Welcome to the Simbi Foundation Think Tank. 
Our hub of bright ideas. 

Learn more about Simbi Foundation's Think Tank in this video

What is the Think Tank?

Our Think Tank researchers develop, test, and validate — in collaboration with our partner communities — innovative solutions that support our mission to enhance access to education.

In doing so, they have the unique opportunity to channel their research skills into real-world projects, practical field work, and contribute to positive change.

Current Research Projects

Learn more about our current research projects.

We’re always looking for talented, passionate individuals attending an academic institution or with a research background to join our Think Tank. 

Discover some of our current research projects that you could get involved in:


Our Literacy research focuses on analysing the ways in which we can support literacy progression at our partner schools through digital tools and technology innovation.


Solar Power 

The principal focus of our Solar Power research is to optimise and scale the current solar system used in our BrightBox solar classrooms.


Technology & Connectivity

The Simbi Foundation technology research aims to provide solutions for the upgrading of our curriculum server and connectivity systems in partner schools.

Gender & Health

Simbi Foundation’s Gender & Health has the principal goal of better identifying intersectional barriers that prevent women and girls from having access to education


Bike Share

Our pilot Bike Share program seeks to provide remote students with improved and faster access to their schools, to which they may have previously been walking several kilometres


User Experience / User Interface

Simbi Foundation’s UX/UI research seeks to improve the learning experience of students and teachers at our partner schools who are using the Simbi Learn Cloud.

Think Tank Research Process.

Our Think Tank provides academics and professionals of various disciplines and experiences with mutually-beneficial outlets for their research.

Alongside conducting studies that enhance their academic credentials, Think Tank members can work with our partner communities in the field to validate their research. This research is then vertically integrated into our organisational programming, forming the foundations for sustainable, locally-relevant projects that create positive impact in the areas where we work.

Here’s how it works:

1. Proposal

Researchers want to conduct research that will support our work and solutions.

2. Choose area of study

Researchers get involved in a project concerning our work in Uganda and India and begin preliminary research.

3. Field Work

Researchers collaborate with our partner communities to validate their research in the field and collect data.

4. Work Report

Researchers write a report outlining their hypotheses, data findings, proposals, and recommendations.

5. Implementation

If research proves to be beneficial and impactful, we collaborate with the community to pilot a solution.

6. Further Research

Robust analysis and evaluation informs full implementation. Results form a report or research paper.

Meet Our Researchers

Deea K Dev

Deea K Dev

Gender & Health Researcher

Medicine, UBC.

Valentina Ramirez

Impact Researcher

International Economics, UBC.

Pulkit Aggarwal

Literacy Researcher

Bachelor of International Economics, UBC.

Aimee Lutrin

Literacy Researcher

BA Psychology and Education, UBC.

Discover more Think Tank members

Researchers To Date

Completed research Projects

Discover Our Past Research.

Does Reading-While-Listening enhance student fluency? 

“Since improving fluency is an important instructional goal of primary schools, understanding the role of RWL to audiobooks in improving reading fluency is essential...”

Friedland, A. et al.., 2015.

Educational Attainment in Uganda’s Youth Population.

 “Recent progress in economic growth theory has revealed the significance of human capital in economic growth and development…”

Dixon, Y., 2015.

Crossbred Cattles in Suba and Laikipia, Kenya.

“Recognizing that more than 10% of the Kenyan GDP and 50% of agricultural GDP are comprised of sales within the livestock subsector…”

Friedland, A., Demeke, A., Sekora, A., 2016.

A critical study of Canadian outreach initiatives.

“This exploratory study analyses perspectives of students belonging to campus clubs at one Canadian university who advocate issues that relate to Africa…”

Dharamsi, S., et al., 2013.

Honey Production in Ethiopia: a cost-benefit analysis.

“Ethiopian honey production is characterized by the widespread use of traditional technology resulting in relatively low honey supply and poor quality of honey harvested…”

Miklyaev, M., Jenkins, G.P., Barichello, R.R., 2015. 

Rainwater Harvesting Research Project. 

“Mbale has long been subject to high rates of water insecurity. According to the Ministry of Water & Environment, the access rate to safe water in Mbale was 66%…”

Berbe, K. et al., 2018.

Get involved.

Join our Research Community.

Are you interested in joining our global Think Tank and conducting research that will enhance your academic experience, inform Simbi Foundation operations, and contribute to positive impact?

Are you interested in acquiring on the ground, practical research skills and working in collaboration with Simbi Foundation staff and partner communities to make positive impact? Join a TRIP!

Any Questions?

Check out the answers to the following questions.

If you have any other questions, feel free to email us at [email protected].


Do I need research experience, an MA, or a PhD to join the Simbi Foundation Think Tank?

To ensure that our research projects are as effective, relevant, and robust as possible in order to ensure informed and sustainable program implementations, we do require Think Tank members to have some research experience. We welcome university Undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD students, faculty members, and professionals with a research background into our Think Tank.

Can I research with the Think Tank on a paid/co-op term?

We pride ourselves on the structure of our Think Tank, which is built upon the value of Mutual Benefit. We therefore seek to house research projects that support and supplement students’ and faculty members’ own research interests and studies and give them an outlet to engage in meaningful fieldwork, all while we are able to use the research they conduct to inform our program design, testing, and implementation. For this reason, all Think Tank members research with us on a volunteer basis, as this best suits their existing study, teaching, and research commitments. 

Following this structure, the Simbi Foundation Think Tank is able to provide students with meaningful research experience, throughout which they are able to apply their classroom skills through relevant field work that directly makes an impact. The Think Tank has proven to provide the opportunity to develop out-of-classroom skills that enhance your resume and academic credentials. Through researching with the Think Tank, you have the opportunity not only to transfer your research skills from theory to practice, but also to use your research for good, given the Think Tank process which sees your research journey from hypothesis to impactful implementation.

Previous Think Tank members have even incorporated their Think Tank research directly into their University projects, whether in an Undergraduate or Master’s thesis, a course report, or a publication!    

On rare occasions, we are able to accomodate funded co-op terms depending on Simbi Foundation priorities, and if the research area in question is of vital importance to the continuation of our services.

Still want to get involved but don’t have a background in academics?

We gladly welcome individuals who are interested in research to work with members of the Think Tank in preparation for a TRIP. This would include supporting in the initiation and training of new TRIP attendees in our research methods, data collection for the Think Tank in the field, and study conduct on the ground.