Undergraduate Summer Research Internships Workshops

Laptop with notebook on a table

Fun fact: Last year, we handed out 293 Certificates of Completion to the USRI cohort. And some students attended or watched up to 17 different professional development sessions on their own for personal development! Please see below for details related to the 2021 sessions.

As part of the USRI program's commitment to help develop students' skills in future research careers, Western Research has partnered with Western Libraries and Student Experience to provide a variety of professional development workshops throughout the summer term. Where possible, workshops will be recorded and saved on this page for future reference and interest.

2022 Professional Development Opportunities

USRI students and supervisors will receive access to a wide range of professional development sessions to support their research work, career development, and gain exposure to new approaches to research dissemination, etc. USRI students receive a certificate of completion once they attend a minimum of four workshops throughout the summer.

If you would like to attend these sessions, please email usri_info@groups.uwo.ca for ZOOM details.

Professional Development Sessions

Literature Searching and Information Evaluation

May 10, 10–11:30 a.m.
May 19, 10–11:30 a.m.

Shiyi Xie – Western Libraries

In this library session, you will learn:

  • How to develop literature search strategies;
  • Where to find primary and background information; and
  • What criteria and resources can be used to evaluate information.

Finding Statistical Data Sources

May 12, 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.

Liz Hill – Western Libraries

This session will explore how research questions can be answered using data resources, such as secondary data collected from sources such as Statistics Canada.

Intro to Data Handling and
Management with Excel

May 12, 1–2:30 p.m.

Kristi Thompson – Western Libraries

This session will introduce some of the basics of handling data for a research project, including planning a data project, file organization and documentation, and setting up data for analysis in Excel.

Introduction to NVivo

May 16, 1–2:30 p.m.

Kristi Thompson – Western Libraries

NVivo is a tool for organizing, managing and analyzing qualitative data. This introductory session will provide an overview of NVivo’s capabilities and demonstrate how to use it to get started on a qualitative research project. Learn about the capabilities of this popular analysis package, how to set up a project and import different kinds of data, and start coding.

Organizing Research with
Reference Management Tools

May 17, 1–2:30 p.m.

Jason Dyck – Western Libraries

This session will explore the advantages of reference management tools. Beyond quickly generating citations, reference managers allow one to construct a library of references, notes, and files in one place for efficient retrieval. While there are many reference mangers to choose from, this workshop focuses on Zotero.

Introduction to GIS & Digital Mapping

May 18, 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.

Liz Sutherland – Western Libraries
Jordan Fuller – Western Libraries

This is Session 1 of the GIS Series. Get started learning about the fascinating world of geographic information systems (GIS)! In this workshop, you'll learn about what a GIS is, how to get started with the software yourself, how things we find in the real world can be represented on a map, and how we record locations using coordinates. We'll be creating a data layer and uploading it to ArcGIS Online. This data layer can be used in subsequent GIS Sessions.

This session is for anyone who wants to learn about mapping and GIS. You don't have to have any previous experience.

Introduction to Data Analysis with SPSS

May 24, 10–11:30 a.m.

Kristi Thompson – Western Libraries

SPSS is a popular package for analyzing data. This session will demonstrate the basics of using SPSS, including reading in different types of data, summarizing and cleaning data, creating and modifying variables, creating graphs, and running simple analyses.

Introduction to Story Maps

May 26, 2–3:30 p.m.
June 8, 2–3:30 p.m.

Liz Sutherland – Western Libraries
Jordan Fuller – Western Libraries

This is Session 2 of the GIS Series. Story Maps are a great way to combine your maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content to create compelling, user-friendly web apps. In this workshop, you’ll follow along with a demonstration of building a Story Map from the planning stage to the publishing stage. Story Maps are a great way to feature your summer research project and share data, project descriptions, photos, videos, audio, and maps in an interactive and digital platform and can be embedded on department web-pages or shared as stand-alone URLs.

Practicing Safe Texts (Copyright
and How To Research, Write,
and Use Materials Safely)

May 31, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
June 6, 10:30–11:30 a.m.

Stephen Spong – Western Libraries
Emily Carlisle-Johnston – Western Libraries

This session will outline the rights and responsibilities for students for creating and using materials in their classes and research. Rather than focusing all of the things that they should not do, it will be intended to focus on the things that they can do (and maybe a few things that they shouldn’t!).

Plain Language Writing

June 2, 1–2:30 p.m.

Mariam Hayward – Western Western Research

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” Albert Einstein.

Plain language use is an incredibly effective science communication tool that allows researchers to reach a wider audience and improves the accessibility of research to those outside of a specific research area. This session will explore what plain language is and how to write using plain language. A brief introduction to plain language for the web and websites will also be included.

It’s Heart Work: Balancing academia and Indigenous community needs as an Indigenous scholar

June 9, 12:30–3:30 p.m.

Chantelle Richmond – Social Science

As an Anishinaabe scholar, Dr Richmond will talk about Indigenous Research Methodologies from her own experiences coming into and finding belonging in academia. She will speak to the ways Indigenous research has changed throughout her 25 years in academia, and ways in which Indigenous and allied scholars can work to address the needs of Indigenous communities while also creating spaces of belonging for Indigenous people in academia.

