A young person with long brown hair examines a test tube of something on a beach with other researchers in the background.

Make an impact through research

Awards up to $7,500 available to undergrads from all faculties for summer research projects.

Awards

15 different awards through one central application.

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Funding

Up to $7,500 for summer research projects.

Learn more

Application

Student applications close Feb. 2, 2024 at 11:59 PM MT.

Learn more

FAQs

Have burning questions? We have answers!

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Joelle Hass and friends smiling outside under a tree.

Summer research has given me the amazing opportunity to travel, make lifelong friends, and engage with my passion for discovery, knowledge, and collaboration.

Joelle Hass

Alberta Innovates Award 2023, Faculty of Arts

What are summer studentships?

Undergraduate Research Summer Studentships provides up to $7,500 of financial support to University of Calgary undergraduates to conduct research for 8–, 12– or 16–weeks between May and August. Learn from on-campus experts about how research projects are developed and how your results can contribute to new knowledge and have an impact in the world.

Undergraduate research is a unique opportunity to develop skills and explore your interests and learn how to collaborate, communicate, and think critically and creatively outside the classroom.

Looking for faculty information on supervising summer students?
Learn more >>

Applications are open to students from all faculties and all years of study with specific opportunities for BIPOC students.

Important dates

Applications open

Apply now

Information sessions

Student deadline

February 2, 2024 at 11:59 PM MT

Supervisor deadline

February 9, 2023 at 11:59 PM

Upcoming events



Awards

Undergraduate research summer studentships are funded opportunities to learn about research first hand with a UCalgary supervisor. You can pursue research in an area of interest or expand your knowledge into something new. There are opportunities for undergraduate students in every year of your degree and every faculty — yes, even from your first year!

Students from equity-deserving groups are especially encouraged to apply with funding available specifically to you.

Looking over the shoulder of a student at a laptop screen.

Evaluation

Applications are evaluated based on your project description, originality, creativity and significance, potential benefits, background preparation and the quality of research/experience. Each application can be awarded a maximum of 80 points. 

Carefully review the rubric to understand how your project will be evaluated. 

Eligibility varies based on the award. Please see FAQs for more details.

Award eligibility will be automatically determined at application based on your qualifications. Applicants will be considered for all awards they meet eligibility criteria for, however only ONE (1) offer of award will be made to successful students.

A student making paper in a lab.

Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE)

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Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentships (SRS)

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Undergraduate Student Research Award (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR)

Funding

Summer studentship awards are funded for periods of 8, 12 or 16 weeks between May and August. 16-week awards are in the amount of $7,500, 12-week awards in the amount of $5,625, and 8-week awards in the amount of $3,750. Students holding an award will be paid $1,875 from the Undergraduate Awards Office once a month for the duration of the studentship, in accordance with the award values.

More questions? Jump to FAQ >>

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A closeup of hands rifling through a folder or documents.

Finding a supervisor

Every summer studentship is conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. You are responsible for finding your own supervisor and they may be from your own faculty or a different faculty.

Download Approaching a potential supervisor PDF >>

Download Emailing a potential supervisor PDF >>

Watch Information Session #1 on finding a supervisor >>

Looking for information on supervising a student as UCalgary faculty? Learn more >>

More questions? Jump to FAQ >>

Undergraduate student at a conference with a research poster behind them.

Graeme Bell Travel Award

The Graeme Bell Travel Award (GBTA) provides financial support to summer studentship recipients interested in presenting their research at conferences or symposiums.

Learn more

Summer studentship application process

Identify your area of interest

Summer studentships are an opportunity to follow your interests in any discipline.

Find a research supervisor

All summer studentships require you to find a faculty supervisor to work with.

Prepare your proposal

Take time to carefully review the application format and evaluation rubric.

Submit your application

Work with your supervisor to submit your application by the deadline.

Important Application Information for Non-UCalgary Students

Note for Non-UCalgary students: The Request for UCID webform will close 12PM MST January 31, 2024. Due to high request volume, processing can take 1-2 business days.

Past students and non-UCalgary students are eligible for some awards including the Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship (SRS) and Undergraduate Student Research Award (NSERC USRA, SSHRC USRA, CIHR USRA). However, you must have a current (not expired) UCID and an IT Account to sign in to the online application system.

If you are not currently registered for classes at the University of Calgary, even if you have a UCID, you must first follow the 'Apply for a UCID' process to allow us to give you an IT Account.

This is a two-step process, and each step will take approximately a business day to complete.

If you have a current UCID and IT Account, please skip these steps and proceed directly to the application form.


