Student and Post-Graduate Opportunities



Student and Post-Graduate Opportunities

The Centre on Foriegn Policy and Federalism (CFPF) is a student-centric research community. We believe that learning is enhanced through research opportunities and “real world” experience, and our networks of support and mentorship are designed help educate, inspire, and support people who lead change.


Our activities offer opportunities for students to grow intellectually and professionally, building communication skills, initiative, confidence, awareness, and leadership skills that are transferrable to private, public, and not-for-profit sector employment. By creating opportunities for students and recent graduates to participate in innovative scholarly research that is socially- and policy-relevant and to engage in academic and public outreach activities, our activities are designed to help form leaders who are well equipped to make constructive contributions to a fast-evolving world.


First and foremost, we are committed to perpetuating a welcoming, supportive, engaging, and encouraging environment, rooted in the spirit of collaboration and collegiality. Over the years, the CFPF’s employment opportunities for students at the University of Waterloo and St. Jerome’s University have taken various forms.


Undergraduate Students


CFPF is dedicated to creating co-curricular opportunities. Students who are involved in CFPF activities will have opportunities to participate in the development of new knowledge and ideas, build relationships, work effectively in teams, as well as develop leadership and ethical decision-making skills. Contributing to the CFPF, including the opportunity to engage in peer-reviewed research, will also enhance a student’s résumé/curriculum vitae


We actively promote undergraduate and graduate student participation in volunteer opportunities at the Centre, which allow students to contribute to exciting research programs, benefit from our broad networks, and build their resumes. For example, volunteering at the CFPF offers opportunities for students to acquire administrative, editorial, organizational, data management, and advanced research skills through personal interaction with established and emerging scholars engaged in innovative scholarly activities.


We also hire undergraduate co-op students and interns. We strive to make CFPF a destination of choice for research-focused co-op work terms, providing high quality work experiences for dynamic undergraduate students who will have a chance to work in a dynamic, collaborative research environment.


We are also pursuing opportunities to foster student exchanges or volunteer experiences in other parts of Canada and in international settings. This flows from our commitment to help prepare students to be global citizens, encouraging them to develop a broad awareness of policy and practice, to develop cultural literacy, and to embrace the complexity of issues when devising or proposing solutions. By encouraging research and learning opportunities in Canada and in international settings, such as field programs in Northern Canada, we demonstrate our commitment to educating the “whole person” and to exploring opportunities to serve under-represented and marginalized communities.


In short, we take seriously the University of Waterloo’s commitment to “produce graduates who are uniquely employable – ready not just to fill jobs, but to lead.”


Graduate Students


To facilitate their intellectual growth and professional training, graduate students associated with the CFPF will be exposed to advanced research techniques, methods and theories (from various disciplines) in a mutually-supportive, team setting.We see CFPF activities as a way to support graduate students in their completion of degree requirements through the acquisition of research training and skills. Rather than seeking Research Assistants as merely paid employees, our fellows see CFPF as a hub for collaboration, with faculty members and postdoctoral fellows serving as academic mentors and supervisors to students. 


Working on CFPF projects will prepare graduate student volunteers and research assistants for the sophisticated research required for their theses or major research papers, as well as for their subsequent careers in academia, consulting, or the public service. Graduate student responsibilities and training opportunities have included:


  • assisting the research team in setting research agendas and timelines
  • preparing bibliographies and/or preliminary reviews of relevant international relations, political science, history, and geography literatures
  • identifying relevant archival holdings in North America, and conducting archival research at the Library and Archives Canada, National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, the National Archives of the United Kingdom, and the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington
  • submitting Access to Information (ATIP) requests to relevant government departments
  • gathering relevant data from published primary sources, such as newspapers, parliamentary/congressional debates, committee meetings, and government policy documents
  • managing data to ensure its availability to all of the research team, thus enhancing the students’ digital literacy and teamwork skills
  • mentoring on how to prepare and presenting or co-presenting research findings at an academic conference or workshop
  • mentoring on how to present/co-present or author/co-author portions of their research at conferences or in academic articles or book chapters


Accordingly, graduate students associated with the CFPF will have opportunities to develop robust research and communication skills essential for academic and non-academic careers, including applied knowledge of advanced methodological and theoretical tools and interdisciplinary approaches, experience in supporting and/or directly contributing to the publication and dissemination of research, digital literacy, data management and analysis, project management, and workshop and conference presentations. All of these activities will take within a supportive team environment.


Opportunities to engage in leading-edge, peer-reviewed research can greatly enhance a graduate student’s résumé/curriculum vitae, which has myriad benefits.  Furthermore, working with established scholars in a highly personalized research environment can facilitate relationships that lead to paid Research Assistantships, opportunities to participate in CFPF outreach activities and conferences, and meet with leading scholars and practitioners from Canada and around the world.  Graduate students have been invited to co-present and co-author peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and even books with CFPF fellows over the previous decade. 


Post-Doctoral Fellows


CFPF is dedicated to creating speaking and publishing opportunities for promising emerging scholars, including recent graduates. We welcome the involvement of post-doctoral fellows who are eager to seek out mentoring and collaborative opportunities with our faculty fellows and to advance the Centre’s innovative research program. Although we are not in a financial position to fund postdoctoral researchers, we are keen to explore opportunities to leverage external postdoctoral funding (such as SSHRC fellowships) by supporting research trips, helping to organize conference and workshops, and providing access to CFPF networks, volunteers, research assistants, and co-op students to directly support postdoctoral research plans.


To contribute to our student-centric research environment and to develop supervisory and leadership skills, postdoctoral fellows associated with the CFPF are encouraged to mentor research assistants (RAs) or volunteers.


High School Students


At CFPF, we are eager to partner with high school teachers and students to foster student engagement. Several provinces, including Ontario, Newfoundland, and the Northwest Territories require their high school students to volunteer for community service. Other provinces allow paid or unpaid community involvement. Such programs are designed to create greater youth civic engagement, and CFPF is committed to offering interesting activities where high school students can learn about past and present Canadian debates, become involved in their communities, as well as develop important computer, time-management, and interpersonal skills.


High school guidance councillors, teachers, students, and parents are encouraged to contact Daniel Heidt (, the CFPF research and administration manager, for more information on how you or your students can get involved in our activities and, where appropriate, receive credit for volunteer community-service hours.  


Recent Post-Graduates and Alumni


We are also committed to providing opportunities for recent university graduates and alumni to stay connected through volunteer and mentorship activities, participation in public lectures and other events, and other forms of social and intellectual interaction. Please stay connected through social media for updates on upcoming events of interest to you.