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Skill Development

Research allows you to learn and refine hard and soft skills. You can enhance your expertise in critical thinking, problem-solving, data analysis techniques, and experimental design. These skills are valuable for research jobs and transferable to various professional fields. 

Lab Technician Spraying Plants
Laboratory Scientist

 Scientific Progress

Research allows you to directly contribute to expanding the world of science. By conducting original research, you can generate new knowledge, discover insights, and contribute to the existing body of scientific literature. Your dedication and contributions can positively impact society by advancing understanding in your field and potentially influencing future discoveries. 

Competitive Edge

Participating in research can make you a competitive applicant for graduate school. It showcases your commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrates your ability to contribute to the academic community. Research experience enhances your resume and credibility, indicating that you have actively engaged in scholarly pursuits and have the potential to excel in graduate-level studies. 

Happy Scientist

What Can Research Look Like?

WET LAB

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  • Associated with experiments exploring research concepts using liquid material

  • Primarily based on the life-sciences (biology, chemistry, etc).

  • Apply laboratory skills hands on in an experimental setting

  • Tests hypotheses and technologies in controlled environments to prevent patient harm

DRY LAB

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  • Statistical analysis of data collected from: laboratory experimentation, clinical trial, survey methods, etc.

  • Primarily based on mathematical skills and computation 

  • Materials primarily include electronics, with computer-assistance being a central component

How Can I Conduct Research?

To begin, you'll need to contact a Principal Investigator (PI). This professional will supervise your project and provide guidance.

Finding a PI

The University of Calgary offers an extensive overview of research associates and potential Principal Investigators. First, search for the website of the Faculty you are interested in researching in. The below example utilizes the Cumming School of Medicine web page. 

1. From the upper menu, select "Research & Institutes". Select your institute of interest.

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2.  Under the “Researchers” subheading, select “Membership Directory”. The location of the Membership Directory may vary depending on the institute selected. The Libin Cardiovascular Institute is used in this example.

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3. Explore the list of Institute Members conducting research. Their profiles may include:
educational background, research interests, active research projects and contact information.

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What Traits are PI's Looking For?

PI Email Do's & Dont's

First impressions matter. When contacting PI's, make it a priority to curate a professional message that displays an understanding of, and connection to, your potential supervisor's field of study.

Email Template

Good ✓ 

Hello,


I hope this email finds you well. I am an undergraduate student at [University Name] and I am very interested in [the type of research the Professor does]. I came across your work [because of personal experience] OR [I read your paper] on [research topic] and am very interested in the work that you are doing.


I am writing to inquire about the possibility of attending one of your lab meetings and learning more about your research. I believe that my [background/experience/interests] align well with the research being conducted in your lab, and I am eager to contribute in any way I can.


I understand that you have a busy schedule and I am incredibly grateful for your consideration for this opportunity. If you would prefer, I would be more than happy to arrange a meeting in person or via Zoom.


Thank-you for your time and consideration. I look forward to discussing further. 

 

 

Kind regards,

[Your Name]

Email Template

Avoid  ✗ 

Hello,

I am a third year student majoring in chemistry. I am interested in doing a studentship on your project of how organic synthesis can be applied to industrial solutions. I have taken classes where I have had to write a multitude of wet lab reports and thrive in a team. I am drawn to your project as I want to pursue dental school. This project will be a great aid for me as this project will distinguish me from other applicants because of its specialization in chemistry. 

 

 

Kind regards,

[Your Name]

Financial Support

There are countless opportunities to receive compensation over the course of your research internship. Below are a few possible options.

PURE Awards - Application Steps

The Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) 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. - PURE Website

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Find a supervisor

Prepare a research proposal with guidance from your PI. The application portal opens in early December.

Submit your application by early February.

Your supervisor will submit their portion of the application. The portal allows them to submit after your application is sent in.

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Adjucation

Decision email is received 6-8 weeks after application deadline.

Start your project!

Additional Financial Support Opportunities

Summer Research Timeline

If you're interested in conducting Summer research, this timeline will give you an idea of when to take the first step!

Contact multiple PI's via email and await responses.

October - November

December - January

Attend introductory meetings to potentially secure a position.

Work with your PI to submit studentship applications.

Mid January

May - June

Begin your research project!

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