Summer Research Program

The WISEST Summer Research Program (SRP) encourages participants to explore a future in science, engineering, and technology fields.

The goals of SRP are designed to provide students with the following opportunities to:

  • Broaden awareness about less traditional fields of study and diverse career options.
  • Engage with other participants who share similar interests.
  • Learn about the techniques and types of research conducted in different STEM fields.
  • Connect with and learn from successful professionals in the STEM fields.
  • Develop key professional skills.
  • Contribute to trailblazing research (in the lab or in the field).
  • Become familiar with academic and university life at the University of Alberta.

Student Information

The Summer Research Program (SRP) is unlike any other summer job that you could possibly imagine! For almost 40 years, SRP has been giving students the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in university, and in the science, engineering, and technology fields. We encourage grade 11, young women and gender diverse students to apply for one of 40 placements in STEM fields. As of 2022, WISEST will no longer be placing students in nursing and nutrition, we encourage young men to explore opportunities with programs such as HYRS.

Indigenous Students: WISEST is committed to increasing representation for all marginalized groups in STEM, including Indigenous Students.  We encourage Indigenous students to participate in all of the programs and services we offer but specifically, with respect to the Summer Research Program, we hold dedicated spots for Indigenous students, and provide access to mentorship from Indigenous role models.  Students can also qualify for travel and accommodation subsidies if they have to move away from home to participate in the program.  We also encourage grade 11 and 12 Indigenous students to apply to participate in the Verna J Kirkness Science and Engineering Program that takes place at the University of Alberta and other post-secondary institutions across Canada.

2022 Summer Research Program Dates

The Summer Research Program runs from July 4 - August 12, 2022.

  • Student Applications: February 1- March 25, 2022
  • Supervisor Proposals Open: March 1, 2022 

Program Details

Research Work

Research is interdisciplinary in nature. It can take place behind a research bench, in an office space, or in the field. Computer work can also play an integral role in trail-blazing research.

In this program, students get to work with top researchers and innovators and become a part of the research team within the lab. Most of the research opportunities available are in laboratories located at the U of A campus, but some involve fieldwork. Research projects change every year. Participants will learn of their placement once accepted to the program. Previous project descriptions can be viewed in the archive of WISEST Journal of Student Research.

In 2017, WISEST piloted an industry placement with The City of Edmonton. Building these relationships with outside partners allows students the support and experience of working in the community. These placements are unique, and designed to allow students to fully participate in scheduled on-campus programming. Students are asked to indicate their preference for an industry placement during the application process.

Once accepted into the program, students are expected to meet the following criteria throughout their internship:

  • Work a full work week for six weeks and earn an hourly wage.
  • Learn through literature reviews, hands-on experimentation, and trial-and-error.
  • Engage in research both independently and in a team.
  • Contribute to trail-blazing research and a research project.
Professional Development

Each week, WISEST students meet to develop new skills and learn more about various science, engineering and technology career and/or education fields.

Previous professional development sessions have included: on-campus tours of various research facilities and labs; off-campus tours of diverse industries that employ science, engineering or technology professionals; networking opportunities with women who work in science, engineering, and technology fields to learn about different career options, educational and professional fields, and potential career successes and challenges; and training focused on developing and strengthening professionalism, communications skills, and delivering effective presentations.

Lunch n' Learns

In addition to professional development, students also participate in weekly Lunch n' Learns. These informal sessions are opportunities for students to meet with other WISEST students, and to prepare for other components of the program.

The following are examples of past Lunch n' Learns:

  • U of A Question & Answer
  • The Art of Networking
  • Designing a Research Poster
Celebration of Research
The Celebration of Research takes place on the last day of the SRP. It is an event for students to showcase their final research poster project to family, friends, other researchers, University and Government dignitaries, and to Program Partners and Contributors. Students gain confidence and professional presentation skills from this event and they are often featured in local media.
Virtual SRP

Please note that we are hoping to return to in-person placements for the summer of 2022. However, with the continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 restrictions, we are prepared to run the Summer Research Program virtually again in 2022 if required. While this is not ideal, we executed successful virtual SRP programs during 2020 and 2021.

Please note: Due to University of Alberta policies, all students hired for the SRP 2022 will need to provide proof of full COVID Vaccination status prior to July 1, 2022.