In summer 2018, the Faculty of Science will be hosting its largest cohort of undergraduate research students due to an offering of 25 Dean’s Undergraduate Research Awards (DURAs) in addition to 20 NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (NSERC USRAs).
The DURA program was launched in 2016 to provide additional research opportunities for high-performing science students. The program quickly grew from six awards in the first summer to 19 last year and 25 for the upcoming summer.
“It’s very exciting to see our program growing,” says Sylvie Morin, associate dean of research and graduate education. “These awards are a great opportunity for students in science to gain meaningful research experience and contribute to cutting-edge research in our Faculty.”
DURAs are 16-week research positions (paid, full-time) that allow undergraduate students to work in a York University research group over the summer. Topics of past projects have varied from studying the genetics of cancer to investigating probability models to calculate insurance risk.
“For a number of students this may mark their first opportunity to experience research first-hand, which enables them to make informed decisions about whether they choose to pursue research-based graduate degrees or careers,” said Faculty of Science Professor Andrew Donini. “It may also provide students with experience in working in a collaborative team environment and effectively communicating their research and its benefits. The paid DURA awards allow students to gain these experiences without financial burden or worry.”
DURAs are supported by funds from the Faculty of Science and donors. Last year, Berna and Earle Nestmann committed $100,000 over four years, through a tax-smart gift of stocks, to fund a total of 22 DURAs.
All summer research students in the Faculty of Science will have the opportunity to present their work at a conference hosted by the Faculty at the end of the summer.
More information about eligibility and the application process is available on the Faculty of Science website.