1. Apply for a UCID

  • Click the "Apply for a UCID" link below.
  • When you click the “Submit” button, your request will be sent to the Unicard Office for processing. A copy of your request will also be sent to you.
  • You will receive an email from the Unicard Office when your request has been processed and a UCID has been assigned. Generally, your request will be processed within one to two business days.

Apply for a UCID

2. Apply for a UCalgary IT Account

  • Your UCID is required before proceeding with this step. 
  • Go to the IT Account Registration site and complete the multi-step process. Read the step-by-step instructions here
  • You will receive an email once your request has been processed and your IT Account set up. Generally, your request and your access to the AIHS Award Application site will be processed within one business day.
  • Use your IT Account username and password to access the online application system.  

FAQs

General

Undergraduate research summer studentships are 8–, 12–, and 16–week funded summer research projects conducted under the supervision of a faculty member.

Anything that interests you! Some awards focus on specific types and areas of research but there are awards that are open to any topic and area of interest in any discipline or faculty. The type of research project you undertake can be something related to your studies or a way to explore something new. It can be more creative or more methodical but all types of research have opportunities for summer research funding.

Your summer studentship must take place between May and August.

To make the most out of the summer studentship research experience, it is strongly recommended that students take no more than one course throughout their research term. Students are expected to make a full-time commitment to their research (up to 35 hours per week) and are encouraged to discuss workload and expectations with their supervisor if they wish to take a course or work during their research term.

Please refer to the specific Terms and Conditions of the award you have received and/or speak with your supervisor regarding expectations and time commitment for the research project you are working on.

Yes, as long as your supervisor is a faculty member at the University of Calgary and willing to support your project.

No. Award holders may not simultaneously hold any similar award. Students may apply for other similar research awards, but can only accept one award.

Also, you cannot hold more than one funding source for a single project, including additional government grants. 

You may choose to approach faculty members engaged in ongoing research projects of interest. You must prepare research proposals outlining your specific roles, responsibilities and expected learning objectives.

The modality (online or in-person) and type of research is dependent on individual supervisor expectations, facilities and research projects.

There are still many options available if you don’t receive summer studentship funding. Students in the past have turned their projects into an Independent Studies Course and some supervisors may have research funds they can provide as stipends. This is a good discussion for you to have with your supervisor when you apply so you know your options.

Absolutely! As long as you bring the necessary skills and are able to fulfill expectations of what the research requires with your supervisor.

Eligibility

Any UCalgary undergraduate student may apply for a summer studentship, regardless of degree program or year of study. We encourage you to apply early in your program — even first year!

Specific requirements vary between awards. Award eligibility will be automatically determined at application based on your qualifications.

Eligibility varies by award. All awards require a student to be in good academic standing and free from academic probation.

Please see the specific award guidelines or talk to your supervisor for more information.

 

Eligibility varies by award but there are awards available for students in all years of their degree program.

Graduating students may be eligible for certain awards.

Students from other universities may be eligible for certain awards like the Alberta Innovate Summer Research Studentship (SRS) and the Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA).

External students are evaluated equally on the common application system but eligibility for certain awards, such as PURE, require you to be a UCalgary student. Internal and external students are evaluated equally for SRS and USRA.

Yes! You can absolutely apply again. You have the same chance of receiving a summer studentship each year, regardless if you have received an award in the past.

Finding a supervisor

You will need a supervisor who is willing to provide supervision to you over the course of your summer studentship. An eligible supervisor must be a full-time UCalgary academic staff member.  

Eligible:

  • Full-time UCalgary Academic Staff (Faculty and Researcher)
  • Assistant, Associate, and Full Professors
  • Instructors, Senior Instructors, and Teaching Professors
  • Clinical Faculty Appointment
  • Professors Emeritus with an active UCID

Co-Supervisor Eligible:
UCalgary academic staff who are not full-time can co-supervise but will require an eligible full-time academic staff member to be listed as the primary reference for the application:

  • Sessional or Affiliated Instructors
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Holders
  • Guest Postdoctoral Scholars
  • Adjunct Professors and Instructors
  • Postdoctoral Associates

Non-Eligible:

  • Non-UCalgary Researchers

If you are unsure if your supervisor is eligible, you can email summerstudent@ucalgary.ca for help.

A supervisor must oversee only three (3) students in the application system.

If the supervisor is willing to supervise the student and make appropriate arrangements for ongoing supervision and communication, location is not an issue. However, students should be informed if a prolonged absence is planned.

For potential supervisors who are your instructor, start by having conversations with them before and after class. You can start building a relationship by introducing yourself, asking questions about the course, and visiting their office hours.

