Research Practicum

About the Practicum

The research practicum is a non-credit, pass/fail course providing part-time supervised research and laboratory experience to Psychology and Kinesiology and Health Science students. This experiential education (EE) opportunity will help students to obtain research experience, practical training, specialized laboratory training and encourage the development of professionalism and leadership skills. In turn, faculty members will benefit from a structured way of working with their research lab volunteers.

This opportunity might be right for you if:

  • You would like to develop your research skills
  • You would like your volunteer research experience to be noted on your transcript
  • You want to engage in a more structured research volunteer opportunity
  • You are ineligible or otherwise unable to engage in research through Research at York (RAY) or Work/Study
  • You are ineligible or otherwise unable to enroll in an Independent Study course
  • You can commit a minimum of 5 hours/week per term

Students may be engaged in research with faculty members in the Department of Psychology or in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science. Eligibility to enroll is as follows:

Department of Psychology

  • PSYC 1010 (minimum grade of C)
  • Honours standing

School of Kinesiology and Health Science

  • KINE 1000 6.00 and KINE 1020 6.00
  • Honours standing 

You are eligible to participate if you are a faculty member engaged in research in the Department of Psychology or the School of Kinesiology and Health Science. This opportunity might be right for you if:

  • You would like a more structured way of working with your research lab volunteers (e.g. set hours, signed agreement, etc.)
  • You would like more flexibility in the types of tasks and projects students support, compared to an Independent Study
  • You are committed to helping the student achieve specific learning objectives, and engage them in reflection about their research experience
  • You would like to recognize students' volunteer work through a transcript notation
  • You would like to incorporate earlier year students into your research program, with the potential to lead to independent study or honours thesis research.

Please note that this opportunity does not count toward a faculty member's teaching load.

Process

It is expected that students will initiative the process by finding a faculty member in the Department of Psychology or School of Kinesiology and Health Science to take them on as a volunteer in their research lab.

Next, the student downloads the Research Practicum Agreement (PDF) (and completes it collaboratively with the faculty supervisor), and signs the Release Waiver and Indemnity Agreement.

  • Students can complete Part 1 of the agreement (Student Declaration) on their own, but they must meet with the prospective faculty member to complete Part 2 (Faculty Member Declaration),Part 3 (Expectations and Responsibilities) and to sign the form.
  • It is in this agreement that the student and faculty member indicate the individualized title for the Research Practicum.
  • The Faculty member sends the  signed agreement to the Undergraduate Program Office, and the Indemnity Waiver to the Experiential Education Coordinator.
Finally, the student enrolls in the course.

  • The student will complete any required training or orientation, as outlined in the Research Practicum Agreement.
  • It is only after the course is complete that the individualized course title will appear on the student's transcript.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a zero-credit course?

A zero-credit course does not count for degree credit in any program/major and therefore the grade does not impact calculation of the GPA. The student will receive a Pass/Fail notation on their transcript. Further, students do not need to pay to enroll in zero-credit courses.

2. How will the course be evaluated?

At the beginning of the course, the student and the faculty member will agree on a set of learning objectives and expectations. At the end of the term, the supervisor will provide the student with a pass/fail grade and an assessment of the degree to which the student has met the agreed-upon expectations and the learning objectives.

3. When and how will this the course appear on a student's transcript?

Course Code
The student will select a course code on the Research Practicum Agreement. The code is chosen based on the number of credits the students has already selected.
KINE 0092 (for students who have earned 24-53 credits)
KINE 0093 (for students who have earned 54-83 credits)
KINE 0094 (for students who have earned 84 or more credits)

PSYC 0092 (for students who have earned 24-53 credits)
PSYC 0093 (for students who have earned 54-83 credits)
PSYC 0094 (for students who have earned 84 or more credits)

Course Title
The student and the faculty member will collaboratively agree on an individual title for the course, and indicate it in the Research Practicum Agreement. Upon completion of the course, the course title will appear on the student's transcript followed by the Pass/Fail grade. If the title does not appear on the transcript, the student should contact the Office of Student and Academic Services (OSAS).

4. How many times can a student enroll in this course?

Students may enroll in Research Practicum courses multiple times, but they cannot enroll in more than one Research Practicum course at the same time. In other words, student X can enroll in a Research Practicum course with Professor Y in the fall term, and another one with Professor Z in the winter term, but student X cannot enroll in both courses at the same time.

5. What type of experiential education course is this?

This course is considered a work-focused experiential education course, specifically a course-based placement (CBP). Through their hands-on experience in the research lab, students will apply and augment the theories and concepts they have learned in their courses/program. As a work-focused EE opportunity, this course will help students to develop and demonstrate skills like professional capacity and autonomy.

6. How does this course differ from Work/Study and Research at York(RAY) opportunities?

The research practicum differs from Work/Study and RAY opportunities because it is:

  • noted on the student's curricular transcript
  • open to all students, including part-time, and international students
  • not based on financial need
  • unpaid

7. Can a student drop or withdraw from the course?

In accordance with university guidelines, if the student drops the course prior to the drop deadline they will not receive a grade on their transcript. If the student withdraws from the course within the withdrawal period, they will receive a 'W' on the transcript. If the student drops the course after the drop deadline and the withdrawal period, they will receive an 'F' grade. Given that this is a zero credit course, an 'F' or 'W' grade on the transcript will not impact the student's GPA. Students must follow regular Faculty of Health procedures to petition for the removal of the 'F' grade. A passing grade, or 'P', will be received only if the student successfully completes the course. In order to avoid an unfavourable transcript notation or negative impact on the lab, it is recommended that the student and faculty members make all possible efforts to address issues and concerns as they arise. If concerns persist, circumstances change, or the terms of the learning agreement are not respected, the students or the faculty member can terminate the agreement. In these instances, rather than assign an 'F' grade, it is recommended that the faculty member advise the student to drop or withdraw from the course.

In order to achieve a successful experience, all efforts should be made to ensure that the students' skills and interests are aligned with the needs and objectives of the lab. The first opportunity to do so is when the student initially approaches the faculty member to discuss opportunities in their lab. The Learning Agreement provides a second opportunity for the student and faculty member to clarify the terms and expectations for the experience. Finally, the faculty member and the student must regularly communicate to check in on progress, and to address any arising concerns. The course is an opportunity help students develop their skills, so faculty members must make all efforts to support their learning. Similarly, students' involvement in the lab has real implications on the faculty member's work, so students must ensure professionalism at all times.

8. How does this course differ from a thesis or independent study course?

The research practicum differs from a thesis or independent study course because it is:

  • a zero-credit course, so it is not calculated in the student's GPA
  • free (students do not pay to enroll)
  • unlimited in terms of how many times a student can enroll in the course
  • more flexible in regards to types of projects and tasks students complete

9.Can students in the course be paid?

This is an unpaid practicum opportunity, but students may receive a small honorarium or stipend for their work.

Resources

Experiential Education Guide for Students: Resources and tools for engaging in experiential education courses.
EE Readiness Tool:  Self-assessment tool to evaluate competencies like critical thinking and team work. You can complete the self-assessment before you start the course, and check your progress by completing it again at the end of the course.
Learning Skills Services: Access resources to improve your effectiveness and efficiency at studying and completing assignments.
Faculty of Health Experiential Education: Learn more about experiential education, and access resources like the aforementioned ones.
Faculty of Health Experiential Education: Access tools and resources, and learn more about experiential education and reflection.
Teaching Commons: Support and resources around course design, learning outcomes, assessment, teaching strategies, and more. The Teaching Commons also offers EE workshops and the EE Bootcamp, where you can learn how to implement EE in your course.