PhD Apprenticeships

Department of Psychology

PhD Apprenticeships

Our program provides our doctoral students with unique opportunities to individualize their graduate education through independent study projects/papers, and through apprenticeships in teaching, research and/or community settings. The acquisition of applied and job-related skills is facilitated through the completion of one of three apprenticeship credits:

Teaching: Students have the opportunity to work with professors, learning all aspects of being an instructor, such as lecture preparation, training teaching assistants, the plagiarism-detection process, etc.

Research: University programmes differ very much in whether or not they allow (or encourage) students to work with multiple faculty members. Some strongly discourage it, others are neutral on the topic. At Brock, we actively encourage and support such activities, recognizing the benefits for student development and CV advancement, and even allow students to earn credits for doing so. Students collaborate with a faculty member in a related field other than their supervisor. This unique approach to mentorship allows students to learn new techniques, network with a variety of researchers, and possibly publish.

Community: Very unique to Brock, students have the opportunity to work in a community setting (e.g. educational, hospital, police force, etc.) and they are supervised by someone in the community.

The purpose of the apprenticeship is to allow students to develop the skills necessary for their future endeavours while receiving constructive feedback from their supervisor.

Students are required to complete one of these apprenticeship options (e.g., teaching), but are also able to complete additional apprenticeships (e.g., research) as program electives. Our goal is to afford students as many opportunities to enhance their skills while offering course credit for doing so.


Kirk Stokes, PhD candidate (Teaching)
"As one of my graduate electives, I completed the teaching apprenticeship. I selected my mentor based on his record of consistently looking for ways to improve the quality of his courses and enhancing the outcomes for students. The feedback I gained from my mentor has proved invaluable. He really took the time to provide meaningful constructive feedback; by the end of the apprenticeship, I felt confident enough to run a full course. That being said, the teaching apprenticeship really opens your eyes to the challenges of teaching at the university level. If you’re thinking of an academic/teaching career, I highly recommend the teaching apprenticeship as a way to test yourself."

Becky Choma, PhD Brock University (Research)
SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Wilfrid Laurier University
Assistant Professor at Plymouth University (UK)
Assistant Professor at Ryerson University (Toronto)
"The Research Apprenticeship I completed at Brock as part of my PhD can only be described as invaluable. It afforded me a unique opportunity to deepen my understanding of areas outside of my dissertation, thus expanding my research expertise, acquire additional research skills, and as an added bonus, I published my apprenticeship research in a first-author paper."

Amanda Stoner, PhD candidate (Community)
"The community apprenticeship is a wonderful opportunity to meet other professionals in psychology and to gain valuable experience doing applied work. In my case, my on-site supervisor was friendly and helpful, patient as she taught me what I needed to know to do the job well, and she even offered me a position at her private practice which was great! If you desire a job outside of academia when you complete your degree, I strongly recommend that you arrange a community apprenticeship position in a setting where you would like to work."