NEWS10 July 2009

Ontario university to open survey research centre

North America

CANADA— The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) is setting up a Centre for Evaluation and Survey Research.

The university, based in Oshawa, Ontario, is establishing the centre to support its research and to make expertise available to businesses and public sector bodies.

Associate professor Hannah Scott, one of the team behind the project, told Research: “There’s a lot of researchers around this campus who do some aspect of this sort of research, and we’re all running around reinventing the wheel.”

The centre will train students in survey research, and will seek grants and provide research services in the local area to support its academic work. It hopes to bring in C$125,000 revenue by its second year. Research results will be made available for academic use, rather than being given to clients privately. “We provide a very open public service, but at considerable discount,” said Scott.

The first big project for the centre will be the Durham Area Survey, a random sample phone survey of 500-750 adults in the area, which has one of the fastest growing regional populations in Canada. The survey will use a cost-sharing model so that graduate students or independent researchers seeking answers to particular questions can have them included in a cost effective way.

The centre also aims to develop capabilities for online, face-to-face and postal research, as well as focus groups and questionnaire design services.