UNAM Research

Do research in Mexico at one of the most prestigious universities in Latin America. The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) is a public research university in Mexico City and ranks among the best universities in the world (#122, QS 2018).

The university has produced three Nobel Prize laureates and in fact, all Mexican Nobel Prize laureates are UNAM alumni or staff. Founded in 1551 UNAM's central campus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. University of Calgary undergraduate students are able to spend a summer or a semester conducting research under the supervision of an UNAM faculty member. Research placements are available in all areas and the timing and duration of the placements is flexible. 

Key information




Summer (Fall or Winter also possible)

Program type


Application information

Application status


Spring 21 applications

Deadline: November 18, 2020

University-specific additional requirements

One academic reference required - see the Eligibility section below.

21-22 applications

Fall deadline: March 15

Winter deadline: September 30

Student Experience

"Research abroad is the perfect combination of hands-on academic practices and an immersive cultural learning experience.I was given the opportunity to continue the research I started during my time at UNAM after returning home and potentially co-publish a research paper with my research supervisor. While the term "research" seemed very vague and perhaps unattainable, this experience had definitely solidified its meaning for me."

- Leann L, Psychology and Communications & Media Studies, Spring 2019

Program information

To get an idea of the wide variety of research being done at UNAM, the following website has a “clickable” menu of the UNAM institutes, with links to each institute’s homepage (the websites are only available in Spanish, but if you use chrome it has a translate function):


Note that the various institutes are organized into two broad categories: science and humanities.  From each institute’s homepage, it is typically possible to find their main lines of research in a click or two.

It is not necessary to find specific research projects on the above websites prior to applying. These links are provided in case there is a specific area of interest to you, as well as to demonstrate the wide variety of opportunities available.

Please identify three institutes of interest and put them in your "course list" section of your RAISA application along with a description of your research interests. From there we will work with UNAM to narrow down to an institute and a professor to work with.

The most popular mobility window runs from the May 1-June 30. While there can be a little bit of flexibility within this window, UNAM is closed for the first 3 weeks of July so research cannot be extended. 

It is also possible to consider on a case by case basis research placements in fall or winter. Those mobility windows are September-November and February- April. 

Generally research placements are for 8 weeks, but must be at least 5 weeks.

  1. Costs

    Cost in Mexico City are significantly lower than Calgary. Estimated living costs per month are:

    Housing: $400- $600
    Food:  $150-$200
    Transport: (travel expenses on Public Buses/Trains) $20-$40
    Personal Expenses: $100 - $150

  2. Funding

    Participating students can apply for a Research Grant worth $3000. Research placements must be a minimum of 5 weeks long to qualify.

There are different housing options, such as host families or private accommodation. UNAM's homestay office is happy to assist with housing arrangements. 

This research program is open to regular, full-time undergraduate students in any faculty of at the University of Calgary, who will have completed at least 2 full years at the post-secondary level by the time of placement. Students must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (B) over their past 10 courses.

Research placements are in English. However, there may be some research projects that do require Spanish skills.

An academic reference is required for a complete application.

Have questions?

Global Learning 101

Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Study Abroad Advising

If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below. Appointments are currently on zoom.

1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.

Book an appointment

The advisor for the program is: Vivian Elzinga

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.