banniere lmrpc

The Montreal Research Laboratory on Canadian Philanthropy (MRLCP) was originally created in 2014 to host a three-year SSHRC Partnership Development project entitled “Social Innovation, Societal Change, and Canadian Grantmaking Foundations”. As we grow, the Laboratory will develop into a hub for research, networking, and knowledge mobilisation on Canadian foundations, where evidence-based research will be translated into practice that can benefit multiple stakeholders, including governments, universities, the philanthropic sector, and affiliated or partner organisations.

Based in downtown Montreal, on the campus of the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), the Laboratory is a French-English bilingual initiative where researchers, policy makers, and members of the wider philanthropic community can congregate to share information, resources, and ideas.

LaboMTL’s position on research partnerships

The Montreal Research Laboratory on Canadian Philanthropy (LaboMTL) brings together researchers from Quebec and the rest of Canada, as well as people from the philanthropic sector. Created in 2014, under the purview of a partnership development grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the lab completes actionable research activities and fundamental research on themes, questions, and issues related to the history and development of grantmaking philanthropy.

The position adopted that drives LaboMTL activities, is inspired by the theoretical contributions of the first thinkers of the pragmatic statist approach and methodological developments proposed by the organization ATD Fourth World.

From pragmatism, we hold the belief that reflection and production of knowledge cannot be divorced from action, and action is based on mobilizing reflexive skills and existing knowledge. From this perspective, the process of social development requires close coordination between “thoughts and action”.

Concretely, for the world of research, this position requires a close look at what John Dewey (1938) called the "public" of social inquiry. Equally, for the world of action, this position requires an engaged and engaging stakeholder conversation with members of the scientific community.

The product of this meeting - John Commons (1934) speaks of this relationship in terms of social transactions - to permit an interaction of knowledge, to co-produce knowledge and combine practices while paying particular attention to power relations and their necessarily dismantling. The idea is to work in an inclusiveness of perspectives, viewpoints, and interests without trivializing them or overshadowing them.

Does this mean that any research action or field action must necessarily involve the presence of researchers and actors? Not necessarily. Science, for example, has a particular mission to lead, which includes the development of fundamental research, research "with", and applied research. This mission therefore asks the scientific community to have different workspaces, including one that is for fundamental research that is mainly occupied by academic researchers, who may be associated, at times, with non-academic researchers.

We conceive LaboMTL as a place where this scientific mission unfolds, in all its dimensions: fundamental, collaborative (with), and applied. On LaboMTL’s website, you will find our contributions:

  • by researchers on fundamental research issues;
  • by philanthropic actors (reports, opinions) on mobilising issues;
  • which are co-constructed through a process of action research, collaborative research, or research partnerships.


The following figure illustrates the specific zones and the interfacebetween the three spaces of knowledge production




Research Projects

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