Undergraduate Research Opportunities

How To Get Research Experience

Honors Specialization Modules

The major laboratory course for students in Honors Specialization modules offered by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Includes an independent research project supervised by a faculty member; lectures on laboratory safety, biosafety, use of animals in research, scientific integrity; scientific communication (two seminars and a written report).

Antirequisite(s): Biochemistry 4483E, Anatomy and Cell Biology 4480E

Prerequisite(s): Microbiology and Immunology 3610F and 3620G with a mark in each of at least 70%, or the former Microbiology and Immunology 3600G with a mark of at least 70%. Enrolment is limited and is available only to students in Year 4 of the Honors Specializations in Microbiology and Immunology and Biochemistry of Infection and Immunity. Students in the Honors Specialization in Biochemistry of Infection and Immunity require only one of the following half-courses with a mark of at least 70% as the prerequisite: Biochemistry 3380G, Microbiology and Immunology 3610F or 3620G (or the former Microbiology and Immunology 3600G).
syllabus: 4970E,

Extra Information: 15 hours per week, 1.5 course

Volunteer Positions

Throughout the year, research labs may have room for hosting undergraduate student volunteers in their lab. These volunteer opportunites are a great way to immerse yourself in a lab environment, learn the inner workings of a lab, participate in lab meetings, and learn how carry out basic scientific experiments. If a lab's research interests you, drop them an email and inquire about the possibility of becoming a volunteer.

Western's Work Study Program

  • Opportunity for students to work part-time on campus in jobs that accommodate their studies
  • Assists students in financial need with a regular source of income that does not add to their debt load
  • Applicants must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents
  • Applicants must be Western students in second year or above in an undergraduate or professional program -(some exceptions made for first-year students)
  • For the fall/winter program, students must be registered at main campus in a minimum 60% course load (40% course load for students with disabilities)
  • For the summer program, students must take a half-credit (minimum)

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Dean's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (DUROP)

The Dean's Undergraduate Research Opportunites Program provides outstanding science and basic medical science undergraduate students with the opportunity to acquire research experience with a faculty member at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and to discover the value of a biomedical research career.

The award stipend, provided by the Dean, is $3,000 for 16 weeks of research. In addition, students receive a minimum $3,000 matching stipend provided from their supervisor (faculty member).

The application for a Summer 2020 DUROP position will open on January 14, 2020. The deadline for submission is 11:55 p.m. om February 14, 2020.


  • Students need to decide what type of research interests them.
  • Students must then find a potential supervisor (faculty member) by reviewing the relevant departmental and faculty member websites. All areas of research within Schulich Medicine & Dentistry are eligible for DUROP.
  • Faculty members who have been granted supervision duties with the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies may supervise undergraduate students. Ask if they are eligible!
  • Work with the faculty member to discuss possible summer projects.
  • Faculty members may interview as many students as they wish but only one DUROP application per faculty member will be accepted.
  • Students may be asked to provide the faculty member with both their transcript and CV.
  • Once a mutually agreeable project is determined, both the student and the faculty member must complete and submit the application. Please note:
    • The project description must be clearly outlined.
    • The role of the student must also be clearly described.
  • Award winners will be notified by email on March 27.
  • Students must formally accept the DUROP award before winners are announced.
  • Students who are accepted for the NSERC-USRA competition are ineligible for the DUROP award.
  • If you have questions, please contact the BMSUE office

NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards

  • Stimulate interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering
  • Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
  • Applicants must be registered in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible university
  • Supervisor must be a faculty member who holds an active NSERC research grant (see website for exceptions)
  • For 16 weeks ($4500 plus university contribution)
  • Deadline: set by the university

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CIHR Summer Studentships

  • For undergraduate and health professional students to participate in research projects with established health researchers
  • Applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree or health professional program at a Canadian university
  • Areas of research must fall within priority areas
  • Amount: $5000 for 4 months (plus 25% more from other sources)
  • Deadline: January

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Service Canada - Canada Summer Jobs

  • Provides funding for not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers, and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees
  • Funds create high-quality summer job opportunities for students
  • Deadline: February

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Ontario Government Summer Jobs

  • For students who are 15 to 29 years old
  • Program provides free services to improve your job-search and self-marketing skills

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Science Students' Council

The SSC represents undergraduate students in the Faculty of Science and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. We work hard throughout the year to bring you innovative programming, advocate on your behalf and improve your student experience. 

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