Experiential Learning

If you find your field of study exciting and would like to pursue it further, the University of Toronto provides countless opportunities to broaden your experience beyond the lecture (and exam) hall!

a. Research Courses
b. Co-op
c. Work Study
d. Study Abroad
e. Volunteer, Mentorships, Conferences
f.  Service Learning and Outreach

 

Research Courses

The research courses offered by our department give students  the opportunity to perform research under the guidance of a supervisor, who is typically also a UTSC professor.  This can be a great way to build skills for scientific inquiry, further advancing one’s knowledge and gaining relevant experience especially for those interested in pursuing a career in research. 

The Supervised Study is a C-level, year-long, 0.5 credit course.  The Honours Thesis is a D-level, year-long, 1.0 credit course with an in-class component.  Students are encouraged to secure their own supervisors, although, selection through a common application pool can also occur. Please note that typically, the availability of supervisors will decrease over the course of the application period. It is highly recommended to submit your application well in advance of the deadline.

To apply, please fill out the application form for Supervised Study or Honours Thesis below.  Be sure to also review the list of available faculty supervisors. 

  1. List of faculty accepting undergraduate research students 2017-18
  2. Application Form:  D-Level Thesis Course (PSYD98 / NROD98)
  3. Application Form:  C-Level Supervised Study (PSYC90 / PSYC93 / NROC90 / NROC93)

Documentation for students accepted into C90/C93:

Course-based Research involving Human Participants

The University is responsible for reviewing all course-based research involving human participants. Ethics review of these projects must adhere to the principles outlined in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, 2nd Edition (TCPS2). It is the responsibility of both the student and the supervisor/instructor to understand and comply with federal and University policies governing research involving humans and to submit an ethics protocol.

Undergraduate students conducting an independent research project for a course will need to complete, with their faculty supervisor, an Undergraduate Ethics Review Protocol Form – Student-Initiated Projects.

Course-based research reviewed through the Psychology Delegated Ethics Review Committee must be minimal risk.

Completed forms must be submitted both in soft copy to psychology-undergraduate@utsc.utoronto.ca and hard copy to the Course Coordinator (SW427C) for review by the Psychology Delegated Ethics Review Committee prior to data collection. Once approved, a protocol number and expiry date will be provided. Protocols may take up to 3-4 weeks to be reviewed so it is highly advisable to submit protocols early and within the first term of the course-based research project to avoid delays in project completion. Course-based research reviewed through the Psychology Delegated Ethics Review Committee must be minimal risk in order to proceed.

For more information on the Research Ethics Board, policies, guidelines or procedures please see the UofT Research and Innovation site.

Course-based Research involving Animals

The University of Toronto has ethical guidelines, policies and operating procedures in place to govern the use and proper care of animals in research. To learn more, please visit the Office of Research and Innovation. Principal investigators (PI’s) must prepare and submit animal use protocols to the appropriate Local Animal Care Committee for full review. The protocol must be approved prior to commencing any work with animals. Undergraduate students who will be working with and handling animals as part of their independent research project for a course must be covered under their PI’s approved animal use protocol. Students must also complete the course on animal care prior to commencing any work with animals. Both PI’s and students are responsible for ensuring successful completion of all relevant animal care modules.

Co-op

The co-op programs offered by our department combine academic studies in the field with practical paid work experience in settings where scientific knowledge from their studies is applied.  Students may apply for work term employment in settings such as research and development departments in industry, educational institutions, health care institutions and government agencies.  Work settings may also provide students with the opportunity to observe other professionals, hence providing a broader and more informed basis for the selection of a post graduate program appropriate to the student's talents and interests. Note that completion of the program does not, however, represent a professional qualification in psychology, which requires further study at the graduate level. For information on admissions, fees, work terms and standing in the Program, please see the Co-operative Programs section of the Calendar.

Work Study

The University offers these part-time employment opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students registered in at least 40% of a full course load.  Work-study positions are created by UofT faculty and staff in a wide variety of offices and research labs throughout the campus, and offer students the opportunity to explore career options or gain experience in your field of study. These jobs can be found by logging into your Career Centre Online account.

Study Abroad

Expand your course options while immersing yourself in a new culture. Summer 2016 poster.

Volunteer, Mentorships, Conferences

Volunteering is a great way to show your interest in your field while gaining some basic experience; it is also typically less demanding than a job and less competitive for those who are starting out.  Many organizations welcome volunteers – as do many faculty.  Most organizations have specific application procedures, typically posted on their website.  For volunteer research positions, the challenge is to actively seek these positions:  talk to professors who are doing work in your area of interest, actively engage with them in conversations about their research, tell them why you are interested in what they do, and finally, don’t be shy to ask to work with them!

Volunteer opportunities in psychology and neuroscience:

  1. Let's Talk Science is a non-profit, science outreach organization that is continuously looking for volunteers to share their passion for psychology or neuroscience with others.
  2. Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada - volunteer program
  3. The Association for Psychological Science (APS) has campus representatives each academic year. Apply for this position and help your peers and yourself stay on top of the field of psychology!
  4. The APS Undergraduate Update is an online publication that student affiliates can contribute to. Please see http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/members/apssc/undergraduate_update. The deadline for submission is 14th February.
  5. The APS is accepting applications for volunteers at the 25th APS convention in Washington DC. More information can be found on the website:
    http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/members/apssc/travel.

Other opportunities:

  1. The Association for Psychological Science has many research award and mentorship opportunities.
  2. UTSC Academic and Advising Centre recruits senior students for Employment and Study Skills Peer Coaches.
  3. SickKids Summer Research Program
  4. Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada Summer Research Program
  5. Sunnybrook Brain Sciences Summer Research Program

Mentorships:

  1. "Partners in Leadership" Mentorship Opportunity is available through the AA&CC.
  2. APS Mentorship Program pairs an undergraduate student with a graduate student. The undergraduate student may have questions about research or graduate schools. The graduate student is fresh out of the undergrad experience and will be able to help the students narrow down their interests and help them navigate.

Undergraduate Conferences & Seminar Series:

  1. Ontario Universities Undergraduate Thesis Conference
  2. Everything N Conference - University of Toronto
  3. South Ontario Neuroscience Association (hosted by various universities)
  4. Canadian Undergraduate Conference on Healthcare (CUCOH) - McMaster University
  5. NeuroXchange - McMaster University
  6. SickKids Summer Seminar Series
  7. Connecting Minds - Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Service Learning and Outreach Opportunities

The Service Learning and Outreach (SLO) program provides experiential educational opportunities for students where they are matched with placement opportunities offered by UTSC courses (in-reach) or non-course/off-campus placements (out-reach). The program allows students to work more closely with professors in courses they enjoyed to help fellow students, and more deeply understand the course material.

For SLO placement opportunities, click here.