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Equipment and facility use protocols

The Digital Research Centre for Qualitative Fieldwork (DRCQF) was initiated in January 2002 to provide equipment, software, training and support to meet the digital technology needs of field researchers in the Faculty of Arts.

DRCQF is funded primarily by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Matching funding was obtained from Aliant Telecom Inc., Memorial University, and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). The Centre is responsible for providing CFI with regular financial and progress reports.

Nine "core research projects" were identified in the initial funding application and project justification. Twenty researchers within the faculty were identified as "other users.

Discussions within the DRCQF Advisory Committee have resulted in the adoption of Terms of Reference (16 Oct. 2001).

These terms give first priority in access to the facilities of the DRCFQ to the nine core research projects listed in the original application since these projects will serve as benchmarks, which will be used by the CFI to evaluate the progress of the Centre.

This point notwithstanding, the Advisory Committee recognizes that other research projects will require concurrent access to the Centre's resources. In order to accommodate these projects, the Advisory Committee has adopted the following guidelines:

  • First priority remains with the nine core projects, subject to the availability of equipment. Scheduling will be organized by the DRCQF coordinator in consultation with the active users of the facility.
  • Newly approved faculty projects will be accommodated in a timely fashion, subject to the availability of equipment. Priority decisions will seek to be sensitive to the time constraints of each project. Projects that need to be completed quickly will be given priority over those that have more flexible schedules.
  • Graduate students who are conducting field research for thesis would have priority over undergraduate researchers.
  • Graduate and undergraduate students conducting "practice" field research will be accommodated on a first-come first-served basis subject to the availability of resources.
  • In-house training initiatives will be conducted from time to time. Equipment and facilities will be set aside by the DRCFQ coordinator in consultation with the users of the facility.
  • Final determination of what constitutes an eligible project rests with an executive committee appointed by the Advisory Committee as a whole. The criteria for eligibility would include the following:
    • Research projects that are carried out by faculty, graduate students, undergradute students or staff in the Faculty of Arts.
    • Projects that employ qualitative fieldwork methods.
    • Projects that demonstrate the need for digital research equipment.
    • Projects that can be reasonably accommodated by the resources that the centre has available at that time.