Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Undergraduate Research

TRU actively promotes undergraduate student research. We are one of only two Canadian members of the Council on Undergraduate Research, an organization that supports and promotes high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research.

We target research funding to undergraduate students.

We schedule undergraduate research courses and host research conferences.

Research courses

TRU Arts students have several course options for earning credit while conducting research.

  • Directed Studies: many Arts disciplines offer courses that students can customize to explore a topic in greater depth; students work with an instructor one-on-one
  • Service Learning: SERV 300 and SERV 400 provide a means for students to earn credit while working on a project in the community; projects are overseen by a faculty and community representative
  • Research Learning: students use RESL courses to pursue a research topic under the supervision of a faculty member;  students taking RESL are eligible to apply for U-Reap funding (see below)
  • Co-op: the Arts co-op program alternates work and study terms
  • Honours Thesis: this course open to students completing the Honours program in Psychology

Research conferences

TRU Arts hosts and participates in local conferences. We also encourage, help organize, and support students who wish to attend academic conferences in other cities. Conferences are great places to meet fellow students, encounter new ideas, network with potential employers and supervisors, and of course to put your own research before an collegial public. Highlights on our conference schedule include:

  • TRU Undergraduate Conference: a campus wide, multidisciplinary event
  • Philosophy, History and Politics: Northwestern Undergraduate Conference
  • Geography Conference: we often send a bus load to the BC - Alberta geography conference
  • CURA Conferences: CURA has and continues to sponsor many conferences about culture and small cities — students play a key role organizing, documenting, and participating in CURA conferences.
  • Exploration in Qualitative and Arts-Based Research

Research projects and work study opportunities

Undergraduate students are often supported by individual faculty.

Undergraduate students have also been key collaborators in our nationally funded, multi-year Community-University Research projects.

Under the direction of Will Garrett-Petts at Thompson Rivers University, the research program focuses on mapping quality of life and the culture of Canada's small cities, with a specific emphasis on Kamloops, Nanaimo, Prince George, Port Moody, and the cities of the Comox Valley. It explores four broad themes: mapping points of entry, mapping community stories, mapping community and cultural assets, and mapping cultural intersections and processes.

The research team includes 37 community research partners and 26 TRU researchers working in collaboration with faculty from the University of Northern British Columbia; University of New Brunswick, Saint John; and University of Waterloo.