Graduate Students

How the GI Can Help Support Your Research:

Eligibility: Active UWaterloo students (MA and PhD) whose research aligns with the GI; and/or supervised by GI affiliated faculty members. External and international graduate students/volunteers who are working with a GI affiliated faculty member.

“The Games Institute contributed to my experiences as a student by providing a space to interact with other students researching similar topics, but all with similar interests. Working there is great to discuss concepts and theories with other students. The faculty GI members are knowledgeable and very encouraging towards students working there. Additionally, the resources available in terms of gaming consoles, board games, PCs, and other tech, makes undertaking a project more realistic because much of the expensive or unobtainable elements are already on site. Being involved with the GI has benefitted my employment opportunities within the University of Waterloo and will provide me with the skills and training to succeed in future careers. As a GI member I’ve collaborated with Professor Randall in his courses as a TA and guest lecturer; I’ve developed course content, created gaming modules, and encouraged other students to pursue their interests as games researchers. As the producer and co-host of the Games Institute Podcast I’ve helped other researchers share their work, helped further the GI community’s goals, and created an outlet for listeners outside of Waterloo to familiarize themselves with the GI." - Toben Racicot, PhD Candidate, English Language and Literature

The GI is heavily invested in creating an exceptional student experience that provides our members with an interdisciplinary network and the skills necessary for future success. Specifically, the Institute fosters and emphasizes opportunities to explore different perspectives by providing an environment where knowledge from different fields is valued and links across disciplines are nurtured allowing for true interdisciplinary work. It is because of the nature of the GI ecosystem that students from disparate disciplines are able to extend their respective spheres of knowledge to incorporate diverse perspectives. For example, students from engineering disciplines and the humanities often connect to discuss how specific concepts and methodologies work separately within their disciplines and, consequently, discover critical linkages. Having observed such interactions happen organically, the GI now purposefully fosters these conversations through organized student speaker series, symposiums, panels, and other events focused on sharing disciplinary knowledge to an interdisciplinary audience.

Facility Opportunities:  

  • co-located research labs 

  • access to the GI space 24/7

  • access to state-of-the-art equipment and labs

  • meeting spaces

  • workspaces with monitors provided

  • gender neutral washrooms

  • certified space for smudging ceremonies

Research Opportunities:  

  • research communication and dissemination (social media promotion, knowledge mobilization, news media, etc.)  

  • limited funding opportunities (Mitacs, GI seed funding, conference support, minor equipment purchases) 

  • opportunities to work with industry, government, and non-profit research partners, 

  • CFP and RFP opportunities

  • extensive network of lab/research groups to engage with

  • guest lectures and panelist opportunities 

HQP Training Opportunities: 

  • training related to management of research funding

  • support for entrepreneurial activities

  • career and professional development with hands-on work experience and projects for portfolios, CVs, and resumes

  • equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and anti-oppression events and workshops,internship and research assistant opportunities 

  • First Person Scholar (mid-state publication managed by GI graduate students)

  • mentorship opportunities

  • enabling GI members and partners to produce games, books, white papers, online articles podcasts etc. that make a real and immediate impact 

  • connecting members to additional resources and connections that accelerate their research 

Community Opportunities:  

  • networking opportunities (promotions, participant studies, mentorship, etc.)

  • knowledge exchange between members

  • active engagement and supports of women, non-binary, LGBTQIA2S+, Indigenous, First Nations, Métis and Inuit, people of colour, and people with various abilities

  • LGBTQIA2S+ Space Makers on-site (Staff and Faculty)

  • virtual and in-person community supports (including Slack, Discord, Teams infrastructure)

  • events (writing support groups, Coffee & Games social, etc.)

Technical Opportunities:  

  • technical support 

  • independent Wi-Fi network 

  • next cloud personal storage folders 

  • research VPN linked to cloud storage

  • GIT repositories (GIGit)

  • access to select commercial software (Adobe CC, SPSS, etc.)

  • equipment and other hardware 

A key part of GI’s student experience is the opportunity to participate in research projects conducted in collaboration with industry, non-profit and government partners, as well as with other research centres on campus and externally. GI faculty members have led several such collaborations for students in various programs and disciplines, allowing each student to extend their mentorship network. Students are also encouraged to participate in events geared towards EDI, decolonization, and racial equity as well as to treat the space with respect through our Green Office Initiative and space indigenization.  

Although the GI does not have entrepreneurship in its mandate, the Institute is proud of two start-ups established by former GI student members. Dr. John Harris won a Velocity start-up award for work conducted at the GI; the award allowed him to launch The Playful Pixel, a company looking to deliver on innovative large-scale in-person social play experiences that combine mechanics of board games, video games and face-to-face role-playing games. AC Atienza co-founded Cloudfall Studios, a game development studio, whose first game has seen a successful Kickstarter campaign exceeding its funding goal by $10,000. Both start-ups benefited from GI facilities and community for playtesting and launch events.

“The Games Institute was a critical factor when deciding on which institution I would study my PhD at. The GI has a lot of resources that move research forward, such as an Immersion room, a Storytelling lab, a high-quality 3D printer, and soon a Maker Space for prototyping. Since my work is about leveraging Virtual/Augmented Reality and 3D printed objects for storytelling, learning, and education purposes, it was a coherent decision to choose the University of Waterloo and the Games Institute as the headquarters of my PhD. Most importantly, the Games Institute is a source of mental health. This is, without a doubt, directly linked to my success as researcher. Poor mental health will unquestionably lead to poor research.” Marco Moran-Ledesma, PhD Candidate, Systems Design Engineering

Interested in Becoming a Member? Get in Touch.