A cartoon of a researcher holding an oversized clipboard, outlining rapid research review requirements.

April 23, 2019

Volunteer as a research associate at McMaster’s Research Shop

Student volunteers are needed to work with public, non-profit, and community organizations on research projects over the summer.

Being a research associate is an excellent opportunity to develop and apply your graduate research skills.

Volunteers would be part of a team of McMaster student research associates working with organizations to refine their research questions, then  prepare rapid research reviews. The reviews are short plain-language reports (10-20 pages). 

Deadline to apply: Friday, April 26, 2019

What does a research associate do?

  • Work independently and as a member of a small team to produce research products according to set deadlines.
  • Attend regular team meetings and schedule meetings with community organizations, as appropriate.
  • commit an average of 5 hours per week for 3 to 4 months.

Why volunteer as a research associate?

  • Enhance the transferability of your academic research skills by responding to a community-identified question or need.
  • Explore possibilities for employment inside and outside the university. 
  • Make connections with Hamilton community organizations.
  • Build your CV, resume and portfolio by co-authoring a research report with teammates and a community partner.
  • Learn and practice research methodologies from other academic disciplines, such as survey design and analysis, focus groups, community workshops, interviews, environmental scans. 
  • Access related training opportunities, such as conducting literature reviews, facilitating focus groups, writing in plain language
  • Earn a Certificate or Statement of Professional Learning upon project completion, or request the Research Shop act as a reference.

The Research Shop is also recruiting team leads to coordinate small teams of research associates.

Team lead responsibilities include:

  • scheduling and chairing regular team meetings and being available for research team support between meetings by email, phone or Skype;
  • developing and managing project work plans (in consultation with the team);
  • offering feedback on research associates’ research strategies, written work, and engagements with the community;
  • acting as the lead author and editor of a final deliverable;
  • communicating regular updates to the Research Coordinator and consulting with the Coordinator for feedback and support as needed.

How to apply for these volunteer opportunities


  • a resume and
  • up to one page expressing your interest, indicating 
    • your academic background,  personal strengths and interests,
    • what you hope to gain from the experience

to rshop@mcmaster.ca by Friday, April 26, 2019.

Applicants will be invited to attend a volunteer orientation and information session on Friday, May 3, 2:30 to 4pm, at Mills Library.

Upcoming projects

  1. Evaluating the impacts of pedestrianizing a street in downtown Hamilton on cyclists, motorists, and local businesses
  2. Evaluating wellness programs for marginalized women on behalf of a local non-profit agency to make recommendations for improvement
  3. Conducting an environmental scan of mental health and suicide prevention programs in Hamilton to support program development to fill service gaps
  4. Conducting an equity and inclusion assessment of the Office of Community Engagement to inform an Equity Action Plan

For more information, contact the Research Shop at rshop@mcmaster.ca.

The Research Shop is located in the Office of Community Engagement (Hamilton Hall B103), although most work can be done remotely.