Thriving Regions Partnership Process


Building on the success of our Regional Workshops, we launched the Thriving Regions Partnership Process in 2017. This process provides funding and support to Memorial and Grenfell faculty, staff and students to build meaningful research partnerships that help promote thriving social and economic regions. Several workshops are held in each region over a multi-year period, and dedicated research funding is provided to complete research on priorities that have been identified by people in each region.

The process has been funded by the provincial Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and involves partnering with other Memorial units depending on the region, such as the Labrador Institute and Grenfell Campus. The process also includes the development of a local leadership team to help with planning and implementation.


During an initial workshop, research priorities for the region are set through a facilitated discussion with stakeholders, partners and interested citizens in the region from public, private, community and education sectors. These priorities are used to open a call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from the university community for an applied research fund. A fund evaluation committee, comprised of local and academic members, reviews the EOIs and decides on three projects to move forward.

During a second workshop, the three chosen researchers travel to the region to meet with local people to gather feedback and develop partnerships to further refine their research. They then submit expanded research plans, which are reviewed by the fund evaluation committee. Once the projects are approved, the researchers receive their funding to move forward with their research, while continuing to engage with people in the region.

In a third workshop, community members use the Community Check-In tool to identify needs, strengths and opportunities for developing stronger “civic infrastructure” – the structures and processes that help people and communities work more effectively together to address shared challenges, priorities and issues of concern – in their region.

A final workshop is held after the research projects have been completed. Researchers share their results and participants discuss their next steps. The Harris Centre uses the Strategic Doing process to help form collaborations quickly and move them toward action, outcomes and solutions.


Please find information and documents below related to the regions we have visited as part of the Thriving Regions Partnership Process: 

Community Check-In Tool

The Community Check-In tool is designed to support TRPP conversations and help the people across Newfoundland and Labrador who see a greater untapped potential for their communities and regions - a potential unleashed by finding ways of working, creating solutions, and building hope together.

This tool available for download and use by anyone interested in hosting a conversation, not just those actively involved in TRPP. Visit the webpage for more information.

Sustainable Northern Coastal Communities Initiative

When the Thriving Regions Partnership Process takes place in Labrador or on the Great Northern Peninsula, it is also part of the Sustainable Northern Coastal Communities Initiative. This initiative is delivered in partnership with the Labrador Institute and Grenfell Campus, and was funded by the International Grenfell Association and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.


Regional Workshops

Harris Centre Regional Workshops were one of Memorial’s primary university-wide connections to rural and remote parts of the province, with thirty-three workshops being held throughout Newfoundland and Labrador between 2005 and 2016. These workshops brought over 600 Memorial faculty, staff and students together with over 1100 people around the province to discuss topics of mutual interest and identify almost 900 ideas for potential projects.

A Regional Workshop was typically hosted in four regions per year, and people in each region shared their ideas for projects they wanted the university to work on. The Harris Centre followed up each workshop by trying to match these ideas with the people and resources at Memorial, often using Yaffle, resulting in dozens of exciting and valuable projects.

After over eleven years of operation, the Regional Workshop programming has been reorganized and has evolved into our Thriving Regions Partnership Process. Please find documents below that related to the regions where Regional Workshops were held:



For more information about the Thriving Regions Partnership Process, the Sustainable Northern Coastal Communities initiative, or Regional Workshops, e-mail

Further insight into the process can also be found in this Memorial University Gazette story.