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Social Innovation Research Group

The Social Innovation Research Group (SIRG) was founded in 2003 by Ginette Lafrenière, professor in the Lyle S. Hallman School of Social Work. This research group was inspired by our commitment to community development and our desire to support students wanting to learn the complex nuances of community-based research with equity-seeking populations.

We are proud to share that since 2003, SIRG has grown into an active research and training incubator for undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students, and comprised of a multidisciplinary group of researchers and community practitioners dedicated to university-community collaboration (UCC).

Since its inception, SIRG has interfaced with more than 60 health and social service agencies across Ontario and has collaborated with more than 70 different non-profit and community-based organizations. SIRG has employed more than 150 students through placements, part-time research assistants and full-time researchers. 

Feminism is one of the philosophical foundations on which we base much of the work executed at SIRG. We believe that feminist theories honour the ways in which we view the world and illuminate our understanding of intersectional inequities such as oppression, homophobia, racism and other injustices. As feminist researchers, we pursue and promote the dismantling of power inequities on multiple levels.

If you are interested in volunteering, completing a student placement, or working for SIRG as a research assistant, please send your curriculum vitae and a statement of interest to Ginette Lafrenière (

Contact Us:

Ginette Lafrenière, SIRG Director

T: 519.884.0710 x5237
Office Location: FSW 310

Rachel Yavnai, Associate Director (Research & Community Projects)

T: 519.884.0710 x5280
Office Location: FSW 206A