DME Lab Creators Grant

2019 Ryerson University Library DME Lab Creators Grant Recipients

Hansel Igbavoa

Photograph of Hansel Igbavoa

Hansel Igbavboa is an entrepreneurship & strategy student in his third-year at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management. He is a visual and vocal artist, combining his love for the arts with social justice. His mission is to create social ventures that will disrupt the current socioeconomic status across the globe using creative outlets as a medium and/or means of leverage. He currently has a Youtube channel called Vlogoo where he shares his perspective and experiences as a student in Toronto.

Project one-liner: Using 360 video Hansel hopes to “demystify Black Hair, further normalize the beauty in our hair and affirm the struggles that come with the public perception…”

Kelly Bang

Photograph of Kelly Bang

Kelly Bang is a second-year architectural science student at Ryerson University. She believes the most important trait an individual needs is a positive mindset to tackle design challenges and push for innovation. Her pursuit of architecture comes from her particular interest in composition of spaces, and the impact sensuous experiences with architecture can leave on an individual. With a background in visual arts and two years of school, she is able to balance different aspects of a project with respect to technicality and artistic expression. She has had three projects recognized at the annual Department of Architectural Science (DAS) Year End Shows, and has worked on the DAS publication, 325 magazine. She wishes to pursue a career in architecture, and strives towards equitable and sustainable design.

Project one-liner: Kaleidoscope seeks to design and create ‘light prisms’ as planters to address issues of street lighting and women’s safety.

Alannah Fricker

Photograph of Allanah Fricker

Alannah Fricker is a third-year social work student at the Faculty of Community Services. She is the president and founder of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP) at Ryerson University–a group she started in response to the overdose crisis, and lack of administrative support at Ryerson for a public health approach to substance use. CSSDP aims to raise awareness and improve safety on campus by promoting harm reduction, connecting students to resources, reducing stigma, and educating about drug policy reform as a critical aspect of anti-oppression. Alannah is also an artist, caregiver, and is the administrator to the Jack Layton Chair.

Alannah Fricker is passionately committed to improving student life on campus. As the founder and president of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy at Ryerson, she is a tireless advocate for harm reduction approaches to drug use as a way to improve community safety and support human rights, autonomy, and dignity. Through community outreach, awareness campaigns, workshops, events, and collaboration, her group aims to challenge stigma and connect students to information and resources. She hopes to create a forum whereby students, faculty, and community members can come together to find innovative, creative, and compassionate solutions to challenges in our community.

Project one-liner: A harm reduction website to support student safety and public health approach to substance abuse.

Paul Benson

Photograph of Paul Benson

Paul Benson, a self-described lifelong learner and communicator, is in his first year of the Disability Studies program at the Ryerson School of Disability Studies. Benson continually strives to learn as much as he can about how the world works and to examine areas where it simply doesn’t. As a person with a disability, he sees areas of social breakdown and inequities that need to be addressed that may not be apparent to many leading a more “mainstream” life. Benson feels fortunate to have these experiences of difference that have highlighted possibilities for different – more inclusive and more respectful – ways of organizing society. He now wants to share what he’s discovering with a much broader audience and advocate for changes he feels are necessary and – in some cases – long overdue. Through project work, research, and advocacy, Benson believes he can make a positive contribution to the community that sustains him. He feels this is one of the most productive periods of his life and appreciates the opportunity to partner with Ryerson University to leverage what he can accomplish.

Project one-liner: A documentary that showcases persons with disabilities who are agents of social change.

Applications for 2019 are now closed

To be notified of future updates, please submit your Ryerson University email below!


What: DME Creators Grant, 2019. Value of up to $3000CAD for each of 5 grant recipients.

Who: Open to current Ryerson University undergraduate students. Read more about eligibility here.

Where: The DME Creators Grant requires that recipients have regular hours during which they are present and producing in the Ryerson Library during Spring 2019 and Summer 2019 and September for the showcase.

When: The application submission period will begin on January 28th, 2019. The deadline for submissions is on March 8th, 2019 at midnight (12:00am) EST. More information about timelines for the grant below.

Next Information Session: February 27, 2019 at 1:00pm and again at 4:00pm in SLC 308. Let us know you’re interested in attending one of the info sessions by RSVPing here.

January 28 – March 8 – Accepting applications

March 15th – Successful applicants informed

Week of March 24th – Kick-off meeting / meet your mentors

First week of April – First installment of grant – initial planning with mentors


Second week of May – Prelim Budget / Purchasing plan with mentor

Third week of May – Budget approval and Purchasing begins

Mid June – Mid Year progress check, Second installment of grant

End of August – Complete Prototype

Early September – DME Lab Creators Grant Showcase

The Ryerson University Library’s DME Creators’ Grants support Ryerson University undergraduate students who want to create innovative, sustainable, and interactive digital experiences and initiatives that address social equity issues. Successful applicants will receive a grant up to a total of $3000, with one portion distributed upon project approval, and the second portion distributed upon project completion and showcase. Continued participation in the grant program and full financial disbursement will be contingent on the participant reaching performance milestones, and presenting the completed project at a public showcase event organized by the Library.

