Student Opportunities



UBCO’s Centre for the Study of Services to Children and Families has many opportunities for graduate and undergraduate Psychology students and graduate Social Work students to gain experience and acquire skills in conducting research. Students may join the Centre as a volunteer, researcher, or be employed by the Centre. Students will develop an understanding of applied research as well as contribute to the well-being of children and families in the community and across the globe.

All student projects focus on work related to the mission of the Centre and its existing work. Students who are committed to maximizing their learning and who value excellence in their work are welcome to apply.


Students may volunteer at the Centre enabling them to gain experience in all facets of conducting applied research and managing a research centre. Students volunteering at the Centre are given the opportunity to connect with other undergraduate and graduate students and staff, allowing them to gain insight and knowledge that will help them further their personal and career goals. The time required for volunteering varies by the activity to which students have committed themselves. Students should expect to spend a minimum of ten hours per week in Centre activities and may spend quite a bit more if they become engaged in data analysis and article publication.

Academic Credit

Includes: Undergraduate Psychology Honours Theses, Undergraduate and Graduate Directed Studies in Psychology and Social Work, and Master of Social Work Graduating Papers/Projects

With a strong learning plan, students may complete a course under the supervision of Dr. Wells, the Centre’s Director. These courses provide a variety of opportunities ranging from data collection to writing up research findings. Students engage in applied research and obtain a wide range of knowledge and skills. The total time commitment for a directed studies course is a minimum of 12 hours per week for a full semester for a three credit course. Honours Theses will be considerably more time intensive. Opportunities for completing courses arise periodically. Serious students who have the time to commit to such projects are welcome to contact Dr. Wells.

Field Placement for Master of Social Work Students

Master of Social Work students who already have extensive practice knowledge and skills in the field may wish to apply for a field placement with a focus on management, policy, or program evaluation. When their learning goals coincide with the available projects in the Centre, they may apply for a field placement by contacting the School of Social Work Field Coordinator.


Depending on the stage of existing projects, the Centre may offer work study opportunities, paid employment, or full-time employment for research assistants. Tasks vary by project but often include project management, data collection in the field, data analysis, and writing for publication. All employment opportunities in the Centre foster the growth of independent critical thinking, time management skills, team work, and provide opportunities for networking within the Centre and in the field at large.

Centre Associates

Often, the Centre maintains relationships with students, research assistants, and colleagues after graduation or upon project completion. These associates have become involved in specific projects of interest to them and may continue data analysis and writing for publication in collaboration with the Centre after leaving the university. Jeff More, Hilla Shlomi, and Jen Bitz are team members who are Centre Associates.