Summer program opens door to research experience for high school students

Faculty encouraged to mentor motivated Grade 11 science students in Heritage Youth Researcher Summer program
Asmaa Affan, MSc student, conducts research in Roman Krawetz’s lab in the Health Research Innovation Centre at Foothills Campus. The Heritage Youth Researcher Summer (HYRS) program provides Grade 11 students an opportunity to participate in a paid research program and to work with biomedical and health research leaders on campus.

Asmaa Affan, MSc student, conducts research in Roman Krawetz’s lab.

Mark Skogen

High school students will get a chance to work with leaders in biomedical and health research on campus this summer.

The university will host up to 22 Grade 11 students for a six-week paid research program, funded by the Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions (AIHS) Heritage Youth Researcher Summer program.

“We are committed to serving our community,” says Ed McCauley, vice-president (research). “We’re excited to have an opportunity to cultivate scientific curiosity in young minds before they come to us as university students.”

Experiential learning opportunities include lab work, lecture and training with researchers

The Heritage Youth Researcher Summer (HYRS) program provides Grade 11 students with broad experiential learning during their time on campus, including hands-on experience in a laboratory, safety training, facility tours, lectures on health research, and discussions with guest speakers about their careers in research.

The University of Calgary will accept applications from Grade 11 students who have at least 85 per cent standing in math and science courses and live in, or south of, Red Deer to north of, but not including, Claresholm. 

The Research Services Office (RSO) at the university will administer the program for the region for the first time in 2016. Previously, AIHS administered the program for the entire province.

First year university's research office will accept applications to competitive program directly 

“The HYRS program is quite competitive,” said John Reynolds, associate vice-president (research). “This is first year we will be accepting applications directly, and we’re eager to hear from bright students who have an interest in pursuing research as part of their career.”

The RSO will act as a liaison between students and mentors, and will handle all aspects of program administration. The RSO’s mandate is to advance the research enterprise on campus, and working with high school students provides a unique opportunity to showcase research excellence at the University of Calgary for prospective students and their teachers.  

Faculty in biomedical and health research programs encouraged to mentor youth 

Faculty members with biomedical and health research programs are encouraged to volunteer to mentor HYRS participants. It is an opportunity to help direct the career paths of young students with a passion for science and inquiry.

The deadline for applications is March 25, 2016. The program runs from July 13 to Aug. 24, 2016, with a stipend of $2,500 for six weeks, funded by AIHS.

Complete information, including guidelines for application, are available on the Research website.

Faculty members interested in the HYRS program should contact Karen Halls at or (403) 210-7107.