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Celebrating undergraduate research

Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowships allow students to team up with their supervisor on research or develop a separate project in an area of personal interest.

  • The 2018 cohort of USSRF students.
    Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf and Interim Vice-Principal (Research) Kimberly Woodhouse congratulate the 2018 cohort of USSRF students.
  • Attendees listen to students as they present their USSRF projects.
    A poster display was put up in Stauffer Library to highlight the research completed by participants in the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowships.
  • USSRF student poster projects on display in Stauffer Library
    One of the participants in the USSRF program discusses her poster project on display in Stauffer Library.
  • Economics undergraduate student Juliette Deck
    Economics undergraduate student Juliette Deck shares her experience with the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowships.
  • Electrical engineering undergraduate Dimitri Georgaras
    Electrical engineering undergraduate Dimitri Georgaras discusses his research project during the celebration ceremony.

While summer is often the time for students to head to the cottage or pick up short-term employment, for the recipients of the 2018 Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowships (USSRF), the summer months provided an opportunity to engage in discovery-based learning and develop their research skills.

The USSRF provides undergraduate students a unique opportunity to enhance their research skills under the supervision of a faculty member in the fields of the social sciences, humanities, or creative arts. Over a 16-week period, students team up with their supervisor to participate in their research program or they may develop a separate project in an area of personal interest.

Recently, as part of the annual USSRF celebration, hosted by Principal Daniel Woolf and Kimberly Woodhouse, Interim Vice-Principal (Research), the 31 recipients of the 2018 USSRF had a chance to display project posters.  During the event, attendees also heard from two recipients about their own experiences with the program. 

Dimitri Georgaras is an electrical engineering undergraduate supervised by Dr. Matthew Rogalsky (Dan School of Drama & Music). His project “Taming the Ghost in the Machine,” examined electronic feedback as a method of sound synthesis in live electronic music. The purpose-built electronic feedback instrument that Georgaras designed and constructed for this project will now be available to students in the Queen’s Sonic Arts Studio.

"It is not every day you are given the chance to develop and conduct a research project in your area of true passion, especially if that area is as niche as mine. The USSRF has not only given me a summer’s worth of research I am able to look back upon with pride, but has also provided me with the confidence that I will be able to continue to pursue my passion for music and electronics,” says Georgaras.

USSRF also provided economics student Juliette Deck with an opportunity to research the 1997 Quebec Universal Child Care Policy with Dr. Ian Keay (Economics). Her project looked at the case for Canadian universal childcare subsidization by assessing the effects of Quebec’s policy on female after-tax earnings through a difference-in-difference study. Deck hopes that this research will inform current policy debates.

“This experience improved my ability to analyze complex data, collaborate with academic experts, and synthesize information for an academic paper. I plan to apply the skills I have gained both in my pursuit of a law degree, as well as towards my broader career aspirations of solving complex problems using data,” says Deck.   

Since 2011, the USSRF program has provided hundreds of undergraduate students with the unique opportunity to experience the research process first-hand and garner transferable skills.

Research posters from this year’s USSRF students will be on display in Stauffer Library from Oct. 23 to Nov. 2. Applications for the 2019 program are due at 4PM on March 1, 2019.

“Research can be an important part of a rich and rewarding undergraduate experience,” says Kimberly Woodhouse, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “Having research experience at the undergraduate level helps students acquire a foundation of employment-ready skills and prepare for further education.”

For more information, visit the USSRF program website.