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Summer Bursary

The following information is for the Summer 2014 bursary competition.


Each year, the Faculty of Medicine offers its Summer Research Bursary Program. The program provides McGill health professional students with an opportunity to work in a research environment alongside clinical and fundamental scientists and their trainees. For 2 months during the Summer term, each student is expected to work full-time on a health-related and hypothesis-driven project. Students must be throughly involved in the scientific experimentation process and not mainly data collection.

Funding for the Summer Research Bursary Program is provided by various agencies, foundations and donors.

Duration and value of award

A summer research project must be completed on a full-time basis (35 hours/week) over a period of 8 consecutive weeks. The start/end dates chosen for the project must be between May 21 and August 31.

The standard research bursary value is $2,834 (available in 2 installments).

Eligibility of students and supervisors

  • Applicant must be currently registered at McGill in one of the following undergraduate or non-thesis programs: Medicine (including Med-P), Nursing, Physical or Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology
  • Students registered in the MD-PhD joint program are eligible to apply during their Med 1 year
  • Students must not be in their final semester of studies
  • Students who have not fulfilled the requirements of a previous Research Bursary Program (e.g. final abstract/report not submitted) are not eligible to re-apply
  • Chosen supervisor must be a Full, Associate or Assitant Professor within the Faculty of Medicine (who is not a relative)
  • Faculty Member may supervise up to 2 students; each applicant must have an independent project or research question

Application deadline

Applications are due by 4:00 PM on Monday, March 3, 2014. This includes an electronic submission of the On-line Application Form (with upload of student project proposal file) + a signed hard copy of the Agreement & Ethics Form submitted to the Research Office. 

Prior to submitting an application, Med 2 and Med 3 students must request a clerkship rotation sequence that will provide them with 8 consecutive weeks during the Summer term. This request should be coordinated with the Curriculum Administrator in the Undergraduate Medical Education Office.

Supporting ethics approval documentation

At the time of application, if ethics approval is required for the proposed project but has already been obtained, the student does not need to submit any supporting documentation to the Research Office. 

For research projects involving pending ethics approval at the time of application, please note the following:

  • An application for ethics approval must be submitted to all appropriate Ethics Committees as soon as possible
  • In order for a student's bursary application to be considered, the Research Office must receive a copy of the ethics approval application (e.g. initial review form) no later than April 4
  • Should an award offer be made/accepted, proof of full ethics approval (e.g. copy of letter from IRB/REB) must be submitted to the Research Office by the student's start date

Conditions of award

  • Research project must be completed on a full-time basis (35 hours/week) over a period of 8 consecutive weeks; chosen start/end dates must be between May 21 and August 31
  • Research work must be consistent with the student project proposal submitted in early March (the basis of award offer); should there be a need for the research work to change significantly, either before or after the project start date, the Research Office must be notified immediately
  • MD-PhD students must produce a final abstract and report based on only 8 weeks of research (i.e. although the summer project may provide the groundwork for upcoming PhD studies, it must stand alone with regard to hypothesis, research and final conclusions)
  • Research work must be conducted at McGill University or one of its affiliated institutions
  • For research projects requiring ethics approval at the time of application, proof of full ethics approval (e.g. copy of letter from IRB/REB) must be submitted to the Research Office by the student's start date
  • If required by a supporting agency, foundation or donor, the student agrees to provide information about his/her research (e.g. final abstract and/or report) as well as a letter of thanks
  • In order to receive research bursaries, students must be in good academic standing (e.g. without supplemental exams to write or remedial rotations to complete)
  • If a student is placed on probation after accepting an award, s/he must notify the Research Office immediately
  • During tenure of the Faculty's research bursary, students may not concurrently hold a competitive source of funding
  • If the Faculty feels that a student's education will be jeopardized by doing research, it reserves the right to advise the student not to continue with his/her plans
  • Should award conditions not be met, the Faculty reserves the right to recall all or part of the student's funding

The following requirements must also be met:

Student responsibilities

In early September, bursary recipients must submit a final abstract and report based on their research findings. The abstract and report must conform to the guidelines provided and be submitted by the specified deadline date.

In early November, students are also required to present their summer research findings via an interactive poster presentation at Student Research Day.

Supervisor responsibilities

In early September, supervisors are required to submit an evaluation of their student's performance. Supervisors must use the Supervisor Evaluation Form provided and respect the specified deadline date.

It is strongly recommended that supervisors review their student's final abstract/report and poster presentation in order to provide any necessary guidance.

