Research Practicum Opportunities

Practicum Opportunity Description

The Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement is a not-for-profit adapted fitness facility at the University of Alberta, devoted to conducting fitness, motor skill development, health and lifestyle programs for children, youth, and adults with impairments.

Currently the Adult Fitness and Lifestyle Programs provide over 300 adults with physical impairments an opportunity to maintain a healthy lifestyle though our unique programs. The child and youth component of The Steadward Centre is the Free2BMe Program for Kids and Teens with Impairments, which serves over 200 children and youth between 4 to 19 years of age with physical, sensory, and developmental impairments. Children and youth of all ability levels are provided with opportunities to participate in physical activity and fitness programs and to develop health and wellness while asserting their independence in a fun and social environment.

Research activities take place across all program areas as we seek to advance the field of adapted physical activity through knowledge generation and dissemination. Past, present, and future areas of study include:

  • Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES),
  • Athlete development,
  • Families with children with impairments,
  • Outdoor recreation, and
  • Experiences of physical activity participation

As a research practicum student at The Steadward Centre we will:

  • Ensure an exceptional applied learning opportunity through unique experiences, research and innovative programming
  • Offer a one of a kind opportunity to gain hands on research experience in Edmonton’s only adapted fitness facility
  • Ensure both superior professional and personal growth through complete participation in staff meetings, brainstorming sessions, and professional development workshops
  • Allow an opportunity to explore creativity and knowledge

Learning Opportunities

As a research practicum student at The Steadward Centre, you will have opportunities to learn the following:

  • Develop skills for conducting literature searches
  • Learn about the steps in the research process from ethics approval to data collection, data management, and analysis to manuscript preparation
  • Improve writing skills through a variety of activities (for example, by drafting research correspondence, recording minutes at research meetings, and other related correspondence)
  • Learn about different research methods including qualitative and quantitative approaches
  • Learn to work independently

Potential Projects

The following describes some of the potential projects you may be involved in as a research practicum student at The Steadward Centre:

1. Support a research study to understand the impact of participation in a learn-to-ride a bicycle program for children with motor difficulties and their families.

Specific tasks may include:

  • Conducting literature search
  • Preparing ethics proposal 
  • Assisting with participant recruitment
  • Note taking as part of data collection
  • Transcribing as part of data management

2. Prepare a manuscript for FES systematic review of literature.

Specific tasks may include:

  • Assisting with preparing the results section by formatting levels of evidence tables
  • Compiling reference lists

3. Manage and develop a research library

Specific tasks may include:

  • Organizing hard copies of articles for easy retrieval
  • Updating ProCite records
  • Organizing electronic research library for easy staff access
  • Retrieving articles from library

4. Support the coordination of assessment tools to monitor participant progress and evaluate programs.

Specific tasks may include:

  • Administer assessment tools
  • Record and manage data via Excel or other computer application
  • Investigate reliable and valid assessment instruments

Supervision and hands-on experience within the research unit will be completed with direct supervision and on-the-job training from our research assistant. Practicum Project related duties comprise the majority of the placement hours and there may be opportunities for the student to explore activities based on their interest and skill set. For example, web site skills would be considered an asset and may lead to additional potential projects.

For more information, please contact Acting Executive Director, Karen Slater.