SDS 495R - Research Apprenticeship

Research is formalized curiosity; it is poking and proding with a purpose

Zora neale hurston, Author, Anthropoligist, Film-maker

SDS 495R: Research Apprenticeship provides third and fourth-year SDS major-students with an opportunity for unpaid experience in a practical research setting.

What to expect

This course invites students to spend 6-10 hours per week over the course of the term working with an SDS faculty member on their current research. The faculty member and the student will determine the exact duties together, which must be in the application towards department approval. These confirmed tasks and ongoing expectations are a guideline to start with, but can be subject to change as the research progresses.

  • This course is offered on a credit/non-credit (CR/NCR) basis only - ensure that this will not be a problem for your degree 50%-rule requirements
  • Paid or volunteer positions outside of this course are not eligible for credit (e.g. if involvement continues beyond the term).
  • Students who opt to do an SDS specialization may be able to take this course towards requirements, provided the topic studied fits with the chosen specialization. Subject to department approval.


  • Typically reserved for SDS Major students
  • SDS average of 80% or higher (unless supervisor permission granted)
  • Completion of SDS 250R + SDS 251R (or equivalent antirequisites)
  • Level at least 3A
  • Department consent required via application


  • Connect with an SDS faculty member towards possible supervision at least 1 month before the desired working term.

  • Submit the SDS 495R Application Form to by the first Friday of the applicable working term.  

  • A successful applicant will be notified and manually enrolled in SDS 495R by the department for the applicable term

Student experiences

"Hearing about the diversity in research among our professors really drew me in. There's so much being researched that I didn't even think about, and this was such an incredible way to get behind the scenes and even front line in the research process." -- S. Manku, SDS 495R student

Previous SDS 495R students have gained key research-related skills through some amazing research opportunities:

Research Projects

  • Understanding anthropomorphic identity formation to decrease stigma (i.e. furry fandom/furries) 
  • Examining the impact of restorative justice tools towards developing antiracist curriculum in K-12 classrooms
  • Investigating of what "neurodiversity" reveals about contemporary social relations and ideas about Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Supporting homelessness recovery by shifting community attitudes away from a "NIMBY/Not in my backyard" perspective
  • Co-writing a textbook chapter on housing and food insecurity among post-secondary students

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Skills and Tasks

  • Quantitative data entry and/or qualitative coding of data
  • Literature review and critiques
  • Survey design and dissemination
  • Designing information products (e.g. reports, tip sheets, etc.)
  • Website development
  • Ethics applications 
  • Networking, event coordination, community engagement