Although the Research Report is usually taken in the summer term, it is possible to take this course in any term with permission from the Program Director. The research report is an integral part of the MPA course of study and the final program requirement. Its main objective should be to apply what has been learned in MPA courses to an analysis of: 1) some aspect of the political and administrative process within a given local government; or 2) possible responses to a particular policy problem at the local level. The report should be about 40 to 50 double-spaced typewritten pages in length, comprising about 8,000-10,000 words. Each student submits a research proposal and is assigned a research supervisor during the course on research methods. Together, the supervisor and student work out an outline and research strategy. Students will normally present their research proposals and their preliminary findings to the seminar class "Issues in Local Government" in the final summer term of their program. Reports can be revised for final submission following presentation to the seminar. Please see the research report guidelines for details.
MPA Research Report projects that involve opinion interviews or survey work generally require review by Western's Research Ethics Board. Ethics applications are managed and your reviewed through Western’s Research Ethics Manager (WREM) platform. The documents and websites listed below will assist you and your supervisor in determining whether your project will require ethics review, and if so, how you can go about this process.
Below are two completed and approved ethics submissions forms from MPA Research Report projects submitted through the old ROMEO platform, which was discontinued in September 2017. Since you will be using the WREM system, your application will look different, but you will be asked similar questions and will need to provide similar documentation. Our thanks to Dimitra Kasimos and David Taylor for allowing us to post these. Dimitra’s project involved a survey, whereas David used interviews. NOTE that changes made by both students from the initial to the final version of their ethics submissions have been left visible for your reference. You can review these documents for ideas about wording and content, but you will need to tailor your application to your specific project.