Experiential Research Project

Develop and complete a major research paper or thesis project through systematic investigation, discovery, synthesis, and/or application of information to solve a specific problem or question.

Experiential Research Projects at Brock

Consider these examples of experiential research projects designed by faculty and instructors at Brock.

Instructor: Dr. Uwe Brand, Professor

Course: ERSC 4P13

Program: Environmental Geoscience, Earth Science


Students in Dr. Brand’s course wanted to see how effective the University was at sorting its waste. As part of an experiential research project, students did a waste audit at three locations on the main Brock University campus, which involved sorting through 80 bags of waste collected from recycling, paper, waste, and organic bins. A report detailing the findings was prepared by the students and presented to Facilities Management, including recommendations for more organics bins across campus and better signage to help avoid confusion over how waste, particularly coffee cups should be disposed of.

“It’s really interesting to take all these things we learned in the first few years and actually go out and use them,” said Madeline Becker, a fifth-year Environmental Geoscience student.

“It’s not just a theory in front of you. You’re out there in the field doing research, being involved in every step of the process,” said fourth-year Environmental Geoscience student Hayden Polski.

Instructor: Debra Harwood

Course: EDUC 4D50

Program: Early Childhood Education, Faulty of Education

Develop and complete a thesis project through inquiry, exploration, interpretation, and/or application to address the specific question related to early childhood education.

Instructor: Colin Rose

Course: HIST 1P50

Program: History, Faculty of Humanities

Students researched, designed, wrote and developed a historical website about Niagara’s, and Canada’s as a whole, experiences during the 1918 Flu pandemic. Working remotely in small teams of 2-3, students were responsible for every stage of the project from conception to execution. The end result can be seen at www.niagaralives.ca

Instructor: Dr. Julia Baird

Course: GEOG/TOUR 4P83

Program: Geography, Tourism & Environment

Students in Dr. Baird’s course were connected with WWF-Canada staff to address pressing freshwater issues that were a priority for WWF-Canada. This experiential research project and partnership created an opportunity for students to learn more about a key freshwater issue in Canada, to interact with, and learn from, experts in freshwater conservation and restoration, and to build skills in research synthesis and communication to a range of audiences. Each student prepared an annotated bibliography of key scholarly articles related to their issue of interest, a summary of those articles for WWF-Canada, and a science communication output that could be designed for an audience of the student’s choosing. Students were encouraged to interact with WWF-Canada staff throughout the term to clarify needs and ask questions to guide their work. The final products produced by the students were shared with WWF-Canada for their use in freshwater restoration and conservation activities and communication.