Head and Heart Indigenous Research Fellowship

2019 H&H students
2019 Head & Heart fellows Elissa Noah, Donika Stonefish, Nathanial Ninham                                                                                                                                                                 

The Head & Heart (H&H) Indigenous Research Fellowship offers Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students of various disciplinary backgrounds hands-on, 10 week, culturally-relevant research experience guided by a designated faculty supervisor. Grounded in Indigenous pedagogical approaches, the fellowship is explicitly designed to nurture and inspire Indigenous scholars through weekly co-curricular learning sessions focused on topics and skills development relevant to Indigenous scholars, including promising practices, innovations in research, and professional development.

H&H operates in close partnership and collaboration with Indigenous and allied faculty members from Social Sciences, Education, Arts & Humanities, Information & Media Studies, Music, Law, Science, Health Sciences, Engineering, Ivey Business School, and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Established in 2018, the fellowship responds directly to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action 62 to 65, which concern “Education for Reconciliation” by utilizing Indigenous knowledge and epistemologies to drive learning and research. Further, the program has helped significantly to advance the 8 strategic directions of Western’s Indigenous Strategic Plan (2016) and its institutional strategic plan, Towards Western at 150 (2021). 

An October 2021 evaluation found the H&H program to be highly successful in terms of participant satisfaction and strengthening the recruitment and retention of Indigenous students, staff, and faculty at Western.

Successful applicants will be awarded a fellowship to complete ten (10) weeks of research on a topic of their interest and will be guided by a designated faculty supervisor.

The program will culminate at the annual Head and Heart Research Symposium where fellows will be invited to share and demonstrate their learning through a presentation at the annual H&H Indigenous Research Symposium.

natalie hill
   Natalie Hill, Head & Heart Alumni

How do I apply?

Thank you for your interest, Applications for the 2022 Head & Heart Fellowship are no longer being accepted. If you require additional clarification and/or info, please contact the Program Coordinator, Tammy Johnson at tjohn64@uwo.ca.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. Please let us know if you require a specific accommodation because of a disability, or a medical need, in order to participate in any aspect of the selection process.

Application form requirements:
-An Introductory Written Statement (500 words) or Video (5 minutes).
-A Letter of Community Support (such as from an Elder, a professor and/or mentor).
-Unofficial transcript(s).

To talk to someone about this opportunity, please contact:
The Office of Indigenous Initiatives at indigenousinitiatives@uwo.ca with the Subject: H&H Fellowship.

Easy guide on How to Apply or watch the video above for full details.

I have more questions!

Am I eligible to apply for Head and Heart?

The fellowship is open to both undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled at Western who identify as Indigenous from Turtle Island (First Nation, Métis, Inuit) and demonstrate an interest in research.

Students from all faculties are invited to apply; you do not need to be part of a research-intensive program nor do you need to have any previous research experience.


What is the value of this research award?

Each undergraduate award is valued at $8,400.00. The expectation of this award is that students will participate in 35 hours/week of research-based activity, which will include co-curricular activities over the 10-week period.

Each graduate award is valued at $10,000.00. The expectation of this award is that students will participate in 35 hours/week of research-based activity, which will include co-curricular activities over the 10-week period.


When does the program start and end?

Funding covers a 10-week period. During the 10-week period, award recipients are expected to participate in 35 hours of research activity as well as a weekly co-curricular class. Students must be ready to begin the Head and Heart Indigenous Research Fellowship (including research placement) on May 30, 2022. The fellowship will run until August 5, 2022.


Do I have to be in London to apply?

For 2022, the Head and Heart Indigenous Research Fellowship will be virtual. The mandatory co-curricular class will be delivered via Zoom, however there may be opportunity for on-campus activities if the current pandemic context permits. In this case, any on-campus activities will either be optional or will be delivered via a hybrid model.

What is the co-curricular class?

As part of the Head and Heart Indigenous Research Fellowship award, fellows are expected to attend a weekly co-curricular class and participate in professional development activities throughout the 10-week period. For the second year in a row, the co-curricular will be delivered virtually via Zoom, with guest speakers, discussion opportunities and workshops designed to build researcher skills and competencies.

Who is part of the advisory & selection committee?

-Christy Bressette, VP/AVP Indigenous Initiatives

-Candace Brunette-Debassige, Faculty of Education

-Mariam Hayward, Knowledge Exchange & Impact Manager, Western Research

-Shazad Chaudhary, Research, Evaluation, and Innovation Specialist

-Amanda Myers, Director, Indigenous Student Centre

-Terri-Lynn King, Head & Heart Alumni