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To fund improvements to JIBC scenario-based simulation program for COVID-19 applied research

The Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) is the recipient of a $50,000 research infrastructure grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

The grant is one of 79 awarded for projects from 52 post-secondary institutions across Canada totalling almost $28 million from the CFI’s Exceptional Opportunities Fund (EOF) earmarked for equipment and infrastructure for ongoing research related to COVID-19.

At JIBC, the money will fund improvements to the Institute’s Praxis system, an online, interactive simulation-training environment that delivers experiential learning through scenario- and problem-based exercises. The system is used in applied research as well as sectors including public safety and emergency response, education, government, finance, energy, and property management.

To better facilitate Praxis’s use in COVID-19-related applied research, the grant will allow for the addition of video-conferencing features to complement its existing text-conferencing capabilities. Integrating this feature will improve real-time communication within Praxis’s unique team-based learning environment.

Praxis is a key tool supporting a JIBC applied research project that is exploring the challenges and innovations resulting from Canadian paramedics’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by principal investigator Dr. Ron Bowles, Dean of JIBC’s Office of Applied Research & Graduate Studies, the study will collect and share examples of how paramedic services across the country addressed challenges raised by the pandemic. The research will highlight the crucial role paramedics play in providing access to health care and will help paramedic services learn from their colleagues to better prepare for the next phases of the pandemic response. Praxis will be used in knowledge-dissemination activities that allow participants to apply their knowledge and test assumptions, gaining valuable insights that can dramatically increase preparedness.

“CFI's EOF COVID-19 funding provides crucial infrastructure to support JIBC's ongoing COIVD-19-related research exploring the challenges faced by Canadian paramedic services from COVID-19, and sharing the innovative practices and policies they have implemented,” said Bowles. “With embedded web conferencing functionality, Praxis will provide a rich, integrated environment for inter-agency communication and sharing of resources in online scenarios and research.”

Robert Walker, Interim Director of JIBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning & Innovation, said, “The ability to incorporate synchronous web conferencing communications within Praxis's unique online simulation training environment will provide enhanced functionality, further enabling participants to collectively analyze COVID-19 incident circumstances, interact and collaborate with each other to plan actions, and make mission-critical decisions.”


Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) is Canada’s leading public safety educator with a mission to develop dynamic justice and public safety professionals through its exceptional applied education, training and research. JIBC offers internationally recognized education that leads to certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s degrees and graduate certificates; exceptional continuing education for work and career-related learning and development; and customized contract training to government agencies and private organizations worldwide. Our education provides professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to excel at every stage of their career contributing to safer communities and a more just society.