Research Assistantship

Students may earn course credit by choosing to become research assistants with uWaterloo political science professors by enrolling in PSCI 498B (0.5 credits) offered every Fall, Winter and Spring semester.

Every semester before general enrollment begins; the experiential learning coordinator (Dr. Mufti) will post research assistant opportunities available in the department for the following semester. Each position will be for a 40 hour unpaid experience that will serve to hone research and writing skills. While enrolled in PSCI 498B students are expected to complete three reflection essays and successfully complete the project outlined in the research assistant contract between faculty member and student.

RA Positions - Winter 2017 (pdf)

PSCI 498B Research Assistantship Enrollment form (pdf)

Check out the types of responsibilities undertaken by our students as research assistants!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. When should I enroll in PSCI 498B?

Typically students should pursue this experiential pathway in their fourth year. Apply to the positions available in the department. If you are hired, initiate the PSCI 498B enrollment form to get departmental consent to register in the course.

2. How do I find a research assistantship opportunity?

Every Fall, Winter and Spring semester the experiential learning coordinator (Dr. Mufti) will post available research assistant opportunities in the department before the enrollment period begins. These opportunities will be posted on the experiential learning board across the hallway from HH 314.

3. If I enroll in PSCI 498B does the department guarantee that I will find a research assistantship?

No, the department will not guarantee that a student wanting to enroll in PSCI 498B will find a position. Whether a student is brought to assist with faculty research projects is up to the discretion of the faculty member who has created the position. This is a competitive process and a faculty member may ask for a student’s resume and transcript and may even choose to hold interviews to make the hiring decision.

4. Who will assign my grade in this course? How will I be graded?

You will be required to submit three learning reflections throughout the term (weeks 3, 6, 12) via LEARN. These will be graded by the course instructor on a pass/fail basis and will be worth 30% of your final grade. The final project will be worth 70% and will be graded by the faculty member with whom you are conducting the research. The faculty member assigns and grades the final project – be that an annotated bibliography, series of case studies, data set, tables/graphs/charts, literature review, etc.