When sending an initial email to a potential supervisor, attach a resume and a transcript. It's not all about GPA — showcasing the skills you bring to a project is very helpful to a potential supervisor.

More tips can be found here.

Congratulations! You will need to decide which project you wish to pursue after exploring all your options. It is important to professionally communicate with the other supervisors that you decide to pursue a different project. This will help you to keep these relationships in good standing.

Ethics

All research involving human participants, animal use and the handling and storage of bio-hazard materials must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate University Board or Committee before research commences.

The Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board (CHREB) reviews and approves research with human participants for researchers in medical faculties (Cumming School of Medicine, Nursing and Kinesiology) and for research with subjects recruited wholly or substantially through Alberta Health Services.

The Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board (CFREB) reviews and approves research with human participants for researchers in all other (non-medicine) faculties.

Applications judged to be of minimal risk or no risk take at least six weeks for ethics approval, so please take this into account when submitting.

If an undergraduate student with a summer studentship award is conducting research under the supervision of a faculty member and the research is directly related to the faculty member’s research program, then the faculty member should either:

  • Submit a new application to the CFREB for ethics review and identify the student’s role in the application; or 
  • Submit a modification to an existing CFREB-approved application to add the student to the research team. A student can submit a modification to an existing supervisor application if the two projects are pursuing the same research objectives.

If you have any questions about what type of application to submit, please contact the CFREB (cfreb@ucalgary.ca) or CHREB (chreb@ucalgary.ca).

Graduate and undergraduate students must complete the Tri-Councils' Course on Research Ethics (CORE) tutorial in order to be co-applicants on ethics applications. Students must upload their CORE certifications into the IRISS application before the CFREB can approve.

Please refer to the Compliance and Ethics website or contact the Manager, Research Ethics & Compliance at 403.220.7938 for assistance.

Application

Once you have a supervisor, you will apply through AwardSpring, our central application system for all 15 awards.

You will need to provide specific information explaining your project in your application form. Please use accessible language so that even readers without your disciplinary background can understand your proposed project. 

The application form includes:

  • Title of proposed research project
  • Overview/abstract of the proposed research project (including objectives). Please use accessible language (300 words)
  • Highlight the originality and creative aspects of your research project (300 words)
  • Briefly explain the potential benefit this project will provide to you (300 words)
  • Tell us about any relevant professional, volunteer or academic experience that prepared you for succeeding with the proposed project (300 words)

Supervisor evaluation form

  • Supervisor’s Faculty and Department
  • Supervisor’s Letter of Support: Brief evaluation of the applicant's proposal including the likelihood of meeting the project's objectives (200 words)
  • Mentorship and Research environment in which the student will be working and include mentoring opportunities (200 words)

Applications can only be submitted online through the summer studentship application portal.

You can only submit one application per year for all 15 awards in Award Spring (the central application system). Applicants will be considered for all awards they meet eligibility criteria for, however only ONE (1) offer of award will be made to successful students.

You will be able to edit and modify your application up until the application deadline even if you have already submitted your application. After the application deadline, you will no longer be able to make any changes.

Once your application is complete and submitted, you will see on the award portal dashboard that your application is complete. You will also receive notification that your supervisor has submitted their review.

As part of the application process, you will invite your supervisor to review and comment on your proposal. Once you have sent this request, your supervisor will be able to complete their portion of the application.

You can articulate your experience using transferable research skills from your academic courses within your degree program, previous education, or extra-curricular activities that could support your research project and research skills. You may wish to book an appointment with the Centre for Career and Personal Development if you are finding yourself stuck in this stage.

Evaluation

Your application evaluated based on your project description, originality, creativity and significance, potential benefits, background preparation and the quality of research/experience. Each application can be awarded a maximum of 30 points. 

Carefully review the rubric to understand how your project will be evaluated. 

The primary adjudication of PURE proposals is done by faculty-based committees. Each PURE application is reviewed independently by two faculty members who have a relevant area of expertise. Based on these reviews, all of the PURE proposals are ranked and submitted to a committee that uses the Faculty-based assessments in determining the PURE recipients. Decisions of the committee are final and cannot be appealed.

Results of the summer studentship awards competition will be available approximately 6 to 8 weeks after the last application deadline. Candidates will be informed by email regarding the outcome of their submission. Successful applicants will be required to formally indicate their acceptance of the award.

Reporting

Each award has different reporting requirements. Specific information on reporting will be shared with you once you have started your summer studentship.

Still have questions? Email us!

summerstudent@ucalgary.ca