Science Co-op

Aneka Friesen stands over a sensory pool at the at Shaw Ocean Discover Centre
Aneka Friesen (biology) completed her first work term as a lead oceaneer at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre.

Science Co-op is for students studying:

  • biology
  • biochemistry & microbiology
  • chemistry
  • earth and ocean sciences
  • physics & astronomy
  • mathematics & statistics.

Learn more about these co-op programs below.

All six science co-op programs are optional. To take part in Science Co-op, you must complete an application form and register for SCIE 201.

The Science Co-op application deadline is September 15, 2021.

WHAT IS CO-OP? Learn about co-op including how it works and what's expected of you, plus check out fees and salaries.

READY TO APPLY FOR A CO-OP JOB? Here's what to expect.

Your co-op office

Science Co-op is located on the second floor of the Bob Wright Centre (BWC).

Biochemistry & Microbiology (BCMB)

Co-op coordinator

Heather Croft
Office: BWC A237
Email: Phone: 250-721-8813

Co-op assistant

Jessica Abriel
Office: BWC A243/245
Email: Phone: 250-472-4800

Biology & Earth and Ocean Sciences

Co-op coordinator

Diane Luszniak
Office: BWC A241
Biology Co-op inquiries:
EOS Co-op inquiries:
Phone: 250-721-8649

Co-op assistant

Emma Edmunds
Office: BWC A243/245
Email: Phone: 250-721-8637

Physics & Astronomy / Chemistry / Mathematics & Statistics (PACMS)

Co-op coordinator

Arkady Futerman
Office: BWC A239
Email: scicoop@uvic.ca Phone: 250-721-7713

Co-op assistant

Kandie Husband
Office: BWC A243/245
Email: Phone: 250-721-6122

Program formats and number of work terms

Number of work terms

You can complete any number of work terms on the schedule that fits your learning and career goals. Work during the summer, fall or spring terms, and complete as many or as few work terms as you see fit. The number of work terms you complete depends on your program format.

Program formats

Choose one of the following program formats:

  • Traditional co-op: 16 months of work alternating with your academic terms
  • Work experience program: Four to 12 months of work alternating with your academic terms
  • Co-op internship: 12 months of consecutive work
  • Post-degree internship: Four to 12 months of work following the completion of all your academic terms

Read more about co-op formats

How to apply

1) Review application requirements

In order to apply, you must be:

  • majoring in a program in the Faculty of Science
  • have completed your first year of study
  • have a minimum B average
  • be a full-time UVic student

2) Check the application deadline

  • September 15 for students in their second year of study
  • Alternate entry points may be possible; please contact your co-op office

3) Complete a science co-op application form

Complete the application form for your program area during the application period.

4) Complete SCIE 201: Introduction to Professional Practice

New co-op students must complete SCIE 201 before their first work term.

In addition to completing an application form, you must register for SCIE 201: Introduction to professional practice.

The course takes place in winter session in addition to the regular course load. It includes 50-minute in-person/synchronous sessions and a mock interview clinic.

When will you hear back?

We'll do our best to update you on your application status within 10 business days, as long as you submit it before September 15.

Applications received after September 15 will be considered for the following year’s intake.

More information about requirements and the application process can be found in our FAQ.

Work term transfer

If you have completed a co-op work term at another accredited post-secondary institution, you can apply for transfer credit (or a Work Term Transfer) for up to two work terms.

The work term for which you wish to receive transfer credit must have been:

  • paid
  • evaluated (you must have submitted a final written report)
  • supervised by a co-op practitioner at the previous institution
  • a minimum of 4 months (or 420 hours) of full-time work
  • relevant to your academic program

How to apply for Work Term Transfer

Contact the Science Co-op office at to let us know that you plan to apply for a Work Term Transfer.

Work term challenge

You can apply to register previous work that you completed before entering the co-op program as a Work Term Challenge, for up to two work terms.

What qualifies as a Work Term Challenge?

The work you have completed must have:

  • been completed before you were accepted into the Science Co-op program
  • helped you establish and achieve your career goals
  • supervised
  • totalled a minimum of 420 hours
  • been paid
  • helped you develop competencies, such as any of the following:
    • analysis
    • problem solving
    • decision-making
    • organizing/managing self and others
    • written/verbal communication
    • technical/computer
    • interpersonal relations
    • initiative and self-reliance
    • industry/job specific

How to apply for a Work Term Challenge

Contact the Science Co-op office at scicoopinfo@uvic.ca to let us know that you plan to apply for a Work Term Challenge.


 

Sample co-op jobs

Biochemistry & Microbiology co-op students have worked for:

  • Academic research labs and institutes
    • conducting original research using modern biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology, genomics and proteomics technologies
  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
  • Breweries, wineries and distilleries
    • monitoring industrial fermentation processes
  • Government agencies
    • testing clinical, environmental, food and water samples for microbial or chemical contamination
  • Food, chemical and equipment manufacturers

Learn more about the various jobs students can do.

