White background with 5 owls depicted engaging in various research activities

Ready for Research

Get a digital badge — or micro-credential — for completing six workshop sessions that will prepare you to confidently participate in research within your undergraduate studies.


Ready for Research Badge Icon

Duration

6 workshops (1 hr each)

Time commitment

10 – 15 hours

Format

Online and in-person

Program overview

Undergraduate research is a signature form of Experiential Learning at UCalgary that allows you to “learn by doing” as you conduct a research project. Engaging in a high-quality research experience should spark your curiosity as you participate in the process of discovery. With thoughtful design and mentorship, undergraduate research can immerse you deeply in a topic while enabling you to take risks, build resiliency by overcoming challenges faced through research, and develop professional skills. Through research, you will explore meaningful ways to share your findings and extend your learning through critical reflection. The Ready for Research badge will prepare you to confidently participate in research within your undergraduate studies. This badge is a blend of online and in-person workshops, allowing you to choose between various learning activities to match your personal interests. Participating in this badge will help you discover undergraduate research opportunities on campus and create a plan to get involved with the research you are truly passionate about, enriching your undergraduate experience.


Program details

This badge program is open to all undergraduate students at the University of Calgary. In order to receive the badge, you must register and participate in all four required workshops, as well as two out of eight optional workshops.

You will learn to:

  • Build your understanding of what undergraduate research involves while developing an appreciation and respect for diverse ways of knowing, doing, and practicing research across campus.
  • Understand the many undergraduate research opportunities available to you at UCalgary and develop some strategies to get involved.
  • Understand the numerous skills you can develop through a research experience and begin to develop a reflective research practice by exploring your interests and goals and formulating a research journey plan to support your next steps.

Required workshops

Students are required to attend and reflect on the following four workshops:

Facilitators: Dr. Kyla Flanagan, PhD, Kara Loy, Dr. Lisa Stowe, PhD
Method of delivery: Online
Date: Week of October 3

Undergraduate research is a category of experiential learning that will intentionally evoke your personal curiosity and interests, allow you to engage in discovery, and ensure there is an opportunity for disseminating findings and extending learning through critical reflection. When you are given the opportunity to engage in this type of hands-on learning, you will develop important skills like working effectively with others, solving complex real-world problems, and acquiring work-related knowledge and abilities. This session will explore different research approaches and how research can be a part of your undergraduate experience at UCalgary.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe experiential learning and explain the benefits of engaging in experiential learning
  • Describe characteristics of undergraduate research across different disciplines
  • Explain and give examples of diverse research approaches and methodologies 
  • Acknowledge and formulate beliefs about research and the nature of knowledge
  • Affirm where your research interests are situated
  • Identify areas of research interest and start to develop a plan to engage in research

Facilitators: Dr. Jenny Godley, PhD, Beatriz Moya, Dr. Sarah Eaton, PhD
Method of delivery: Online
Date: Week of October 31

This session will introduce students planning to conduct research to the research ethics process. We will begin by discussing the history of research ethics, both in the medical sciences and social sciences. We will then explore the theoretical underpinnings of research ethics, including Indigenous perspectives. Next, we will examine current regulatory requirements for ethical research with human participants. The importance of appropriately citing and referencing scholarly work when conducting research will also be examined.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe the history of research ethics
  • Explain the various theories behind the ethical conduct of research
  • Describe the basic principles underlying the Tri-council Policy Statement on research ethics with human participants
  • Recognize the importance of citing and referencing scholarly work in research

Facilitators: Dr. Kyla Flanagan, PhD, Andel Anderson, Stephanie Vahaaho, Jennifer Logan
Method of delivery: Online; recording shared on the PURE webpage
Date: Week of November 28

Are you an undergraduate student interested in research? Are you looking for an opportunity to work with researchers on campus and strategies to approach research supervisors? Summer research studentships comprise many awards across campus, including Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentships, Biomedical Engineering (BME), O’Brien Centre Summer Studentships (OCSS), Libin Cardiovascular Health Research Award, NSERC CREATE in Neurotechnologies Awards, Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) Awards, and many others. Summer studentships provide financial support for University of Calgary undergraduates to conduct research for 8, 12 or 16 weeks between May and August. This session will outline strategies for finding a supervisor for undergraduate student research opportunities as well as the summer studentship application process. You will have the opportunity to hear from past summer student researchers and develop a plan for applying for summer research that is driven by your interests.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe strategies for how to find a research supervisor and begin to develop a plan for contacting potential supervisors
  • Explain the summer studentship application system, process and timelines
  • Describe how summer studentship applications are evaluated
  • Create a proposal for a summer research studentship in collaboration with a supervisor
  • Listen to and ask questions of previous summer student researchers

