex global challenges.

More specifically, the Fellowship (1) develops Fellows’ professional, entrepreneurial and leadership capacities through an accelerator-type training series, mentorship and coaching from sector experts; and (2) provides Fellows with an international and cross-cultural platform to engage in innovation design challenges for create equitable, sustainable, scalable and viable solutions for complex global problems.

Over a 5-month period, Innovation Fellows will be trained, supported and given the opportunity to tailor-make products, solutions and / or processes to overcome systemic challenges faced by vulnerable communities. At the end of the program, Fellows will have the tools, resources and plans to take their innovations to market as viable social ventures.

Fellow Eligibility and Selection Criteria

To apply for the Innovation Fellowship, Candidates must:

  • be above the age of 18 prior to the time of application; 

  • EITHER be a full-time undergraduate student at McGill University enrolled in your third-year of study or above at the time of application;

  • be based in Canada as a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident on a valid student or work visa, or holder of a Protected Persons status (e.g. refugee);

  • have an interest in entrepreneurship, innovation and climate change; 

  • have the drive, ambition, and interest to find new ways to solve complex challenges;

  • have the capacity to gather comprehensive information on complex problems or situations, and the ability to evaluate and analyze information accurately in order to identify key issues and offer viable solutions;

  • exhibit budding entrepreneurial spirit and have an interest in co-founding an initiative with the potential to positively impact millions of people across Canada and the world;

  • have the drive to build international linkages and collaborate across perspectives with others from different regions in Canada and sub-Saharan Africa;

  • be available and willing to dedicate 5 months from April 2022 to August 2022, committing between 10 to 15 hours per week of hands-on virtual workshops and activities;

  • be willing to inspire and educate people in your own community on what you have learned through this program (e.g. at Chapter or EWB events, etc.);

  • be comfortable with using English as a main language of communication.

 

Our Commitment to Invest in our Fellows:

 

People bring powerful ideas to life. At EWB, we identify, encourage and equip talented leaders to lift the collective prospects of our planet. We spot potential and invest in people who turn big ideas into big impact. As a 2022 Canada-Africa Innovation Fellow, you have a unique opportunity to:

  • participate in several online learning labs facilitated by experts with real-life experience in the social innovation ecosystem;

  • receive mentorship and coaching from experienced industry experts drawn from around the world; 

  • network, collaborate and benefit from several peer-to-peer learning opportunities and with like minded individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds;

  • have the opportunity to co-found an initiative that can impact millions of lives across the world;

  • attend a graduation ceremony where certificates will be awarded to fellows and be recognized as an EWB Canada fellow / alumni of the Canada-Africa Innovation Fellowship Program, unlocking further networks and opportunities for your professional, leadership and entrepreneurial growth.

 

Important Dates (McGill University Applications Only):

  • Applications Open: 11 February 2022

  • Application Deadline: Applications will be reviewed and considered on a rolling basis. Candidates are encouraged to submit applications at their earliest convenience, as space in the program is limited.

  • Application Results: By end of March 2022

  • Program Start: Last week of April 2021. The fellowship connects young leaders from Canada, Uganda and Ghana offering them a platform through which to share cultural, academic and professional knowledge, design solutions together and apply a gender lens to their work. The platform also builds capacity and experience for Canadian and African leaders in the areas of technology and innovation.

    CAIF will build skills students need to be leaders at work and in their communities with the ability to navigate and solve complex challenges. This new program will feature:

  • An emphasis on Fellows professional, leadership, entrepreneurial and innovation capacity development through an accelerator-type training series, professional mentorship and coaching;

  • the opportunity and ability to engage youth in an innovation design challenge to create solutions for complex global problems.

Section 1

Are you affiliated with the EWB Chapter at McGill University?
Year of Study
At the time of completing this application, are you 18 years of age or above*?
Are you a Canadian citizen, a Permanent Resident, on a valid student visa, or hold a Protected Persons (Refugee) status in Canada?
EWB values Diversity. We embrace diverse cultures, heritages and opinions in our efforts to enrich the Fellowship program and foster inclusive decision making. Some groups are underrepresented in our program in relation to their representation in the communities we serve. As part of our commitment to an inclusive, representative program we want to track and monitor our progress. All self-declaration information is kept confidential and will not be used in the assessment of your application. Your participation is encouraged and appreciated, but it is not mandatory. Please select all that you self-identify as:
Do you have access to a computer/laptop for the duration of the fellowship?
Would you have access to the internet for the duration of the fellowship?

Section 2 - Expression of Interest

The fellowship is an online program that will require about 10 - 15 hours active engagement per week from the months of April to August 2022. Is this something that can work for you?
How did yo find out about the Canada-Africa Innovatio Fellowship program? (This question is non-evaluative and only for data collection.)
If your application is successful, EWB may require a verbal or written reference from an employer or faculty before confirming your placement in the program. Will you be able to provide such a reference?
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Thanks for submitting! We'll be in touch!

