Undergraduate Research Initiative

Showcasing interdisciplinary undergraduate research

Check out the first issue of UAlberta's newest journal.

Undergraduate Research Initiative

Research in any program or discipline

The Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI) launched at the University of Alberta in 2011 with a bold vision: to create a culture in which every undergraduate student has opportunities to engage in research and creative activities, both in and out of the classroom.

At the University of Alberta, your questions matter. 

Why? Because we believe that undergraduate students deserve the very best that a research-intensive institution has to offer: high-impact, hands-on experiences at the cutting edge of human knowledge — the opportunity to put your ideas and your curiosity to work.

 Looking for funding for your undergraduate research? URI Stipend applications are now open!

The URI Stipend is a $5000 award that helps support undergraduate students undertaking mentored, interdisciplinary research projects. Thinking about applying? We asked URI volunteer and former URI Stipend applicant, Isabelle Bernard, to share some advice on the process. 

Isabelle says, “When I was applying for the URI Stipend, my key challenges were (1) being super concise and clear with my objectives (2) communicating how my methods answered my questions the best.”

With these challenges in mind, here are a few tips for applicants: 

  • Look at the rubric before you start: The rubric outlines the criteria adjudicators use to evaluate proposals. Referring to the rubric will help you stay on track and ensure your proposal addresses what the reviewers are looking for. 
  • Make sure adjudicators can understand your proposalThe URI Stipend is adjudicated by a multi-disciplinary committee. It is important to write your proposal at a level that is accessible to reviewers from a variety of academic backgrounds. Avoid jargon, and explain any technical language that is likely to be unfamiliar to reviewers from other disciplines. 
  • Be clear and concise: Clearly indicate what your objectives/research question(s) are. When writing your methods, make sure to state how your method(s) will help address each individual objective/research question. 
  • Write about your role and skill development: Reviewers want to know about your role in the project and what’s motivating you to pursue it. Elaborate on the project’s contribution to your personal/professional goals. Be as specific as possible, and avoid generic descriptions that could be true of many projects (e.g. “I will gain lab experience.” or “I will gain communication skills.”)  Explain how this project will specifically support the development of the skills you identified. 

  • Get feedback and don’t be afraid to ask for help: URI offers free consultations to students applying or reapplying for the URI Stipend, so email us (uri@ualberta.ca) to book an appointment!

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