UVic Learn Anywhere

Virtual Centre for Student Learning

Jamie Cassels Undergraduate
Research Awards (JCURA)

This UVic award encourages undergraduates to pursue innovative and original research and enhance learning while providing a valuable preparatory experience towards graduate studies or a research related career. 

About the Award

The Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards (JCURA) program was established in 2009-2010 by the Vice-President Academic and Provost. The Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation (LTSI) administers the award process on behalf of the Provost’s Office.

JCURA is directed at undergraduate students from all disciplines and who meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • is a full-time third or fourth year undergraduate student (normally registered in 12 or more units of study in the winter session)
  • has a strong academic standing (normally with a minimum sessional GPA of 7.0)
  • meets the general regulations of Student Awards and Financial Aid

This award experience allows students to be mentored by a faculty supervisor. Each academic unit is eligible for one to three student nominations per year, depending on the number of students in the unit. Contact us for eligibility for your academic unit.

Successful student applicants receive $1,500 credited directly to their UVic student account.

Application Process

Be sure to review the 2023-2024 Call for Nominations and Eligibility for Indigenous Faculty and Students documents prior to applying.

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Applications Due

Please check with your department/school about your application deadline. Department/school will submit nomination to LTSI by July 31, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a current JCURA scholar, we recommend accessing the JCURA Brightspace course for other useful information.

How does the award translate into hours of work?

The award does not translate into hours of work. It is an award and not a research assistantship. We recommend that the supervisor consider this opportunity much more in terms of what the student will learn (a learning contract) than a work contract would not be appropriate in this context.

Do I need to be registered in 12.0 units, or is this flexible?

Normally students are required to be registered in 12.0 units of coursework in order to receive a merit based award. There are some exceptions to this rule. As an example, co-op work terms, while they only have a unit value of two (2), are the equivalent of a full time study term. Students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning may have an accommodation regarding the number of units per term that are required. Students in their final year of study may also be eligible to participate in this award program if registered in sufficient units to meet their graduation requirements. Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis by the LTSI Executive Director.

How are projects typically defined?

There are typically two main approaches; faculty supervisor initiated and student initiated. In the first case, a faculty member may have a research project in mind, or it may be something already underway which seems ideal for the student. In such a case the faculty member might approach the student to see if the student is interested in applying for the award. In the second case a student may have an idea for a research project and approach a faculty member to see if they would be interested in working with the student should their application be successful. In either case, it is hoped that a dialogue would occur, providing reciprocal insight and refinement of the project and clarification of the student’s potential learning goals in order that both the application/nomination form can be filled out by the student and the supervisor respectively.

What do I do if my research topic has changed?

We recommend trying to keep to the scope of your original entry as changing topics may also fall out of the scope or discipline of your supervisor. If you have difficulties with your assigned topic and/or supervisor, please contact us as soon as possible.

Can the award be used towards my honours thesis?

Yes, it certainly could be, but this would be decided by the academic unit. It could also count towards a directed study research project and can be combined with co-op by being awarded in the non co-op term. Please consult your department.

Can I apply if I am majoring in a Faculty/Department that is different from my supervisor?

It is not a requirement that the supervisor be in the same unit that the student is majoring in. The student is able to apply for the award with the supervisor that they would like to work with. The supervisor is usually a faculty member at UVic. The award nomination would proceed through the unit in which the supervisor has standing. If a supervisor has standing in more than one unit (e.g. if they are cross listed), then the supervisor can submit the application to whichever unit would be the best fit.

Academic Unit Eligibility

For any student not eligible to apply for a JCURA through one of the listed units, please enquire at the Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation.

Eligible for one student

The following units are eligible to nominate one student for this award:

Education
Indigenous Education

Fine Arts
Technology and Society

Human & Social Development
Public Administration
Public Health & Social Policy

Humanities
European Studies
Indigenous Studies
Latin American Studies
Medieval Studies
Religion, Culture and Society (formerly Religious Studies)

Medical Sciences at UVic (IMP)

Eligible for two students

The following units are eligible to nominate two students for this award:

Education
Educational Psychology & Leadership Studies

Engineering and Computer Science
Civil Engineering
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Fine Arts
Art History & Visual Studies
Music
Theatre
Visual Arts
Writing

Human & Social Development
Child & Youth Care
Health Information Science
Social Work

Humanities
French
Gender Studies
Germanic & Slavic Studies
Greek & Roman Studies
Hispanic & Italian Studies
Linguistics
Pacific & Asian Studies

Law

Science
Biochemistry & Microbiology
Earth & Ocean Sciences
Physics & Astronomy

Social Sciences
Anthropology
Environmental Studies
Undergraduate programs (Chosen from among: Global Development Studies, Human Dimensions of Climate Change and Social Justice Studies)

Eligible for three students

The following units are eligible to nominate three students for this award:

Business

Education
Curriculum & Instruction
Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education

Engineering and Computer Science
Computer Science

Human & Social Development
Nursing

Humanities
English
History
Philosophy

Priority initiative
Indigenous supervisors and students

Science
Biology
Chemistry
Mathematics & Statistics

Social Sciences
Economics
Geography
Political Science
Psychology
Sociology

Preparing for the Fair

Each student will be given access to a JCURA Brightspace course which includes further details on preparing and presenting for the fair.

Fair components

Poster

Each student will be required to prepare a research poster (PDF and Jpg files).

Presentation

Each student will be required to present the main findings of their research in 2 minutes.

Online Profile

A profile is required that includes a short description of the student’s research interests and a photo (optionally posted).

Recipients’ Workshops

JCURA recipients will be given access to a Brightspace course. From there, scholars can register for the following workshops:

  • Research Ethics Approval Workshop
  • Meet and Greet
  • Preparing for the Fair: Academic poster
  • Preparing for the Fair: Speaking about your research

Explore the student projects