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What can I expect from CRIS?

The community research manager will meet with you to discuss your ideas and make suggestions for potential community organisations for you to think about. The manager will contact any organisations you are interested in, make the initial approach, and set up and chair an initial meeting for you. You may speak to a couple of organisations before finding the right fit. The community research manager will encourage a connection to be made with your dissertation supervisor or personal tutor. Ultimately, a research agreement will be drawn up and signed by all three partners - this outlines the partnership, roles and responsibilities, together with a timeline and planned outputs. You will be fully supported throughout the year by the community research manager via regular email contact, ad hoc meetings, and skills development training.

Do I have to be a master’s student at UCL?

Yes. The Community Research Initiative is exclusively for post-graduate taught students.

What does community organisation mean?

When we use this term, we mean not-for-profit, non-academic organisations. Often these are charities, but not always. Local Authorities are included, for example.

Do you have a list of organisations I can work with?

There is a Directory which lists all community organisations who work in partnership with UCL’s Volunteering Service for student volunteering places. This is a good place to start.

Can I suggest my own organisation?

Yes, you are welcome to suggest an organisation you would like to work with and ask the community research manager to make an initial contact and broker a new relationship.

Are there terms and conditions that organisations have to sign up to?

Yes. The community research manager will lead on this.

Should I have a definite idea of what I want to do before I contact CRIS?

Not necessarily. The whole idea of CRIS is that you develop a research idea in collaboration with a community partner. However, it would be helpful to think about the kinds of topics you are interested in as well as the type of research methods you would like to use – surveys, observational, interviews – and start thinking as early as possible! Ultimately, your dissertation supervisor will make sure that your research ideas fall within the remit of the course you are studying.

What if I don’t have a supervisor assigned yet?

It is common to have a personal tutor assigned before your dissertation supervisor. This is also a good person to speak with about your interest in CRIS.

What happens if my supervisor doesn’t want to supervise a dissertation with an organisational partner?

We will only support a partnership between a student and community organisation if the academic supervisor is fully supportive of this. They are considered a stakeholder in the collaborative research too.

Do I have to volunteer for the organisation during my dissertation research partnership?

No. This is not a volunteering opportunity.

Will I be paid as a research consultant?

No, there is no payment associated with this.