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Two female students holding up certificates.

Faculty of Arts students at the Celebration of Undergraduate Research luncheon. Credit: Faculty of Arts

Celebrating undergraduate research

Faculty of Arts brings together undergrads and academics to recognize student contributions

October 6, 2023 — 

This past summer, the Faculty of Arts gathered to celebrate the efforts and contributions of undergraduate student researchers.

Over 40 Faculty of Arts students who were 2023 undergraduate student research award (URA) and psychology undergraduate research experience award (PURE) competition winners and their research advisors came together for a luncheon event where they shared what the students worked on, what the supervisors had to say about the students’ amazing work and what each student learned from their experience.

“Undergraduate students play an important role in helping research happen on university campuses,” said Dr. Randy Jamieson, Associate Dean (Research). “Students provide valuable input to the important humanities and social science research conducted in the Faculty of Arts. Their efforts help to advance the research of the supervisors and their teams. At the same time, the students learn valuable skills that are useful in both their studies and their future careers.”

“Undergraduate students play an important role in helping research happen on university campuses.” – Dr. Randy Jamieson

Through research work, Faculty of Arts students build skills in research methodologies and techniques, how to write about and present data, data collection and analysis, public speaking and technical skills like using software such as SPSS or various types of lab equipment. The award winners shared how they worked on exciting and diverse tasks such as scouring databases, legislation, library catalogs and archives, creating bibliographies, conducting literature reviews, recruiting research participants, analyzing data and helping to communicate research findings to the greater community by contributing to a variety of items like articles, videos, blogs or graphics.

Lydia Gork [BA(Adv)/23], the Faculty of Arts 2023 University Gold Medal winner and a former research award winner herself, spoke to the students about why she became a student researcher and the thrill of winning first place in the spring 2023 UM Poster Competition (Humanities and Social Sciences category). Now a graduate student in Indigenous Studies, she showed the students where research can lead and inspired them to seek out more opportunities during their degree.

At the luncheon, the students were encouraged to take what they’ve learned to the next level by applying for the UM undergraduate research showcase, presenting at the annual Faculty of Arts undergraduate research symposium and applying for future research awards. Dr. Jamieson added that participating in these types of events “not only helps share Arts research with a wider audience, it also furthers each student’s experience and learning”.

The event was a huge success. There were many smiling faces as each student received a keepsake that included remarks from Acting Dean Rob Hoppa along with personalized comments from their academic supervisor. The students were reminded to feel proud of their contributions and accomplishments. In return, the students thanked their supervisors for providing the opportunity to learn and explore many unique and exciting areas of study.

“We get extremely encouraged when we hear students tell us that their research experience is what led them to pursue an honours degree or graduate studies,” said Dr. Hoppa. “Or, how it helped guide their future career choice and gave them the experience and skills to succeed after graduation.”

Research opportunities for students

The next UM undergraduate research showcase (replacing the Poster Competition) takes place on October 31, 2023. Learn more and apply.

The 2024 Faculty of Arts undergraduate research symposium will take place in April. Arts students will receive an email with more information.

Undergraduate students can apply for a 2024 URA or PURE. Visit the web for more information and to see deadlines for each award.


Watch what students and supervisors have to say about Faculty of Arts undergraduate research:



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