Directed Research for 4th Year Students

Research opportunities offered at the Faculty of Social Sciences

Undergraduate students in social sciences have the unique opportunity to participate in more than one research program. Make your start as a researcher beginning in fourth year, indeed, even in second year! With their unique format and learning objectives, these programs allow you to develop complementary skills and will enrich your academic experience.

See if this makes you interested in graduate studies, and develop skills prized by employers! Participate in one or many undergraduate research programs!

SCS4150 Directed Research

The Directed Research in Social Sciences SCS4150 is a three credit elective course. This course is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students to participate, individually or in a small group, in the activities of an ongoing research under the supervision of a professor of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Directed Research opportunities are offered every semester. The course offer for the chosen semester is posted at the beginning of the previous semester.

Directed Research course: Spring/ Summer 2017

Professor Research project Suggested to students in the following programs*
Andra Smith What Can Brain Imaging Tell Us About How Marijuana Affects the Young Brain Psychology
Elke Winter Immigration and Citizenship: Integrating Syrian Refugee in Comparative Perspective Sociological and Anthropological Studies
Eric Champagne New tools for Implementing Public Sector Policies and Reforms Public Administration
Eric Champagne Funding and Governing Municipal Infrastructure Public Administration
Benjamin Zyla The Brexit – implications for European security International Development and Global Studies
Benjamin Zyla Lessons learned from Canada’s development experience/policy in Afghanistan International Development and Global Studies
Benjamin Zyla NATO under Trump International Development and Global Studies 
Srdjan Vucetic Identity and Foreign Policy Public and International Affairs

*As a suggestion only. Students may apply to the directed research project of their choice.

Course objectives

The research activities aim to:

  • enrich the university experience and increase engagement in learning;
  • enjoy direct supervision with a faculty member;
  • clarify career goals and gain practical experience in the field of study;
  • enhance the interests and autonomy for higher education;
  • increase knowledge of research methodologies and processes;
  • become aware of the knowledge limitations inherent in any social sciences research;
  • learn about scientific communication.

Eligibility and evaluation criteria

Only students enrolled in their fourth year of a specialized program of study at the Faculty of Social Sciences and meeting the following eligibility criteria are eligible. Please note that the selection process takes place in two parts: the first selection round is made by the Faculty according to the basic eligibility criteria, and the final selection is completed by the professor responsible for the chosen directed research.   

Basic eligibility criteria

  • Have completed at least 81 credits.
  • Have a grade point average (CGPA) of at least 8.0.
  • Have never done this course.

Additional evaluation criteria

  • Description of the research project and its relevance for your program of study and your career objectives;
  • Letter of motivation: language quality, clarity and coherence;

Only applications accepted by the Faculty and the professor will receive by e-mail an official confirmation of acceptance. We strongly encourage you to register to another course pending on your official notification. You will be able to modify your registration within the applicable deadlines.

Application process

To submit an application for a directed research, you need to complete the following steps:

  • Fill out the application form (.pdf), clearly mentioning the chosen directed research.
  • Write (on the form) a 200-word essay that shows how your partipation in this research would enhance your student experience, support your professional development and fit into your career plan.
  • Send the form to experience@uOttawa.ca by the deadline applicable to the chosen semester.
  • Wait for the official confirmation of acceptance by the Faculty. Number of places available in the directed research courses is limited, and your academic progress will be reviewed.

IMPORTANT: Sending the application form does not mean that you will be accepted. If your application is approved by the Faculty (according to the basic eligibility criteria), it will be sent to the professor responsible for the chosen course. He/she will do the final selection. If you are selected, you will need to do the following:

Note that you will not receive a schedule for this course, and  it will not appear on uoCampus. Your schedule of research activities will be decided in collaboration with your professor.

Evaluation methods

According to the university regulations, this course requires a minimum of two evaluations in line with professor's guidelines and course outline. Work schedule as well as research activities shall be confirmed with the professor for a minimum of 120 to 150 hours.

All regulations and deadlines governing progress at the University apply in this case.

For each final grade, an amount of $250 will be provided to the research fund of the professor for a maximum of $ 1,000 per year.

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP)

The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program offers a unique opportunity to undergraduate students of the Faculty, in their second and third year, to gain a first research experience. A $1,000 scholarship is awarded to students who complete 50 hours of research under the supervision of a professor of the Faculty. You will attend workshops, an orientation session, participate in a symposium, and write a research abstract. You will have the opportunity to develop useful skills if you decide to pursue and do the Faculty directed research course in your fourth year.

For more information, please go to UROP's website.

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