Overview

WCVM initially developed the summer research program because of Western Canada's need for attracting more veterinarians to jobs in research, diagnostic laboratories, regulatory work or academia.

The program is designed to provide encouraging and positive research experiences to undergraduate students who are enrolled in veterinary medicine as well as in pre-health sciences courses at the University of Saskatchewan.

Research mentors — members of WCVM's faculty — must demonstrate that their students will have a positive experience with direct involvement in planning and developing a research study, conducting experiments, collecting and summarizing results, and writing and editing a research report. 

Besides gaining valuable research experience, summer research students have access to leadership and communication skills workshops. The research program also gives students the opportunity to meet with veterinarians working in industry and government. Another addition is an annual research poster day that encourages undergraduate student to showcase their research work. 

Interprovincial Program

The WCVM's longest-running undergraduate research program is financially supported by British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba — the college's three provincial funding partners. The program provides WCVM veterinary students with valuable research experiences and introduces them to the world of veterinary and biomedical research. Ultimately, the goal is to encourage more western Canadian students to pursue advanced training in veterinary medicine or biomedical sciences.


Once a research supervisor-mentor is identified, the student will work with the mentor to design and formulate a summer research project. After the research work has been completed, students must submit a project report that provides specific details about the student's work and findings. The student will also present a poster at the annual WCVM undergraduate research poster day in early September.

The WCVM Research and Graduate Studies Office annually accepts applications for the Interprovincial Undergraduate Summer Research program in January. Final decisions will be announced by the first week in February.

PLEASE NOTE: all applicants must meet the minimum 70 per cent GPA requirement.

  • Download the Interprovincial Undergraduate Summer Research Program application (PDF)
  • Download the Interprovincial Undergraduate Summer Research Program application (Word)

Please complete the application form and append the following materials:

  • Curriculum vitae for student
  • Covering letter from supervisor indicating:
    • their willingness to undertake the supervision of this research
    • feasibility of the proposed research
    • learning outcomes for the student
    • data on the supervision of undergraduate students in the past five years: 
      • names of undergraduate students supervised
      • peer-reviewed publications by the students
      • conference presentations with undergraduate students as authors
      • names of undergraduate students who continued on to graduate work
  • Assurance of animal care form

Please submit the completed application and materials to the appropriate department head by January 14, 2022.

Department heads will submit all applications from their respective departments — along with rankings — to the WCVM Research and Graduate Studies Office by January 17, 2022. Please email all applications and rankings to wcvm.research@usask.ca

Undergraduate students who are involved in the program receive a stipend of about $2,000 per month for the summer months (May 1 to August 15). Selected students also receive $500 in support of their research projects.

Boehringer Ingelheim Program

The Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars program (formerly Merial Veterinary Scholars program) is an exciting mentorship initiative for undergraduate students who have demonstrated excellence in their studies and an interest in gaining exposure to biomedical research. 

Each year, the mentorship program annually provides 150 first- and second-year veterinary students across North America with hands-on experience in biomedical science. Every August, students attend the Boehringer Ingelheim Symposium that's annually hosted by selected North American veterinary institutions.

At the WCVM, the program pairs selected students with highly accomplished researchers. In addition to a focused research project, the selected students take part in enrichment activities such as workshops on data analysis, data presentation and preparation of manuscripts.

Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars are also taken on tours of research facilities located at University of Saskatchewan as well as a trip to at least one facility at another university. The undergraduate students are also invited to participate in laboratory-specific journal clubs plus college-wide seminar series.

Please contact the WCVM Research and Graduate Studies Office for more information: wcvm.research@usask.ca

Key dates

Application process

  • Same application as Interprovincial Undergraduate Summer Research Award

Top-rated applications will be selected for this award based on the following criteria: 

  • Academic performance
  • Letter of intent including the proposal
  • Preference to those without previous research experience

Mentor criteria:

  • Track record in undergraduate research mentoring
  • Comments from previous summer research students
  • Current extra-mural research funding
  • Research group: graduate and postdoctoral students and journal club

The WCVM has an excellent research infrastructure that includes newly-expanded laboratory space and state-of-the-art research equipment. The WCVM has more than 150 graduate students who are available to interact with the undergraduate students and to answer their questions about graduate programs and potential careers in research. 

Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars receive a stipend of about $2,000 per month over three and a half months. Each selected student also receives $500 in support of the research project.

