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

You will conduct secondary, data-driven research on development initiatives that have done well at reaching marginalized, underserved communities, before spending time in the field, conducting in-depth interviews with stakeholders. After your field research trip, you are going to generate a case study, shining a light on the tools for success behind humanitarian and social services around the globe.

How are case studies pitched and chosen?

Each Reach Project researcher comes up with an idea for a potential case study that illustrates reach. Throughout various pitching sessions, you will pitch your case study to the rest of the team and together we will ask questions and discuss the merits of each case.

At our Reach Project retreat in September, the top four case studies are selected by vote. Once case studies are selected, you may be assigned to any of the case study teams. Teams are not assembled based on discipline and you will work with graduate and/or undergraduate researchers with a variety of academic backgrounds. Each team of students will be assigned a lead, who is either a faculty member or staff researcher at U of T.

What country will I go to for my fieldwork?

Where your fieldwork takes place is going to depend on which case study team you are placed on. So far, Reach Project researchers have travelled to Brazil, Thailand, Rwanda, India, Jordan and South Africa.

Do I have to pay for costs associated to my fieldwork?

No. The Reach Project 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.

*Students are expected to have health insurance and travel insurance. The Reach Project will cover the difference between the actual vaccination cost and the amount covered by your health insurance.

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

This is an unpaid research position. Please also note, that we can't provide academic credit for work as a Reach Project student researcher.

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. These meetings typically take place during business hours, but meetings can also take place in the morning, evening, and occasionally on weekends. The workload will increase as we approach fieldwork and have to coordinate with participants, develop a schedule, develop and refine our interview instruments, and sort out logistics. 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.

Fieldwork takes place during April, May, June or July 2019, so you have to be willing to travel for one to two weeks during those months.

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 Project case studies are not intended for publication in academic journals. Your team will prepare written reports that are made available online for free. Reach Project students can collaborate on developing a manuscript for a journal after their case study report is completed. However, the development of a manuscript for an academic journal is not a component of the Reach Project program.

Who started the Reach Project?


The Reach Project was founded by Joseph Wong, the Munk School Ralph and Roz Halbert Professor of Innovation and associate vice-president and vice-provost, international student experience.

Learn more about the Reach Project here, and watch Joe’s TEDx Talk on How to get ‘stuff’ to people”.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Or maybe you would like to talk to one of our alums to learn more about their experience with the Reach Project. Please send an email to reachproject.munkschool@utoronto.ca.