PD13: Research in the Workplace

PD13: Research in the Workplace introduces students to the importance of research across disciplines and workplaces. There's more to research than doing a few tests and writing about what happened: you have to review other work in the field and understand its consequences, conduct your own research in a responsible way, and share your findings with audiences who may not understand your work. You'll also likely work with researchers from other disciplines who'll enrich your work with their expertise and alternative perspectives.

Research literacy is also critical for anyone interested in reading about groundbreaking studies in newspapers and online. PD13 gives students the tools they need to perform their own research and critically consume the work done by others. 

Students who take PD13 can also count the course towards the completion of the Co-op Research Certificate.

What do PD13 students do?

  • Create clear, engaging infographics to communicate complex concepts to general audiences
  • Learn about how to responsibly conduct research
  • Read and analyze a variety of texts to reach considered conclusions
  • Learn how to critically consume research as it's communicated through popular media
  • Reflect on their personal approach to research in the workplace
  • Learn to appreciate the value of different research methods and perspectives in the workplace

If you've completed PD13 and want to feature the course on your résumé, you're welcome to use and adapt the following bullet points in a "Professional Development" or "Relevant Courses" section:

  • Identified problems using knowledge of research processes to create field-specific research strategies
  • Synthesized complex data from peer-review research to communicate findings to a general audience using easy-to-read infographics
  • Learned about the principles of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) framework and the consequences of breaching this framework
  • Applied critical consumption skills to evaluate the application of research in the popular press using the SMELL (source, motivation, evidence, logic, left out) method

How are PD13 students graded?

PD13 students complete a series of assignments over the course of the term. To pass the course, students must earn an overall grade of 50% or higher. 

If you have a question about grading in PD13, contact the course team using the information in the sidebar.


PD13’s instructor is Zara Rafferty, a continuing lecturer in the department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo.


PD13 is offered during the Fall and Spring terms.

Enrolment information

PD13 is a compulsory course for students completing the Co-op Research Certificate. Students must earn a credit in PD13 to receive their certificate.

PD13 is also an elective PD course for students in all faculties. Students must enrol themselves in the course using Quest.

Contact information

Course team: pd13@uwaterloo.ca

ISC: Hannah Sesink  hsesink@uwaterloo.ca