For students entering January 2017 onward 

Under special circumstances, students may fulfil their capstone requirement by completing a major research paper (MRP) focused on an issue related to economic development or innovation under the supervision of a faculty member. 

For students who entered before January 2017

The major research paper is a component of your program requirements. 


The major research paper (MRP) will examine a significant topic in the local economic development field, and typically involves some original data collection and analysis.

Proposals are developed during the first Fall term and it is highly recommended that students identify a potential supervisor early and include them in the proposal process. Students are encouraged to continue to develop their literature review through the Winter term. Some students complete the MRP during the Spring term of their first year, while others continue to work on the paper during the fourth term of enrolment in the program.

The paper should be a minimum of 60 pages in length (excluding front matter, references, and appendices) and include:

  • problem statement
  • status of research
  • research procedures
  • findings, and
  • conclusions

Ethics clearance, through UW's Office of Research Ethics, is required for research involving human participants. Ethics clearance is necessary prior to recruiting participants for studies.

Past Major Research Papers