URI Undergraduate Researcher Stipend

The Undergraduate Researcher Stipend enables undergraduate students to carry out mentored, interdisciplinary research projects and creative activities. The URI Stipend allows undergraduate students to enrich their university experience through hands-on discovery and skill development in a research-intensive university.

The URI is committed to supporting opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds. The URI Stipend is open to students in any year of study, and any discipline, including full-time or part-time students, domestic and international students enrolled in a degree program at the U of A. The URI Stipend is not adjudicated on the basis of GPA, and demographic information is not provided to adjudicators.

URI Stipend Funding Streams

The URI Stipend application process is used to allocate funding from a variety of sources. ALL applicants to the URI Stipend are considered for the general pool of Stipends funded by URI.

In addition to the general pool of Stipends open to students in any discipline, several targeted streams of funding are also available. These funding partnerships provide a mechanism for students to be considered for funding from various sources through a single application and adjudication process.

Proposals that do not meet the criteria for targeted funding are welcome and encouraged, and will be considered under the general scope of the URI Stipend. Information about eligibility for targeted funds is not provided to URI Stipend adjudicators, and is not an adjudication criterion for the URI Stipend. Allocation of funds from targeted pools occurs post-adjudication.

To apply for the following targeted streams, applicants will be prompted in their application to provide additional information to help assess their eligibility. Eligibility criteria and application requirements for these awards are set in consultation with the agency providing the funds.

KIAS Ukrainian Studies Stipend

Projects related to Ukrainian studies or the Ukrainian experience in Canada or internationally (funded by the Kule Institute for Advanced Study ).

Scotiabank Stipend for BIPOC students

Projects undertaken by Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) students at the forefront of STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology, or Mathematics) research (funded by Scotiabank).

Social Science & Humanities Stipend

Projects supervised by faculty members who are current Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant holders (funded through the Office of the Vice President, Research & Innovation).

Future Energy Systems Stipend

Projects for eligible students whose supervisors are affiliated with Future Energy Systems (FES) (funded by Future Energy Systems ).

Campus Sustainability Stipend

Projects advancing campus sustainability (funded by the Sustainability Council and Energy and Climate Action through the Campus as a Living Lab program).

All applicants are automatically screened for eligibility for the following targeted streams of funding, based on the demographic information provided elsewhere in the application. No additional information is required to be considered for these awards.

Connie Varnhagen URI Stipend

Projects conducted by first-year students.

Val & Morley Blanch URI Stipend

Projects affiliated with the Faculty of Agricultural, Life, and Environmental Sciences (ALES).

FNMI Student Stipend

Projects conducted by First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) students.

Award details

  • Award Value: The URI Stipend consists of a $7,500 stipend only. The funds will be transferred from the URI to the student, in installments, over the duration of the project. Discontinued projects will receive partial funds pro-rated to the date of discontinuation.
  • Award Term: The URI Stipend may be held for a period of 4-12 months. Projects normally commence May 1, September 1, or January 1. Students are expected to hold the award during the term for which they were approved (e.g. if the application was approved for a May start, it cannot normally be deferred to September or January). If students are no longer able to begin their project in the term they were approved for, they are advised to consult with URI.

Student eligibility

University of Alberta undergraduate students in any year and any discipline may apply for the URI Stipend, provided they meet the following criteria:

  • Students must have a confirmed supervisor prior to applying. Students may apply with only ONE supervisor each application cycle.
  • Students must be currently registered in a full-time or part-time University of Alberta undergraduate degree program at the time of application, and have satisfactory academic standing (see Calendar - Academic Regulations ). GPA is not considered in the application. Students completing their final semester may apply, provided they are not entering a graduate program during the term of their award.
  • Students must be in their first undergraduate degree program in order to be eligible for the URI Stipend. Holders of previous undergraduate or graduate degrees are not eligible to apply.
  • Students must not have held the URI Stipend previously.
  • Students may not apply for the URI Stipend to support a project for which academic credit is concurrently earned (e.g. research-based courses, honours projects).
  • Students may not hold another stipend-type award concurrently (e.g. Alberta Innovates SRS, NSERC USRA, Roger S Smith, or similar award).

Supervisor eligibility

URI Stipend projects may be supervised by:

  • University of Alberta faculty members
  • Faculty lecturers (provided their contracts are valid for the duration of the student’s project)*
  • Postdoctoral fellows*
  • Graduate students*
  • Non-academic staff*

*Please note: If the supervisor is NOT a University of Alberta faculty member, applicants must also have a University of Alberta faculty member to sponsor the application. The faculty sponsor is not normally required to provide direct, day-to-day supervision of the student, but must be willing to serve as a resource for the student and supervisor to ensure that the student’s research adheres to University of Alberta research policies and ethics guidelines. In the event of an unanticipated or prolonged absence of the primary supervisor, the faculty sponsor may be asked to provide alternate supervision of the student.

Supervisors & faculty sponsors may apply with up to TWO URI Stipend applications each award cycle (total). Each student must have a separate project.

Application process

Applications for the 2024 URI Stipend competition have now closed. For a list of recently approved projects, see the URI Funding Competition Results page.

Applications for the 2025 award cycle are expected to open in late Fall 2024. The application deadline is normally in February.

Selection Process

  • URI Stipend applications are adjudicated by a multidisciplinary committee of faculty and students. Each application is normally reviewed by 4 adjudicators (2 faculty, 2 students), from a variety of disciplines. Stipend applications must be written in plain language accessible to a general audience. Please be sure to define technical terms and minimize jargon wherever possible. Please do not copy NSERC, Roger S. Smith, Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentship, or other discipline-specific applications.
  • Adjudicators score each application according to the adjudication rubric. Each adjudicator’s raw scores are standardized prior to ranking.

Adjudication Rubric

  • Adjudication decisions are not appealable. Applicants who are unsuccessful are welcome to reapply in a future application cycle, and are encouraged to contact URI for feedback regarding their application.
  • Historically, the URI Stipend program has received ~150 applications each year and has a success rate of approximately 25% (subject to funding availability)