What is the purpose of a PURE Award?
The Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) Award program offers funded opportunities for University of Calgary undergraduate students to conduct research with a faculty supervisor over the spring and summer terms. Award recipients learn how research projects are developed and conducted, and how research results can contribute new knowledge and insights in their field of study and in the wider community.
Each PURE studentship is a unique opportunity to develop research skills through experiential learning. Students explore personal research interests, develop the abilities to collaborate, think critically and creatively, and communicate with the research community. PURE Award experiences enrich and extend undergraduate learning at the University of Calgary.
PURE Awards are funded for periods of 8, 12 or 16 weeks between May and August. 16-week awards are in the amount of $7,500, 12-week awards in the amount of $5,625, and 8-week awards in the amount of $3,750. Students holding PURE Awards will be paid $1,875 from the Undergraduate Awards Office once a month for the duration of the studentship, in accordance with the award values.
Applications for 2023 are now closed. Check back near the end of the year for 2024 application information.
2023 PURE Program applications are now closed. 2024 applications will open near the end of 2023.
IMPORTANT: Consult with your supervisor before the submission deadline so that they will have time to complete their reference.
Summer studentship information sessions
Information Session 1
This session happened in late November 2022.
Watch the session »
Information Session 2
This session happened mid-January 2023.
Watch the session »
For inquiries, please contact:
PURE is intended for University of Calgary undergraduate students in good academic standing. We encourage applications from students in the early stages of their programs. PURE awards are only available to continuing undergraduate students in the following fall academic term. Students who have completed the requirements for their degree program are not eligible for a PURE award. Students planning to graduate in June are ineligible.
No, PURE awards are intended to provide University of Calgary students with research experience and University of Calgary funds are dedicated for this purpose.
Yes, if they are registered, full-time undergraduate students. We will require valid Study Permit numbers instead of Social Insurance Numbers. This number can be found on the back of your passport.
Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 to apply for a PURE award. A cumulative GPA includes all courses that count towards a student’s current program of study. As the PURE awards application deadline is in February, a student’s GPA includes their recent Fall semester grades. We strongly encourage students to connect with a faculty advisor to help accurately calculate their cumulative GPA.
Be sure to read through the information on this page about eligibility, ethics, reporting requirements and frequently asked questions.
Discover your research area of interest
Research is a valuable undergraduate experience no matter what discipline or faculty you are from.
Find a research supervisor
It is the student’s responsibility to find a research supervisor for their PURE project. Learn more about how to find a research supervisor below.
Review application requirements
Find out more about the format of the application and the rubric that will be used to evaluate each submission.
Submit your application
Ensure that you write your PURE application with support from your supervisor, and submit your application and supervisor reference by the deadlines listed at the top of this page.
2023 applications are now closed. Check back near the end of 2023 for 2024 application information.
How do I arrange for a faculty supervisor?
As a PURE applicant, you are responsible for finding your own faculty supervisor. You may have a supervisor from your own faculty or from a different faculty.
For helpful information on finding a faculty supervisor and how to email a potential supervisor, download our tip sheets below.
Applicants may choose to approach faculty members engaged in ongoing research projects of interest. Students must prepare research proposals outlining their specific roles, responsibilities and expected learning objectives.
Students may have supervisors from their own faculty or from different faculties. Supervisors must be full-time UCalgary academic staff members.
Eligible full-time staff members include assistant, associate and full professors, instructors, senior instructors, teaching professors, clinical faculty appointments, librarians, archivists, curators and professors emeritus with an active UCID.
UCalgary academic staff who are not full-time can co-supervise, but will require an eligible full-time academic staff member to co-supervise and be listed as the primary reference on the application. Staff who are not full-time include sessional or affiliated instructors, adjunct professors and instructors, postdoctoral fellowship holders, guest postdoctoral scholars and postdoctoral associates.
If the supervisor is willing to supervise the student and make appropriate arrangements for ongoing supervision and communication, location is not an issue. However, students should be informed if a prolonged absence is planned.
No, the PURE award is intended to provide University of Calgary students with research experience supervised by University of Calgary faculty members.
Is ethics approval required?
All research involving human participants, animal use and the handling and storage of bio-hazard materials must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate University Board or Committee before research commences.
As part of their commitment, all PURE recipients must submit final reports upon completion of their projects.
Students are also strongly encouraged to showcase their projects at the annual Students' Union Undergraduate Research Symposium.
PURE award holders must file reports summarizing the results of their research in late September.
Details on the submission process for final reports will be communicated in June.
The final report description and template will be shared with award recipients during the research term. The report will ask students to describe their research project and results and reflect on their experience.
Recipients are encouraged to participate in the Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium sponsored by the University of Calgary Students' Union (SU). It is an excellent opportunity for undergrads to demonstrate their exceptional research and celebrate their valuable place in a research-intensive institution. Find more information on the Undergraduate Research Symposium.
The primary adjudication of PURE proposals is done by faculty-based committees. Each PURE application is reviewed independently by two faculty members who have a relevant area of expertise. Based on these reviews, all of the PURE proposals are ranked and submitted to a committee that uses the Faculty-based assessments in determining the PURE recipients. Decisions of the committee are final and cannot be appealed.
PURE applications will be evaluated according to a rubric that includes an assessment of:
- The overview / abstract of the proposal
- The creativity of the research question or method
- The potential benefit to student
- Relevant experience
Results of the Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) summer studentship competition will be available approximately 6 to 8 weeks after the last application deadline. Candidates will be informed by email regarding the outcome of their submission. Successful applicants will be required to formally indicate their acceptance of the award. Please note that all candidates applying for Alberta Innovates, PURE, ATI, ACF ACHRI, Libin and O’Brien Centre Summer Studentship awards apply through a common system and will only receive ONE (1) offer of award if successful.
PURE award holders are to conduct their research in a safe and ethical manner under the guidance and mentorship of their supervisors. During the period of the award they are to maintain regular working hours, unless otherwise agreed to by their supervisor. In no case should PURE students work more than an average of 35 hours per week. They are expected to follow the procedures and rules of the research environment in which they conduct their research, and interact regularly with their supervisor. As part of their commitment, all PURE recipients must submit final reports upon completion of their projects and ensure it meets the expectations of PURE and of the supervisor. Failure to submit a final report could make students ineligible for future awards.
Yes, as long as your supervisor is a faculty member at the University of Calgary and willing to support your project.
There is no limit on the number of PURE awards a student can receive. All interested students are encouraged to submit applications.
To make the most out of the PURE research experience, it is strongly recommended that students take no more than one course throughout their research term. Students are expected to make a full-time commitment to their PURE research and are encouraged to discuss workload and expectations with their supervisor if they wish to take a spring or summer course during their research term.
No. PURE award holders may not simultaneously hold any similar award, such as the NSERC USRA, Research Awards for research in the natural sciences and engineering, Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP), etc. Students may apply for other similar research awards, but can only accept one award.