Apply to the Summer Research Program

Who Can Apply

The Summer Research Program is for students who have completed Grade 11 and are heading into Grade 12 the next school year.

  • We accept applications from young women and gender-diverse students interested in science, engineering, and technology fields.
  • Students from anywhere in Alberta can apply. 
  • Out-of-province students are welcome to apply provided they meet the equivalent eligibility requirements. Please email wisest@ualberta.ca if you have questions.
  • Students must have a Canadian Social Insurance Number in order to be eligible for the program. 

How to Apply (links are not updated for 2024)

  1. Speak with two teachers (science and/or math) who agree to be your references. Provide their contact details in this form.  
  2. Complete your personal response and upload it to the online application form. See below for further details about the personal response requirements. 
  3. Submit your grades to the online application form. See below for further details about what can be submitted for grades and how eligibility is calculated. 
  4. Fill in the online application. This will include some personal details, some questions about placement preferences, short answer questions to help our adjudicators get to know you better, and a place to upload your personal response and grades. 

Transcript Details

Please provide us with both of the following to meet your transcript requirements:

  • A transcript that shows all of your high school grades. This could be:
  • A dated screenshot of your school's grade portal with your most up-to-date interim marks. 

If your teachers have not updated your grades prior to April 3, 2024, contact us for an adjusted deadline. Transcripts must still be submitted along with the rest of your application by April 3, 2024. Please indicate in your application if you are submitting your interim grades after the application deadline. 

Application Deadline

The deadline to apply to the Summer Research Program, including submitting all supporting documents, is 11:59 pm, MST, April 3, 2024. Applications submitted before the deadline are appreciated. 

(Form links are not updated for 2024)

Online Application Form

Teacher Reference Contact Form

Form Links are not updated for 2024 but there will be minimal changes.

VIEW THE 2023 APPLICATION CHECKLIST

Application FAQs


Selection Process

1. Available Seats
The number of successful applicants can vary each year depending on the number of seats that WISEST has available for the program. This depends largely on funding and the ability of researchers to take on students in their labs. Typically WISEST has been able to accommodate approximately 40 students each summer.
2. School Representation
WISEST strives to have students from as many different high schools as possible so that our program has a diversity of students. Thus, the number of students accepted from any one high school might be limited depending on how many schools have students that apply and how many students from each school apply.
3. Grade Requirements
The average requirement* for the program is 85% based on the criteria below. Once the 85% average requirement is met, grades are NO LONGER considered in the adjudication process. This means that there is no advantage to having a very high average or any disadvantage if your average just meets the minimum requirements. Therefore, there is no need to send in updated/higher grades after your transcript and interim grades are submitted.
When you submit your interim grades and transcript, we will pick your top grades out of the following:
One of the following:
  • Math 20-1
  • Math 30-1
Two of the following:
  • Biology 20 or 30
  • Chemistry 20 or 30
  • Physics 20 or 30
We cannot take 20 and 30 level marks of the same course (ex. Bio 20 and 30).
We will use your interim grades to calculate this average for any courses currently in progress. If you have one grade 11 math grade and two grade 11 science courses completed, they are on your full transcript, and they meet the minimum grade requirement, we do not need further interim marks.
 
*If you do not quite meet the minimum requirement, please email wisest@ualberta.ca and we will be happy to discuss options with you for your application.
**For out-of-province students, please provide us with the equivalent documents and information to those listed above. Please contact us at wisest@ualberta.ca with any questions about out-of-province grade information requirements.

***If you have taken Mathematics 30-1 or a 30-level science course and that grade is higher than your 20-level grade in a given subject, you may submit the 30-level grade and we will use that grade in the calculation of your average.
4. Commitment

Applicants must be willing to fully commit to the entire 6 weeks of the program (no holidays or conflicting commitments).

Due to the intensive nature of the 6-week program, we highly discourage students from working other part-time jobs or having other involvements (volunteer, sports, summer school, etc) that demand more than 10 hours a week. 

5. Personal Response

A personal response must be submitted to WISEST (through the online application form).

  • You can choose to submit a response in written essay form between 500-700 words, typed in 12-point Calibri font or,
  • through other media ie) video (.mp4) or podcast (.mp3) no longer than 3.5 minutes in length. Ensure you submit an appropriate media file, if we can’t open the file we cannot review it. These media will only be used for screening applications.

What does the response need to address? Choose 2-3 of the following to respond to: 

  1. What topic in science or math do you currently find the most interesting and why? When and how did you become aware of this topic and how have you explored it on your own since?
  2.  What inspired your love of STEM? You can talk about a STEM memory, a class you have taken, a topic you’re interested in, a problem you want to solve, etc. 
  3. Please tell us what you not only hope to get out of this program but also what you hope to bring to the program. 
  4. What are your career goals and aspirations and how do you see the SRP impacting them? 
  5. How do you imagine your grade 12 self will be different after participating in the program? 
  6. What does success in the program look like to you?
  7. How do your personal values align with the WISEST values?
  8. What can you do today that you did not think you could do a year ago? Please reflect on what it looked like to learn and develop this skill and if anyone helped you. How do you encourage yourself when you are trying something new? 

While answering 2-3 of the above questions, make sure you are also showing your:

  • Personality! We want to get to know you, be sure to answer these questions using your authentic voice vs. saying what you think we want to hear
  • Passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)
  • Alignment with WISEST’s values 
  • Openness to exploring a variety of STEM fields 
  • Interest in STEM fields underrepresented by women and gender-diverse people 
6. Teacher References

Each student must submit two letters of reference from their science or math teachers.

Please fill in this Teacher Reference Contact Form. This form will send the reference form to the emails you provide for your teacher references. Please double-check the accuracy of the emails you submit. 

We strongly recommend you fill in this form before March 15th, 2024 to ensure your teachers have sufficient time to provide you with a strong reference. 

It is your responsibility to ensure your teachers receive the information. Some school districts' email filters are set too high for these emails to be successfully delivered. Please ensure you not only ask your teacher's permission to use them as a reference but also check to ensure they receive the form. 

The form teacher references are asked to fill out is also found here. 

Teacher Reference Form

7. Open Mind

This is an extremely important evaluation criterion for the selection committee. It is important that students remember that this program is designed to help students explore diverse careers in science, engineering and technology and to consider fields in which their gender is typically underrepresented. Students who have a love of science and a desire to learn about new possibilities and future career paths are the most successful in this program.

Please note, WISEST does not provide medical placements.