Building a better Saskatoon through research

Research Junction is a collaboration between the City of Saskatoon and Research Acceleration and Strategic Initiatives to support the development of joint research projects that address contemporary urban issues for the benefit of Saskatoon residents. As the City and university continue to grow together, combining the expertise of City staff with the aspirations of USask's students and researchers will help shape a vibrant culture of discovery and innovation. 

This is a major initiative under the USask-City of Saskatoon Memorandum of Understanding. Research Junction will build bridges between City of Saskatoon staff and USask students and researchers by supporting partnership development, navigating administrative processes, and promoting opportunities.

In 2019, USask and the City of Saskatoon funded their first projects through the 2019 Research Junction Development Grant. This joint initiative supported five research partnerships focused on urban issues with the 2019 Research Junction Development Grant. Since then, four projects were funded by the 2020 Research Junction Development Grant followed by an additional four projects by the 2021 Research Junction Development Grant.

Benefits of Research Partnerships

For City Staff

  • Find tailored solutions to complex community challenges
  • Explore creative and innovative projects
  • Expand the scope of your projects and find broad solutions
  • Access analyzed City data to inform decision making
  • Work with students and gain new insights into the next generation of employees

For Researchers

  • Explore contemporary real-life issues and provide community solutions
  • Access City resources, data and expertise for research projects
  • Co-develop experiential learning and research opportunities for students

Develop a Research Partnership

Research Junction can support City staff and USask researchers who are interested in developing a research partnership. We can work with you to identify the best person at the City or university for you to partner with, while supporting you through the partnership development stage and navigating administrative processes at both organizations.

Step 1: Contact to share your idea for a research project. If you need help finding a City expert or USask researcher to work with, we can help you identify a partner.

Step 2: Develop a research project with your partner. Research Junction can help facilitate this process.

Step 3: Sign a project agreement under the Master Research Agreement to enable collaboration.

Step 4: Showcase your research project with Research Junction.

Types of Research Projects

The City of Saskatoon and USask signed a research agreement which enable the following research to take place. To learn more aout the Master Research Agreement, contact Research partnerships between a USask researcher and City staff member can take many forms, including:

  1. Research projects supported by in-kind contributions.
  2. Externally funded grants and projects on which the City and USask partner.
  3. City-driven research with ear-marked funding for research purposes.
  4. City data for research purposes.
  5. Research Junction Development Grants.

A variety of USask programs support hands-on, experiential learning and research. USask instructors can partner with the City to provide these opportunities.

Opportunities available through existing USask programs include:

  1. Work placements through internships or co-op placements.
  2. Course-based research projects, First Year Research Experience, or 4th year capstone projects.
  3. Paid employment through Undergraduate Summer Research Assistantships, Mitacs, or others.
  4. Masters or PhD thesis work.
  5. City data for research purposes.

Funding Opportunities

The City of Saskatoon and University of Saskatchewan have launched a request for proposals for the 2021 Research Junction Development Grant to support research projects carried out by USask researchers in partnership with City of Saskatoon staff. The Research Junction Development Grant will provide a total of $100,000 in funding. Individual grants may range from $10,000 to $30,000. 

Competition details can be found here.

The application form can be found here.

Applications are due at 4:00pm on May 21, 2021.

If you have an idea for a research poject and need help finding a partner, please contact and we can facilitate the process. Please note, partnership identification and facilitation can take up to a month before work begins on proposal development. 

USask and City research partnerships can look for other funding opportunities to apply to. Please work with your college research facilitator to identify an opportunity, or consider any of the following: 

Contact to let us know if you are applying to a funding opportunity so that we can provide support when needed. If you are successful, let us know so that we can help celebrate and highlight your success!

Data and Library Services

The City of Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan have a data licensing agreement that enables USask researchers to request and access City data via the University Library. Interested students, faculty, and staff can find out more by contacting the library.


City of Saskatoon employees are invited to contact the Data & GIS Librarian with questions about access to Library services, and for general research support.


Sarah Rutley
Data & GIS Librarian

UrbanFYRE is an approach to hosting a First Year Research Experience course with a focus on local, urban issues. Capitalizing on the data licensing agreement between the City of Saskatoon and University of Saskatchewan, UrbanFYRE courses explore research topics of local relevance and may incorporate City data.

Faculty interested in adapting their FYRE course to an UrbanFYRE course can contact Merle Massie at Merle can connect faculty with the best library resource to help identify your data needs.



USask researchers can contact:
Meaghan Risling
Programs Coordinator, Research Acceleration and Strategic Initiatives

City of Saskatoon staff can contact:
Galen Heinrichs
Strategy and Transformation, City of Saskatoon

Tell us About your Project

If you've had a successful research partnership between the City of Saskatoon and USask, whether part of an internship program, data sharing, funded or unfunded research, tell us about it. We are always looking for new stories and partnerships to capture and highlight!

Research Junction Stories


Research Junction in the News

A Research Junction project from the University of Saskatchewan and the City of Saskatoon will dig deep into the issue of public safety in the downtown core, including a look back at the history of declining downtowns in many cities.

The City of Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan are partnering on a research project to improve the ability to predict where there may be slope instability along the riverbank. Geological Sciences professor, Dr. Sam Butler, says right now, the City uses bore holes to monitor the depth of the groundwater, and then they can look at how the holes tilt over time to see how it’s moving.

The City of Saskatoon is looking for the best incentives to bring more businesses to Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan is going to help them with that through their partnership called Research Junction.  The business tax incentive project is just one of many funded through the partnership, including how to better predict slope failures along the river and increasing public safety downtown.

Four new research projects that will benefit Saskatoon residents are advancing thanks to Research Junction, an innovative partnership between the City of Saskatoon and University of Saskatchewan (USask). Research Junction awards funding to projects that apply advanced research methods to addressing current issues in our city. 

Through a new collaboration called Research Junction, researchers at the university and City employees will work together on five projects with the goal of coming together to build a better Saskatoon. 

Through a new collaboration called Research Junction, researchers at the university and City employees will work together on five projects with the goal of coming together to build a better Saskatoon. 

Measuring pharmaceuticals in Saskatoon's wastewater, diverting food from the landfill to save money and the planet, and improving property assessment appeals are some of the first research projects of the new Research Junction collaboration between the City of Saskatoon (City) and University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers. 

Five project collaborations between the City of Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan have been funded a combined total of $100,000 through a Research Junction Development Grant program.

One of the projects aims to reduce food waste in Saskatoon. 

SASKATOON -- The City of Saskatoon will provide University of Saskatchewan researchers access to the city’s resources, data and expertise while providing city staff with analyses and data as part of a new agreement. 

The new Research Junction collaboration between the City of Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan has received funding for research projects that will examine urban issues.

One of these projects will measure pharmaceuticals in Saskatoon’s wastewater. Researchers, including Markus Brinkmann, from the University of Saskatchewan’s Toxicology Centre and the College of Engineering will work on this project with Mike Sadowski, the operations manager of the City of Saskatoon’s wastewater treatment plant. 

The University of Saskatchewan and the City of Saskatoon are partnering to create a new program that aims to tackle urban issues such as urban planning, reconciliation, transit, and environmental sustainability.