Frequently Asked Questions About the Student Research Project
Do I have to do a research project?
Yes – this is part of the U of T OT curriculum, and every student must take part!
Do I do the project alone or with a partner?
It is a requirement to do this project with a partner. You are expected to choose your partner, so make sure you choose wisely 🙂 Don’t be stressed about this – the topics do not come out until the end of term 2, so there will be a lot of time to find that special someone! It may be helpful to start a google doc for your class to help individuals find a partner with similar research interests (e.g. mental health vs. physical health, qualitative vs. quantitative methods).
How do I get matched to a research project?
Similar to fieldwork placements, a list of projects will be compiled, and you and your partner will then have the opportunity to select your top choices. From there, a computer will match the class to projects, with the aim of giving everyone one of their top selections.
If I have a specific research interest, can I set up my own project?
If you are very passionate about a research topic related to occupational science or occupational therapy, you will have the opportunity to organize your own project if the resources are available. Make sure to get started early, as this will involve finding someone to supervise your work (either a U of T faculty member or a researcher in the community). If you are unsure who to contact for supervision, speak to the OCT1220 course instructor.
What if I have no specific interests?
The scope of OT research is so broad, there are many potential areas to work in. Check out this video for some ideas
What do I do if I have no research experience?
You will learn about qualitative and quantitative research in first year to get you ready to do the project. Your supervisors and research team will also be there to support you.
Does everyone have a supervisor for the project?
Yes, and you might even have more than one supervisor. The supervisors have methodological and content expertise to help guide you.
Is there time dedicated to the project?
In second year when you work on the project you get one day off from class to dedicate towards your research project.
Do I have to defend my research project?
There is no formal defense process for the project; however, you will be required to present your research to your peers, research supervisors and faculty members in the department. You will be graded on your presentation and ability to answer relevant questions. You must also submit a final paper that will be critiqued by your supervisor.
Do I present my results?
There are many opportunities to present the results locally at the department’s Graduate Student Research Day held in June (mandatory). There are additional conferences including the annual CAOT conference, which is held in a different city in Canada every year, as well as the OSOT conference. There are even conference travel awards available through the University – talk to your supervisor(s) if you are interested in applying.
Is there an opportunity to publish results?
It depends on which phase of the project you enter. You may enter a project at the planning stage; ethics; recruitment; data collection; data analysis. The expectations to publish are outlined in the project description, and determined by your supervisor.
Do I have to pay anything?
There are no costs associated with completing your course requirements. There may be additional costs if you choose to present at external conferences – speak to your supervisor about financial support for presenting at conferences. The Polatjko-Howell Fund also supports students presenting at peer-reviewed conferences.