Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentships

Experience research outside the classroom

Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentships are available at the University of Calgary. They provide motivated students with exceptional academic records an opportunity to participate in medical or health-related research at the University during the summer months. The award is meant to encourage students to consider pursuing formal training and a career in health research. The award consists of a stipend only.

Application opens Dec 3 2018. 

Student deadline Feb 8, 2019; Supervisor deadline Feb 15, 2019

Value and term

Students will receive a stipend of $1,500 per month for 8, 12, or 16 weeks. The studentship must be held during the period of May to August.

Alberta Innovates does not provide additional funds for health-care benefits. The payment of such benefits is the responsibility of the awardee.

Supervisor

Students must approach and secure approval of a faculty supervisor at the University of Calgary.

A supervisor must be actively engaged in health-oriented research. Students may apply with a supervisor outside of their home faculty (all faculties are eligible).

The supervisor may sponsor no more than two summer students per year for Alberta Innovates, PURE, and O'Brien Centre Summer Student funding, and each student must have a separate project.

Eligibility

Students who meet one of the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • registered in full-time studies in an Alberta-based undergraduate degree program with a minimum 3.2 GPA;
  • registered in a full-time undergraduate degree program outside of Alberta with a minimum 3.2 GPA, and desiring to engage in research during the summer at the University of Calgary;
  • registered full-time in an M.D. program with a minimum 3.2 GPA, and who may also hold an undergraduate or graduate degree;
  • exceptional graduating (i.e., grade 12) high school students with a minimum 85% average and a clear interest in pursuing a health research career; or
  • For applicants currently in the last term of their undergraduate degrees evidence of application for further studies (either to Medical School or to a graduate program that would start in the coming Fall) must be provided upon request.
  • Proposed projects must be in an area of health-related research. 

NOTE: as faculty members are only permitted to support two (2) student applications per year for this competition it is the student’s responsibility to ensure their chosen supervisor has approved their application and is aware of this restriction.

Applicants to the Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship program will use the common application form for undergraduate research awards at the University of Calgary.

The common application form supports applications to the following six (6) programs:

  • Alberta Cancer Foundation Summer Studentships (ACF)
  • Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI)
  • Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentships (AI)
  • Alberta Transplant Institute Summer Studentships (ATI)
  • O’Brien Centre Summer Studentships (OCSS)
  • Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE)

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.

  1. Completing the application:

    All sections must be completed by the student and the supervisor. Before starting the application we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you do the following:

    • Identify a potential supervisor in an area that matches your interest by first reviewing information on the University of Calgary website.
    • Contact the potential supervisor by email or in person to determine if they are prepared to support your application for a summer studentship.
    • You will need to enter the name and email of the supervisor in the online application; once you have submitted your portion of the application; your supervisor will then be contacted with a request to complete their part of the online application for submission. Supervisors cannot complete the supervisor portion of the application until the applicant has submitted the student section.

    Candidates can only submit one application.

  2. Acceptance:

    In the event successful applicants decline the initial offer of award, no further offers will be made for awards within this competition. (Including the Alberta Cancer Foundation, ACHRI, Alberta Innovates, Alberta Transplant Institute, O'Brien Centre Summer Studentship, or PURE awards.) 

Past students and non-UCalgary students are eligible for this award. 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 in the previous tab.**

  1. Apply for a UCID

    • Fill out the UCID request form
    • 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 business day.
  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.  
  3. Grade 12 applicants:

    • Graduating high school students are eligible to apply to the Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentships;
    • Please enter your CUMULATIVE numerical average for all completed high school courses in the GPA field (example: please enter 87 if your cumulative average is 87%)
    • Transcripts of your high school grades are required, please ensure you provide transcripts from each year of your high school studies as a single PDF upload to the application.
  4. International students and students not using a 4.0 GPA scale:

Indigenous students

The Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship has funding specifically for Indigenous students. To be considered for this funding, students must be eligible for the Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentships at the University of Calgary and identify as:

  •  First Nations Status Indian, First Nations Non-Status Indian, Métis, or Inuit.

Students selected for award must be able to provide proof of Indigenous Identity to the University of Calgary Research Services Office to determine their eligibility.

Examples of acceptable documents of proof include: 

  1. First Nations Status Indian

    • Government issued certificate of Indian Status/Status Card
    • Letter from their Band, on letterhead and signed by a Band Administrator, verifying their status
  2. First Nations Non-Status Indian

    • Letter from their Band, on letterhead and signed by a Band Administrator, verifying their status
    • A certified genealogy accompanied by supporting documentation and long-form birth certificate
    • A letter from the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) or its affiliated provincial organizations (as applicable) (ex. Native Council of Nova Scotia, Native Council of PEI, New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council, Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nations Band)
  3. Métis

    • Métis membership card issued by a member province of the Métis National Council of Canada
    • A letter issued by the Métis Nation the applicant is registered with
    • Letter or membership card from the Métis Settlements General Council
  4. Inuit

    • Inuit beneficiary card
    • Letter of support from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) or Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated

Each application is reviewed independently by two faculty members who have a relevant area of expertise and a score is provided based on a rubric. Based on these reviews, all of the Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship proposals are ranked and assessed to determine the award recipients. Decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

Results of the Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship competition will be available approximately 6 to 8 weeks after the close of the competition. Candidates will be informed by email regarding the outcome of their submission, followed by an official letter. Successful applicants will be required to formally indicate their acceptance of the award. Please note that all candidates applying for Alberta Innovates, PURE, and O’Brien Centre Summer Studentship awards apply through a common system and will only receive ONE (1) offer of award if successful.

