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What is Applied Research?

What is Applied Research at Sheridan?

The Office of Applied Research and Innovation supports the student experience to enhance meaningful engagement with community and industry partners. Sheridan’s Academic Innovation Strategy defines applied research as “research conducted by our students under the supervision of their professors to solve practical, real-world challenges in the workplace to advance the goals of our community”.  This undertaking aims to enrich the academic curriculum and provide leading-edge learning opportunities by enabling students to work in a real-life situation. Applied research projects usually span one to eight months (in some cases, longer) and focus on hands-on problem solving.

Why get involved in applied research?

Applied research provides students with the opportunity to move beyond the confines of the classroom. Students use their academic knowledge and skills to help solve contemporary problems in a professional relationship with an external industry or community organization. An applied research experience can not only make students better researchers and problem solvers, it can help to promote valuable soft skills like team building, formal presentation, interpersonal communication, professionalism, and workplace diplomacy. Furthermore, research collaborations can provide the talent, equipment, and facilities that small- and medium-sized businesses and community partners often struggle to access and, in doing so, make meaningful economic and societal contributions.

Whether it’s part of a student-industry internship, co-op, class project, or funded initiative, undergraduate research activities: 

  • Connect industry and community partners with specialized Sheridan faculty and students.
  • Provide students with valuable experience and exposure through working directly with industry.
  • Support our partners with innovation services including product testing, development, refinement, commercialization, and more.
  • Challenge students to apply classroom learning to real industry problems.
  • Allow partners to access Sheridan’s state-of-the-art facilities and equipment as part of projects.
  • Strengthen our local economy helping small, medium and large companies drive their businesses forward.

“The rapid application development style we used for FedDev Ontario projects granted me the ability to learn skills every day that would have otherwise taken much longer in a classroom setting.” Michael Potvin, FedDev Ontario project researcher 

“Sheridan College was a great fit. They have an international reputation as one of the world’s best animation schools, and [our collaboration] definitely helped offset some of the risk of pursuing our new business venture.”
Ben Sainsbury, Co-Founder and Producer, CinemaSuite.