Biology co-op students have worked for:

  • Marine biology, fisheries and forestry
    • Eulachon assessment and pelagic ecosystems – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Pacific Biological Station)
  • Resource management
    • Assistant wildlife biologist – Parks Canada (Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks)
  • Pest management
  • Ecology and environmental monitoring
    • Environment regulatory and sustainability co-op student – Devon Energy Corporation
  • Wildlife assessment and tracking
    • Junior wildlife rehabilitator – BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre
  • Botany
    • Biological weed and pest control assistant – Cultural Agricultural Bureau International (Switzerland)
  • Medical research, genetics and microbiology

Learn more about the various jobs students can do.

Chemistry co-op students have worked for:

  • Academic research projects (theoretical and applied)
  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
  • Breweries, wineries and distilleries
  • Food, chemical and equipment manufacturers
  • Natural resources management and research

Learn more about the various jobs students can do.

Earth and Ocean Sciences co-op students have worked for:

  • Upstream environmental operation, water team – Husky Energy Inc.
  • Research geomorphologist assistant – BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
  • Laboratory assistant, petrophysics – Natural Resources Canada
  • Oceanographic data processing – Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
  • Coastal naturalist – Calliope Consulting Inc.
  • Junior project officer – Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
  • Geologist co-op student – Teck Ltd.
  • Underwater acoustic analyst – Ocean Networks Canada
  • Environmental co-op student – National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces
  • Digital remote sensing research – Natural Resources Canada

Learn more about the various jobs students can do.

Physics & Astronomy co-op students have worked for:

  • Academic research projects (theoretical and applied)
  • Computational and quantum physics projects
  • Renewable energy research and production projects
  • Geophysics
  • Nuclear physics
  • Oceanography
  • Medical research

Learn more about the various jobs students can do.

Mathematics & Statistics co-op students have worked as:

  • Environmental assessment co-op student—Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Investment operations intern—BC Investment Management Corp.
  • Junior developer—Workday (MediaCore)
  • Modelling and analytics support technician—Alberta Environment and Parks
  • Survey methodology co-op student—Statistics Canada
  • Toronto investments analyst—Manulife Financial

Learn more about the various jobs students can do.

International students

If you are an international student, you should apply at least two terms before your intended work term to make sure that you have enough time to receive a co-op work permit, due to processing wait times.

For a summer work term, you will submit an application form and attend SCIE 201 in the fall of the previous year.

When you start a work term/internship, you will be added to a Brightspace course, which contains details of the co-op assignments.

Graduate students

Graduate students in biology, chemistry, earth and ocean science, physics & astronomy, and math & statistics can take part in the co-op program.

Program facts

  • Master's students who complete two work terms (8 months of work) will graduate with Co-op distinction, or one work term to receive a "work experience" endorsement on your transcript
  • Doctoral students who complete three work terms (12 months of work) will graduate with Co-op distinction, or one work term to receive a "work experience" endorsement on your transcript
  • Work terms do not have to be continuous—can work for different employers on different work terms

Application requirements

  • You must have your graduate supervisor's permission to participate in co-op (and each specific work term)
  • You must complete your first co-op work term before the academic term in which you complete your academic requirements (defend your thesis or equivalent)
You must complete the work term requirements including SCIE 201, competency assessments, work term report and presentation

Co-op work term process

Find a co-op work term

In addition to the general process for securing a co-op job, you need to agree to the Terms & Conditions to gain access to co-op job board.

You can also find a job on your own (outside the Co-op and Career portal) and apply to have it count as co-op. To register your work term, you need to request approval from your co-op coordinator.

If you found your co-op/internship through the Co-op Portal, contact your co-op coordinator and provide them with the job ID number and the following:

  • start date
  • end date
  • salary
  • hours per week
  • supervisor's name, phone, email

During your work term

As part of the work term requirements for all co-op students, you will reflect on the learning that takes place during your co-op work term/internship by completing assignments.

When you start a work term/internship, you will be added to a Brightspace course which contains details of the co-op assignments.

Co-op work term assignments

At the end of your co-op work term, you will reflect on your work experience by completing a:

  • Work term report - a scientific report on a subject you choose with your work term supervisor
  • Oral presentation - a short presentation to an audience of your peers
  • Competency assessment – a tool that is part of the Co-op and Career portal

You should also:

  • Book a debriefing meeting
  • Update your résumé
  • Complete a release form

Assignment due dates:

  • Work term ends in August: due September 15*
  • Work term ends in December: due January 15*
  • Work term ends in April: due May 15*

*Unless the due date falls on a holiday, or a weekend, in which case the assignment will be due the next business day.

See the assignment criteria, guidelines, and templates in the Work Term Course in Brightspace.

Resources for co-op students

Co-op and Career Portal

Co-op and Career website

Science Co-op blog

  • See recent stories on our Science Co-op blog
  • Find answers to commonly questions about Science Co-op on our FAQ