Black-led Research Network Initiative

The Black-led Research Network Initiative (BRNI) aims to build capacity for Black researchers and enhance Black research excellence at the University of Alberta.


This support extends to all stages of research, from grant applications, research ethics, and grant project management, to assistance in fostering collaborative and multidisciplinary community-driven research projects. The BRNI will collaborate with established and emerging scholars, facilitating experiential mentorship that will work to deepen the breadth of upcoming researcher readiness, expertise and sustainability.

Beyond the University of Alberta, the BRNI also intends to take a global approach to research, connecting with scholars and research opportunities within Africa and Small Island Developing States to promote Black academic excellence wherever it occurs. By investing in diverse talent, the BRNI hopes to create a research ecosystem that highlights researchers from historically underrepresented communities, helping to develop and retain exceptional researchers.

The BRNI seeks to build out an expansive, long term strategy to support scholars and research production in the Black community. By bringing together a network of researchers, the BRNI will be able to facilitate deeper academic relationships, foster mentorship for early career researchers, leverage researchers' existing access to funding opportunities and create a platform that highlights, values and sustains Black-led research.

As a first step, the BRNI has gathered initial researchers to support the ideation of the network who bring demonstrable value to both the strategic development and the research funding acquiring ability of the network. The current (initial) committee members are as follows:

BRNI Need-to-know

This section is intended to keep you posted on important stories, events and initiatives that relate to BRNI's work.

  • U of A launches “Forward with Purpose”, a strategic plan for research and innovation, motivating the creation of BRNI.

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Accomplishments to DatE

  • Black Youth Mentorship Program: Pipeline to research mentorship for high school Black youth.
  • Experiential Learning in Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (ELITE) Program for Black Youth: Paid work-integrated training in industry, community, government and academic research labs for Black youth and Black graduate students in STEMM, business and psychology.
  • External Funding for Black-led Research through the BRNI (since November 2022): Substantial funding awarded to Black researchers.
  • BRNI Steering Committee: Composed of academic scholars known for securing research funding, scholarly and research output, high standing in the research and scholarly community in their field of expertise, a commitment to supporting early career researchers and their research administration experience.

If you would like to speak to the BRNI team or learn more about the initiative, please contact us at