It is expected that the student and the supervisor will participate in the development of the research proposal. It is expected that projects will be done at the WCVM, primarily under the supervision of a WCVM faculty member. One or more students from other veterinary colleges may also apply to participate in the program at the WCVM: travel expenses for those students will be paid for by the WCVM. 

  • View a table that tracks alumni of the WCVM's Merial Veterinary Scholars program (2005-2013)

NSERC program

About

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) provides undergraduate student research awards (USRAs) to stimulate interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering, providing funding for 16 weeks of research-related employment. 

Key date

  • February 1, 2022 (4:30 p.m. CST): deadline for the NSERC USRA 2022 competition applications 

Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) are meant to stimulate students' interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering. They are also meant to encourage students to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields.

If you would like to gain research work experience that complements your studies in an academic setting, these awards can provide you with financial support through your host university.

NSERC encourages qualified Indigenous students to apply to this program. The Indigenous USRA awards are adjudicated alongside the NSERC USRA awards and extend the NSERC USRA allocation for the University of Saskatchewan. 

Students must identify a faculty member to work with. NSERC USRA applications are made by students and faculty submitting together. 

If awarded, NSERC provides $6,000 for a full-time, 16-week period of research-related experience for students. Faculty supervisors must supplement the USRA award to comply with Saskatchewan’s provincial employment standards (minimum wage minimum).

The NSERC USRAs at USask are held as paid summer job positions (May 1 to August 20), not as stipends, in compliance with Canada Revenue Agency decision on summer assistantships.

Note: all departments should know which professors/students are applying for the NSERC USRAs. Please email a memo signed by the Department Head with an alphabetical list of recommended applicant names to undergraduate.research@usask.ca on or before February 1, 2022. 

Eligibility

All NSERC USRA applications need to be filled out using the online application system. No handwritten applications will be accepted.

Students and faculty are encouraged to read the NSERC USRA guidelines before writing their application.

Some students may have viewed the NSERC USRA awards in the USask Student awards for continuing students or in the graduate awards. However, it is not a regular award or scholarship where students apply on their own. Before applying, a student must first arrange to have a supervisor who will work with the student on the application. 


To be eligible to apply for an award, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, or a Protected Person under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • be registered (at the time of application) in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible university or have completed a bachelor's degree but not yet started a master's degree 
  • have obtained, over the previous years of study, a cumulative average of at least second class (75 per cent equivalent at USask)

In addition to the above requirements, please note the following: 

  • you may hold only one USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31)
  • you may hold a maximum of three USRAs throughout your university career
  • once NSERC has approved your USRA for tenure at one particular institution, you may not transfer it to another institution

If you already hold a bachelor's degree and are studying toward a second bachelor's degree, you may still apply to this program.

To hold an award, you must:

  • have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) of your bachelor's degree
  • have been registered in the term immediately before holding the award in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible university
  • not have started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering
  • be engaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering during the tenure of the award. However, a student may take up to two classes at the same time as their award, at the discretion of the supervisor and student. 

You are not eligible for a USRA if:

  • you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate professional degree program in the health sciences (e.g., MD, DDS, BScN)
  • you hold higher degrees in the natural sciences or engineering

Application process

USask Research Acceleration and Strategic Initiatives is operating the 2022 NSERC USRA competition.

2022 NSERC USRA instructions

1. To apply for these awards, you must complete and submit your application using NSERC’s online system. Refer to the instructions for completing Form 202 Part I

Deadline: 4:30 p.m. CST, February 1, 2022. All applicants should read the NSERC USRA guidelines.

2. You must include a scanned copy of your official transcripts from all universities that you have attended (including transfer credits). The scanned copy must meet the following specifications:

  • PDF format
  • maximum file size of 3 MB
  • 8.5” x 11” (216 mm x 279 mm)
  • must be clear and legible
  • must include the transcript key

3. After you have completed the first two steps, you must inform your supervisor of the reference number of your application and ask them to fill out Form 202 Part II. Refer to the instructions for completing Form 202 Part II. 

Both Form 202 Part I and Form 202 Part II must be submitted by 4:30 p.m., February 1, 2022, to the NSERC Portal. 

Note: you can apply to more than one university. You must apply directly to the university where you would like to hold the award, and have a faculty supervisor identified, as every university runs their NSERC USRA competition differently. However, please note that it is the university's choice whether to accept candidates from other institutions.