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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Q: What is applied research? How does it differ from traditional academic research?

A: Applied research projects focus on finding practical solutions to specific, real-world challenges. They are grounded in the practical application of knowledge, as opposed to traditional academic research that seeks to add new knowledge and is fundamental in nature.

Q: What is the length of a typical applied research project?

A: Most applied research projects have a fixed duration (established at the start of the project) and span anywhere from 1 – 8 months depending on the complexity and the nature of the grant award, not including proposal development time. Non-funded student capstone projects are typically 14 weeks.

Q: What support can the Sheridan Research provide?

A: We provide a variety of services to the Sheridan community, including matching researchers with industry/community partners, funding application guidance, and project set up and documentation. We also work with community partners looking for innovation support that aligns with the needs of curriculum. For a full list of our services, please click here.

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Prospective Industry & Community Research Partners

Q.  Who do I contact and what is the process to begin the project? 

A: Please contact Dianna Dinevski, Industrial Liaison Manager at Sheridan Research, with a description of your research needs. We will reach out to the Sheridan community and notify you if there is a good fit with existing expertise, student talent and facilities. Our staff will then guide you through the approval, funding and set up process. 

Q: What are the benefits of an innovation partnership with Sheridan?

A: A partnership with Sheridan can help industry and community partners mitigate some of the risks and costs associated with innovation and growth while matching you with talented, highly-skilled student and staff researchers. We provide services including engineering design, prototype development, testing, and specialized consulting/training, as well as granting our partners access to our cutting-edge facilities and equipment for project work. We can also help request government funding where appropriate.

Q: What if there is no appropriate fit with Sheridan researchers? 

A: If no appropriate match is found, we will be pleased to help refer you to additional innovation support resources within our extensive network. 

Q: How long does it take to match an industry/community partner with a Faculty research lead and set up a project?

A: Aligning the needs of our community and students can take time, as we do our best to make sure potential partnerships are beneficial to all parties.  Depending on the time of the year, the matching process may take a few weeks. Securing funding can take time and effort as timing is  established by individual funding agencies. However, it is a worthwhile process that may realize financial resources to carry out the project…  and we provide support every step of the way!

Q: What do I need to contribute as a research partner? 

A:  Industry and community partners are expected to be active participants throughout the research process to help ensure the success of the project. Depending on the scope and requirements of the project and funder, research partners may be asked to contribute in-kind services (e.g. staff time to work with the research team) and cash. 

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Q: Are student researchers compensated?

A: Student researchers are compensated on funded research projects supported by a grant, usually as part of an internship or co-op placement. Rates of remuneration are aligned with Sheridan’s pay rates that are set at fair market value.

Q: What time commitment is required as a project researcher? 

A:  Depending on the project, your work as part of a research project team may range from a few hours per week (e.g., an unpaid capstone project as part of your studies) or up to 35 hours per week for a dedicated internship or co-op research placement. As a researcher, you’ll be expected to actively participate in discussions with your industry/community partner to ensure the project’s success. 

Q: What are the various ways I can be involved? How do I get started?

A:  You can get involved in applied research through a capstone project as part of your courses, as an internship or co-op placement, or as a co-curricular activity.  Your professors will keep you up-to-date on capstone project opportunities as they become available. Applied research internships and co-op opportunities are also posted on, and may be disseminated through individual program boards.  You may also contact Dianna Dinevski at Sheridan Research with a description of your research interests and expertise, and we will keep you posted on relevant opportunities.
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Principal Investigators

Q: I’m a prospective Principal Investigator (professor or administrator) and I have an idea for an applied research project involving students. What’s the next step and what do I need to do to get started?

A: Please contact Dianna Dinevski at Sheridan Research with a description of your project. Please note that your Dean must approve all proposed funded research. Our team will guide you through the internal approval process and explore funding options if applicable. For more information on the Faculty-led research project process, please click here.

Q: What is the role of a Principal Investigator within applied research projects? What sort of commitment is required? 

A: Principal Investigators are counted upon as project leads, providing guidance and direction to student researchers and as the main point of contact for Sheridan Research. Depending on the scope and length of the project, Principal investigators are also responsible for providing SURe with project updates and preparing reports. Faculty members who initiate funded projects generally assume the responsibilities of principal investigator. 

Q:  What support can Sheridan Undergraduate Research provide to me throughout the life of the project? 

A: ARI is here to assist researchers all the way through the idea development and funding application process, connect faculty with industry-initiated projects, set up the necessary payroll documentation and support reporting to funders. For a full list of services, please click here.

Q: My project idea requires funding. Where can I learn more?

A: Please review current funding opportunities here, or contact Kelly Karius, at extension 4261. 

Q: I am planning on integrating applied research into capstone projects for my course. Do I need to notify your office and do I require approval?

A:  Let us know right away so that we can support you.  All applied research activity within the college falls under the purview of the Provost and Vice President Academic. We can work together to ensure you have adequate support as we continue to formalize the research integration process. Applied research capstone projects require initial approval from your Dean and will also require approval from the Sheridan Research Ethics Board if you plan to involve human participants. 

Q: How do I know whether my project needs approval from the Sheridan Research Ethics Board?

All research projects involving human participants must receive prior approval from the Sheridan Research Ethics Board. Click here to learn more.

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