Student Resources


Our CRC team routinely supports the research and professional development experiences of students at the graduate and undergraduate level, as well as the development of various community partners.  Whether you are someone who is looking to develop a new career in rural development, or someone who is looking to learn more about successful initiatives that have been used in other communities, our team is always ready to provide advice, to broker relationships, to explore best practices, and to share lessons learned in a variety of policy and community development contexts.  

Our research team has provided mentoring supports through international internship programs, the United Way Mentor Me program, conferences, courses, research assistantships, and community-based research projects.  


In addition to mentoring supports, we have provided a compilation of resources below that can inform students’ decisions as they plan and develop their research and professional careers.  

Developing the Next Generation of Community-Based Researchers: A Student Workshop

Laura Ryser, Greg Halseth, and Sean Markey

The quality and effectiveness of student research experiences will have longstanding impacts on their future research careers, as well as repercussions pertaining to the community experience with the research process.  This presentation provides students with information about how to get the most out of their research experience.  Key topics to be addressed include finding community research opportunities, identifying what you should know and what you should ask before engaging with a research team, how to obtain a breadth of research skills and experiences, researcher etiquette and demeanor in the community, budgeting, time management, and developing future research and employment prospects.  Even if you are not planning to have an academic career, this presentation touches upon several key lessons that can help students to be better consumers of research and other information in their professional careers.

More details are available through the following publication:

Ryser, L., Markey, S., and Halseth, G. 2013. Developing the Next Generation of Community-Based Researchers: Tips for Undergraduate Students.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education 37(1): 11-27.

Safety Guide for Conducting Community-Based Research

In 2013, the UNBC Field Safety Committee developed the first draft of the Safety Guide for Conducting Community-Based Research.  This guide contains a compilation of basic safety issues for working alone and for working in communities.  The guide also contains a number of sample checklists for planning, monitoring, and reviewing safe community-based research practices.

To access the guide, please visit:  

Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans

Research ethics protocols have been guided since 1998 with the publication of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (ISRE 2014). Since its original publication, the Tri-Council Policy has been amended and modified as a result of experience, practice, and debate. After an extensive consultation, the Interagency Secretariat on Research Ethics released in 2014 a new edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement (ISRE 2014). While the core principles of a concern for welfare, justice, and respect for all persons remain, existing provisions for research involving women, vulnerable persons, those who lack the capacity to consent to research participation, Aboriginal peoples, and others have been confirmed, augmented, and expanded.

To access the full document, please visit:

Preparing for the Next Field Season: Methodology Lessons for Engaging in Labour Mobility Research in Mining and Tourism

Laura Ryser, Greg Halseth, Angèle Smith, and Sean Markey

On the Move: Webinar Series

Social, economic, and political restructuring since the early 1980s has transformed the nature of work and community relationships in Canada’s rural landscape. The increasingly mobile nature of the workforce, however, presents challenges to using traditional approaches to engage with research participants in these places.  The purpose of this presentation is to explore the lessons learned from conducting community-based research in mining and tourism communities that have mobile workforces.  After a brief introduction to community-based research, we will describe the fieldwork that was completed by the BC Team.  We then highlight a series of issues, such as training, monitoring fieldwork, safety, recruitment of participants, developing relationships, and additional challenges that can be used to inform future research practices with mobile workforces and strengthen foundations for community-based research with their respective communities and regions.  

Constraints and Opportunities to Building the Capacity of Small Places to be Consumers of Research

Laura Ryser and Greg Halseth

Knowledge in Motion Conference, Memorial University in Newfoundland, 2008.

The last decade has witnessed a rise in interest in how to more effectively put research knowledge to use in society. Service learning and ‘the engaged campus’ are now well entrenched in the university and college classroom, and our national funding agencies have made ‘impact’ and ‘connectivity’ key themes in their mandates. But the new movements and attention to knowledge mobilization build upon a much longer engagement between research, knowledge, and their use in affecting social, economic, environmental, and political change.  This presentation explores constraints and opportunities to building the capacity of small places to be consumers of research.  

