Undergraduate research and funding

There are many different possibilities for research experience as an undergraduate student.
There are many different possibilities for research experience as an undergraduate student.


Honours Program: The Biology Honours Program provides an opportunity for qualified senior undergraduates to undertake a research project, to work closely with a research supervisor, and to improve their skills in oral and written scientific communication.  The Honours Program is especially recommended for students considering postgraduate work in biology. It is distinguished from the Majors Program by the requirement of four courses: BIOL 330, Study Design and Data Analysis, BIOL 460, Honours Seminar, and BIOL 499A and 499B, Honours Thesis.  Students are strongly encouraged to take BIOL 330 in their third year, before applying to the Honours Program. 

The deadline to submit an application for the Honours Program is July 1 of each year.

For more information, contact the .

See below for a list of potential Honours Projects for 2024-25
This list is not exhaustive. Other projects are possible and students should contact supervisors directly to discuss potential projects. 
Supervisor Project Title
Amanda Bates Nesting habitat preference of native seabirds and extent of habitat encroachment by a range-shifting seabird in the Arctic
Amanda Bates Trends in rocky reef subtidal habitats on the East and West coasts of Canada
Amanda Bates Terrestrial Predation in Intertidal Zones of the Pacific Northwest: Case Study of Carnivorous Mammal Use of Marine Resources
Peter Constabel Histochemical and molecular analysis of gene expression in transgenic poplar trees
Jürgen Ehlting Effect of short-day treatment on root growth potential in fall planted Douglas-fir
Ryan Gawryluk Investigation of cryptic protist parasite diversity among local eelgrass populations
Ryan Gawryluk Molecular identification of phytoplankton parasites
Francis Juanes Investigating the effects of noise on the behaviour and condition of important forage fish in the Salish Sea
Francis Juanes Mobbing in birds: investigating eavesdropping across space and species
Francis Juanes Diversity, physiology, and ecology of sound-producing fishes in collaboration with FishSounds.net
Francis Juanes Examining behaviours associated with sound production in Arctic cod
Nicole Templeman Impacts of maternal dietary conditions on the growth and survival of C. elegans progeny
Nicole Templeman Effects of glucose enrichment on the cellular ultrastructure of C. elegans oocytes
Examples of Past Honours Projects can be viewed here


Directed Studies/BIOL 490

Directed Studies and Research: Directed Studies and Research (BIOL 490 A-J) is a credit course for senior students working on a project in a research lab. The prerequisites for directed studies are a cumulative GPA of 5.0 on the last 15 units of course work and third- or fourth-year standing.

The deadline to apply for a Directed Studies is 5 days before the last day to add courses.

For information click here, or contact .

Work study

Work study program: The work study program is funded by Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) with the objective to provide additional financial assistance through on-campus part-time employment opportunities for students with documented financial need. Students gain experience during the Fall and Spring terms working in a teaching or research lab.


NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (NSERC-USRA): These awards are intended to stimulate students' interest in research and to encourage them to consider graduate studies and pursue a career in research. The USRA has a value of $6000 plus supervisor's contribution (minimum approximately $3260). Students must complete a 16-week consecutive research term. The start dates are May 1, September 1 or January 1. The USRA can count as a co-op work term.

The deadline to apply for a USRA is February 15 of each year.


Faculty of Science Undergraduate Research Award (SURA): The awards are directed at undergraduate students who wish to carry out a research project under the supervision of a Faculty Member in Science at UVic. The expectation is that the student will work full-time on the project for at least three months over one academic term, prior to continuing undergraduate studies in a subsequent term. The SURA will provide up to $4,000 to the student for the research project, and the supervisor of the project must at least match this contribution. The amount of the award will be related to the length of the student's research project.

The deadline to apply for a SURA is February 15 of each year. Applications should be sent to


Faculty of Science Emerging Researcher Award (SERA): An anonymous donor has provided funds for awards to students interested in performing research under the supervision or co-supervision of a regular Member of the Faculty of Science at UVic. The emphasis of the award is to support members of a group with historical and/or current barriers to equity, including but not limited to

  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, and all other Indigenous peoples;
  • members of groups that currently or historically experience discrimination due torace, ancestry, colour, religion and/or spiritual beliefs, or place of origin;
  • persons with visible and/or invisible (physical and/or mental) disabilities;
  • persons who identify as women; and
  • persons of marginalized sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.

Students eligible to apply will have shown potential as a scientist in their field as evidenced by a combination of academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, and a letter of support by at least one STEM faculty member familiar with the student, and in light of the barriers the applicant faces. The award for undergraduate students provides $5,500 from the Faculty of Science plus a minimum of $3,500 from the research supervisor.

The deadline to apply for a SERA is February 15 of each year. Applications should be sent to


Jamie Cassels Research Award (JCURA): The Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award (JCURA) is designed to provide support for exceptional undergradute students who might otherwise not be able to obtain a direct research experience. The Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC) administers the award nomination process on behalf of the Provost's Office. Recipients undertake a research investigation under the mentorship of, a faculty supervisor. Each student receives $1,500 credited directly in their UVic account.

The deadline to apply for a JCURA in 2023 is June 30.

In-course Scholarships

Undergraduate students who attend UVic in the regular Winter Session may be eligible for a number of scholarships, awards, medals and prizes. Scholarships, awards, medals and prizes are awarded to students on the basis of academic merit. These are referred to as in-course scholarships.

More information can be found on the Student Awards and Financial Aid website.


A bursary is a non-repayable monetary award based on financial need and reasonable academic standing for undergraduate and graduate students. The University of Victoria awards over 5 million dollars in bursaries. 

More information can be found on the Student Awards and Financial Aid website. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Student Awards and Financial Aid at