Research Opportunities

There are four main research and teaching groups in the School: Biomaterials & Biomechanics, Biomedical Informatics, Biomedical Systems & Signals, and Cellular Bioengineering

Research is generally associated with graduate students in the school, but for undergraduate students who wish to get involved, there are technical electives offered in the areas of certain professors’ specialties. Availability of these courses will depend on student interest and may change from year to year. For information on the various research groups our faculty members are part of, and the projects our faculty members are working on, visit the Research Section of our website.

Undergraduate Student Research Funding Opportunities

If you have identified a faculty member that has agreed to supervise a summer research project, there are a number of funding opportunities that may be available. See the table below for a selection of summer research programs and their deadlines with links to the applications. Most of these opportunities are offered each spring, with the opportunity announced ~ 1 month prior to the deadline. More information regarding the NSERC application process follows.

Program/Faculty Deadline Application Information
UBC Faculty of Medicine – Summer Student Research Program mid-February Link
UBC FoM – Department of Pathology early March Link
Allergy, Genes and Environment Network (AllerGen) mid-February Link
Cystic Fibrosis Canada early March Link
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) late February ResearchNet Portal; Example Call
National Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC) early March Link

BMEG 591M: Topics in Biomedical Engineering (Summer Research & Workshops)*

The objective of this course is to provide students with experience in research. Research projects are carried out in the laboratory of a faculty member who acts as a supervisor. The choice of topics is left to the discretion of the supervisor in agreement with the student. More technical topics such as method development and evaluation are also appropriate. Students undertaking this directed studies course, comprising research experience and hands-on learning modules (workshops), will develop skills including critical thinking, creativity, intellectual independence, communication skills, and organization.


  • Students will need to have identified a research supervisor who is willing to accept the student into their lab.
  • The course will have an orientation for all students at the beginning. All undergraduate students will present their research findings at the end of the summer.
  • Students would spend the majority of their time in this course conducting research in the research lab. They would also enroll in a number of short workshops offered through this course.
  • The undergraduate students are required to complete a minimum of 4 workshops, selected based on relevance to their research topic.
  • When the students are not taking a workshop, they would be conducting research in the research lab.
  • May 11 - August 13, 2020.


Contact joint/core faculty members with whom you are interested in working. You can consult the list of available projects ( and also approach faculty you are interested in working with to see if they have projects that are not listed. After receiving confirmation from a supervisor that they can accept you into their lab, please provide both your name and the supervisor's name in a request to enrollment to

Course Instructor:

Dr. Sharareh Bayat (shararehb (at)

*Please note that this course cannot count towards your program requirements.

Are you an undergraduate student interested in gaining research experience in an academic setting that compliments your current studies?

NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) are designed to stimulate interest in research in the areas of natural sciences and engineering in an effort to encourage students to partake in graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields.

The minimum wage for Summer Term 2020 is $7968.80 (assuming a start date of May 1, 2020 until August 31, 2020) for 16 consecutive weeks of full-time employment, with a minimum of $511.00 for each additional week.

Students do not need to be in the School of Biomedical Engineering (SBME) to work with an SBME professor. SBME students, in turn, may also hold an award in another department or university, if you find a faculty member who is interested in supervising you.

SBME Application Deadline for 2020: Noon, Wednesday, March 4, 2020



NSERC website

NSERC USRA Information Page

The USRA research is a full-time activity. Students should not receive academic credits for the work done during the term of the USRA. Award holders may take a maximum of one course in addition to their USRA with the agreement of their supervisor. If the course is during normal working hours, special arrangements with the supervisor must be made for the student to make up the time spent on the course. In particular, USRA holders are not permitted to do thesis research during the term of the award. In addition, the USRA program makes no provision for sick leave or other interruptions of awards. Please inform the Liaison Officer immediately should a work term be interrupted or terminated early for any reason.


  1. Contact faculty members (SBME associate members are not eligible for the SBME NSERC USRA) with whom you are interested in working. You can consult the list of available projects and also approach faculty to see if they have projects that are not listed.
  2. Prepare the USRA application (all applications must first be submitted electronically directly to NSERC, including the upload of the transcripts).
    1. Form 202 must be submitted electronically
    2. Form 202 consists of Parts I and II. Part I must be completed by the student and Part II must be completed by the proposed university research supervisor.
    3. Students and supervisors must complete an online application on the NSERC website by clicking “System Login” or, if you are a first-time user, “Register.”
    4. Instructions on how to complete the form can also be found on the NSERC website.
  3. A copy of your Form 202 (Parts I and II), transcript (include ONE COPY of the LEGEND located on the back side of each transcript – DO NOT scan the legend multiple times), cover letter, and resume must also be submitted to the SBME Student Services Office electronically as a single consolidated PDF addressed to with the subject line of “USRA Application – <YOUR NAME HERE>. File name must follow naming convention “<YOUR NAME> – USRA Application”. Applications that do not follow these procedures will not be accepted.

NSERC will NOT accept hardcopy forms so the official application must be completed and submitted electronically.

Read the program description in the Program Guide for Students and Fellows before you complete the application.

International Students – Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Award Program may also be available. For more information and the deadlines, please refer to

We are excited to announce that we are partnering with the Centre for Blood Research (CBR) to expand their successful Summer Student Research Program to SBME Faculty. SBME Postdoctoral Fellows/Research Associates or Faculty are invited to apply for awards on behalf of undergraduate or medical students to support a summer research studentship.

This program will include a stipend for the student, and mandatory programming such as tours, skills sessions, social events and participation in the CBR Research Day. More information will be released as the dates are confirmed, but as an example, the previous calendar of events can be found at the CBR Undergraduate Research Program site.

As an undergraduate student, there are two options to apply:

  1. Contact an SBME Faculty Member or a Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Associate that you are interested in working with.
    It is good practice to send them your CV, cover letter and/or statement of interest.
  2. If you cannot find a Faculty Member or a PDF/RA, apply through a general application:
    ubmit your CV and Letter of Interest by TBD to A Letter of Interest (1 page maximum) should describe your relevant accomplishments, interests, and career goals. Maximum length for CV is 2 pages.

***Most summer students are hired through contacting the PIs directly. Only a small proportion get in through a general application.

For more information, please contact Carmen de Hoog (SBME Research Manager: or Stefanie Mak (CBR Education Program Manager;

In partnership with ICORD, we offer a summer program to provide opportunities and mentorship for indigenous youth interested in scientific research. High school students (currently in grade 10 or 11) are invited to do research projects with us, in the hopes that this experience might inspire you to go on in the sciences, and maybe consider further studies or a career in neuroscience or biomedical engineering.

Find out more information and how to apply on the ICORD Website.