Dean's Research Awards

Now accepting applications for 2021/2022

We are currently accepting applications for the 2021/2022 Dean’s Research Award (DRA) Program.

Please see the details below outlining the application process and deadlines.

For 2021/2022, we will be offering a “hybrid” DRA program. Students will be able to complete their projects on-campus (following all COVID19 UAlberta and FoE protocols) OR remotely. This decision will be left up to the supervisor and the student.

Projects completed remotely should focus on experimental design and methodology, data analysis and interpretation using real data from your lab if able, and modelling and simulation. Literature reviews are generally discouraged unless you are answering a specific question or addressing a defined challenge and includes an appropriate level of analysis.

Students will still be required to present their work at the end of the term; details regarding the presentation format will be communicated as they are confirmed.

About the DRA

The Faculty of Engineering is recognized as one of North America’s top engineering research institutions and has a proud history of research excellence. The DRA program provides engineering undergraduate students the opportunity for undergraduate students to engage with this research community and gain valuable research experience while complimenting lessons learned in the classroom. Over the course of the project, students will work directly with an engineering faculty member to address real-world research and design challenges. A modest award is given to each student in recognition of their contribution upon successful completion of the program.

Program Eligibility and Requirements

  • The DRA program is available to all full-time engineering students, beginning in their second year of studies, who have a previous-year minimum GPA of 3.2. (Note: GPAs are calculated using the previous two full terms of graded coursework and are weighted based on credit).
  • Students are responsible for finding an Engineering faculty member willing to supervise them. Professor web sites are good starting points for project ideas as well as the DRA project database where professors can post prospective DRA projects. See available DRA Projects
  • The program requires that students dedicate the equivalent of one-half day per week to a research project over the course of the term (~13 weeks). The time over which the student may elect to work on a project is flexible - spanning the Fall or Winter term, or stretched over both.
  • The award must be held during a Fall/Winter academic term (i.e. DRA’s can’t be conducted during a co-op work term).
  • A DRA cannot be awarded for a project in which students are receiving credit.
  • Students are required to present the results of their work at the end of the term. Currently, this includes a poster presentation competition in early December or April, depending on when students complete their project.

Application Process

  1. Submit an online application form. (Note: Students are responsible for the accuracy of the form as per discussions with their supervisor).
  2. Email a pdf copy of your transcripts from Bear Tracks to with the following subject: “DRA Transcripts – [Last Name].
  3. Email this link to the online supervisor approval form directly to your supervisor for them to fill out and submit. This form replaces the signature sheet. You are responsible for sending a copy of your online application to your supervisor for review if they request it.

Applications will not be considered complete until all items are received.


Deadline for Applications for Fall/Dual Term projects - October 15

Fall Term Presentations - December

Deadline for Applications for Winter Term projects - January 31

Winter & Dual Term Presentations - April