Value and tenure of award

Studentships will be available for periods of 16 weeks, 12 weeks, or 8 weeks between May and August.

  • 16-week awards are in the amount of $6,000;
  • 12-week awards in the amount of $4,500; and
  •  8-week awards in the amount of $3,000.

Students must make a full-time commitment to their research during the period of the Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship.

No academic course credit will be awarded for work funded by the Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship.

 

Applications and offers of award

Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship proposals must originate with and be drafted chiefly by the student applicant.

Students offered an Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship will be required to accept or decline the offer by a date specified in the emailed notification of the award offer. Students who decline the award may claim credit for the award on their curriculum vitae, noting that the award was declined. In the event successful students decline the initial offer of award, no further offers for ACHRI, ACF, ATI, PURE, OR OCSS will be made for this competition.

Alberta Innovates Summer Research Students may not simultaneously hold any similar award, including but not limited to the Markin Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP) in Health and Wellness, NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards, O'Brien Centre Awards (with the exception of travel awards), or PURE Awards.

The University reserves the right to confirm, through independent means, representations of authorship, credentials or research support.

In the event of material deviations in the submitted information, including citation sources (in the case of authorship), issuing organization(s) (in the case of credentials), or granting agencies (in the case of research support), the University reserves the right to disqualify any applicant from the competition.

 

Conduct of research

Research funded by an Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship must comply with all University of Calgary guidelines concerning the conduct of research (see http://www.ucalgary.ca/policies/).

All research that involves the use of human subjects must be reviewed and certified as acceptable by the appropriate University Research Ethics Board, any research involving animals must be certified by the appropriate Animal Care committee, and any research involving biohazardous materials must be conducted in a site approved by the appropriate Biosafety committee. The responsibility for adherence to these guidelines is jointly shared by the supervisor and recipient.

The research project should not be substantially altered from that proposed in the original application. If significant changes should become necessary, the trainee must obtain prior written approval from the University of Calgary Research Services Office to continue with the award. The supervisor must agree with the proposed changes and the original aims and conditions of the award must be satisfied. The Research Services Office may request written confirmation from the supervisor to confirm his or her agreement with the proposed changes.

 

Communications

All publications, including public messages, arising from research supported by Alberta Innovates grants or awards must acknowledge the support. Please visit the Alberta Innovates Visual Identity Guide for downloadable logos.

Awardees are asked to inform the Research Services Office in advance if their research will be published in a major journal such that it might result in a press release from the university and/or the journal. This information will be provided to Alberta Innovates communications staff.

Alberta Innovates reserves the right to publish and/or disseminate information regarding its grants and awards.

It is the responsibility of each applicant to:

  • inform their supervisor of their intent to list them as supervisor on the application, 
  • obtain their proposed supervisor's approval, and
  • ensure their supervisor submits the supervisor portion of the application by the posted deadline.

Alberta Innovates Summer Research Students are to conduct their research in a safe and ethical manner under the guidance and mentorship of their supervisors. During the period of the award they are to maintain regular working hours, unless otherwise agreed to by their supervisor. In no case should Alberta Innovates Summer Research Students work more than an average of 35 hours per week.

They are expected to follow the procedures and rules of the research environment in which they conduct their research, and interact regularly with their supervisor. They are to provide a report at the end of their award period, and ensure it meets the expectations of the Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship program. If significant changes should become necessary, the trainee must obtain prior written approval from the University of Calgary Research Services Office to continue with the award.

Successful applicants that are in the last term of their program will be required to provide proof of application to further graduate studies or Medical School for the fall term PRIOR to taking up the award.

The supervisor of an Alberta Innovates Summer Research Student is expected to mentor and support the student, providing an opportunity for the student to learn and develop research skills. The supervisor is responsible for ensuring that  the student  conducts their research experience in a safe and ethical environment, following procedures and rules of the University of Calgary, and, if applicable, those of the specific research environment in which the student is engaged.

  1. The supervisor is expected to:

    • meet regularly with the student,
    • provide regular feedback and support to the student and the student's research project
    • complete a final survey that adequately explains the student’s research successes and challenges.

    Faculty members may serve as a supervisor for a maximum of 2 applicants in total, whether for ACHRI, ATI, ACF, Alberta Innovates, PURE and/or OCSS.

  2. Please note:

    If the applicant is granted this award, you will be required to ensure that it is used for the project described in the submitted application and abide by the University of Calgary’s policies governing the pursuit of research, including Academic Integrity. All research that involves the use of human subjects must be reviewed and certified as acceptable by the appropriate University Research Ethics Board.

    All supervisors supporting a student’s application to this competition agree to be entered into the pool of reviewers for this competition and to review summer studentship applications from students (other than their own).

Students and supervisors are required to submit a final report to the University of Calgary Research Services Office upon completion of the award. Failure to provide the final report by the posted deadline may result in disqualification from future Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship competitions. Additional information will be provided to successful applicants.

Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship awards are not renewable, but students are free to re-apply in subsequent years.