Volunteer with URI

Looking for other ways to support undergraduate research, while developing valuable professional skills? The URI recruits for a number of volunteer opportunities each year. These are not research positions, but rather opportunities to work with URI to help us support students. Volunteering with URI is a great way to learn more about undergraduate research, connect with peers from other disciplines, and have fun while making a difference to the UAlberta community! 

All volunteers are required to have satisfactory academic standing and will be required to complete a volunteer waiver for risk management purposes.  

Current Volunteer Opportunities


Open to: UofA faculty, staff, graduate students, post-doctoral scholars and alumni in any discipline. 

Time Commitment: FURCA takes place March 14-16, 2023 (in-person). Volunteers can self-select their shifts (1.5-2 hours in duration) when they register as a judge. Volunteers must register for a minimum of one shift, but may sign up for as many as they wish. 

Description: FURCA judges attend undergraduate student presentations (e.g. poster presentations, oral presentations, creative activities, etc.) to evaluate and provide constructive feedback to presenters. FURCA is a multi-disciplinary event, and students are evaluated (in part) based on their ability to communicate effectively to audiences outside their discipline. This is a great opportunity to engage with curious, creative U of A students and learn about research across disciplines! 

Deadline for applications: February 1, 2023

Number of vacancies: >50

How to apply:  Visit the University of Alberta Alumni Volunteer Portal to register.  Volunteers will be required to create an account on the Alumni Portal and sign a volunteer waiver.  

Spectrum Peer Reviewer

Open to: Current undergraduate and graduate students from any post-secondary institution who have completed at least one year of study in any discipline.

Time Commitment: 4-5 hours (approximately), 1 to 2 times per year

Experience: Please review Become a Reviewer on the Spectrum site for details on requirements and training provided

Description: Spectrum Peer Reviewers critically review and provide constructive feedback to authors on submissions to URI's undergraduate journal, Spectrum. Reviewer reports provide a basis for editors to determine which submissions are acceptable for publication. Each submission is reviewed by a graduate student in a related discipline, an undergraduate student in a related discipline, and an undergraduate student from outside the discipline, who each provide feedback on the general accessibility of the submission for a multi-disciplinary audience. Most reviewers can expect to review 1 to 2 submissions per year.

Number of vacancies: Varies

Deadline for applications: Applications accepted year-round

Future Volunteer Opportunities

Peer Undergraduate Research Liaisons (PURLs) 

Open to: Current UAlberta undergraduate students, in any year and in any discipline

Time Commitment: 3 hours/week from September to April

Experience: No experience required as training will be provided

Description: PURLs help support URI through involvement in promotion and outreach activities, event logistics and support (e.g. FURCA), and peer-advising related research opportunities. PURLs also help coordinate the URI Mentor Award, Research Crawls, and other projects throughout the year.

Number of vacancies: 6-8

Spectrum Editorial Board

Open to: Current undergraduate and graduate students from any post-secondary institution who have completed at least one year of study in any discipline

Time Commitment: 3-5 hours/week for a 12-month period

Experience: Some prior experience with undergraduate research and/or the publication process is an asset, however training will be provided

Description: Spectrum editors are involved in the day-to-day operations of URI’s undergraduate journal, Spectrum. Together, the editorial board oversees the journal workflow, including promotion, screening of submissions, assignment of editors and reviewers, correspondence with authors, and production of two issues per academic year (Fall & Winter). 

URI Mentor Award Adjudication Committee

Open to: Current U of A undergraduate and graduate students from any discipline.

Time Commitment: ~5-10 hours in Jan-Feb 2023 (including self-paced adjudication between mid-late January, and a group meeting in mid February).

Experience: Prior experience with undergraduate research and/or an understanding of mentorship in the context of undergraduate research is an asset.

Description: URI mentor award adjudicators review nominations for the URI mentor award, score nominations according to a rubric, and then meet with as a committee to select the award recipients.

Number of vacancies: varies