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Applied Community Research Internship

The Centre for Community Research, Learning and Action (CCRLA) and the Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group (LSPIRG) are pleased to offer this unique experience in community-engaged scholarship and learning.

PS492: Applied Community Research is an eight-month experiential course taught by CCRLA faculty and staff that blends in-class lectures with a field placement and capstone project. The field placement involves a research internship at CCRLA which is designed to give undergraduate students an opportunity to make a difference in their community while gaining hands-on research experience and skills.


Over the course of eight months, teams work closely with a professor, mentor and community partner to design and implement a research study that addresses an identified community need. The internship concludes in April with a mini-conference where interns present their final reports.

Students are expected to devote six to eight hours per week to the internship, which may include time on evenings and weekends. Typically, interns also complete training at the agencies with which they are partnering on the research project.

Learning Outcomes

  • Dev​elop and foster community partnerships.
  • Plan and implement a community-based research study.
  • Work collaboratively as part of a research team.
  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research using software such as NVivo and SPSS.
  • Develop an understanding of research ethics and the REB application process.
  • Complete a participant recruitment process.
  • Develop technical research writing and presentation skills.


  • ​One 1.0 course credit (PS492).
  • Training in applied research methods and design.
  • Community service-learning experience.
  • A certificate of completion from CCRLA.

Application Process

Before applying, review the undergraduate academic calendar entry for PS492 to ensure that you have met the prerequisites for the course. Note: Course prerequisites may be waived at the discretion of the Psychology department.

Those interested in applying for the internship are required to submit a completed application package and attend an interview which typically take place in May. To receive an application package, contact Kim Susanna, undergraduate program assistant for the department of Psychology. The application package includes an application form, two references, a summary statement and a copy of your unofficial transcript.

Skills and Qualifications

Ideal candidates will have the following skills and qualifications:

  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with team members.
  • Detail-oriented, and excellent time management and organizational skills.
  • Understanding of the principles of social justice and community-based research.
  • Familiarity with research methods, both qualitative and quantitative.
  • Experience working or volunteering with a community organization.
  • Capacity for self-directed learning and willingness to take initiative.


Contact Us:

Ciann Wilson and Maritt Kirst, Research Centre Co-Directors

Ela Desmarchelier, Administration Coordinator (Thursdays)

T: 519.884.0710. x3494
Office Location: K214, 232 King St. North, Waterloo