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Enhancing the undergraduate research experience

Interested in becoming a PURE supervisor?

The Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) provides up to $7,500 of financial support to the University of Calgary undergraduates to conduct research for 8, 12, or 16 weeks between May and August. The PURE Award provides students an opportunity to conduct research in collaboration with faculty members, learn about the research process, and discover how they can contribute to and participate in a community of researchers.

Each PURE Award is a unique opportunity for faculty members to mentor undergraduates in an existing or student-proposed research project. Throughout the spring and summer, faculty members engage students in developing their research, collaboration, and communication skills, amplifying students’ ability to engage in research in their chosen field.

As a PURE research supervisor, you will: 

  • Be entered into the pool of reviewers and review the summer studentship applications from students other than your own.
  • Mentor undergraduate students in completing an existing or student-proposed research project.
  • Supervise undergraduate student researcher(s) who are financially supported and receive professional development with quality workshops and resources through the PURE program
  • Be part of a research awards program that combines curiosity, discovery, creativity and reflection into an immersive experiential learning opportunity.

Important dates

2024 PURE Program applications open in December 2023. 

Student Application Deadline: February 02, 2024

Supervisor Application Deadline: February 09, 2024

How does faculty supervision work?

The supervisor of a PURE award holder is expected to mentor and support the student, providing an opportunity for the student to learn and develop research skills. The supervisor is to ensure the student can conduct their research experience in a safe and ethical environment, following procedures and rules of the University of Calgary, and if applicable those of the specific research environment in which the student is engaged. The supervisor is to meet regularly with the student, and provide regular feedback and support to the student and the student's research project. The supervisor is to review and approve the student's final PURE report to ensure the report adequately explains the award holder's research successes and challenges. 

Students may have supervisors from their own faculty or from different faculties. Supervisors must be full-time UCalgary Academic Staff (Faculty and Researchers) with continuing appointments.  

Eligible full-time staff members include assistant, associate, full professor, assistant, associate, and full professors (Teaching), clinical faculty appointments, librarians, archivists, and curators.

UCalgary academic staff who are not on a continuing appointment can co-supervise but will require an eligible academic staff member to be listed as the primary supervisor for the application.  Staff who are not full-time include sessional or affiliated instructors, postdoctoral fellowship holders, guest postdoctoral scholars, adjunct professors and instructors, postdoctoral associates, and professor emeritus.

To create the maximum number of PURE opportunities for students and supervisors, a supervisor may oversee up to two students in the application system.

No, the award is intended to provide University of Calgary students with a research experience and University of Calgary funds are dedicated for this purpose.

Professors are not required to provide additional money to supplement the PURE Award. If they do so, it is at their discretion.

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Supervisor application process

Find a student

Students are encouraged to approach faculty members for research supervision. Supervisors are welcome to approach students with a research opportunity.

Support your student’s PURE application

Find out more about the format of the application and the rubric that will be used to evaluate each submission.

Learn more

Student submits their application

Ensure your student submits their application by the deadline at the top of the page. Once they submit, you will receive an automatic email to your UCalgary account with a link to submit your portion of the application.

Submit your reference

Ensure you submit your portion of the application by the deadline at the top of the page.

How are PURE Award recipients selected?

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.

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.