Alberta Innovates Summer Studentships

Alberta Innovates (AI) Summer Studentships

**** As of September 2018, Alberta Innovates has not confirmed there will be a compettion for summer 2019 placements*****

Information will be posted here as soon as it is made available by Alberta Innovates.



$1,500 per month

Supervisor Contribution



Minimum of 2 months to maximum of 4 months during the period of May 1 - August 31

Application Deadline

No current call for applications.

Notice of Decision

Start date

ORIS Contact

Penny D’Agnone (403-382-7198 or

DEADLINE Extension – February 26, 2018 at 4:00pm


The Alberta Innovates (AI) program, previously known as Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) and Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions (AIHS), funds the AI Summer Studentships. This is an opportunity for diligent students with superior academic records to participate in medical or health research in Alberta during the summer time. The aim of the award is to encourage the pursuit of formal training and career in health research.  It is expected that the funds requested in each competition will exceed the funds available.   

The AI Summer Studentship is valued at $1,500 per month for a minimum of two months to a maximum of four months of full employment within the months of May to August of each year. 

NOTE – Effective January 1, 2018, the ORIS requires that faculty members are required to supplement the summer studentships to adhere to current Alberta minimum wage requirements.  Because these awards are now considered employment income by the Canada Revenue Agency, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) costs also need to be included.  Please see the Notice Board for more information on this decision

2018 AI Summer Studentships

# hours per week

# weeks

Min Wage as of Oct 1, 20171


Total cost

AI contribution

Required faculty top up









1Alberta minimum wage will increase to $15.00/hour effective October 1, 2018.


Those candidates who meet one of the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • Registered in an Alberta-based undergraduate degree program in a medical or health-related field;
  • Registered in an undergraduate degree program outside of Alberta, and desiring to engage in research during the summer at an Alberta institution;
  • Registered in an M.D. program, and may also hold an undergraduate or graduate degree;
  • Have an exceptional high school record of participation in the healthcare system, and a clear interest in pursuing a health research career;
  • Presently be in the last term of their undergraduate degrees and have applied either to Medical School or to a graduate program that would start in the coming fall. 

Candidates in their final year of a high school or undergraduate program MUST submit evidence of registration in, or application to, an undergraduate (for high school graduates) or graduate (for undergraduate students) university program.


  • Fall: Launch of current competition.
  • February 26, 2018 at 4:00pm: Application deadline extended.  Submit application to
  • February – March: Applications are reviewed and ranked by the Summer Studentship Review Committee using the Pro-Grid Decision Assist Tool (see Evaluation Criteria and Process below). 
  • March - April: The final rank is decided on and funding decisions are made.
  • April: Notice of Decisions are distributed to applicants.
  • May  – August: Term of the award.

How to Apply:

General Guidelines:

The duration of this award is a minimum of two months to a maximum of four months during the period of May 1 – August 31.  It requires that the applicant be sponsored by a faculty supervisor who possesses both a record of productive health-oriented research and sufficient resources to ensure the satisfactory conduct and completion of research. 

The student must link with a faculty member who has an ongoing research program.  The student should discuss the application thoroughly with the faculty member prior to application.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the complete application is submitted prior to the application deadline.  Submissions for the current competition are due by 4:00pm on February 26, 2018.  Late submissions will not be accepted and incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible.  In exceptional circumstances, official transcripts will be accepted for one week after the application deadline.

Complete applications require the following components:

  1. Online application form (below): The applications will now be accepted using an online submission.  Each component of the application must be uploaded into the form and submitted as one package.  Be sure to have all components ready at time of application as you are unable to save the form to edit at a later time. 
  2. AI Summer Studentship Application Form – Students are to up load the completed form found here:
  3. Official Transcript(s): The student must upload up-to-date official transcript(s) of their entire academic record (including transfer credit).  Official transcripts for the University of Lethbridge can be requested through the online BRIDGE system and sent to the student’s address.  Transcripts from other institutions should be uploaded as well.  One field is available for transcripts.  Please upload a single scanned copy of all transcripts.  In exceptional circumstances, scanned copies of transcripts can be emailed to no later than one week following the deadline with the subject line: AI Awards.
  4. Letter of Reference: The student must upload a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.  This may be the supervising faculty, other U of L faculty, or a faculty member from another post-secondary institution that is known to the applicant.  The letter of recommendation must clearly outline the member's assessment of the student's independence, research potential, and academic record.   The supervisor also has the option of sending the letter to directly with the Subject Line: AI Awards.  Please see the Conflict of Interest Guidelines below for guidance on requesting a recommendation. 

Application submission instructions:

Complete applications must be submitted by 4:00pm on February 26, 2018 to the Office of Research Services & Innovation Services using the online form.  Late applications will not be accepted.  Official transcripts and letters of recommendation can be emailed to with the Subject Line: AI Awards. 

