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How to Get Involved in Research

There are many ways for you to get involved in research at Laurier; we've outlined a few to help you get started.

Talk to Professors

Most professors have ongoing research projects that involve students. Take the time to learn about their research programs. Read their websites and consider whether their research interests you. If you would like to explore opportunities to become involved in their research, email the professor directly to set up a meeting. When you contact a professor, be sure to include information about yourself (your skills and experience) and why you are interested in their research.

Network

Reach out to others to learn about research opportunities, such as:

Attend Events

There are countless research events that happen on campus. Events are often advertised on wlu.ca or departmental homepages, and most advertised events are open to the public. Keep your eyes open and don’t be shy!

Apply for a Research Award

The departments of Biology, Business, Chemistry and BiochemistryEconomics, Geography and Environmental Studies, Kinesiology and Physical Education, Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science and Psychology hold annual competitions to award Undergraduate Student Research Awards from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Interested students should contact these units directly for instructions and timelines.

If you are a Brantford campus student, consider applying for a research apprenticeship. These are designed to allow an exceptionally qualified undergraduate student to work closely with a faculty member on a project of mutual interest.

There are plenty of external organizations that offer research awards to undergraduate and graduate students. Mitacs, for instance, offers programs that help fund student research internships and travel. There are also many student awards and scholarships that are partly or wholly based on student research. For more information, see Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries (undergraduate students) and Graduate Funding and Awards.

Pursue an Honours Degree or a Graduate Degree

Many degrees offer an honours option that allows you to complete a research project that is overseen by a faculty member. Consider this option early in your degree and speak with your academic advisor if you are interested. Similarly, talk to your academic advisor if you are interested in pursuing a master’s or PhD. Most graduate programs – at Laurier and elsewhere – focus heavily on research.

Take Advantage of Research Specialization Courses

Laurier offers options that you can incorporate into your degree program. If you are interested in research, consider pursuing a research-related option.

The Student-Community Research Partnerships for Social Justice and Wellbeing Internship Program (SCRP) offers opportunities to do community research for credit. For more information, contact the Centre for Community Research Learning and Action (CCRLA) at ccrla@wlu.ca.

Many departments offer independent/directed studies options, which can be an opportunity to undertake a research project under the supervision of a professor. Speak to your academic advisor if you are interested in learning more.

Work and Study

Students who are experiencing financial difficulties and who wish to work on a part-time basis may be eligible to participate in Laurier’s Work-Study Program. Professors and research-support units on campus may post research-related opportunities. Due to the popularity of the program, positions get filled quickly, so if you’re interested, you should apply as soon as possible.

Students may also have the opportunity to take on research-oriented jobs, whether through co-op terms, non-co-op summer jobs, or part-time research assistantships during study terms. Laurier's Career Centre may be able to help you find opportunities. Other students find their own opportunities through faculty members (see top of page).

Take a Field Course

Many departments offer fields courses which offer intensive research training opportunities in the field for credit. Speak with your academic advisor to learn about opportunities.