Introduction to GIS Dashboards

June 22, 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.

Liz Sutherland – Western Libraries
Jordan Fuller – Western Libraries

This is Session 3 of the GIS Series. GIS are highly valuable for translating research to share with broad audiences. Through interactive, visual, and impactful map-based web applications, researchers can build collaborations, present their data to the public and engage users in their research. In this session, we will explore some innovative examples of using GIS as a knowledge exchange strategy, and take a look under the hood at the customizable interfaces that built them.

Data Resources - Canadian
and International Resources

June 23, 1–2:30 p.m.

Liz Hill – Western Libraries

This session will explore data resources that are both open and licensed data. Data sources like other library resources may have license restriction and only available to subscribers, while others are open. This session will highlight not only some sources that are available to researchers, but also where they can be found and how to download data.

Addressing and Navigating
Accessibility in Academia

July 7, 5–6 p.m.

Emily Good – Student Experience

Do you know what accessibility in academia truly means? Would you like to learn how to be an advocate or ally for the disability community? Join us for an informational session led by a Deaf accessibility advocate who will be sharing her personal experiences as well as advice on how to navigate accessibility in the academic environment. This session is open to all - students with disabilities, instructors, allies, those who would like to learn how to be allies for the disabled community, and more!

Advancing Equity and Inclusion in Research

July 14, 1–2:30 p.m.

Mariam Hayward – Western Research

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is increasingly required as part of research. Funding agencies, communities of practice, and the public are asking scholars to reflect, embed and report on EDI strategies as part of research. What does this mean and how do we create inclusive research programs that eliminate systemic barriers and foster diverse participation to advance knowledge and research? An inclusive research environment contributes to diversity and can only be achieved when informed and intentional equitable practices are adopted. This session will explore EDI within research and across the research life cycle while highlighting resources available to support integration of EDI in research.

Publishing Your Work:
Let's De-mystify the Process

July 26, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
July 28, 1:30–2:30 p.m.

Emily Carlisle-Johnston – Western Libraries
Courtney Waugh – Western Libraries

Written something you’re proud of and want to share it with the world? Just generally curious as to how articles that you’ve read got published? Wherever you’re at, this session will walk you through some of the behind-the-scenes processes that go into getting academic work published, like choosing a journal and the peer-review process.

Elevating your Story Map

August 2, 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.

Liz Sutherland – Western Libraries
Jordan Fuller – Western Libraries

This is Session 4 of the GIS Series. Improve your multimedia storytelling capacity with the StoryMaps platform. Through its cutting-edge technology, StoryMaps helps to further illustrate the story of your work as an Explorer. Come find out how to incorporate your maps and dashboards into your StoryMap, learn about map actions, and creating your own custom design for your StoryMap. This session will allow you take your StoryMap to the next level by creating more interactivity and customization, enabling you to reach a deeper connection with the users and reaching a wider audience.

Introduction to Misinformation & Disinformation

August 4, 10–11:30 a.m.

Christy Sich – Western Libraries

Should we ignore people who are spreading misinformation because they will believe what they want to believe and it's better to avoid conflict? Or is there a respectable way to respond and combat the misinformation and disinformation that is dividing our society and eroding our communication networks? Come to this session to learn about misinformation and disinformation and how to identify their key characteristics. This session will encourage you to take action, and it will provide you with some tools to combat misinformation and disinformation. Content Warning: This session may include topics, conversations, or examples that some students might find disturbing.

Professional Development Workshops

All About Research Posters

July 26, 2–3 p.m.

Mariam Hayward – Western Research

Research posters are widely used in the academic community and most conferences (in-person and virtual) include poster sessions. This workshop is an opportunities for students to work through specific questions or challenges regarding their research posters with Mariam Hayward, Director of Knowledge Exchange, Impact, and Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Decolonization in Research.

Before you attend this workshop, review the asynchronous session provided by Mariam to get best practices and tips on how to create research posters. [slides]

This presentation will discuss what makes a good poster and walk attendees through creating a custom size poster using PowerPoint.

Developing your CV/Resume

August 16, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.

Mariam Hayward – Western Research

Whether you intend on applying for graduate school or part-time employment, this hands on workshop is for you to strengthen your CV and/or resume. Please bring a copy of your recent resume or CV to this workshop.

Before you attend this workshop, review the asynchronous session provided by Mariam Hayward to get best practices and tips on how to create a resume and/or CV [slides]

In the asynchronous session recording, learn what to include and what not to include in a resume and CV. Types of CVs and resumes will be covered and students will be walked through how to develop their own professional CV and/or resume. An overview of writing a compelling cover letter will also be discussed.

Office Hours: Uploading to Scholarship@Western

August 10, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
August 12, 1–2 p.m.
August 15, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.

Western Libraries

Drop-in any time during the hour for some direct support with uploading your final project to Scholarship@Western.

R Workshops

Offered through Statistics & Actuarial Sciences. These are fee-based workshops – students/faculty must provide funding.



Please direct any questions about USRI workshops or suggestions for any additional workshops to Western Research Internal Grants, intgrant@uwo.ca