Student Training and Challenges

Laura Ryser and Greg Halseth

Special session by SSHRC on the Initiative on the New Economy Program, at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, Saskatoon, 2007.

There is a longstanding interest in the development of students as future researchers and colleagues.  Multi-year research programs give new opportunities for training and developing students.  This presentation highlights work that was undertaken by students in a large interdisciplinary and national research project, as well as some of the factors that enhanced or limited their participation.

Student Training Through Multi-Disciplinary Research Teams

Laura Ryser and Greg Halseth

Annual Meetings, Western Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers, Abbotsford, BC, 2007.

There have been increasing pressures from funding agencies for multidisciplinary research.  At the same time, there are longstanding concerns about the mentoring and training of students as future researchers and colleagues.  Interviews with faculty were conducted to explore experiences and strategies deployed for student training and development through multi-disciplinary research teams.  Specifically, key informant interviews with eleven faculty from eleven universities across Canada were completed.  Key issues explored include student roles in research, student training, and factors limiting or enhancing student participation.  Faculty were also asked to describe strategies for recruiting students within and outside of the university, as well as strategies for training, mentoring, monitoring, and team building in a national collaborative research project.  Among the issues of concern are human resource and socio-economic constraints, as well as geographic, communication, and institutional limitations.

Communities Want Answers – Academics Want Questions: Some Cautions from a Community-Based Research Team

Greg Halseth, Laura Ryser, and Lana Sullivan

Canadian Association of Geographers, Annual Meetings, Thunder Bay, Ontario, 2006.

Over the past 10 years, our research team at UNBC has been actively engaged with community-based research projects across northern BC. During that time we have worked with many communities and community groups on a mix of researcher-led and community-led projects. Based on this experience, our presentation will introduce a range of practical challenges that confront both academic researchers and our rural/small town partners when they attempt to work together. At its core, these challenges stem from a fundamental paradox in how the two partners approach the research exercise. Most communities across northern BC are facing numbers of changes and challenges. To support local actions that can meet these changes and challenges, the communities come to the research task seeking relevant and useful answers. Academic researchers, by the nature of their training, understand that exploration of research questions yields at best provisional results that then need to be challenged and refined through further questioning and inquiry. In contrast to community partners, therefore, academics typically enter the research task seeking to improve their questions. This ‘mismatch’ of expectations, with communities wanting answers and academics wanting questions, problematizes many elements of the research exercise.

Linking University and Community Capacities in a Transitioning Rural and Small Town Economy

Marc von der Gonna, Laura Ryser, and Greg Halseth

BC’s Inland Rainforest Conservation and Community Conference, May 21-23, 2008

Pressures limiting community development and community economic development in rural and small town places include challenges around human resources, infrastructure, industrial capacity, policy supports, environmental assets, and others. Addressing these pressures and challenges often means accessing information and research capacity. Building community-university partnerships is one way by which small places can access needed information and research. This presentation examines opportunities for enhancing community-university research partnerships in the context of the McBride Community Forest. After setting a context for contemporary rural and small town places, we examine the fundamentals of developing community-university research partnerships including the key issue of open and willing communication. Following this introduction, the presentation examines a range of specific information and research needs of the McBride Community Forest including that related to forestry, energy, non-timber forest products, marketing, and community development topics.

Other Resources

Markey, S., Halseth, G., and Manson, D. 2010. Capacity, scale, and place: Pragmatic lessons for doing community-based research in the rural setting.  The Canadian Geographer 54(2): 158-176.

Ryser, L. and Halseth, G. 2009. Building student research capacity: Faculty perceptions about institutional barriers in Canada universities.  Research Management Review 17(1): 1-19.

Ryser, L., Halseth, G., and Thien, D. 2009. Strategies and intervening factors influencing students social interaction and experiential learning in an interdisciplinary research team. Research in Higher Education 50(3): 248-267.