Undergraduate research opportunities

Our Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) is designed to inspire research outside of the classroom.

Unique learning opportunities

As a research-intensive university, UCalgary encourages students to go beyond being “consumers of knowledge” and to be actively involved in creating new knowledge and applying existing knowledge in new ways.

While research opportunities will be available through your course work, we believe that qualified undergraduate students should also have the opportunity to experience research outside the classroom.

Our Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) reflects this commitment. You’ll have the opportunity to apply for an award for either 16, 12 or eight weeks to complete research between May and August. Awards range in value from $3,000 to $6,000 based on the length of the research. To qualify you just need to be a full-time undergraduate student and have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher in your current program.

Wondering what type of research in which you can get involved? In 2015, we had 64 PURE award winners across a variety of disciplines. Russian studies student Luc Bibeau used his PURE award to study criminal culture in post-Soviet Russia. Biomedical student Lauren Taylor worked with Christophe Altier in the Inflammation Research Network, studying ion channels found on pain-sensing neurons in the gut.

PURE awards academic director Brian Moorman says the unique feature of this award is that research experience isn’t limited to traditional labs; it could be in English or linguistics or dance. “Research takes many forms. There isn’t a department or faculty across the university that doesn’t do research.”


Luc Bibeau received a PURE award to research the impact of market liberalization on organized crime in post-Soviet Russia.

UCalgary Pure Award - Lauren Taylor

The PURE awards allowed Lauren Taylor to learn new research techniques and experience the excitement of research discoveries.

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