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The College of Discovery, Creativity and Innovation

College of Discovery, Creativity and Innovation brings the Undergraduate Research Initiative to UCalgary. The initiative will advance undergraduate research experience across our academic community. 

Undergraduate research experience infographic

What is undergraduate research?

Undergraduate research is a mentored investigation evolving a researchable question or questions conducted by an undergraduate student or group of students.

It can result in an original contribution to a field of knowledge or provide an opportunity that substantially develops students’ autonomy and skills in conducting research, scholarship, or creative expression.

High-quality undergraduate student research experiences:

  • Evoke students’ curiosity
  • Engage students in the process of discovery
  • Ensure there is an opportunity for students to disseminate findings
  • Extend student learning through critical reflection

Why are undergraduate research experiences beneficial?

If you're a student, engaging in undergraduate research can play a pivotal role in your professional and academic development and further develop your skills: 

  • Go in-depth on a subject of interest to you
  • Collaborate with researchers, experts, and practitioners
  • Develop your problem-solving abilities and grow your resiliency
  • Sharpen your critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Hone your autonomy and sense of self
  • Clarify your career interests and expand possibilities
Students working

Undergraduate Research Initiative Framework

The Undergraduate Research Initiative will focus on three areas: curricular course-based undergraduate research experiences, non-curricular undergraduate research experiences, and undergraduate research events, engagement and outreach in partnership with academic units, the Vice-President Research portfolio and the Students’ Union.

Curricular Course-Based 

Curricular course-based undergraduate research experiences are academic courses that have been designed to include a significant research component. At UCalgary, our focus is to explore the possibilities for incorporating research into the curriculum for high enrolment first- and second-year courses.


Non-curricular undergraduate research experiences include programs and activities that occur outside of academic courses. In our context, it includes the Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE), resource development, research seminars and more. 

Undergraduate Research Events, Engagement and Outreach

This involves events and activities to engage students in undergraduate research and celebrate their success. Examples include Hackathons, boot camps, festivals, and an undergraduate research symposium. 

How we are advancing undergraduate research

Build networks and share knowledge

Build and network connections with faculty members and units across campus, including a web presence and an undergraduate research portal. 

Develop resources and programs

Develop undergraduate research experience learning resources and programs including open-access video modules, a faculty guide, a community of practice, workshops, and a micro-credential. 

Curricular and non-curricular UREs

Deliver a revised and unparalleled Research on Global Challenges course and support an increasing number of course-based undergraduate research experiences across multiple faculties. Nurture opportunities for community-integrated undergraduate research. 

Communicate impact

Evaluate and communicate the value and impact of undergraduate research across program and activities. Recognize and celebrate faculty and student achievements and collaborations with industry, community, and other external partners

Resources for Instructors

A person wearing PPE is focusing on using a dropper to put a solution into a small vessel.

A Guide for Undergraduate Research

A guide for instructors designing curricular undergraduate research experiences or research mentors supporting undergraduate research experiences in an apprenticeship model.

A group of students talking around a table in an engineering class.

Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences

A CURE can be encompassed within any field of study and in nearly any undergraduate course, even in large classes and remote learning contexts.

A supervisor and student talk in a library.

Supervise an summer research student

Supervising a summer studentship is a unique opportunity for faculty members to mentor undergraduates in an existing or student-proposed research project.