Research Experience

Research experience – for pay or course credit!

Calling all students – do you want to work in a Chemistry or Biochemistry research lab next summer?? As a student it is a great way to find out what research is really like, get to know your professors and get hands-on research experience. You can get paid for doing research or get course credit!

Faculty members are looking for students for next summer.

Visit the professor that you are interested in working with NOW, as many grant application deadlines are in JANUARY. These grants can fund your research experience (you get paid to do research) and can help pay for your next year of university.

For a list of faculty members and their research areas, see our Department research webpage.

Other ways to do research:

Independent Study (IS) (2nd year or higher)

You can do research in an area that really interests you and get course credit for it. Independent Study information 

IS may be taken for credit inside or outside of the student’s major subject or in an interdisciplinary mode. The course for which credit is earned is an individual study under the supervision of an instructor. Independent studies are offered at the 2000, 3000 and 4000 level and should not duplicate the contents of existing courses.

In Chemistry and Biochemistry, an IS usually involves project in which you contribute to a professor’s research. You’ll be contributing to the advancement of science, learning valuable career skills and having fun doing it.

Admission to Independent Study is achieved through consent of the instructor, who agrees to guide the Study, and by approval of the Department and the Dean. Enrolment may be for a regular semester or during a Summer Session. Credit for Independent Study is at the discretion of the Department, upon recommendation of the instructor. Grades are due at the end of the term of registration, as for regular courses.

Honours Thesis (4th year)

If you are a motivated student, in you can opt to complete an Undergraduate Thesis Course. This is an excellent opportunity for you to earn an “Honours Thesis” designation on your degree.

Prerequisites: 4th year standing and a cumulative GPA of 3.30. Contact the Department or a faculty member for more information or for full details see the U of L Calendar.

An Honours Thesis is a great springboard into Graduate Studies. It also sets students apart when applying for other programs such as Medicine, Pharmacy or Graduate School.

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Applied Studies (2nd year and up)

An opportunity for students to gain University course credit for volunteer or employment experience. Students must have at least 2nd year status and a work or volunteer placement related to their academic program. Contact the Coordinator of Applied Studies for specific information or an application form (AH153; tel 403-317-2845).

Co-operative Education (1st year and up)

Career Bridge (Co-operative Education) Programs formally integrate a student’s academic and career studies on campus with relevant and productive work experience in industry, business or government or here at the university. It is an enrichment of the student’s academic program and in the intellectual, personal and professional development of the student.

Admission criteria includes a minimum 1st year standing and GPA & academic standing. For a full list see the U of L Calendar or contact the Career Bridge (Co-operative Education) Programs (AH153; tel 403-317-2845) email

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iGEM – Course # IDST3200A  Genetically Engineered Machines (1st year and up)

This class is an interdisciplinary approach combining the field of synthetic biology with other disciplines such as computational modelling, design, ethics, management (small business development), and new media, It provides a case-driven learning environment, emphasizing basic training in state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques. You will be working with and constructing novel genetic building blocks (biobricks). The team will be organized along the lines of a technology start-up company. Along with developing a genetically engineered machine, students will be involved in developing business/marketing plans and fundraising.

The learning environment supports the U of L’s involvement in the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition. Every year a different project is created using the Biobricks from iGEM headquarters at MIT in Boston, USA.

For more information visit our website iGEM UofL 

For more information about iGEM, contact Vineet Rathod at or Laura Keffer-Wilkes at or

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Graduate Studies

If you are thinking about Grad School and are not sure what it involves, visit the Chemistry or Biochemistry professor who does research that you are interested in.  They can answer your questions about Graduate Studies and opportunities available to you with a MSc or PhD.

Funding is provided from the School of Graduate Studies and from your supervisor. Click here for information on Graduate Studies in Chemistry or Biochemistry.