2011 Undergraduate Students in Science Research
updated 19 September 2012
by Maureen Paisley


Each summer, many students have the opportunity to work alongside professors in their research labs using modern advanced equipment in the quest to find answers to a host of different research questions. 

Did you ever wonder what students do in the summer research programs? 

Do you think it is something you might consider doing? 

If you are interested in working in a lab for the summer, September is the time to start making enquiries.  Check with your Professors or with the Departments in the Faculty of Science to learn more about summer student research opportunites.

Funding for summer research is provided by a number of sourses including: NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council), the Facutly of Science or through grants held by professors in the Faculty of Science.  In 2011, 60 students were involved in the NSERC and Faculty of Science awards alone. 

To learn more about the student experience, read on!

Derek Cormier - Computer Science

"I applied for a USRA [Undergraduate Student Research Award] in order to get research experience and a taste of what graduate studies.  I spent the summer working with Dr. John Anderson in the Autonomous Agents Laboratory on a mixed-reality environment.  My project is currently being used for research on robotic formation control.

The best part about working in robolab was traveling to Taiwan for the FIRA 2011 robotics competition, where our small humanoid robot won second place in the marathon competition. The food there was absolutely delicious, and on top of everything, I was actually paid to go!

The USRA gave me the chance to perform meaningful research in the field I'm passionate about.  It's an excellent way to earn some money during a summer term and prepare yourself for graduate studies without the business of a regular school term."

Check out a video of students' work in the Autonomous Agents Lab.

Check out some of the videos of the UM team at the FIRA 2011 competition held in Taiwan.

Nitin Wadhawan - Physics and Astronomy

"I had the opportunity to conduct research in Dr. Francis Lin’s immunotrafficking lab at the University of Manitoba for the past two summers with awards from NSERC and the Faculty of Science. My projects focused on studying the motion of immune cells using microfluidic devices that can uniquely simulate the tissue environments.

The research experiences of conducting my own projects and presenting my work in undergraduate research conference is fulfilling. Furthermore, I had the benefit of joining a lab where I got exposure to new technologies and advanced scientific instruments.

Whether you do foresee a future in research or a career in another field, the exposure to research gives you the benefits of having an enjoyable work experience that provides the chance to gain expertise in an interesting field."

Jacqueline Richelle - Biological Sciences

"My undergraduate research experience was in Dr. Judy Anderson's laboratory where I studied the activation process undergone by satellite cells (muscle precursor cells) involved with the repair and growth of skeletal muscle.  I isolated muscle fibres from zebrafish, cultured cells, and utilized immunostaining techniques. 

I was also offered the opportunity to travel to the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India, with Dr. Anderson, to teach the fibre isolation technique to a group of researchers.

I enjoy the challenges that come with research and find it rewarding to be able to apply the information taught in class to practical use."

Find out more about Jacquline's UM experience

Read about Jacquline's experience in the Globe and Mail



Derek Cormier - Computer Science


Nitin Wadhawan - Physics and Astronomy


Jacqueline Richelle - Biological Sciences