Opening Up New Research Possibilities for Undergrads

December 2014

Undergraduate Research Awards

The 2014 USRA Poster Display and Competition

The 2014 USRA Poster Display and Competition. PHOTO by OWEN EGAN

In order to ensure that all our undergraduates have the opportunity to gain real research experience, the Faculty plans to build capacity to allow more of our undergraduate students to undertake research projects. The program will promote cross-unit research opportunities for undergraduates that will enable them to develop transferable skills for the future.

Research is the cornerstone of any science-based education and each year, a handful of our brightest students have the opportunity to undertake NSERC/CIHR Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) projects with qualifying researchers. However, the number of students seeking these experiences far exceeds the funding opportunities available.

First-place poster winner Ziwei Zheng (Dietetics and Human Nutrtion) explains her research to Principal Suzanne Fortier.

First-place poster winner Ziwei Zheng (Dietetics and Human Nutrtion) explains her research to Principal Suzanne Fortier. PHOTO by OWEN EGAN

Modeled on the NSERC/CIHR program, the Faculty has created its own Undergraduate Research Award (URA) Program that will provide many more students with the opportunity to work side-by-side with some of the top professors in the Faculty, through participation in a supervised research project over a 16-week period during the summer. The program will give undergraduates a unique opportunity to participate in research projects, enriching their education while exposing them to ideas that can spark a lifelong passion or career in science and research. The results of their work will be displayed each fall at an event open to other students, professors, alumni and donors.

URAs are a vital component of undergraduate education and the Faculty would like to further expand access to these opportunities by encouraging donors to promote undergraduate research through named endowments. The awards will be matched by the supervising professor. Several Macdonald alumni and friends have already established Undergraduate Research Awards in their names, helping foster student interest in science and research that will last a lifetime. For more information, please contact the Macdonald University Advancement Office at 514-398-7984.


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