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 the four Western Canadian provinces. 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 WCVM Research Office will accept applications for the Interprovincial Undergraduate Student Summer Research program in January of each year. Final decisions will be announced by the first week in February. 

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

Please complete the application form and append the following materials:

  • Curriculum vitae for student
  • Covering letter from supervisor indicating:
    • his/her willingness to undertake the supervision of this research
    • his/her assessment of the proposed research
    • the benefit that should be derived by the student
    • the supervisor's record of summer student supervision in the last five years (Did previous summer students publish their work? Have any previous summer students continued on to begin or complete graduate work?)
  • Assurance of animal care form

Please submit the completed application and materials to the appropriate department head by January 17, 2020. In addition, please send an electronic copy of the application to the Research Office (jaime.provo@usask.ca).

Undergraduate students who are involved in the program receive a stipend of $2,125 per month for the summer months. Each selected student also receives $500 in support of the research project.

  • Download the terms of reference for the Interprovincial Undergraduate Student Research Awards program

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.

Dr. Elisabeth Snead, program director, meets with the students every month to track their progress. 

Please contact the WCVM Research Office for more information: 

  • Jaime Provo, assistant, WCVM Research Office
  • Tel: 306-966-7453 

Key datesb

Applicant 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 $2,225 per month for a total of $8,900 over four 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 also 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

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) offers a national program that provides summer research experiences to undergraduate students who are enrolled in science programs other than the health sciences (medicine, dentistry, nursing and veterinary medicine).

NSERC's Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) allow undergraduate students to gain hands-on experience in a research setting — valuable exposure that can help students determine whether they would like to undertake graduate studies or pursue a research career in the natural sciences. 


  • You must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
  • At the time of application, you must be registered in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible university.
  • Over the previous years of study, you must have a cumulative average of at least second class ( a grade of "B" or "B-," if applicable) as defined by your university.
  • If you already hold a bachelor's degree and are studying toward a second bachelor's degree, you may still apply to this program. You may hold only one USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31), and you may hold a maximum of three USRAs throughout your university career.

Award recipients

  • You must have completed all of the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) of your bachelor's degree.
  • Immediately before holding the award, you must have been registered for the term in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible university. You must not have started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering.
  • You must be engaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering during the tenure of the award. 


WCVM faculty who hold NSERC grants are eligible to supervise students whose research experience is supported through this program. Undergraduate students can also choose to work with eligible faculty members at universities other than their own.

The current stipend for NSERC's Undergraduate Research Student Award is $4,500 for a 16-week program. Each student's supervisor is required to add at least 25 per cent of the stipend (at least $1,125) to increase the total to $5,625 for the 16-week program.