By Chase Little, February 5 2015 —
Students’ Union vice-president academic Hana Kadri wants to see the University of Calgary restructure the model for undergraduate research funding and applications, saying the current system is disjointed.
Kadri wants to centralize undergraduate research funding so all information regarding different research applications would be in one place.
She said students have many opportunities to apply for funding under the current system, but those sources are communicated to students in a disorganized and ununified way.
“Students don’t have a full picture of the different kinds of funding opportunities they can get,” she said.
A centralized system would put all funding applications in one place, either online or through an office on campus.
Each application process is different, making the process confusing. Applications often have different due dates and some are more extensive than others.
Kadri wants a process similar to the Ontario university system, where one application is sent out to various schools.
“[It would] make it easier on students and even the playing field, allowing all students to have an equal opportunity to receive funding,” Kadri said.
The undergraduate research working group — a committee consisting of Kadri, three faculty members and an associate dean — is currently conducting a survey of funding opportunities on campus. They’ll produce data that can relay this information to students.
Kadri said she’s optimistic about preliminary conversations within the committee.
“This is the first time that an undergraduate research working group has actually done anything in recent memory,” she said.
Kadri said centralizing the system will not only aid funding, but will help the presentation and publication of research. Kadri hopes that undergraduate research funding at the U of C will be available to a greater variety of students, rather than remaining focused on students interested in science or health.
She intends for all students to feel like they have an equal opportunity to receive as much funding as possible.
“I’m really excited about the direction we’re taking and the attention that the university is putting on undergraduate research now. It’s much more than it has been in the past,” Kadri said.