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Research Experience Opportunities

Research experience – for pay or course credit!

Calling all students – do you want to work in a Chemistry or Biochemistry research lab next summer?? As a student it is a great way to find out what research is really like, get to know your professors and get hands-on research experience. You can get paid for doing research or get course credit!

Faculty members are looking for students for next summer.

Visit the prof that you are interested in working with NOW, as many grant application deadlines are in JANUARY. These grants can fund your research experience (you get paid to do research) and can help pay for your next year of university.

For more information, see below or for a list of Biochemistry faculty members, see our Research webpage and click on the Contributing Departments link.

The Department of Biological Sciences Research webpage lists their professors, who may be accepting students to work on research projects.

Other ways to do research:

Independent Study
Honours Thesis
Applied Study
Co-op Education
Graduate Studies

Independent Study (IS) (2nd year or higher)

You can do research in an area that really interests you and get course credit for it.
Independent Study information

IS may be taken for credit inside or outside of the student’s major subject or in an interdisciplinary mode. The course for which credit is earned is an individual study under the supervision of an instructor. Independent studies are offered at the 2000, 3000 and 4000 level and should not duplicate the contents of existing courses.

In Chemistry and Biochemistry, an IS usually involves project in which you contribute to a professor’s research. You’ll be contributing to the advancement of science, learning valuable career skills and having fun doing it.

Admission criteria - consent of the instructor, who agrees to guide the Study, and by approval of the Department and the Dean. Enrollment may be during a regular semester or Summer session. For full details see the U of L Calendar.

Honours Thesis (4th year)

If you are a motivated student, in you can opt to complete an Undergraduate Thesis Course. This is an excellent opportunity for you to earn an “Honours Thesis” designation on your degree.

Prerequisites: 4th year standing and a cumulative GPA of 3.30. Contact the Department or a faculty member for more information or for full details see the U of L Calendar.

An Honours Thesis is a great springboard into Graduate Studies. It also sets students apart when applying for other programs such as Medicine.

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Applied Studies (2nd year and up)

An opportunity for students to gain University course credit for volunteer or employment experience. Students must have at least 2nd year status and a work or volunteer placement related to their academic program. Contact the Coordinator of Applied Studies for specific information or an application form (AH151; tel 403-329-2000).

Co-operative Education (1st year and up)

Co-operative Education/Internship Programs formally integrate a student’s academic and career studies on campus with relevant and productive work experience in industry, business or government or here at the university. It is an enrichment of the student’s academic program and in the intellectual, personal and professional development of the student.

Admission criteria includes a minimum 1st year standing and GPA & academic standing. For a full list see the U of L Calendar or contact the Office of Career Bridge (Co-operative Education) Programs (AH151; tel 403-329-2000) email

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iGEM – Course # IDST3200A Genetically Engineered Machines (1st year and up)

This class is an interdisciplinary approach combining the field of synthetic biology with other disciplines such as computational modelling, design, ethics, management (small business development), and new media, It provides a case-driven learning environment, emphasizing basic training in state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques. You will be working with and constructing novel genetic building blocks (biobricks). The team will be organized along the lines of a technology start-up company. Along with developing a genetically engineered machine, students will be involved in developing business/marketing plans and fundraising.

The learning environment supports the U of L’s involvement in the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition. This year our project was directed towards converting astrocytes from glial scars into functional neurons.

Every year, traumatic brain injury, stroke and neurodegenerative disease collectively cost the Canadian medical system millions of dollars while effective neural regenerative therapies remain elusive.

Our proposed project involved engineering microglia, the mobile immune cells of the brain, to package and deliver a therapeutic plasmid DNA construct specifically to the reactive astrocytes that comprise these glial scars. The plasmids will contain a reprogramming factor that converts reactive astrocytes into new neurons, helping to both restore the functional neuronal population and permit regrowth of damaged connections. Full details here.

In October 2014 the iGEM Team won a Gold medal at the iGEM Jamboree at MIT. 243 teams competed and 99 Gold medals were awarded.

For more information about iGEM check out the iGEM team page , contact HJ Wieden at or Angeliki Pantazi at .

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Graduate Studies

If you are thinking about Grad School and are not sure what it involves, visit the Chem or Bchm professor who does research that you are interested in. He/she can answer your questions about Graduate Studies and opportunities available to you with a MSc or PhD.

Funding is provided from the School of Graduate Studies and from your supervisor. Click here for information on Graduate Studies in Chem or Bchm .