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Apply for a Faculty of Science Summer Research Award

Undergraduate Summer Research in Physics and Atmospheric Science

Several types of awards are available for undergraduate research in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science. Only one application is necessary to apply for all of them. A monthly stipend is provided to award holders for a period of 16 weeks between May 1, 2017 and September 1. 2017.

Please see the 2017 Summer Research Award Guidelines

Student eligibility summary

  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  • Registered (at the time you apply) as a full-time student in a BSc program (or equivalent) in natural sciences
  • Cumulative grade of A- or better over the previous years of study
  • Completed the course requirements (by the end of May 2017) of at least the first 2 years of university study toward a BSc
  • During tenure of the award, the student will be employed full-time in research activities in the natural sciences

For more on rules and eligibility see: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/UG-PC/USRA-BRPC_eng.asp

The level of remuneration depends on the type of award. For NSERC USRA’s, the stipends for 2017 are:

  • For students who completed second year:      $7600 for the full 16 weeks
  • For students who completed third year:          $8000 for the full 16 weeks
  • For students who completed fourth year:        $8400 for the full 16 weeks

How to apply

Dalhousie students: Download and complete the application form. No transcript is required, but for each of your current X/Y classes, you must obtain a signed statement from the instructor indicating your midyear grade. Submit the application and your signed statement(s) to Jennifer Currie in the Physics and Atmospheric Science main office (Dunn 218). Your application package must be received in our office by the deadline date of January 20, 2017.

Non-Dalhousie students: Download and complete the application form. Mail the application form, along with your official transcript, to the following address:

Undergraduate Summer Research
c/o Jennifer Currie
Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science
Room 218, 6310 Coburg Road
PO Box 15000
Halifax, NS   B3H 4R2  CANADA

*Your applications package must be received in our office by the deadline date of January 20, 2017

What happens after you apply?

Your application will be considered for a variety of awards at the Departmental, Faculty, and National level (e.g. Federal NSERC USRA awards). In some instances, further information will be requested from you. We will attempt to place you in one of the research groups you have indicated on your application form. We regret that we cannot always match you with your first choice. We will notify you of the competition results by the end of March.

Tips on choosing a research group in Physics and Atmospheric Science

These awards are highly competitive. An offer will only be made if a successful match is made between the undergraduate award candidate and the head of the research group. Your chances of success are greatly increased if you identify and contact a potential supervisor in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science.

Faculty members:  https://www.dal.ca/faculty/science/physics/faculty-staff/Faculty.html

Research areas:  https://www.dal.ca/faculty/science/physics/research/centres-and-labs.html

Please spend some time browsing these sites to learn about research groups with whom you may be interested in working.

Personal contact is crucial

  • Email or phone a supervisor you might like to work with. Mention that you are interested in a summer research position and that you wish to learn more about the group’s research.

  • If you live in the Halifax area, make an appointment to visit prospective supervisors in person. You should budget 20-30 minutes per appointment. If you do not reside in Halifax, you can communicate through email or phone. You should contact a minimum of three faculty members.

  • When meeting (or writing, speaking, etc.) with potential supervisors, mention why you are interested in pursuing a summer research project and what you wish to learn.

  • As a general rule, scientists love (love!) to talk about their research. Ask them about it. Ask what projects are available. Ask what other undergrads have done in the past. Ask about the current make-up of their group.

  • Start now. There is always a last-minute rush close to the deadline date - don’t get caught up in it.

  • Keep track of the dates and researchers with whom you have conversed. Supply this information on the application form along with a ranking of your preference for a summer research position.

  • Emailing or meeting with a faculty member does not commit you to work with that faculty member. Nor does it commit the faculty member to accept you. But it does dramatically increase the chances that a match is made.

  • Questions?  Contact Jennifer Currie at 902.494.6852 or Jennifer.Currie@Dal.Ca