Research opportunities

The diverse and rich professional and community experience of our faculty members provides SDS students the advantage of having instructors that can help them relate their education to the real world. The extensive involvement of our faculty members in various agencies, organizations, and associations helps to facilitate and bridge the gap between the classroom and social issues in the real world.

We focus on curriculum, programs, research and knowledge mobilization to apply resources of faculty, students and research to meet the needs of our community in order to create change. Partnerships with community based organizations create learning opportunities for students that also contribute to community well being.

Most course-based research opportunities require application and department approval.

Faculty Research

Our faculty's research demonstrates a diverse and engaging scope of impact across fields of education, social justice, personal identities, and more. SDS students are welcome to connect with tenured faculty and explore potential opportunities to gain research experience (e.g. as a research assistant, through SDS 495R: Research Apprenticeship or SDS 499A/B: Honours Thesis, etc.). 

To learn more about our faculty's areas of expertise, current projects, and how to connect, please visit our faculty research interests page and/or individual faculty profiles.

Independent Studies

Want to investigate a personal interest that's not taught in a standard UW course or work with a group towards a research-backed project? SDS offers three "independent study" course codes giving students opportunity to deep-dive into their own ideas under supervision of a full-time faculty member. Learn more at our Indepedent Studies page.

SDS 495R: Research Apprenticeship

Work with an SDS faculty member for a one-term intensive exposure to their current research and earn a course credit. For more information, visit our SDS 495R: Research Apprenticeship website. Application is required to enroll. 

This course invites students to work with a professor on the latter's research project. During this unpaid apprenticeship (six to eight hours per week throughout the term), students will do agreed-upon tasks to help them acquire skills and gain understanding of the research process and of the discipline itself. The faculty member and the student will determine the exact duties together. A document outlining these duties must be approved by the Social Development Studies chair and kept on file. The course is graded on a CR/NCR basis. Paid or volunteer positions outside this course are not eligible for credit.

Department Consent Required

Prereq: SDS/ISS 250R and 251R; Level at least 3A

SDS 499A/B: Honours Thesis

A staple in undergraduate research experience, SDS offers Honours students the chance to conduct their own full research study (or other approved project/essay) under faculty supervision. The Honours Thesis experience spans at least two terms and is a fantastic option for students interested in research-oriented graduate studies.

Under the supervision of a faculty member, students focus on an area of Social Development Studies and either complete an essay involving in-depth literature research and analysis or complete a scholarly report on their own study involving literature review, research design, data collection, and analysis.

[Note: A numeric grade for SDS 499A will be submitted only after completion of SDS 499B.]

Department Consent Required

Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Social Development Studies