Navi Mental Health Wayfinder
Research-Intensive (Student-Led Research) - Experiential Learning Hub

Learning Type:

Research-Intensive (Student-Led Research)


Students undertake a substantial course-based research project that includes some of the following characteristics: student-generated or selected research questions, methodologies, conceptual frameworks, and project management plans; analysis and synthesis of collected information or data, and; demonstrate an understanding of research results in the context of the broader disciplinary literature (e.g., 499s).



  • Research intensive experiences have specific eligibility criteria that differ depending on the course or program of study to which they are connected.


  • Research intensive experiences may involve part-time or full-time hours and can last from a few hours to a number of days or weeks over the course of an academic term. The timelines vary and will be set within your course. 

Recognition and / or compensation:  

  • Research intensive experiences are unpaid opportunities, students receive academic credit as part of a course.


  • Inclusion in EL is achieved when an experience supports learning for all students. In keeping with the Ontario Human Rights Code, the University of Toronto has a commitment to an equitable learning environment for people with disabilities. It is important to engage in an interactive process to determine the optimal and most appropriate accommodations for individual students engaged in experiential learning.
  • If a student requires an accommodation related to an advanced laboratory learning opportunity, you may wish to connect with one of the accessibility services offices at the University of Toronto. Staff at these offices will advise you on the disclosure of accommodation requirements as well as support you through the process of determining and negotiating effective accommodations for the student’s individual circumstances.
  • Student support offices strive to create a safe and comfortable community where students have opportunities to discuss navigating barriers, find peer support and learn about various academic and social opportunities. 


  • Students engaging in a student-led research experience (for credit) receive workplace insurance coverage through the University or Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
  • Students engaging in a student-led research project (for credit) have general liability coverage through the University.


  • Students have the opportunity to integrate their theoretical learning through practical application. 
  • In a Research-Intensive experience, students take ownership of the project from the conception of research questions to determining research methodologies based on their questions to the communication of research outcomes.
  • Students receive supervised guidance over an extended period of time, leading to deeper learning and skill development.

Ideal time to participate:  

How to access / locate opportunities:

Resources for Faculty, Staff and Librarians

  • Student-led research experiences are not partnered experiences. If an organization wishes to engage students in research, please review the information on the Organization-Partnered Project page or the Academic Internship page. Organizations may also wish to connect with the Blue Door for support and advice.