SCN Undergraduate Research Training Award & Co-op Award
In previous years, funding for undergraduate research training was designated through two separate award competitions: Undergraduate Research Training Awards and Co-op Awards, where five awards were designated for co-op students and only two awards were available for undergraduate students not enrolled in co-op programs. However, due to a recognized discrepancy in the demand for the two classes of awards, the Stem Cell Network (SCN) Training & Education Committee (TEC) has recommended not to restrict funding based on the classification of the undergraduate student i.e. co-op student vs undergraduate summer student, but instead funding decisions will be made purely on the merit of the applicant’s complete application. Applicants MUST still indicate whether they are applying for this award as a Co-op Award or Undergraduate Research Training Award since the terms of the awards differ slightly (see ‘Specific Terms of the Award’ for more details).
(Upcoming deadlines: March 4, 2013, Sept. 5, 2013)
Each fiscal year the SCN allocates seven Undergraduate Research Training/Co-op awards made available through two separate funding competitions in March and September of each calendar year. Awards are distributed on a first-come, first-considered basis, subject to approval by the TEC. In other words, the majority of Undergraduate Research Training/Co-op awards are awarded during the spring competition; however, any remaining funds not awarded in the spring competition are made available in the fall competition.
Seven Undergraduate Research Training/Co-op awards are now available for the Spring 2013 competition. The SCN is currently accepting applications for this spring competition up until the application deadline on March 4th, 2013 (at midnight sender’s time).
The SCN Undergraduate Research Training/Co-op awards provides $10,000 in salary support for an undergraduate/ co-op student to work on a stem cell-focused research project in the lab of a SCN PI over two four-month work terms (which may be contiguous). In addition, the SCN Undergraduate Research Training/Co-op awards also covers the travel and accommodation costs for the student to present their research at a subsequent Till & McCulloch Meeting (TMM) that overlaps or immediately follows the term of this award. The TMM travel award is contingent on the undergraduate/co-op student submitting an abstract for presentation (oral or poster) at the AGM. Note that the next Till & McCulloch Meeting is scheduled for October 23-25, 2013 in Banff.
- Applicants must be working towards their undergraduate degree at a Canadian university enrolled in either an undergraduate or co-operative program for the entire duration of their first work term. Awardees cannot be enrolled in a graduate program at any point while holding this award.
- Candidates' proposed supervisors for the work term placement must be SCN Principal Investigators (PIs) - click here for a list of current SCN PIs. Note: A SCN PI can host an undergraduate/co-op student from a different institution other than his/her own.
- SCN PIs may only submit one co-op award application OR one undergraduate research training award application in any one competition. A SCN PIs may only train one recipient of a SCN Undergraduate Research Training Award/Co-op Award at any one time.
- Research project must clearly fall within SCN mission and be collaborative in nature.
Specific Terms of the Award
The intent of this award is to provide undergraduate and co-op students the opportunity to obtain significant hands-on experience in stem cell research through work placements in the laboratories of SCN PIs. Furthermore, attendance at the Till & McCulloch Meeting will provide students with the unique opportunity to have attended and presented at a national scientific meeting prior to beginning their graduate training. Ultimately, the objective of these awards is to prepare undergraduate students, with a demonstrated interest in stem cells, for post-graduate training in stem cell research.
Acceptance of the SCN undergraduate research training award/co-op award is conditional upon a commitment from both the SCN PI and the student co-applicant that the student will (1) complete two four-month work terms, and (2) complete both work terms in the lab of the sponsor SCN PI. Co-op students are eligible to utilize this funding in two four-month work terms (which may or may not be contiguous) as specified by the student’s co-op program requirements. On the other hand, undergraduate students not enrolled in a co-op program MUST utilize this funding in two consecutive summer (May – Aug) work-terms; beginning in the summer immediately following the funding competition.
The value of the undergraduate research training/co-op award is $10,000 paid out in two installments to the Supervisor’s institution. The first installment, in the amount of $3,500, will be paid out at the beginning of the first work term. The second and final installment, in the amount of $6,500, will be paid out at the beginning of the second work therm. Note that despite the discrepancy in installments paid by the SCN, the student is expected to be paid a salary of at least $5,000 for each four-month work term.
At the conclusion of the placement, the student will be expected to submit a short description of the experience and its impact on his/her career choice by completing the End of Award Form. In the event that the award has to be terminated in advance of the award end date (e.g.; student dropped out of the undergraduate program), the student will be expected to complete the Termination of Award Form and any remaining SCN funds will have to be returned. Supervisors will be eligible for future awards only after the Network has approved the trainee’s final report.
- Complete the Application Form.
- Provide a support letter from your proposed supervisor. Note: this letter should be confidential and sent directly by your supervisor to SCN by post or email.
Include complete contact address, phone number and email address. This letter should provide an evaluation of the applicant's capacity to perform in the laboratory and his/her career potential. The letter should include an explanation for anything unusual in the application (low grades, year off, etc.).
- Provide a second support letter from either your previous/present supervisor (if applicable) or a University official (e.g., lecturer, lab coordinator). Note: this letter should be confidential and sent directly by your supervisor/official to SCN by post or email.
Include complete contact address, phone number and email address. This letter should provide an evaluation of the applicant's capacity to perform in the laboratory and/or information regarding the applicant's ability to undertake a research project, and his/her career potential.
- Provide your undergraduate transcript.
Original transcripts are not required - a legible copy or e-mail print-out is acceptable, so long as it shows every grade received from all undergraduate courses taken.
- (For Co-op students ONLY) Provide a letter from your Co-op program confirming your enrollment in a co-op program at a Canadian university.
All letters should be signed either electronically or by hand. All documents should be converted to .pdf files.
All correspondence, including application submission, should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not able to submit your application by email, please courier to:
Stem Cell Network
501 Smyth Road, Room CCW-6189
Ottawa K1H 8L6
Last updated: January 2013