Capacity Research Unit Receives SSHRC Funding

26 Jul 2019

Capacity Research Unit receives $2.5 million for gender-based violence research

The Capacity Research Unit, based at UBC's School of Nursing, will receive $2,499,946 over seven years to implement and test a trauma and violence-informed outreach intervention for women and girls affected by violence. This project is of one of 17 projects awarded funding through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant Program and includes collaborations with 14 service and academic organizations across three Canadian provinces.

 “Violence continues to be a pressing problem for many women and girls in Canada,” said Dr. Vicky Bungay, UBC Professor and Director of the Capacity Research Unit. “And while there are many different services, there are still a lot of problems supporting women to connect with these services. Outreach is an effective way to engage with women and help them connect with services. Our model moves beyond traditional outreach to take a strengths-based approach. We work to build on women’s strengths in identifying and managing their needs in ways that prevent re-traumatization and instead, foster women’s capacities and independence in connecting with supports and services.”   

The research involves scaling up and testing the effectiveness of an innovative outreach model with diverse groups of women and youth in different settings across Canada. The model was designed to engage with women who are most often absent from our current services in order to improve access to and receipt of supports and services.

“Too often priorities among diverse services are predetermined in isolation from one another,” said Dr. Bungay. “Women’s agency and rights to self-determine their priorities are often overlooked as we grapple to respond to systemic and interpersonal violence in our respective silos.”

The people and organizations involved in this project recognize that collaborative approaches are the most effective way to tackle these issues as no one entity has the responsibility for addressing violence or its devastating effects for women and girls’ well-being and their rights and freedoms.

“By working collaboratively, we can better engage with women in a way that fosters their agency, resiliency and capacity,” said Dr. Bungay.

In addition to the SSHRC funding, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) and anonymous donor support will enhance project activities in B.C.

Click here for the SSHRC funding announcement and a full list of the team. For more information, contact Vicky Bungay at

Capacity Research Unit Website