FAQs

Questions

How might COVID-19 affect my participation in the 2021-2022 Reach Cohort?

The Reach Alliance observes and follows all local public health guidelines and complies with guidance from the University of Toronto. Reach researchers spend the first eight months working locally (i.e. no international travel), as they undergo the pitching sessions and conduct desk research required for the case studies. The Reach Alliance will arrange for these meetings to happen virtually until further notice.

Until further notice all Reach Alliance meetings, such as researcher interviews, will be conducted virtually over Zoom or via phone. Travel will be restricted until the University of Toronto permits international activities for students (see Study Abroad site for notices).

Who can apply to be a Reach Researcher?

Current undergraduate and graduate students from across U of T (must be enrolled during the 2021-22 academic year to be eligible) can apply. Past Reach researchers have been recruited from a variety of academic backgrounds, such as: engineering, business, law, global affairs & public policy, public health, medicine, humanities and more.

All researchers are recruited in accordance with Reach’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Charter

As a Reach researcher, what am I expected to do?

You will work with a team to conduct secondary, data-driven research on development initiatives that have done well at reaching marginalized, underserved communities. If travel is permitted, researchers then spend 1-2 weeks in the field, conducting in-depth interviews with stakeholders. Once primary research is completed, teams write a case report, highlighting actionable insights uncovered during the research process.

What country will I go to for my fieldwork?

Reach research teams will conduct primary research remotely until further notice. Please note, the Reach Alliance follows all local public health guidelines and complies with guidance from the University of Toronto. In the event that teams do travel, it depends on which case study team you are placed on.

Do I have to pay for costs associated with travel and fieldwork?

Reach research teams will conduct primary research remotely until further notice. Please note, the Reach Alliance follows all local public health guidelines and complies with guidance from the University of Toronto. In the event that teams do travel, The Reach Alliance pays for your travel costs, including flights, accommodation, vaccinations* and visas. We also provide a per diem to cover expenses that occur on the ground.

Will I be paid for my work with the Reach Alliance and/or receive academic credit?

This is an unpaid research position. The option to get course credit may be available and is dependent on student’s academic unit. Reach researchers will be responsible for liaising with Reach Alliance staff and their home department to explore this opportunity.

How much time do I have to commit?

During the academic year, you will meet with your case study team on a bi-weekly basis at minimum. These meetings typically take place during business hours or in the evenings, but meetings can also take place in the morning and occasionally on weekends. You will also be expected to attend bi-weekly professional development workshops that are hosted during the workday, in the evenings, and occasionally on weekends. In addition, students are also expected to attend regular performance coaching sessions with their team performance coach. The workload will increase as the primary research period begins in the winter term. This busy time period will overlap with your final exams and assignments in the winter term, so researchers will need to possess excellent time management skills.

After primary data collection is complete, student researchers work with their team to write the case study report. The case study report will be written in the Spring and Summer of 2022. The report will be finalized in fall 2022.

If permitted, fieldwork is expected to take place during April or May 2022, so researchers have to be willing to travel during those months. Fieldwork typically lasts 1-2 weeks.

I will be on exchange for a semester. Am I still eligible to apply?

Due to the demanding workload, and the requirement for ongoing communication among teammates, we unfortunately can’t accept researchers who will be on exchange.

Will my research be published in an academic journal?

Reach Alliance case studies are not intended for publication in academic journals. Your team will prepare a written report that is made available online for free. After their case study report is completed, Reach researchers may choose to collaborate and produce additional deliverables, including manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals or op-ed articles.

Do you have other questions?

Please contact us at reachalliance.munk@utoronto.ca.