University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Stay Connected

Fac. of Science IT Support

Book Appointment or Seminar with the Student Success Centre


Undergraduate Science Centre

EEEL 445, Energy Environment & Experiential Learning Building
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
T. 403.220-8600
T. 1.844.279.3797 (toll-free only in N. America)

Undergraduate Research - How To Start

  1. Find a Professor (November – January)

    • The first step is to find a professor whose research you are interested in. There are many ways to do this:
      • Browse the department websites and read about the professors' research interests:
      • Ask a professor who is teaching you about their research
      • Attend events such as the Undergraduate Research Symposium and see the kind of research students took part in this summer. If you see a project you really like, ask the student about it and get in touch with their Supervisor.
  2. Contact the Professor (November – January)

    Once you’ve found a professor whose research appeals to you:

    • Read a few of their papers to gain a deeper understanding of the professor’s research
    • Email the professor expressing interest in their research:
    • Include your transcript and resume
    • Include reasons for why you want to work on their research specifically
    • Include any relevant experience not listed in your resume, i.e. from lab courses, etc.

    Researchers are very busy people. Some will be looking for summer students, others won’t. Don’t be discouraged if someone turns you away! The more people you contact, the better chances you have at finding a position and entering the exciting field of research.

  3. Meet with the Professor (November – January)

    This is a great opportunity for you to find out about how the professors’ lab operates and what your role will be.

  4. Working on a specific project

    Depending on the professor and their research, they might assign you a project or you might be able to propose a project yourself. This will vary from professor to professor, so ask your professor about it.

  5. Apply for Funding (December – February)

    Deadlines for most grants are in January or February, thus necessitating starting on applications in December.

  6. Present your findings

    There are countless opportunities to present your research from the summer. Events such as the SU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium allow you to showcase your work while being eligible for thousands of dollars in prizes!