Skip to main content
social innovation research group logo

Social Innovation Research Group

The Social Innovation Research Group (SIRG) (groupe de recherche en innovation sociale) was founded in 2003 by Ginette Lafrenière, associate professor in the Lyle S. Hallman School of Social Work. SIRG 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 vulnerable populations.

We are proud to share that over the past 14 years, SIRG has grown into a research and training incubator for undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students comprised of a multidisciplinary group of researchers and community practitioners dedicated to university and community collaboration.

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 organizations. SIRG has employed more than 120 students through placements, part-time research assistants and full-time researchers. 

Feminism is a philosophical foundation on which we base much of the work done 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, please send your curriculum vitae and a statement of interest to Rachel Yavnai (

Contact Us:

Ginette Lafrenière, Director (SIRG), Associate Dean (MSW Programs)

T: 519.884.0710 x5237
Office Location: FSW 310

Rachel Yavnai, Research & Community Project Coordinator

T: 519.884.0710 x5280
Office Location: FSW 206A