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Research Opportunities at UBC and Beyond

April 2021 | 5 mins read

Vanessa Kim
By Vanessa Kim
Sixth Year | Faculty of Arts, Psychology
Whether you’re just getting started or looking for your next research experience, explore all the ways you can enrich your research involvement at UBC. This guide is not exhaustive, so make sure to do your own research!

Get research experience

Are you looking for paid or volunteer research experience? Check out some of the opportunities at and beyond UBC.

Two students in lab

UBC Co-op offers students a structured way to enrich their educational experiences and gain professional work experience for personal and professional growth. For more information, visit the co-op program related to your discipline.

The Work Learn Program supports and subsidizes meaningful work experiences on campus that offer current UBC students the opportunity to develop your professional skills and learn in a work environment.

URO’s Research EXperience program connects undergraduate students with graduate students or postdoctoral fellows to work on a theoretical research project.

URO’s Research Involvement Fair brings together research faculty and undergraduate students in a “speed interview” event for the opportunity to volunteer in diverse fields of research.

Map the System is a global research-based competition that asks you to think differently about social change. Participants select a social or environmental issue, conduct research, and present the issue in a way that people can share and learn from.

Find researchers who have indicated interest in working with undergraduate students on research projects.

Explore all the programs Go Global offers, including Research Abroad, Global Seminars and International Conferences & Special Programs.

ORICE’s programs explore regional and international community engagement through course-based placements, community-led development programs, and more. Check out their Co-Curricular Programs.

CCEL’s programs provide you with community-based opportunities to learn, participate, and collaborate on projects in the community.

Directed Studies

“Directed Studies” is a type of course that allows you to carry out an individual research project under the supervision and guidance of a faculty member. Search your program for a Directed Studies option.

The Student Directed Seminars program provides upper year undergraduate students (in 3rd year or later) the opportunity to propose, coordinate, and lead their own 3-credit seminar class with a small group of peers on a topic not currently offered at UBC-Vancouver.

TRIUMF offers an outstanding training experience for undergraduate students contemplating a research career.

The BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute’s INSPIRE program aims to navigate UBC undergraduate students to find a suitable Pediatric research project onsite to complement their course work. INSPIRE also provides students with access to the institute wide training resources to enhance their learning experience onsite.

Each year, approximately 17 studentships are given to top ranked students whose primary supervisor is a BCCHR Investigator at BC Children’s Hospital whose area of investigation has direct relevance to improving the health of children and families.

The Centre for Blood Research-School of Biomedical Engineering (CBR-SBME) Summer Studentship Program provides students with an opportunity to get hands-on research experience during the summer months and to present their research at the CBR Research Day.

Over the course of the program, students will work full-time within a research team and present a poster of their activities at the SSRP Poster competition, held at the start of a new academic year.

The Faculty of Medicine Summer Student Research Program (FoM SSRP) provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to explore their interest in health research by undertaking a summer project supervised by a Faculty of Medicine researcher.

The Summer Student Research Program of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the UBC Faculty of Medicine providing undergraduate and medical students with either basic or clinical research experiences, or clinical experiences in laboratory medicine, under the supervision and mentorship of our Department’s Faculty.

The BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) invites research summer studentship applications from students in health-related research areas working to improve the well-being of people at risk of or experiencing mental health or substance use issues.

Publish your research

Publishing your research in a journal is a great opportunity to develop your written communication skills while boosting your resume/CV.

Publish your research

Since its beginnings, the journal has showcased exemplary undergraduate papers written by students with a sociological perspective.

CJUR is a student-led publication that aims to highlight research by undergraduate students of all disciplines

Supported by the Vancouver School of Economics and the Vancouver School of Economics Undergraduate Society, the IONA Journal of Economics’ annual publication showcases blind peer- and faculty-reviewed undergraduate research in economics.

The UBCUJP is a student-run and peer-reviewed journal that provides a platform for undergraduate students to showcase their research and allows them to have a published academic paper early in their careers.

The UJAH is an annual UBC student journal published by the Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory. The publication promotes undergraduate research, artwork, and writing in the field of art history and visual culture.

JIA has published distinguished student research papers from the international relations discipline since 1985 and is one of the oldest student-run journals on at UBC.

The UBCMJ is a student-driven academic journal with a goal to engage students in dialogue in medicine. Our scope ranges from original research and review articles in medicine to medical trends, clinical reports, elective reports and commentaries in the principles and practice of medicine.

