Undergraduate Research Trainee Program
Participation in McGill’s Undergraduate Research Trainee Program will provide you with an excellent opportunity to gain experience in a research environment and explore career paths in research – particularly if you are interested in pursuing graduate studies at McGill. Undergraduate research trainees also have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with life at McGill and in Montreal, work with exceptional researchers and network with potential supervisors, faculty, students and staff.
If you are an undergraduate student currently enrolled in a university, you may be eligible to conduct a short-term research project at McGill University through the Undergraduate Research Trainee Program. Exceptionally, local high-school or CEGEP students may be eligible to participate as well.
To be accepted into the Undergraduate Research Trainee Program, you will first need to find a research supervisor. Here are some tips in helping you find one:
- Search for faculty members at McGill who conduct research in your area of interest. You can start by going to www.mcgill.ca/faculties/ and drilling down to department websites where you will find a listing of professors.
- Contact the faculty members who you are interested in working with (email works best).
- In your email, you may want to demonstrate your interest in their research and detail your skills and/or background, and what you could add to the research group or project.
- You should be prepared to provide a curriculum vitae (résumé) and an (unofficial) transcript.
- Once you have found a faculty member who has agreed to supervise your research for a specified period of time, you will receive a letter of invitation to come to McGill as an Undergraduate Reearch Trainee. This letter will confirm your research placement (i.e., supervisor, duration, terms of the placement) and provide you with information to help you obtain any immigration documents, if needed. It will also direct you to the Undergraduate Research Trainee Registration Form which you will be required to complete.
For more information, ask for the research trainee administrator in your faculty of interest. Please note that the faculty administrators are not responsible for matching trainees with faculty supervisors.
As an Undergraduate Research Trainee:
- you will work under the supervision of a McGill academic staff member;
- you will be entitled to a McGill ID card and you will be granted access to library services, electronic data resources, and McGill buildings and labs relevant to affiliated department/unit;
- you will not be allowed to register for courses at McGill;
- you may or may not be remunerated depending on your agreement with the researcher/department you will be conducting research in;
- you will not be assessed McGill tuition and you are not required to submit legal documentation for fee assessment or for the creation of a Quebec permanent code
- you will not obtain official McGill transcripts; and
- you will not be charged any Student Services or Ancillary fees and thus do not have access to these services (including health insurance). Please note that membership to Athletics and Recreation services may be purchased.
Financial Support and Housing
If you are interested in receiving financial support, discuss this with your McGill supervisor before accepting your invitation to be an Undergraduate Research Trainee. If financial support will be provided, your letter of invitation will indicate the amount of financial support you will receive.
Research Trainees who are at McGill during the summer months (May 15 – August 21), may choose to live in one of the McGill University Residences, conveniently located a few minutes’ walk from downtown.
Research Trainees who would prefer to live off campus, or whose stay is not limited to the summer months, may consult the McGill Off-Campus Housing Office for information on accommodations in Montreal. The Off-Campus Housing office provides information on renting in Montreal, legal information about renting, roommate tips, and apartment listings. Research Trainees are encouraged to consult the tips for exchange students (and other short-term residents).
Research trainees who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents are required to acquire health insurance for the entire duration of their stay in Canada and must do so prior to arrival. Please note that Research Trainees are not eligible to participate in McGill’s student health insurance plans, including the International Student Health Insurance Plan.
Research Trainees who are citizens of countries that have a social security agreement with Québec (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Sweden) may be covered by Québec public Health Insurance - RAMQ (Régie d'Assurance Maladie du Québec) if they the meet the requirements. An attestation must be obtained from the appropriate organization in the participant’s home country before leaving (for the French holding a work permit, it is the form SE-401-Q104), and each participant must visit RAMQ upon arrival.
Undergraduate research trainees who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada must apply for a Canadian work permit, regardless of the length of the research placement at McGill University.
On February 21, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced new procedures for the issuance of work permits under the International Mobility Program (IMP). The International Mobility Program includes all streams of work permit applications that are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), including those for undergraduate research trainees.
For each LMIA-exempt foreign national, CIC now requires the submission of an on-line Offer of Employment Form for LMIA-exempt Foreign Nationals (IMM5802) and payment of an Employer Compliance Fee ($230). A copy of the completed form (with its unique number and proof of payment) must be included when applying for the employer-specific work permit. Undergraduate research trainees should request a copy of the completed form from their host supervisor.
Starting October 26, 2015, CIC is introducing a new electronic system, the Employer Portal. Employers (host academic units) must submit offers of employment in Labour Market Impact Assessment-exempt situations (e.g. Postdoctoral Fellows, Research Trainees) directly to CIC using this new system. The previous form, IMM 5802 Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment, will no longer be accepted after this date.
If an employer has already provided a completed form to a foreign worker, the worker should submit a work permit application prior to November 21, 2015. If the foreign worker does not submit their application before this date, the employer must resubmit the Offer of Employment using the Employer Portal.
Exchange students coming to McGill, who plan to organize a research traineeship before or after their exchange, should secure an invitation from a supervisor at McGill and apply for the required permit before leaving their home country. You may not be eligible to apply for a work permit from Canada.
On February 21, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced new procedures for the issuance of work permits under the International Mobility Program (IMP).
The International Mobility Program includes all streams of work permit applications that are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Exemptions from the LMIA process are available where there are reciprocal benefits for Canadians and other competitive advantages for Canada. These include: Academic Trainees (both undergraduate and graduate – i.e. Undergraduate Research Trainees), Postdoctoral Fellows, Medical Residents, and Clinical Scholars as well as foreign nationals subject to the various Canadian free trade agreements, those on open spousal permits, Visiting Professors, Visiting Scholars, Visiting Fellows, Guests Lecturers, and Academic Consultants.
For each LMIA-exempt foreign national, CIC now requires the submission of an on-line Offer of Employment Form for LMIA-exempt Foreign Nationals (IMM5802) and payment of an Employer Compliance Fee ($230). A copy of the completed form (with its unique number and proof of payment) must be given to the foreign national before s/he can apply for their employer-specific work permit.
The Offer of Employment Form for undergraduate trainees should be completed and signed by the foreign national’s academic unit (i.e., hiring supervisor or Chair) and the Employer Compliance Fee paid by the hosting academic unit. The fee will be refunded by CIC if the work permit is denied or if the employer withdraws their offer of employment in writing prior to the issuance of the work permit.
The instructions for supervisors/academic units paying the Employer Compliance Fee and submitting the Offer of Employment Form can be found here.
Notice – Changes to strengthen employer accountability under the International Mobility Program - http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/notices/2015-02-09.asp