FYRE: First Year Research Experience

First Year Research Experience

Take first-year courses where research is part of the curriculum.
Taking a FYRE course opens the doors to your future learning. We're here to help you navigate.

How to find a FYRE class: search for "undergraduate research" on Registration! Here's a quick video.

The University of Saskatchewan Library has numerous student resources to help you find success. 

Developing your topic is often the hardest part. If you do it well, your research will be manageable and useable when you're done.

Not all information is good information. Figuring out (discerning) the good from the bad is an important part of the research process. Be info-savvy as you go through your FYRE project. 

Investigating your research question using the tools of the discipline depends on the class. For historians, you might need the university archives and special collections. For geography, you might need existing data files. Ask your professor or research coach for guidance. Check out the library research guides or the library's 'Help Me Find' portal.

Here are tips on giving a presentation or poster session.

Are you facing some group work challenges? Group work is a skill, and working through your problems will give you confidence and strength.

And always, always, work with your FYRE research coach! They are there to help.

USask Faculty use FYRE in their classrooms. Why?
  • active learning: students learn content via a deep dive into research
  • students develop professional and research skillsets earlier
  • research coaches leverage your eyes and ears in class
  • supports diversity and inclusion in research practice
  • mobilizes and reinvigorates classrooms
  • pursuit of skills and practices from USask Learning Charter
  • engage in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) for more publications
  • uses Research Cycle (Question. Investigate. Share.) to design course-based research curriculum
Download our FYRE faculty guide for more information.

USask FYRE Research Coaches are the lynchpin of first year undergraduate research. They work with faculty to deliver just-in-time coaching to FYRE classes during their projects.

Develop your professional skills with a paid research coach experience. Work with students, guide their learning, learn to provide good feedback and constructive redirection, build Scholarship of Teaching and Learning for extra publications.

The University of Saskatchewan Library has developed FYRE resources to support research coaches.

Talk to your department: what FYRE classes are being taught this semester? Apply and get some extra cash and experience, right here on campus.


USRA-Undergraduate Student Research Assistant

Undergraduate Research Assistantships update March 25 2020
  • NSERC USRAs – NSERC has indicated that at this time the program is still going forward.  The agency is preparing a plan in the event that a work term is shortened or canceled outright. We anticipate an update from NSERC by 27 March 2020, following which the College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies will send an email update.
  • Office of the Vice-President Research USRAs – These are awarded to faculty members via a college process.  SRI is working directly with colleges to enable opportunities for students to work in a safe and fully-mentored environment.  Numerous options will be supported (e.g. work from home, 8-week awards, part-time extending into the fall, fall term awards, or cancelation as per university research guidelines). SRI will entertain any options that ensure a safe and mentored environment and expenditure of funds by 31 December 2020.
  • SCPOR USRAs –SRI is working directly with SCPOR and faculty on options for safe and mentored assistantships.  Given that these are patient-oriented projects, individual assistantships will only proceed if they meet new of standards of social distancing and/or for care of vulnerable populations
  • IMII Indigenous Research assistantships – SRI is working with host organizations to enable safe and mentored assistantships. We are encouraging flexible solutions.
  • SURE – SRI is leading a new initiative Student Undergraduate Research Experience to connect undergraduate research assistants across the university.  This initiative will move on-line with technology-enabled environments for 2020.
  • Summer Entrepreneurs (Innovation Enterprise) – IE is working with the industry partners and innovation ecosystem mentors involved in the program to design a modified program for summer 2020, focusing on the use of technology to facilitate program delivery. Please contact alix.hayden@usask.ca, 306-966-5638 with questions.

Undergraduate Student Research Experience

Spend your summer doing research with faculty mentors.

Financial awards of $2,250 or $4,500 in matching funds are available to U of S researchers interested in hiring an undergraduate student over the summer months. The purpose of these awards is to provide undergraduate students with a meaningful research experience. That experience could involve working with a faculty member directly or working as a member of their research team, as long as the student is gaining authentic exposure to the practice of research.