Please remember to keep these program timelines in mind:
 

  • Application Deadline: Applications will be reviewed and considered on a rolling basis. Candidates are encouraged to submit applications at their earliest convenience, as space in the program is limited.

  • Application Results: By end of March 2022

  • Program Start: Last week of April 2022

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this program only for engineers and engineering students?

No. EWB strongly believes in the importance of applying holistic interdisciplinary approaches to solve even the most technical of problems. Therefore, Fellows from all technical and academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

No. EWB strongly believes in the importance of applying holistic interdisciplinary approaches to solve even the most technical of problems. Therefore, Fellows from all technical and academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Do I need a technical background to participate in the program? Does this program only support the development of high-tech innovations?

No. This Fellowship sees innovation as an approach that is accessible to all and focuses on when and how to apply an innovation process. It provides a platform for participants to address and overcome systemic and operational challenges through the use of innovation methodologies (such as experimentation and testing). These solutions may come in the form of high-tech, low tech and even zero-tech products, services, or processes. Fellows from all technical and academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

No. This Fellowship sees innovation as an approach that is accessible to all and focuses on when and how to apply an innovation process. It provides a platform for participants to address and overcome systemic and operational challenges through the use of innovation methodologies (such as experimentation and testing). These solutions may come in the form of high-tech, low tech and even zero-tech products, services, or processes. Fellows from all technical and academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Do I need a business background or entrepreneurship experience to participate in the program? Will the Fellowship focus on entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is an integral part of this Fellowship to ensure that the social innovations and solutions produced by Fellows are viable and market ready. Through learning labs, mentorship and coaching, participants will be exposed to the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and will gain the tools, resources, and plans to ensure that their social innovations are ready to create sustainable impact in the communities they are supporting. 

Applicants are not expected to have entrepreneurial skills or experience prior to their participation in the Fellowship; however, they should be able to exhibit their entrepreneurial spirit and drive to use innovation and entrepreneurship for creating social change.

Entrepreneurship is an integral part of this Fellowship to ensure that the social innovations and solutions produced by Fellows are viable and market ready. Through learning labs, mentorship and coaching, participants will be exposed to the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and will gain the tools, resources, and plans to ensure that their social innovations are ready to create sustainable impact in the communities they are supporting. 

Applicants are not expected to have entrepreneurial skills or experience prior to their participation in the Fellowship; however, they should be able to exhibit their entrepreneurial spirit and drive to use innovation and entrepreneurship for creating social change.

How much time would I have to commit to this initiative?

The core component of the Fellowship will take place between the months of May and August 2022. Fellows are expected to commit between 10 and 15 hours each week. While some training will be conducted at specific times, much of the engagement will be determined by the Fellows’ own schedules, taking into account their group members’ time zones, etc.

Travel restrictions permitting, participants may also be brought together for a 2 day weekend retreat in their respective countries for an in-person foundation training session in April.

The core component of the Fellowship will take place between the months of May and August 2022. Fellows are expected to commit between 10 and 15 hours each week. While some training will be conducted at specific times, much of the engagement will be determined by the Fellows’ own schedules, taking into account their group members’ time zones, etc.

Travel restrictions permitting, participants may also be brought together for a 2 day weekend retreat in their respective countries for an in-person foundation training session in April.

Is the program virtual or will there be travel involved?

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A core component of the program will be delivered virtually to allow Fellows from across Canada and sub-Saharan Africa to participate. However, travel restrictions permitting, participants will also be brought together for a 2-day weekend retreat in their respective countries for an in-person foundation training session.

Can I submit a joint application with a friend or Chapter member?

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Collaboration is a key to innovation and it is great that you want to work together! However, each applicant needs to send his or her own individual application and each application will be reviewed individually. You can indicate your intention to collaborate in the individual applications.

I have an innovative idea and I need funding to implement it. Can the Fellowship fund it?

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It is great that you already have ideas on how to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. However, innovation is about so much more than great ideas. This Fellowship initiative is not about funding ideas, but it’s about Fellows working on operational challenges using innovation methodologies (such as experimenting and testing) together with their respective colleagues.

I love workshops! Can I join just them without the requirements of the Fellowship?

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No. The core learning of the program lies in the innovation work Fellows conduct in their own groups. The workshops are there to support their journey. By joining the Fellowship, you commit to the program, not just the workshop.

Is the EWB Canada-Africa Innovation Fellowship the same as the EWB Junior Fellowship?

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No. The Junior Fellowship (JF) program is an in-country volunteer placement program available through EWB for members of its University Chapter community. The JF program focuses on building a candidate's professional skills while supporting social ventures in some of the most up and coming economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions, this program is not being offered in 2022.

The Canada-Africa Innovation Fellowship is an initiative launched in 2021, open exclusively to undergraduate university students and recent graduates from Canada and sub-Saharan Africa who work together to develop innovative, sustainable and viable solutions to important challenges affecting our world today. The initiative offers its participants with innovation and entrepreneurship training, mentorship and coaching from sector experts, and a unique opportunity to grow their leadership, entrepreneurial and innovation capacity while engaging in cultural, academic and professional exchange.

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