In the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, our undergraduate students have plenty of opportunities - from presenting and/or publishing their research to being a part of student clubs and groups and even career and job opportunities. Explore our opportunities in the list below!
Annual awards to support undergraduate research in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology include:
NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRAs)
Science Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Awards
Work-Learn International Undergraduate Research Awards
USRAs and SURE awards provide a stipend of at least $9,000 for 16 consecutive weeks of full-time work in the summer, for independent research in microbiology and immunology under the supervision of a UBC faculty member. WLIURAs provide at least $9,000 for 16 consecutive weeks of full-time work in the summer, for independent research in microbiology and immunology under the supervision of a UBC faculty member.
Students in the past have benefited from these programs by gaining hands-on research experience as well as the opportunity to interact with our students, staff, and faculty members.
NSERC USRAs are available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents pursuing undergraduate studies. Details regarding eligibility and frequently asked questions can be found on the NSERC website (www.nserc.ca). Please note that no student may hold more than 3 USRAs in a lifetime.
SURE Awards are available to all students registered at UBC-V as BSc students.
Work-Learn International Undergraduate Research Awards are dedicated to international undergraduate students as they are not eligible for NSERC USRAs. Students must be UBC-V BSc students on a study permit.
Applicants should be in very good academic standing (grade point average over ~ 80%).
Labs holding NSERC USRA summer studentships in 2023:
*Please contact professors directly
Labs holding SURE award summer studentships in 2023:
*Please contact professors directly
Labs holding Work-Learn International Undergraduate Research Awards in 2023:
*Please contact professors directly
Contact: Dr. David Oliver
Instructor and Undergraduate Studentship Coordinator
- Microbiology & Immunology Student Association (MISA)
MISA runs social events and academic services forUndergraduate Microbiology and Immunology students at UBC.
MISA works to provide social, academic, charitable, and athletic events and support for UBC Microbiology students.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail)
- Biotechnology Student Association (BIOT)
Established as a joint program between BCIT and UBC’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology, the Biotechnology program offers the best of both institutions. Through the 5 years of the UBC-BCIT Biotechnology program (3 years at UBC and 2 at BCIT), you’ll get two certifications: a B.Sc. Honours in Biotechnology and a Diploma of Technology in Biotechnology. Additionally, you’ll get 16 months of paid Co-op work experience and Honours standing, which means you may be eligible to bypass a Masters program and go straight into a PhD after graduation.
- Student Biotechnology Network (SBN)
The SBN is a student-driven and led, not-for-profit organization that provides students an autonomous forum to discuss and explore interests in biotechnology and the life sciences. Through interactive lectures, career fairs, networking events, and unique mentorship opportunities, SBN builds bridges between studens and the local biotech sector to help prepare industry-ready graduates. Since its inception in 2001, the SBN has grown to be the largest network of its kind in Western Canada.
- UBC Co-operative Education Programs in Science
The BIOT honours program has an obligatory co-operative education component.
The MBIM honours and the MBIM major programs allow an optional co-operative education component.
In each program, the co-operative education component integrates academic study with related and supervised, relevant, paid work experience by sequentially combining four four-month periods of work with four four-month periods of study.
The BIOT program requires co-op terms in the last three years of the program. The MBIM programs allow co-op terms in the last two years of the programs. Admission to the BIOT program co-op is automatic when students are admitted to the BIOT program. Admission to the co-op program in Microbiology and Immunology offered as an option for the MBIM programs is by application to the Science Co-op Office in February of second year (interested students that miss the deadline will be considered if they apply before the available positions are confirmed).
Selection will be based on previous academic performance, communication abilities, and interpersonal skills, as assessed by a submitted resume and an interview. Admissibility to one of the third-year Microbiology and Immunology (MBIM) programs is a prerequisite for admission to the co-op option. For more information about co-op, please contact the Science Co-op Education Office.
Co-op Coordinator: Barbara Seredick
BIOL SCI #1101
6270 University Blvd. - Biological Sciences Building
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
E-mail: email@example.com(link sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)
Summer Employment Resources
Limited summer research positions are offered to undergraduate students through Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA). Directed Studies (MICB 448) is an unpaid research opportunity available to undergraduate students in the Majors or Honours program. In general, you should anticipate that a directed studies course will require about 10-15 hours per week. If you intend to do a directed studies project, contact the Undergraduate Advisor for permission.
