Western Undergraduate Summer Research Internships


The Western Undergraduate Summer Research Internships (USRIs) provide undergraduate students with engaged research experiences under the mentorship of a faculty member and are intended to stimulate undergraduate students’ interest in research through direct exposure and hands-on experiences conducting research. This program seeks to provide undergraduate students with first-hand experience in undertaking an exciting research project under the direction of a qualified faculty mentor/supervisor. Through participation in this program, students gain valuable and high-impact research, technical and professional skills that will help support academic and career development toward their future professional goals. Faculty mentors benefit from meaningful engagement, and assistance toward their research program and can use the opportunity to further a diverse HQP training environment.


Student Objectives

  • In consultation with their faculty supervisor, students will develop and produce a research project.
  • At the end of the summer they will produce a final research output oriented to lay audiences (e.g., infographic, research poster, blog, podcast, short video etc.) See examples of previous research.
  • Students will also participate in at least four professional development workshops.
  • Students who are eligible for the Arts & Humanities Internship Program (AHIP) may be able to count a USRI as a 0.5 academic credit. For more information on the AHIP eligibility criteria, go to the AHIP website

Faculty Mentor/Supervisor Objectives

  • Co-develop a learning and development plan with a USRI student, with clear expectations to ensure an equitable working environment.
  • Plan to attend the end-of-summer virtual exhibition of research outputs if possible.
  • Participate in program evaluation through surveys to monitor program success.

Value and Duration

USRIs are valued at a minimum of $9,268 for a 16-week term May through August 2024.



  • Must hold a research-eligible appointment in Art and Humanities; if you hold a joint appointment, please apply to your primary Faculty.
  • Additional co-supervisors do not need to hold a research-eligible appointment


  • All students currently enrolled at Western are encouraged to apply.
  • Preference will be given to students entering their fourth year of study in Fall 2024, but any student planning to return to Western in Fall 2024 as an undergraduate or graduate student is eligible.
  • We will give preference to applications from under-represented, economically disadvantaged, and first-generation students.

Application Process:

In Arts & Humanities applications will be accepted from two streams:

Matched Stream

Students and supervisors who wish to work together on a research project apply together.

Unmatched Stream

  • Students apply individually. The department will try to match the student to a suitable supervisor and project based on mutual interests.
  • Final rankings will give equal consideration to each Track. Please choose the one that best suits you.

We encourage students to contact their potential mentors and develop their research ideas.

Due Dates

  • February 29:
    • Last day for students to submit applications to department.
  • March 8:
    • Department rankings submitted to the Associate Dean's Office.
  • March 15 (tentative):
    • Dean’s office will communicate notice of decisions/waitlist to departments. Departments should communicate results to successful candidates as soon as possible after this date.
  • May 1 (tentative):
    • Earliest date for internships to commence.


Please note the information about the program is still subject to change and may be updated for summer 2024. Please check back before the application deadline for any updates.

I am a student in Arts & Humanities but my potential supervisor is in another Faculty. Where do I apply?

Your proposed supervisor should apply to their home faculty.

I am a student in a faculty other than Arts & Humanities. Can I apply for a USRI in A&H?

If you wish to apply to the matched stream and your proposed supervisor holds a primary appointment in Arts & Humanities, yes. They should submit your application to their home department. However, only Arts & Humanities majors may apply to their home department if they are choosing the unmatched stream.

Can a student enrolled at another institution eligible to apply?

USRIs are reserved for students registered in an undergraduate program at Western in the 2023-2024 academic year. Preference should be given to students who are planning to return to Western in the Fall 2024 semester whether as an undergraduate student or graduate student.

I have a 4th year student who would like to apply for this opportunity, would they be eligible?

Yes, however preference will be given to students who expect to enroll at Western in Fall 2024 as an undergraduate or graduate student.

Will students be taxed on this funding?

The award is categorized as a fellowship and will be reported to the student on a T4A tax slip (non-employment income) at the end of 2024. There are no statutory deductions required to be withheld from the payments.

Will students be able to come to campus to do research?

Students and supervisors should discuss expectations for on-campus vs. remote work as they develop their project, and prior to taking up the USRI. 

What is an individual learning and development plan?

A template will be provided which outlines the program requirements. The learning and development plan will help guide the goals for the summer and will encourage students to think about how to integrate what they learn in the workshops into their research output. The learning plan will establish an agreement between the student and faculty supervisor concerning expectations of research activity, attendance, communication, and the final research output.

Can a Faculty mentor oversee more than one USRI award?

Yes, a supervisor can oversee more than one student or USRI project during the summer program. The final decision will be up to the discretion of the home Faculty.

Can a student hold more than one USRI award?

No, an undergraduate student can only hold one USRI award during the summer. However, the program welcomes returning students who participated in previous summers.

As a supervisor, do I have to attend the EDI-D workshop?

The EDI-D workshops are not mandatory but given the importance of EDI-D among research funders and the critical contribution to research creativity and excellence, participation is strongly encouraged.

Are Western undergraduate students who are involved in research but not USRI Fellows allowed to participate in the professional development workshops?

Yes, undergraduate students working through other summer research opportunities offered at Western are welcome to register for any USRI workshops being offered.

Where do I submit an application?

Applications must be submitted to the supervisor’s home department (Matched Stream) or your own home department (Unmatched Stream).


For program-specific questions, please contact your Department’s Administrative Officer. 

Classical Studies: Jonathan Vickers jvicker6@uwo.ca
English and Writing Studies Shelli Hunter shelli.hunter@uwo.ca
French Studies & Linguistics Renée Vachon french@uwo.ca
Languages and Cultures Dawn Gingrich dgingric@uwo.ca
Visual Arts Linda Meloche visarts@uwo.ca 
Philosophy Elisa Kilbourne finelb@uwo.ca
Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Junyu Ke jke9@uwo.ca
School for Advanced Studies in the Arts & Humanities (SASAH) Aara Suksi asuksi@uwo.ca


I had a wonderful experience participating in the USRI program. It was a very fruitful journey as I was able to dive deep into a subject I was interested in and work with professors in the field to create a project. In this process, I was given the chance to practice and learn lots of valuable skills such as locating scholarly resources and effectively leveraging databases. The knowledge and experience that I've gained during the program have significantly contributed to my academic growth and will undoubtedly be beneficial in my future endeavors. I am very grateful for this exceptional experience and encourage every student who is interested to apply. fourth year student completing an Honors Specialization in Philosophy.

The USRI was a phenomenal opportunity to both explore a topic I am passionate about and learn new skills. With tons of weekly workshops available to develop your research competencies, the program sets you up for success while giving you an exciting level of freedom. The USRI is flexible yet challenging, which proved to be a winning combination for my growth and development. I would highly recommend applying for the USRI if you are interested in research and are looking for fulfilling summer work. - fourth year student completing Major in Linguistics and an Ivey HBA