The JPS publish papers that span a wide variety of subfields which include Canadian and US politics, international relations, political theory and comparative politics. Papers are selected on the basis of originality of research, conceptual innovation, topicality of subject matter, and overall quality of writing

Active since 2004 and formerly known as the Atlas Undergraduate Journal of World History, the JHS strives to produce a yearly journal that showcases the exemplary historical research of undergraduate students.

Trail Six is a nationally recognized academic journal, published annually by students at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Geography. It exists to publish the exemplary scholarly work of undergraduate students within the field of geography in a peer-reviewed, academic setting.

The Garden Statuary is UBC’s Undergraduate Literary Journal, operated and peer-reviewed by UBC undergraduate students. Embracing a wide range of creative and academic work, we publish: essays on literature and language studies, fiction, poetry, nonfiction, stage/screen play, visual art, photography, musical recordings, and short films.

Present your research

Presenting your research at a conference is a great opportunity to develop your public speaking and verbal communication skills.

Finger pointing to poster

MURC is an opportunity for UBC undergraduate students to showcase their research in front of their fellow UBC students, family, and friends. Researchers may choose one of two formats to showcase their research: presentation or poster.

Whether your research is rooted in Linguistics, Psychology, Computer Science, Applied Sciences, English, Education, or any other field, share your research with the language sciences community!

UBC Sociology and the Sociology Students’ Association invites all undergraduate students to present their work at the Annual Sociology Undergraduate Research Conference.

LSRN is an annual event aimed towards educating and inspiring undergraduate students to explore research opportunities. Find out about opportunities after graduation, would like to learn about current research happening at UBC, or are eager to get into research yourself, you’ll find what you’re looking for at LSRN.

Research Awards

Looking for funding for your research? Check out these awards.

If you are an undergraduate student who’d like to get research experience in an academic setting, consider applying for an USRA. Through these awards, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) subsidizes eligible professors to hire students to work on interesting research-related jobs and projects.

Designed for International Undergraduate students who are interested in research, the Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Awards subsidizes professors to hire students to work on their research projects.

The Mitacs Globalink Research Award provides $6,000 for senior undergraduate and graduate students to undertake 12- to 24-week research projects supervised by professors at accredited universities overseas. The award is open to all disciplines.

The AUS x URO Arts Research Award recognizes undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts who have demonstrated passion and excellence in research.

The SUS x URO Award recognizes undergraduate science researchers who are pursuing a research career and have made excellent contributions to the research community.

Faculty-Specific Resources

Check out the department-specific resources your program has for research opportunities.

Gain valuable workplace, community engagement, research, international, and leadership experience by participating in the many involvement opportunities available to you as a UBC Arts undergraduate student.
There are many ways to contribute with your Arts degree and apply what you’ve learned at UBC to make an impact in the world.
AIP integrates academic learning with the development of professional skills through part-time, unpaid positions supporting non-profit organizations in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.
Get into research as an undergraduate student. Learn more about volunteer research assistant, honours, directed studies, or honours opportunities you can explore.
In order to contribute to the development of knowledge in their chosen field(s) of study, students must also complete a research-intensive experience. Check out a list of approved research-intensive courses
There are many things you can do with your Science degree and countless ways to apply what you’ve learned at UBC in the world of work.
SCI Team brings you events, videos, and resources to help you get involved with research opportunities, understand career options available with a BSc, and connect you with volunteer or job opportunities.
There are many ways to apply what you’ve learned in your Land and Food Systems degree to solve complex problems in our changing world.
You may be surprised to learn that there are a variety of ways to get involved in research, including volunteer opportunities, for-credit study options, or paid options through established job postings and funding programs.
There are many ways to apply your Engineering degree and what you’ve learned at UBC to design solutions that have impact.

Other Resources

Check out URO’s Research Resource Guide, mentorship programs and research institutes at UBC.

The URO Research Resource Guide provides general advice for undergraduate students looking to get involved in research. The guide contains sections on advice for contacting professors, relevant research courses, and research opportunities. The report was developed based on the results of a survey that prompted UBC students involved in research to write about their research experiences and advice they had for other students. The URO Research Resource Guide aims to provide tips for getting involved in undergraduate research and share relevant research opportunities.
Find out how to search for work that relates to your studies and reflects your motivations. Build authentic relationships and expand your network.
CBIRD serves as an interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder hub for connecting students, academics, practitioners and the wider community in collaborative applied research to advance scalable urban biodiversity ideas, policies and actions on campus.
With over 400 faculty investigating sustainability, their goal is to excel across the spectrum of fundamental and applied research. Their research advances interdisciplinary and cross-cutting methods, linking research to action both on-and-off campus.
IRSI provides professional support and services for Indigenous research collaborations across both UBC campuses