Applied and Community-Based Research

Combine applied research skills in environmental and social sciences with community engagement to solve real problems, foster knowledge transfer and empower communities to implement solutions.


Winter 2017
Program Status: Closed
Program Code: CBR
Location: Lindsay
Contact: Josh Feltham Email
Credential: Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Tuition and Ancillary Fees (Domestic): $2,556.17 per semester*
Tuition and Ancillary Fees (International): $8,076.06 per semester*
* Tuition and fees subject to change.

This program is not being offered for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Program Highlights

Make a positive contribution to sustainability while developing your communication, research, and project management skills.  Identify solutions to environmental issues from a social, economic, cultural and environmental perspective.  The Applied and Community-Based Research program takes a holistic and integrated approach to applied research, aiming to promote real-world solutions to identified problems in our local and global communities.  During this two-semester post-graduate program you will: 

  • Contribute to actions that will resolve environmental issues.
  • Work with a government agency, non-government organization, or industry partner to address specific environmental issues from a social, environmental, economic or cultural perspective.
  • Develop skills and working experience with community engagement, conflict resolution, research methods, data management, and communication
  • Engage in research opportunities locally or internationally, building upon the networks and relationships established by our School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences.
  • Augment your research skills with advanced project management skills and the ability to interpret and clearly communicate information to foster practical and innovative solutions.

Practical Experience and Real-World Context

You will be a member of a team of students, faculty, and industry partners working to understand and find solutions to environmental issues.  During your first semester, you will develop your knowledge of research methods; written and oral communication; statistics and data management; and project management in the context of your research project.  A unique approach to learning employing a combination of workshops, seminars and lots of one-on-one sessions with faculty will shape your experience and improve your skills and knowledge as you prepare for your 12-week research experience.  You will apply knowledge gained from blended modules such as Ethics, Project Management, Project Funding and Budgets and Policy, taught by experts from the field.  Mentors will provide active support throughout the field research with the opportunity to engage in a local, national or international project, depending upon your interests.

Public Symposium

The program culminates with a three-week intensive period during which you will refine your research report in preparation for a public symposium where you will share the results of your project.  All candidates will be strongly encouraged to publish their results in a variety of media including traditional, online, and academic venues.

Why Not a Master’s Degree?

The Applied and Community-based Research Program is similar to the first year of a Master’s thesis or a compressed one-year Master’s program.  Key reasons that you may be drawn to this program over a Master’s program include:

  • This program formally and explicitly covers ethics, conflict resolution, funding proposal writing, and project management through first semester courses and modules.  Master’s programs may involve exposure to these elements or they may not.
  • This program is two semesters at college rather than two years at university.
  • Students can enroll in this program with three years of education at the college level while a degree is required to start a Master’s.
  • As a graduate, the unique combination of skills and knowledge that you will obtain provides flexibility, enabling you to fit into a variety of roles associated with applied and/or community-based research.
  • Less risk and less cost if you are unsure about committing to a Master’s degree, but you can acquire many of the skills and more explicit training and education in management and development of research.

For more information, we have prepared a Project Development Sequence that helps to clearly define the practical experience and theoretical knowledge that this program aims to provide, along with a description of current research project partners and potential projects.

Program Delivery

  1. In-class & Modules: January 12 – April 24, 2015 (15 weeks)
  2. Placement: May 11 – July 31, 2015 (12 weeks)
  3. Reporting: August 3 – August 21, 2015 (2 weeks)
  4. Symposium: September, 2015

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of this program, you will be able to:

  • Plan, design and complete applied, community-based, environmentally- focused research projects that exhibit a holistic, cooperative approach to gathering and sharing information.
  • Select and apply appropriate statistical tools and methodologies to effectively interpret and process information in meaningful ways to help resolve research problems.
  • Be strategic in the selection and use of appropriate research methodologies based on the nature of research inquiries.
  • Produce reports and presentations which communicate research findings effectively to a variety of stakeholders and meet their respective informational needs.
  • Select and use a variety of technology platforms and channels to collect, process, analyze and distribute research information.
  • Identify workable solutions to research inquiries which foster collaboration and promote connections among private, public, and non-profit sectors.
  • Conduct research in a respectful and ethical manner that ensures protection of privacy and maintains dignity to all involved.
  • Engage a variety of stakeholders in constructive problem-solving discussions to address environmentally related community issues.
  • Promote ways to implement research solutions that are sustainable and transferable to communities.
  • Produce funding and other budget-related documents to substantiate and solicit support for research projects.

Why Choose Fleming?

Our School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences is well positioned to offer this unique program. Our reputation for applied research and knowledge transfer is based on the successes of our Centre for Alternative Wastewater Treatment (CAWT) and on courses such as Credit for Product in our Ecosystem Management program, featuring students working on applied projects with local and provincial organizations. The School's international networks are expanding through field work and research opportunities in Costa Rica and South Africa. As well, employee and student participation in the Atlantic Salmon Restoration program and Muskellunge research initiatives has provided significant contributions to species restoration.

Career Opportunities

Applied research skills, combined with advanced project management, conceptualization, presentation and writing skills will provide value-add  for employment beyond entry level jobs as researchers, planners, policy analysts, and in the area of community development.  Graduates will possess a unique skill set demonstrable through their project portfolio and symposium report.  They will be prepared for employment in government or non-governmental agencies,  in Canada or internationally.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • An undergraduate degree or Ontario College Advanced (3 year) Diploma in an Environmental Sciences or Natural Resources field, or in a related field, such as Geography or International Studies. 
  • Applicants who possess an undergraduate degree or Ontario College (2 year) Diploma in other disciplines or fields will be considered on an individual basis.

Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on our website and in our publications. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time.

Copyright © 2016 Sir Sandford Fleming College. All Rights Reserved.

Fleming College
599 Brealey Drive K9J 7B1 Peterborough, Ontario,
(705) 749-5530