Undergraduate Research Opportunities

There is no better way to learn about chemistry than actually doing it and no substitute for getting into a laboratory and figuring things out for yourself. The Department of Chemistry at the University of Saskatchewan has faculty engaged in a diverse range of research projects, and there are a number of different ways for undergraduate students of all levels to get involved:

Undergraduate research courses: Chem 380.3, 482.3 and Chem 483.6

Undergraduate summer research

Undergraduate research awards and scholarships

A research project generally involves working in the research laboratory of a faculty member and provides a student with an opportunity to learn and apply their chemistry skills to solve a real problem. Students get the chance to use state of the art research equipment, apply problem solving skills and learn to present their results, as well as learning to work with other members of the research group. In many cases, research carried out by an undergraduate student results in a publication. All these skills will prove to be invaluable when searching for a job after graduation.

If you are interested in getting involved in one of the many research opportunities you should read the faculty research descriptions, talk to faculty and keep an eye out on the Department website for important information regarding research awards and scholarships. Also, visit the Chemistry Research Awards Day (CRAD) event in the fall to see what the undergraduate research students from the previous year have done. 

Chem 380.3, 482.3 and Chem 483.6

Students can gain experience in chemical research through one of the Department’s research courses, Chem 380.3, 482.3 and Chem 483.6. These courses involve conducting a laboratory, library, theoretical or computer study under the supervision of a member of the Department and require a commitment of a minimum of 6 hours a week. Students present an initial proposal in a short seminar at the start of the project and then provide a report and research seminar summarizing their results at the conclusion of the class.

If you are interested in taking these courses, you should meet with faculty to discuss the possibility of joining their research group and decide on a project well in advance of the beginning of the term.

Summer Research

Each summer the faculty members of the department employ undergraduate students at all levels to work as research assistants in their labs. The pay is good and you get the chance to have a go at some independent research. If you are interested in this type of opportunity, take a look at the department webpages and talk to the different faculty to find an area of chemistry that interests you. At the end of the summer, all the students present their research at CRAD and compete for the best poster and peoples choice prizes. For information on applying for summer research awards, please click here.

Awards and Scholarships

There are a number of research awards and scholarships available through the Chemistry department that will pay you to do the work you enjoy most over the summer. At the same time, you will have the opportunity to learn useful research skills and in some cases, you will even be able to travel to other universities for work, both in Canada and overseas. For more information on the awards listed below, application deadlines and procedures, contact the department office and keep an eye on the Department website for updates.

NSERC Awards: are prestigious and highly competitive awards offered to undergraduate students that allows them to work in a summer research program. For more information, please click here.

Inorganic Chemistry Exchange Program (ICE): is a summer student exchange program for undergraduate students in chemistry who are interested in inorganic chemistry and will have completed the equivalent of two or three full years of study as of the end of the school year in which they apply. Successful applicants will be awarded summer employment in the research group of an ICE group member at one of the participating institutions (not their own), and a small travel allowance. Click here for further information.

Reactive Intermediates Student Exchange (RISE): is a summer student exchange program for undergraduate students in the chemical sciences who are interested in studying reaction mechanisms and will have completed the equivalent of two or three full years of study as of the end of the school year in which they apply. Successful applicants will be awarded summer employment in the research group of a RISE group member at one of the participating institutions (not their own), and a small travel allowance.

Alan C. Nixon Summer Research Awards: provide a $3000 stipend to students who perform summer research under the supervision of a Chemistry faculty member. Additional funds are made available to the student to cover a full-time research position over the summer. For more information, please click here.

JWT Spinks Summer Research Awards: provide a $3000 stipend to students who perform summer research under the supervision of a Chemistry faculty member. Additional funds are made available to the student to cover a full-time research position over the summer. For more information, please click here.

Ronald E. Verrall Summer Research Scholarship: provides a $3000 stipend to a student who performs research in physical chemistry under the supervision of a Chemistry faculty member. A supplemental conference travel award of up to $200 is also available. Additional funds are made available to the student to cover a full time research position over the summer. For more information, please click here.