Steps to completing an application

  1. Find a supervisor of interest; see "Choosing a supervisor" below
  2. Review the "Student project proposal guidelines" and "Important application details" below
  3. Get started as soon as possible on completing the Student Project Proposal Form
  4. Complete/sign the Agreement & Ethics Form and submit hard copy to Research Office by March 3
  5. Submit On-line Application Form below including upload of student project proposal file (no hard copy to submit)   
  6. If applicable, submit hard copy of supporting ethics approval application (i.e. initial review form) to Research Office by April 4 

Choosing a supervisor

  1. Consult the Supervisor Project Proposals webpage
  2. Contact a supervisor of interest in order to set up a meeting
  3. Meet with the supervisor in order to discuss a summer research project based on the posted proposal; the meeting will give you an opportunity to discuss your current studies and research interests/experience; the meeting should also give you a chance to discuss what will happen should you not be awarded a bursary (e.g. completing the project on a voluntary basis versus the possibility of being paid by the supervisor)
  4. As a follow up to the meeting, confirm with the supervisor whether you are an appropriate candidate for the proposed project; if you do not feel that you are a good match for the project, be honest and let the supervisor know as soon as possible so that s/he may find another student before the application deadline
  5. Remind your chosen supervisor to email Jennifer Nemes at rbursary [dot] med [at] mcgill [dot] ca in order to confirm that you are the chosen candidate for one of the listed project proposals (supervisor's email confirmation should provide your name + the posted proposal number); the Supervisor Project Proposals webpage will then be updated, indicating that the project has been "filled"

If you prefer to choose a supervisor not listed on the Supervisor Project Proposals webpage, be sure to email Jennifer Nemes before the application deadline in order to confirm that your chosen researcher is indeed eligible to supervise (i.e. a Full, Associate or Assistant Professor within the Faculty of Medicine).

Please note that once a supervisor chooses you as the candidate for a particular project, this does not automatically guarantee you an award. All students must submit an application by the March 3 deadline in order to be considered for the bursary competition.

Student project proposal guidelines

  • Using the space provided on the Student Project Proposal Form above (maximum 2 1/2 pages), give a brief outline of your plan to conduct a hypothesis-driven project
  • Write the project proposal yourself; only ask for guidance from your supervisor
  • Where appropriate, write in the first person (e.g. when describing the role of student)
  • Be sure to include all required information (see bulleted list on page 2 of form)
  • Here are a few important points to consider when writing your proposal...

    • Your proposed project should be feasible given the 8-week time frame
    • Ensure that you will not only be performing the tasks of a technician or laboratory assistant; you should have an important role in the research project; it is expected that you be thoroughly involved in the scientific experimentation process and not mainly in data collection; your role should include a literature review, the formulation and understanding of the methodology involved, as well as the interpretation, writing and presentation of findings
    • Your research role should be clearly indicated; applications most often fail when the student's role is not emphasized
    • Projects more likely to be funded are clearly relevant to health and strong from a methodological and design point-of-view

Important application details

  • Only 1 application per student will be considered
  • Students applying for the Anatomy Prosection Program are not permitted to also submit an application for the Summer Research Bursary Program; if 2 applications are made, both will be disregarded
  • Before completing the On-line Application Form, students must confirm all project and supervisor-related fields with their supervisor 
  • Supervisors should review their student's project proposal before an on-line submission is made 
  • Student Project Proposal Form is protected/formatted so as not to expand beyond the set page limits therefore Mac users should do a final verification/save using a PC computer in order to ensure that all inserted text clearly appears within the boxed outlines on pages 1-4
  • Med 2 students must provide June 23 to August 22 as their project start/end dates (due to 1-week mandatory Intro to Clerkship class held in July) 
  • Student Project Proposal Form must be submitted as a single file; the file must be saved as LastName_FirstName_S14application
  • For signed hard copy of the Agreement & Ethics Form, an original student signature + an original or faxed supervisor signature will be accepted
  • A hard copy of the Student Project Proposal Form is not required
  • After pressing "Submit" on the On-line Application Form, information provided cannot be edited; an automated message will appear on screen confirming receipt of the on-line form
  • March 3 deadline is for electronic submission of On-line Application Form (with upload of student project proposal file) + receipt of signed hard copy of Agreement & Ethics Form
  • April 4 deadline is only for receipt of hard copy of supporting ethics approval documentation   

Award decisions

Each year, the Faculty usually receives about 80 applications. All applications are reviewed and ranked by the Student Research Committee whereby research bursaries are awarded to top-ranking students.

Although available funding varies from year to year, the Faculty is usually able to support 60-65 students per summer.

By Friday, May 16, students and supervisors will be notified by email regarding the results of the bursary competition.

Research office location and questions

The Faculty's Research Office is located in Room 637 of the McIntyre Medical Building.

For questions regarding the Summer Research Bursary Program, please drop by the Research Office or contact Jennifer Nemes at 398-1603 or rbursary [dot] med [at] mcgill [dot] ca.


Deadline for final abstract/report and supervisor evaluation

Final abstracts/reports and supervisor evaluations will be due on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. Details regarding this documentation will be available on the Abstract, Report and Evaluation webpage.


On-line Application Form

Important: Once the "Submit" button below is pressed, information provided in the form cannot be edited.