The Office of the Vice-President Research USRA (OVPR - USRA) funding generally opens in January of each year. Funds are allocated to each college, and faculty are encouraged to apply for funds to hire undergraduate students to work on their research projects. See the rubric to learn how applications are evaluated. Interested faculty are encouraged to submit an application directly to their college evaluator. Colleges will prioritize, rank and recommend  to OVPR  applications which best demonstrate a meaningful research experience for the undergraduate assistant.

Students: summer research assistant jobs are often found by word of mouth -- ask a faculty member if they have room on their team for you. 

Some student research positions are listed through the University of Saskatchewan's CareerLink. 

Non-college units are not eligible for USRA grants on their own, but are eligible for USRA funding for research initiatives and projects that are done in collaboration with academic units. As a way to promote collaboration and research opportunities for students, all colleges are encouraged to discuss possible partnering opportunities with non-college units.

New for 2020: ​We have partnered with the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) to provide a number of undergraduate student research assistantships. These assistantships are NOT part of pre-defined college allocations, and faculty may apply for these directly. As well, faculty DO NOT need matching funds to apply. Please consider this stream if your project works with any aspect of patient policy, experience, politics, rehabilitiation, training, education, or any related issues that are patient-oriented. Please see the SCPOR rubric PORLET https://www.scpor.ca/porlet for further information. and to understand the parameters and definitions.

Also new for 2020: We have secured external funding for summer internship opportunities for undergraduate First Nation, Metis, or Inuit women studying sciences, technology, engineering, math, health or business. Funding in this stream prioritizes research related to Saskatchewan's mining industry. Students who are awarded summer internship funding through MentorSTEP will be expected to participate in the MentorSTEP program. If a faculty member has matching external funding, they (and their prospective student) can apply directly for a MentorSTEP USRA. It may be possible to combine a regular OVPR-USRA with MentorSTEP funding as the match. 

Your feedback is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, please send an email to merle.massie@usask.ca or call (306) 966-7127.

Stories of USask UGR Research

An undergraduate student research experience develops exceptional skills. Find student stories here.
USask faculty walk alongside
We regularly publish undergraduate student stories about research experiences (USRA, FYRE or your own experiences!) Please contact us at undergraduate.research@usask.ca for a story prompt.

Share Your Work

Knowledge is built over time, with many people. Share yours!

The Office of the Vice-President Research is a proud sponsor of the campus-wide Undergraduate Project Symposium hosted by the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union each January.

Each summer, the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Office of the Vice-President Research team up to host the Undergraduate Summer Poster Symposium for undergraduate students working as summer interns across campus and beyond. Keep watch for details!

Many colleges host undergraduate research conferences and poster symposiums. Check out Western College of Veterinary Medicine, the Life and Health Sciences Research Expo, or the department of Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference, as great examples. Watch PAWS and your department or college for other opportunities.

University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate Research Journal

Have a great project? Get published in USURJ!

World Class Day is a USask-led initiative to gather students from around the globe to share research! See the Arts and Science news story here.
Attend a conference


MentorSTEP - Indigenous women in STEM

MentorSTEP supports a closer connection between Indigenous women interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and Saskatchewan's mining community.

In partnership with the Saskatoon Tribal Council and funded by the International Minerals Innovation Institute, MentorSTEP welcomes senior high school and undergraduate university-level women interested in and/or taking STEM-related degrees.

The program has three components:

  • Mentorship
    • High school students are matched with university mentors
    • University students are matched with on-campus faculty or mining mentors
    • Mentors and mentees meet during shared events combined with some one-on-one connections
  • Learning
    • Shared learning events once per month (learning labs, Indigenous cultural events, real or VR mine tours, mining industry support business tours, professional development events)
  • Summer research internships
    • Limited research internships for select high school students
    • Matched summer research internships for university students

Interested? Please sign up via our 'Who Am I' questionnaire: MentorSTEP application

Note: we use the same application for all mentors and mentees -- we want to get to know you to build the best mentorship experience for everyone! If you want to be a mentor or a mentee, please join us!

Other Opportunities


Browse the "How To" Guides.

The University of Saskatchewan constantly works to support student learning. Find some helpful resources here.

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