Facilitators: Dr. Kyla Flanagan, PhD, Andel Anderson, Stephanie Vahaaho, Jennifer Logan
Method of delivery: Online; recording shared on the PURE webpage
Date: Week of January 9

Are you an undergraduate student interested in applying for 2023 summer studentships? Do you have a supervisor, or are you confirming a supervisor and developing your application? Learn more about what makes a great research proposal and how to submit your application in this information session for summer studentship funding. Summer research studentships comprise many awards across campus, including Alberta Innovates Summer Research Studentships, Biomedical Engineering (BME), O’Brien Centre Summer Studentships (OCSS), Libin Cardiovascular Health Research Award, NSERC CREATE in Neurotechnologies Awards, Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) Awards, and others. Summer research studentships provide financial support for University of Calgary undergraduates to conduct research for 8, 12 or 16 weeks between May and August.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Explain how to begin developing your research proposal in collaboration with your supervisor
  • Describe what makes a strong summer studentship research proposal
  • Explain the summer studentship application system, process and timelines
  • Understand how summer studentship applications are evaluated

Optional workshops

Students will select two out the following eight workshops in the series.

Please note: These workshops might change from year to year to provide students with contemporary themes and based on the availability of facilitators.

Facilitators: Dr. Mindi Summers, PhD, Dr. Jen Cuthbertson, PhD, Dr. Kyla Flanagan, PhD
Method of delivery: In-person
Date: Week of October 17

Where do research ideas come from? How do researchers come up with novel questions? How do researchers take their curiosities and formulate them into a project? Identifying a research topic and developing a research question can be one of the toughest steps in the research process. In this session, you will be provided with strategies to develop creativity, identify an area of interest, narrow a broad topic into a productively-focused one, and construct a research question.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Develop skills to promote creativity in research and question generation, including brainstorming (divergent thinking) and question selection (convergent thinking)
  • Practice integrating reflection and metacognition into your research design and practice
  • Understand the importance of engaging and working with others to build your own creative capacity
  • Describe ways to develop creative approaches
  • Identify barriers to creativity in research
  • Describe the work habits of a creative person

Facilitators: James Murphy, Bronte Burnette-Chiang, Dr. Kyla Flanagan, PhD
Method of delivery: In-person
Date: Week of November 14

This session will introduce a process for searching, accessing, and organizing high-quality research sources for a topic. The session will begin by discussing question frameworks, which is one way of identifying the important concepts in their research question. You will then look at how to create a search strategy for an individual concept incorporating synonyms and operators. Finally, the session will demonstrate how to execute a search in a relevant multi-disciplinary database, apply filters and other strategies to broaden or narrow a search, and showcase some of the advanced functionality available in the database.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Create a focused research question using a question framework
  • Create a search string containing synonyms for a given concept
  • Identify the best database or information source for your topic
  • Utilize operators such as truncation, phrase searching, and Boolean operators
  • Understand metrics and other methods to assess the quality of information
  • Identify alternate sources such as archival materials, data, GIS, traditional knowledge, and others

Facilitators: James Murphy, Bronte Burnette-Chiang, Dr. Kyla Flanagan, PhD
Method of delivery: In-person
Date: Week of November 21

Supporting what you claim in your research with reliable sources is a fundamental value of good research. Proper citing and referencing external sources enable readers to explore other related work while also connecting your research to the greater literature landscape. As a new researcher, you would also hope that future readers of your work cite and attribute your work as well! This session will present and offer opportunities to practice strategies for organizing, managing, and citing the sources that you find for your projects.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand the options for managing your literature or sources (e.g. citation manager)
  • Implement a literature matrix strategy to organize and synthesize what you find
  • Identify a suitable tool for your project based on your needs
  • Learn about the typical functionality of reference management tools
  • Understand the importance of proper citing in a variety of citation styles
  • Increase awareness of supports available at the University of Calgary

