Undergraduate Research Initiative

As a member of Canada’s top 15 research-intensive universities, the University of Saskatchewan is a major centre for innovation and discovery. While our faculty are making contributions to knowledge worldwide, we want to ensure every student at the U of S has a chance to pursue research and discovery. By supporting curriculum-based research, assistantships, and showcasing achievements, the Undergraduate Research Initiative is raising the profile and increasing the accessibility of research opportunities across the U of S.  

This initiative is a collaboration between the Office of the Vice-President Research and the Office of Vice-Provost Teaching & Learning. We are working together to change the undergraduate research landscape at the U of S by:

  • expanding undergraduate research across disciplines and academic years
  • increasing visibility
  • improving recognition

At the University of Saskatchewan our goal is to see our undergraduates get started in research!

Our goal is being achieved, as demonstrated by the following accomplishments:

  • 1 in 2 undergraduate students engages in a course-based research experience during their program. 
    • Class research projects require students to create a research question, investigate and analyze, and present results. Students develop professional skills by thinking critically, problem-solving, and applying creativity while working with their peers.
  • 1 in 10 undergraduate students have a research experience in their first year of university.
    • Students are learning about research early-on and building skills that will be developed throughout their program. 
  • Since 2014, over $1.2 million has been spent on funding nearly 400 Undergraduate Student Research Assistantships, wherein students assist professors with research during the summer months. 
    •  Learn more in "Research Assistantships". 

Services

The Undergraduate Research Initiative offers a range of services and resources to the campus community. We provide:

A connection point, including:
  • Growing inventories of opportunities for undergraduates from curriculum-based to research assistantships both at home and abroad
  • Bringing in international experts in Higher Education such as Prof. Mick Healey and Dr. John Willison to the University of Saskatchewan to meet with students and improve programming 
  • An online community-of-action consisting of faculty involved with curriculum-based undergraduate research in first- and second-year classes
  • Former projects and proven benefits associated with curriculum-based, assistantships, and independent undergraduate research
Resources, including:
  • Quarterly in-person sessions for faculty interested or active in offering curriculum-based undergraduate research experiences to first-year students
  • Upper-level undergraduate and graduate students to work as Research Coaches by assisting first-year students in select courses
  • Program evaluation support including templates, rubrics, frameworks for implementing, scaffolding, and evaluating undergraduate research and researchers
Support for student showcasing opportunities, such as:
  • A Summer Social event in August for recipients of USRAs—Undergraduate Student Research Assistantships and their research supervisors
  • Financial and human resources support for the USSU—University of Saskatchewan Student Union Project Symposium held in January and special projects
  • Broadcasting student achievements in undergraduate research, scholarship, and art through on-line articles, videos, and social media
  • Financial support for the U of S's peer-reviewed undergraduate research journal, USURJ
  • Financial support for special projects-- Past recipients include the History Collaboratorium