Ryerson Library DME Creator Grants are intended to grow and diversify undergraduate student representation in digital media learning and skills development at Ryerson. The grants support the Ryerson University Library’s mission statement, particularly its commitment to enable users to create knowledge; to engage students, faculty, and the greater community in its goals and activities; and to foster critical thought, lifelong learning, and city building.

  1. Ensure that all Ryerson undergraduate students are encouraged to develop marketable digital skills while at university.
  2. Enhance student learning and engagement in self-directed, experiential learning that builds a broad range of digital skills
  3. Increase the number of non-STEM program students engaged with the DME Lab,
  4. Increase interest and opportunities for students who self-identify as part of underrepresented groups in STEM.
  5. Focus students’ energy and creativity on addressing issues of social equity using the skills they learn from the DME and its partners.
  6. Use successful Grant projects to communicate the value of the program
  7. Support students in the development of project planning and implementation as part of the learning experience
  8. Partner with graduate students via the MDM Program to create mentorship learning opportunities and meet MDM program requirements.

Grant awards will be funded to a maximum of $3,000 CAD per project per cohort. Recipients are limited to one project per cohort. Each cohort will consist of a maximum of five projects. Grants can cover costs related to approved project work hours, materials, and specialized technical services not available through Ryerson.

All currently enrolled Ryerson University undergraduate students with a clear academic standing, and a minimum 2.33 GPA in the previous semester are eligible to apply.

We are committed to fostering diversity within our community. We welcome applications from those who would contribute to the further diversification of our organization including, but not limited to, women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity.

If you have already applied to or received other awards for the same project/business idea, you are still eligible to apply for the DME Lab Creators Grant, however, your application must represent a different scope of work.

Teams are not eligible for the DME Lab Creators Grant.

Students employed by the Ryerson University Library are not eligible for the DME Creators Grant.

Pre-screen yourself! This is the project for you if you can say you have:

  • An admirable goal that relates to making your city a more equitable place;
  • A desire to learn and to improve your digital skills to bring your passion project to life;
  • A willingness to work with the guidance of a mentor and a tight timeline;
  • Time and energy to do something above and beyond your coursework

Applications will be reviewed by a Library-chaired interdisciplinary selection committee based on the following established grant criteria / assessment rubric.

  1. Overall quality of proposal and project
  2. Uniqueness and impact of social equity and justice issues addresses
  3. Robustness of digital media proposal components
  4. Interdisciplinary nature of project
  5. Creativity, innovation and viability of the project
  6. Relevance of the proposal to the digital literacy goals of the applicant’s course/program
  7. Demonstration of direct impact on applicant’s future goals and plans
  8. Potential for the project to be implemented or lead to advanced phases of development
  9. Project lends itself to a year end display / showcase
  10. Completeness of applications and a proposal that can be realized in the timeframe and award amount of the DME Creator Grant program
  11. Applicant skill set and articulation of learning outcomes
  12. Applicant self-identification as a member of a marginalized group with preference being weighted to those not in STEM programs

Examples of the sorts of project formats we’re looking for could include digital art installations, interactive documentaries, community health apps, or robots that water your community garden, etc.

Examples of social equity issues include institutionalized discrimination, access to digital education resources, environmental justice, gentrification, etc.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to meet with the Selection Committee to discuss the proposal in more detail and review commitments and deliverables related to the grant.

Once selected recipients sign onto the DME Creators Grant program, they will be assigned a mentor who they will work with to plan and document their project’s progress. Participants in the Grant program are expected to –

  1. Participate in a one-day event consisting of introductions to project teams, project planning workshops, intellectual property rights review, etc.;
  2. Meet regularly with their assigned mentor to discuss and monitor performance, address concerns, etc.;
  3. Reach the milestones that frame their project plan;
  4. Contribute meaningfully in scheduled all-hands meeting where each project’s progress and problems are presented in order to share learning, develop solutions, and encourage teams to continually advance their own work and support others’;
  5. Share their project insights and progress with Ryerson outlets such as RUStudentLife; and
  6. Present their finished project at a year end showcase event

Ready to apply? Read this first!

You can access the application form as many times as you wish. So feel free to open it up and see what you need to submit. Please note the following:

  1. Applications that are not submitted will not be saved. So when you are ready to apply, please do so in one session.
  2. If you submit an application and later decide you wish to alter your application in any way, you may re-submit the entire application again as many times as you wish. ONLY THE LAST APPLICATION YOU SUBMITTED WILL BE CONSIDERED.

Submit your application here!