IMPRESS stands for Indigenous Mentorship and Paid Research Experience for Summer Students
– and it is exactly that.
The Indigenous Mentorship and Paid Research Experience for Summer Students, IMPRESS, is a new pilot project coordinated by Indigenous Community Outreach Associate Larissa States and Project Assistant Mayela Lozano. The mission of IMPRESS is to co-build, with Indigenous and McGill partners, transformative mentorship opportunities and networks of support for Indigenous learners to pick their educational paths.
IMPRESS hires Indigenous CEGEP or Highschool students to work with a McGill professor on a summer research project for eight weeks. The first cohort of students will be in Summer 2020.
Students will work 20 hours per week: 15 hours in the research setting, and 5 hours attending professional and leadership development workshops. Through June and July 2020, the cohort will be introduced to research in an academic setting and receive training to equip them for future employment.
The topics of the research projects vary and will allow for IMPRESS students to have exposure to the wide array of research that McGill has to offer. There has been interest in hosting an IMPRESS student from professors across McGill in the following disciplines: Sociology, Linguistics, Engineering, Physics, Occupational Therapy, Geography, and Dentistry.
- Chemical Engineering: A research project focused on biological materials properties to fabricate next-generation multifunctional materials and devices that have real-world application such as environmentally-friendly sensing technologies and storage devices. Among other tasks, the student will collect & analyze data, compile data for reports, and manage & respond to emails related to the project.
- Linguistics: A research project on the grammar of Indigenous languages and on language documentation and revitalization projects; the specific project can vary depending on the interest of the selected student. Among other tasks, the student will conduct literature reviews, collect & analyze data, and attend project meetings.
- Sociology: A research project on Inuit mother-infant pairs in Nunavik, focused on whether childbirth evacuation affects stress and depression during pregnancy; the association between prenatal and postpartum depression and infant growth/development; and the implementation of an integrated knowledge transfer (iKT) plan with community members. Among other tasks, the student will conduct literature reviews focused on the iKT related content.
- More to come!
Training and Professional Development
As part of the IMPRESS program, students will attend workshops related to professional and leadership development. IMPRESS students will be equipped with meaningful and transferable skills with which they can enter the work force, building professional and leadership skills that will last beyond the summer job.
Professors have also identified certain qualifications that students must acquire to participate in their lab. The qualifications range from safety, such as being WHMIS certified to undergoing TCPS2 ethics training. IMPRESS students will be equipped with the necessary qualifications before starting in their assigned labs.