Following the application deadline, an email will be sent to applicants and their proposed supervisor confirming the receipt of the application no later than one week folowing the deadline. 

Conditions of the Award:

  1. Use of funds:  The AI Summer Studentship is for a total of $1,500 per month and will be disbursed to the successful applicant once a month on the last business day of each month.  Supplemental funds and the source of funds provided by the supervisor must be confirmed with ORIS no later than the first of the month using the Payroll Authorization Form (PAF) – Research
  2. Term: The term of the award is for a minimum of eight (8) consecutive weeks between May 1 and August 31.  It is expected that the student work full-time equivalent hours (approximately 35) for each week over the summer.  The exact hours and scheduling should be made in cooperation with the supervisor and student.  Students must be willing to participate full-time in the project for the duration of the award and agree not to change the supervisor or project during the term of the award. 
  3. Ethics: If the proposed research program involves human subjects or the use of either animals or biohazardous material, it is the responsibility of the sponsoring faculty and/or department to ensure that the research has received the approval of the appropriate Institutional Ethics Review Committee(s).
  4. Reports: In August, a request for a report will be sent to the student and supervisor for information on activities over the summer as well as feedback on the program.
  5. Personnel: Personnel employed with grant funds are not governed under a collective agreement.

Evaluation Criteria and Process:

AI uses the PROGRID system as a tool to evaluate the proposals for Summer Studentship awards. This system utilizes an alpha-numerical rating scale. The Language Ladders used in determining this rating scale are attached to these instructions. The application form is designed around these Language Ladders, and gives the candidate and supervisor space to provide the appropriate information relating to each of the criteria listed.

In its evaluation of each application, the Summer Studentship Review Committee will look primarily for evidence that: (1) the candidate has an excellent academic record; (2) the supervisor is conducting a productive research program in an area relevant to the objectives of AI; and (3) the supervisor has adequate research funding - preferably from a competitive granting agency.

The following evaluation criteria apply to all applicants:

  1. Student (50%): Both the Academic Record and the Letter of Reference are evaluated for research/scholarly/creative achievements of the applicant.   
  2. Supervisor (25%): The Supervisor’s Resources and Research Track Record are evaluated based on the project description, publication track record, and track record of research funding.
  3. Overall Impression of the Project (25%): The Overall Impression is evaluated on the assessment of the student, Letter of Reference and assessment of the proposed supervisor. 

NOTE: A limit of two applications may be submitted by a faculty supervisor.  Faculty supervisors sponsoring candidates to this program must have a record of productive research and sufficient funding to ensure the satisfactory conduct of the research.  A separate research project must be submitted for each student. The supervisor must be prepared to provide direct and continuous supervision during the term of the award.

Following the application deadline, applications are evaluated by the Selection Committee who are asked to rank the application packages on the above criteria using the Pro-Grid system. Applicants and proposed supervisors are strongly advised to read the

 document especially the language ladder that we be used to assign scores and ranking.  This document also provides language that will be used to assess the Letter of Recommendation.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application addresses the evaluation criteria.  At a roundtable meeting, the Selection Committee will rank all applicants relative to each other.  Each applicant will receive a summary table of the scores from the three reviewers to compare to the language ladder in order to have an indication of the relative strengths and weaknesses in their application package. 

Once the applications have been placed in rank order, the first awards will be offered. The number of applications that are funded is based on the budget allotment for that funding year from AI.  It is expected that the number of fundable applications will exceed the amount of available funds for each competition.  Because applicants often apply to other studentships (e.g. NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRAs), SSHRC USRAs, and Chinook Summer Studentships), the ORIS will work towards funding as many students as possible with all available awards.  It is hoped that all awards will be accepted and finalized near the end of March or early April.

Conflict of Interest Guidelines* for Recommendation Selection:

A conflict of interest is a conflict between a person’s duties and responsibilities with regard to the review process, and that person’s private, professional, business or public interests. There may be a real, perceived or potential conflict of interest when the review committee member, external reviewer or observer:

  • May receive professional/personal benefit resulting from the funding opportunity or application being reviewed;
  • Has a professional/personal relationship with an applicant or the applicant’s institution; or
  • Has a direct/indirect financial interest in a funding opportunity or application being reviewed.

A conflict of interest may exist when review committee members, external reviewers or observers:

  • Are a relative or close friend or have a personal relationship with the applicant(s);
  • Have had long-standing scientific or personal differences with the applicant(s); or
  • Feel for any reason unable to provide an impartial review of the application.

The ORIS reserves the right to resolve areas of uncertainty and to determine if a conflict exists.

* Adapted from the Government of Canada website.



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