Are you a city or municipality, community organization or NGO seeking solutions to a problem that requires multidisciplinary insights and technical skills? Working with an MUCP team might be the design solution for you.
There are ways that your organization could benefit from participation in the MUCP:
- Introduce innovative concepts and improvements to your organization;
- Obtain solutions to key issues;
- Address problems requiring an infusion of talented resources from multiple disciplines;
- Leverage technical and theoretical multidiscipline knowledge;
- Identify potential employees for your organization;
- Gain access to the expertise of U of T faculty and student;
- Build long-term relationships with departments at U of T
How it works
The unique nature of the capstone program is that it employs a multidisciplinary and mixed methods problem-solving approach, and taps into students’ leading-edge training and skills.
Each client will work with a team of 3-5 students, who are each expected to dedicate approximately 10 hours per week, for 26 weeks, to the capstone class.
The client is expected to dedicate approximately 1-2 hours per week from September to March to supporting the team and the project. This support includes timely access to any data essential for completing the project, but the specific details and scope of the project are discussed in an initial meeting in September with the student team, faculty supervisor, and appropriate subject matter experts.
How to participate
You will be asked to submit a Statement of Need (SON) via an online submission form. The SON asks you to define the general nature of the problem to be solved. The problem or question should be specific enough that a solution or answer will be recognizable. Tackling the problem or question should also require a multidisciplinary approach and a degree of sophistication.
An organization may submit multiple SONs.
Organizations can request that a non-disclosure agreement be signed by the students and supervisor.
Applications to the MUCP are currently closed. For general enquiries, please contact email@example.com.
The selection committee will consider the following factors when reviewing client applications:
1. High value of the project to the partner organization
The project should have the potential for real, positive impact on the organization or its clients. Multidisciplinary projects will address an urban-related issue or challenge that the organization needs resolved but may not have the resources or knowledge to complete on their own.
2. Appropriate level of risk to the partner organization
The project should not unduly expose the organization or its community partner to downside risks should there be any delays or failure to deliver on the part of the students.
3. High relevance of the project to the students
In order to provide each student with the opportunity to apply their disciplinary skills and knowledge, MUCP seeks projects that span at least three disciplines.
Frequently asked questions
The course runs from September to April
The MUCP is not an internship or a co-op program. It is an independent research course. Student capacity will be limited to the time frame and should not be expected to go above the course limit of 10 hour per week.
The client is expected to dedicate approximately 1-2 hours per week from September to March to supporting the team and the project. This includes answering questions posed by the team, and reviewing and critiquing the project on an ongoing basis. The team will need timely access to any data essential for completing the project. The specific details and scope of the project are discussed in an initial meeting in September with the student team, faculty supervisor, and appropriate subject matter experts. The students will present their research project to the leaders and community partners at a symposium in early April.
Of course. While the team is not required to continue work after the course ends, they may wish to continue on a volunteer basis. This possibility should be discussed with the team members directly as the course progresses.
The Statement of Need (SON) provides students and faculty with an overview of your organization’s need and describes a problem that the team is to solve. The problem should be solvable using a multidisciplinary approach. This should be clearly articulated in the Project Description component of the SON. The SON should not be so prescriptive as to define a solution for the students.
The Scope of the Problem should also be clearly identified. For example: Is there a geographic area? Are there specific components the students should consider? Which data set to use? What Subject Matter Experts are there to interview?
Sample SON format: The problem of climate change. This sections should expand, define, and articulate the constraints of providing affordable housing, and the broader specifications of need.
Most importantly, we hope the SON can provide the students with a rich, educational challenge, and will be of value to both the students and your organization.
- Your organization’s need: Provide context for Organization X.
- Project description: Organization X has resources A and B, but needs C to provide for climate change. However, Organization X does not have resources to achieve C.
- Project requirements: Can you create a solution/answer to Organization X’s problem? The solution may be: How can you achieve C? Can we circumvent C? Is there an alternative to C?
The course assignments are designed to build towards achieving the course deliverables. The final deliverable will be a report that summarizes the research and investigation resulting from the multidisciplinary and mixed methods problem-solving approach. The following are the student deliverables:
- Project Requirements: defines the background of the problem, frames the problem, and outlines the scope. The Project Requirement should clearly state what the students expect from the Community Parter, and the Community Partner’s expectations for the students.
- Review and Critique: The team will present and defend their problem-solving proposal. This is an opportunity to receive feedback and critique from the community partners and supervisor(s), as well as additional direction.
- Showcase: Students will clearly present the problem and a robust solution to the community partners, supervisors and other students followed by a question and answer period.
- Final Report and Deliverable: The Final Report contains the complete problem-solving process from the definition of the problem to the implementation of the solution and the results of testing. It contains a discussion of the required future work in enough detail that the community partner can implement the solution.