SFU Students: Apply now to Join the Health Change Lab Fall 2018 Cohort!

Applications for Health Change Lab are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis until the program is full. Please note that the Round 2 deadline has been extended to Tuesday May 22nd, 2018.

What is Change Lab?

Change Lab programs have been running at SFU since 2011. These unique, once-in-a-degree studio programs are intensive opportunities to hone your skills at developing practical solutions to real-world challenges.

The Spring 2018 Civic Innovation Change Lab cohort has just wrapped up, and Fall 2018 Health Change Lab applications are now being accepted.

Health Change Lab Schedule and Logistics

  • Studio days: Tuesdays 11:30am – 5:20pm at SFU Surrey.
  • Project coaching: Thursdays 2:30pm – 5:20pm at the RADIUS Social Innovation Lab (200-308 West Hastings Street, Vancouver).
  • Retreat: There is a day-long offsite retreat on September 11, expenses covered.
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

ChangeLab Studio Day

(11:30am – 5:20pm)

 @ SFU Surrey


Project Coaching

(2:30pm- 5:20pm)


(downtown Vancouver) 


What will you learn and do?

In Health Change Lab, participants work in interdisciplinary teams to investigate a community health-related challenge. Then, they develop and test an innovative, venture-based response. Teams will present to partner panels for feedback mid term and be given the opportunity to connect with community and City partners and leaders to help build their ideas with the possibility of seeing them proceed in the real world.

Sessions are a mix of hands on workshops, coaching by instructors and experts, limited content lectures, guest speakers, and open work time in your teams to advance your ideas.

Personal learning and leadership:

Ideal Change Lab students come in with keen curiosity and a willingness to explore and deepen their own leadership skills. Individual reflection and journaling are part of the course. Participants will be challenged to both give and receive feedback from peers and instructors. Openness, vulnerability, and the ability to listen deeply are highly valued.

The workload:

Commensurate with 10 credits, you should expect this to be an intensive experience. Many students have described the course as the most transformative of their undergraduate degree – but you have to be interested in and committed to:

  • developing and testing real ideas,
  • getting out of the classroom and talking to people, and
  • taking responsibility for the direction of your learning during the term.

There isn’t a lot of mandatory reading or information to memorize – you work with us to figure out what you need to learn to effectively advance your project.

The content:

Some of the topics you will learn about are social entrepreneurship, systems thinking, public health and community health issues pertinent to Surrey, determinants of health, business model development, personal development, effective teams, and more.

The specific credits that you are awarded are:

  • BUS 453 (Sustainable Innovations) – 3 credits
  • BUS 494 (Design for Innovation) – 3 credits
  • HCSI 495 (Applied Health Sciences Project) – 4 credits

Health Change Lab 2018 Instructors

This course is co-taught by experienced instructors Shawn Smith (BUS), Tamara Connell (BUS), and Paola Ardiles (HSCI). Mentors, speakers, and project partners are sourced through our extensive networks.

The cohort

You do not need any past business or health experience to thrive in this course! Expect your changemaking peers to bring a variety of perspectives from departments and faculties across the university, a breadth of experience from their own lives, and a shared passion for social and environmental issues.

While we value experience in social change, leadership and project creation of all sorts, we also encourage anyone excited about the description here to consider applying.


Note: certain prerequisites may be waived at discretion of instructors in extenuating circumstances:

  • 60 credits
  • 2.67 GPA
  • Some relevant work or volunteer experience

How to apply to Health Change Lab 2018

If the above description motivates you to apply, please email change-lab@sfu.ca with the following three documents in one PDF file (if possible):

  • A 500-word letter of motivation describing your interest in this program;
  • An unofficial copy of your transcripts; and
  • A copy of your resume/CV to outline your relevant work and volunteer experience.


  • Ekamvir Kaur says:

    I am a Health Sciences major student. I am so excited to be the part of this wonderful programme, but it seems like I have to wait till next year, because I have not completed 60 credits yet. I think its a really good opportunity for the students to learn practical things.

  • Falcon says:

    Thanks, Liz. Take care and Enjoy your holidays

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