For all research positions, please browse our Faculty Listings, which includes areas of research for our faculty and associate members. Contact any faculty members directly with whom you would like to work and to see if there is research space available in their lab. There is no central list of faculty members who are looking for summer students or directed studies students.
Please make arrangements well in advance of your proposed start date; for summer positions, begin looking in January. Students cannot be guaranteed space in a research lab or on a research project as there are more students seeking research experience than space available.
General Employment Resources
Career Services: UBC centre which offers job postings (on- and off-campus), workshops, and individual consultations for both current UBC students and UBC alumni.
National Science & Engineering Research Council (NSERC): Fellowships in Canadian Government Labs; Graduate Scholarships; Summer Research Scholarships
National Graduate Registry (NGR): Science Collaborative Research Internships; Registration for recent graduates
National Research Council (NRC): Summer Employment Program; Internships; Job Listings; Scholarships
Other Departments that might have opportunities include:
Summer 2023 Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Award Program (WL IURA) – call for research project proposals will be open from November 28, 2022 – January 27, 2023
Faculty of Medicine: matched and unmatched summer research projects for UBC students
Science Office: listing of student employment opportunities, both on- and off-campus
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology: list of employment opportunities within the department
- UJEMI - The Undergraduate Journal of Experimental Microbiology and Immunology (UJEMI) publishes scientific articles authored by undergraduate students. The suite of publications include:
UJEMI+ – A peer reviewed journal dedicated to the publication of research articles by undergraduate students around the world.
UJEMI-methods – Papers or videos explaining the theory, application, timeline, troubleshooting steps for techniques relevant to work in a molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology laboratory.
UJEMI-PEARLS – Short educational reviews written by undergraduate students on topics relevant to microbiology and immunology. These papers are reviewed by a contributing editor.
CUREs - Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs)
Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) represent broadly accessible opportunities for students to do real science. Since 2001, the Department of Microbiology and Immunology has been developing a laboratory-based CURE scaffolded on several writing assignments which culminates in the online publication of original research articles. These papers are used by students in subsequent terms to derive new projects.
These CUREs include the opportunity to engage in laboratory experiences where elements of scientific practice, discovery, collaboration, iteration, and meaningful research are encountered.
This pedagogical innovation is consistent with UBC’s strategic vision of providing its undergraduates with opportunities for enhanced educational experiences as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science which called for the integration of authentic research experience as part of undergraduate education.
Each summer, the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation organizes a synthetic biology competition. Every team is given a kit of "standard biological parts", which are DNA and RNA sequences engineered for specific purposes. Using these, as well as parts they design themselves, they build a biological system inside a living cell. UBC's own iGEM team is hosted by the Hallam lab and has participated since 2009.
Check out the 2019 project that was awarded GOLD for their research on putting safe shellfish consumption in the hands of Indigenous and rural communities on coastlines across the world: iGEM 2019
The UBC iGEM Team Mission:
"While we strive to do well in the iGEM competition, the ultimate purpose and goal of the UBC iGEM club is to promote interdisciplinary and inter-faculty learning as well as introduce students of various backgrounds to the exciting new research field of synthetic biology. By holding exciting club workshops that meet individual’s academic and research goals as well as hosting club events enhancing student’s campus life, the iGEM of UBC strives to make the most of students’ academic and social experiences at UBC. We aim to help students by providing opportunities for hands-on experiences, workshops that developing invaluable skill sets and events that facilitate meeting others of similar interests. All of this will be beneficial to their future career endeavours."
Student Resources on Campus
Student Services maintains a List of Services available to students. Their services include help for student having personal (emotional or medical) difficulties and thus having problems with schoolwork. Anytime you are having difficulties, you are advised to contact the Access & Diversity Office, Student Counselling, the Disability Resource Centre or a physician at Student Health, depending on the nature of the situation. It is best to meet with an advisor at the Science Information Centre when problems arise rather than waiting until academic progress worsens.