Facilitators: Heather Ganshorn, Dr. Kyla Flanagan, PhD
Method of delivery: In-person
Date: Week of December 12

If you are new to planning or collaborating on an academic research project, a project management approach can help make things go smoothly. This session will introduce principles, methods, tools and techniques to help with project planning in an academic context. A key aspect of planning a research project is data management, and this session will also cover the basics of data management planning.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe what a project is, and list the triple constraint in project management
  • Create a work structure breakdown for a simple project
  • Identify tools (Gantt charts, etc.) that can be used to aid with project planning and management
  • Describe the importance of data management, data management planning, and metadata
  • Define and describe data, data management, metadata, the Data Life Cycle  
  • Create an outline of a Data Management Plan

Facilitators: Dr. Kyla Flanagan, PhD, co-presented with multiple researchers across campus
Method of delivery: In-person
Date: Week of January 23

What is the importance of community for researchers? Why develop a research community? In this co-facilitated panel, you will hear from a panel of experienced researchers and explore the connections between research identity, relationship building and career development. You will be given the opportunity to ask panellists questions and learn more about the experience and journey in the career of a researcher.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe and explain the importance of developing a research community in academic contexts and beyond
  • Recognize relationship building as a practice and describe different relationship-building strategies
  • Listen to the experiences of diverse researchers from across campus and participate in a discussion about relationship building
  • Reflect on their academic community and explore research career paths

Facilitators: James Murphy, Kathryn Ruddock, Kate Cawthorn, Dr. Kyla Flanagan, PhD
Method of delivery: In-person
Date: Week of February 6

So you have done the research and now want to share your findings. There are many ways to do this! Are you writing a paper, making a presentation at a conference, creating a poster, or another type of creation? Have you thought about making your research open access or openly available? There are many options when it comes time to share your work, which this workshop will help with! Also, what does the peer review process involve, and why is it important in research? This workshop will teach you different approaches to effectively communicating their research processes and findings.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe different approaches for disseminating research findings
  • Describe and explain the peer-review process
  • Identify publishing avenues for undergraduate research
  • Describe and use PRISM, UCalgary’s digital repository, and explain how it can improve research dissemination

Facilitators: James Murphy, Bronte Burnette-Chiang, Dr. John Brosz, PhD, Dr. Kyla Flanagan, PhD
Method of delivery: In-person
Date: Week of February 20

Although much research is communicated in academic journals, there are other options to think about as well. Often, new researchers have opportunities to share and get feedback on their work by creating a poster or presenting at a conference. How can you design a good research poster? This workshop will cover the basics of poster design to provide you with ideas. Some research projects can also be a good fit for visualization, especially if they contain data sets, maps, or other digital products. This workshop will also present the basics of data visualization, examples, and support and spaces available at the University of Calgary if you want to give your project a creative visual edge.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand key components of research poster design
  • Identify examples of effective and not-so-effective research posters
  • Describe core principles of data visualization
  • Evaluate examples of effective and not effective visualizations
  • Consider how you could visualize research in your discipline

Facilitators: Kara Loy, Dr. Lisa Stowe, PhD, Dr. Kyla Flanagan, PhD
Method of delivery: In-person
Date: Week of March 6

The skills gained in the research process can help prepare you for success in future careers and further your educational goals. However, sometimes it can be unclear what skills you’ve developed or how to translate them to another audience like an employer or graduate school admissions committee. One way to learn how to articulate research skills is through reflective practice. Reflective practice is essential to identifying, understanding and communicating your personal and professional growth. In this skills articulation workshop, you will explore how to use the DEAL framework to reflect on and articulate the impact of your research experiences on applicable skills, academic/professional growth, and career development.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Use the DEAL framework to reflect on and articulate the impact of research on skill development
  • Identify and articulate skills developed through research in collaboration with other undergraduate researchers
  • Explain and describe how to translate research skills for various audiences
  • Create or revise a resume to include skills acquired through undergraduate research 

Instructor

Dr. Kyla Flanagan, PhD

Academic Lead
College of Discovery, Creativity and Innovation, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning