Directed research course from the Center on Governance for 4th year social science students (FSS 4150)

*** Please note the call for applications for the Fall 2021 semester is currently closed. We are no longer accepting new applications. We will be accepting applications for the Winter 2022 semester in December. ***

Fourth-year social science students with an average of at least B+ will be able to participate in an applied research internship on the research themes addressed by the Centre on Governance. These include: public management, public policy, and governance. This research internship is supervised by a professional from a public, private or non-profit organization. The Centre's affiliated researchers and visiting scholars are also eligible to participate in this program. Internships are offered in English or French.

The qualified student will be paired with an experienced professional who will set the objectives of the project with the student and meet with him/her regularly to supervise the internship during the semester. The equivalent of one regular course (3 credits) will be granted to students who successfully meet the objectives. The Centre on Governance’s directed research course is offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa and managed by the Centre and its team with the support of the Office of the Vice-Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Students who are accepted into the program must register for course FSS 4150 (English).

The main objective of the program is to provide top-performing fourth-year students with hands-on professional research experience in the areas most relevant to the Centre on Governance.

The number of participating students will depend on the availability of research opportunities offered by the host organizations., affiliated researchers and visiting scholars. As a general rule, work on the research project will be done off-site, through telework, and will not be paid.

Host organizations, affiliated researchers and visiting scholars will contact or meet with students on a regular basis to establish the objectives of the placement and the work report to be submitted for the completion of the placement. In order to obtain course credits, students will be expected to meet the objectives set for the internship. The supervisor will evaluate the internship and the research report submitted by the student. The final evaluation will be determined by the Center on Governance directorate responsible for validating the student’s final grade based on the supervisor’s evaluation, and the internship report submitted to the centre. The final grade will follow the official alphanumeric evaluation scale of the University of Ottawa.

Student Eligibility and Commitments

To be eligible, a student must be enrolled in a Major, Honours, Joint Honours or Specialization in the Social Sciences. In addition, the student must have completed 81 credits. Finally, the student must have maintained a B+ (7/10) average or higher at the time of application to the program.

Students must commit to devoting approximately 100 hours of work to the project and agree to meet regularly with the professional designated by the host organization to supervise the student. Students must be committed to demonstrating a high level of professionalism throughout the project.

At the end of the project, students must prepare a brief report for the Centre on Governance. This report will form part of the evaluation for course grading and must include the following documents:

  • A one-page description of the work performed;
  • A copy of any research reports produced by the student as part of the internship;
  • A one-page evaluation describing the quality of interaction with the professional supervising the practicum and a description of the competencies acquired;
  • A two-page reflective text on the learning acquired and its relevance to the research conducted at the Centre on Governance: Public Management, Public Policy and Governance.

The grade for the course will be assigned by the Centre on Governance.

Applying and qualifying for the program does not guarantee participation. The number of research projects available will affect the number of students participating in a given semester. Other criteria also include the student’s grade point average.

The mechanism for allocating internships is explained below.

Eligible Host Organizations and Commitments

Host organizations eligible for this program provide applied research internships in areas related to the field of research of the Centre on Governance. All organizations external to the University of Ottawa are eligible. This does not exclude, on occasion, the possibility of producing research in collaboration with a professor who is a member of the Centre on Governance. However, supervision and coaching of the intern must be provided by a professional from the host organization, an affiliated researcher or a visiting scholar.

Host organizations, affiliated researchers and visiting scholars must provide a brief information document for each proposed research project as well as the name of the professional responsible for supervising the student. At a minimum, this person must have a master's or doctoral degree in the social sciences, management, or a relevant field. Multiple offers are accepted from the same host organization.

For each project, the information provided must include:

  • The name and address of the organization;
  • The name and title of the person who will supervise the student (must have a master's or doctoral degree in social sciences, management, or a relevant field);
  • A brief description of the research project and its relevance to the Centre on Governance;
  • Identification of any specific qualifications required from the student in order to carry out the research project.

Organizations, affiliated researchers and visiting scholars interested in submitting a proposal for a directed research project should submit a project.

Projects must be undertaken in English, French or in a bilingual environment.

The host organization, affiliated researchers and visiting scholars must agree to meet with the participating student at regular intervals, at least once a week, to assess progress and provide guidance.

At the end of the project, the host organisation, affiliated researchers and visiting scholars must prepare an evaluation of the student's performance, justifying in a few paragraphs and specifying the assessment according to the following scale:

  • exceeded expectations (A/A+),
  • met all expectations and, in some areas, exceeded expectations (A-),
  • succeeded on all expectations (B+),
  • was able to meet the most important expectations but failed to meet some secondary (C+/B) expectations,
  • was able to meet some expectations, but failed to meet one or more of the most important expectations (D+/C/C+),
  • met some secondary expectations but did not meet the most important (E/D) expectations, or
  • did not meet any of the expectations (F).

The Centre on Governance will validate the final grade for each student in the course.

Allocation Process

The program is not available during the summer term. In the fall and winter terms, the Centre on Governance will be calling for potential host organizations to develop and receive research projects for 4th year social science students. A bank of projects will be compiled and made available to students in mid-August (fall term) or mid-December (winter term).

Interested and qualified students will submit a form including their eligibility criteria (latest course transcripts), and a letter of intent for available projects (200 words maximum). Each student may identify a maximum of 2 projects (identifying first and second choice). A bank of qualified students will be prepared by the Centre on Governance taking their preferences into account.

The Centre on Governance management will be in charge of pairing research projects and students during first round. The host organization will have to approve or disapprove the proposed match based on the student's file. Some interaction may be necessary to ensure that the interests of the students and the needs of the host organizations are best matched. Once the host organization has approved the match, the student will be offered a place in the Directed Research course.

The number of internships offered for a given duration may be less than the number of qualified and interested students. In such a case, the Centre on Governance will give priority based on the excellence of the student's academic record. Qualified students who are denied an internship in one term may apply for another term. Qualified students will be allowed to complete only one practicum in their fourth year. International students may also participate.

Some project opportunities may not be filled due to the limited number of students. The Centre on Governance will then inform the organizations concerned. In this case, the organization will be invited to submit its project(s) for the following semester.

Participating Organizations and Registration

The following organizations have confirmed their participation in the Centre on Governance’s directed research course:

Fall 2021

  • Project with the Centre's research associate: Public policies and multi-level governance in relation to sea level rise in urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa. This research project is part of the larger Water Law and Governance initiative of the Centre on Governance.
  • Performance and Planning Exchange (PPX): Examination and analysis of the new scholarly literature, websites, various select social media, and public sector policies and initiatives in the field of performance and planning.
  • Project with the Centre's research associate: Digital leadership in the public sector. Examination and recommendations based on literature and case studies of digital leadership around the world.
  • Project on public management, agile government, innovation in the public sector, organizational excellence
  • Community Leadership: Understanding the Institutional Partnership among Chief Administrative Officers and Elected Officials in Canadian Cities
  • Project on Rapid Results Approach: Postal Corporation of Kenya, data collection, delivery timelines, monitoring of progress
  • Research project on the appraisal of Agile/Adaptive Implementation Methods used in the public sector. This applied research project will assess the application of experimental and innovative implementation instruments in Canada, Africa, Asia and in the Middle East. Work involves preparation of literature reviews (research in databases and identification of relevant references) and/or data collection process (qualitative and quantitative data) and/or preparation of case studies. Project will be in English only.
  • More projects coming soon

Winter 2022

  • (Coming soon)

Applying and qualifying for the program does not guarantee participation. The number of research projects available will affect the number of students participating in a given semester.

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