Undergraduate Research Initiative

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.

Make the most of your summer research

Starting a summer research project? Here are a couple of tips to ensure that you have a memorable experience!

  • Be sure you understand what is expected
    If you haven’t done so already, meet with your supervisor to clarify expectations. Discuss things such as the amount of work you are expected to produce, who you report to, any training you need to take (including safety or ethics training), deadlines, as well as hours and vacation time. This will ensure that you are both on the same page about your role in the research project.

  • Don’t let time get away from you
    Prioritization and time management are key to making the most of your summer research. Four months goes by in a flash, so it is important to get creative with your time. For example, break large tasks into manageable milestones to help you stay on track. Waiting for data? Chip away at other tasks, such as writing up your methods, or reading for your literature review.

  • Failure is learning
    In research, failure is an inevitable part of learning. Sometimes we learn as much from what doesn’t work as from the things that go according to plan. Don’t get discouraged -- ask for help from your colleagues or mentors. Chances are, they’ve been there before and will be able to help you troubleshoot and get your project back on course.

  • Work hard, but have fun
    Summer research can be an intense experience, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to forge new connections. There are many ways you can build relationships and get to know other researchers in your area. Find out if there are any informal meet-ups or social events you can take part in, or take your breaks outside -- being on campus during the warm summer months is an experience worth cherishing!

Need help?  The URI office is open throughout the summer months - please contact us if you have any research-related questions!

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