Valerie Kuehne Undergraduate Research Awards (VKURA)

About the internship

This internship is named in honour of Dr. Valerie Kuehne, previous VP Academic and Provost (2014-2022), to recognize her leadership and commitment to the value of undergraduate research experiences.  This award provides an opportunity for first and second year students to gain research-enriched and applied experiences in their discipline or field of study.

Students will gain experience working within a research environment that is collaborative and collegial with direct support from a faculty mentor. These opportunities exemplify UVic’s Strategic Framework where the intent is to ensure there are research-enriched learning opportunities within curriculum and with an emphasis on research-informed teaching. This internship is also closely aligned with Aspiration 2030 UVic Research and Creative Works Strategy.

The awards have been distributed across academic Faculties with a total of 20% of internships reserved for students from under-represented groups.


Please note that unless noted, dates are consistent from year to year. Applications are now closed for 2024. 

Application Guidelines

Materials and application form available by December 11, 2023


Please email and submit this completed Word document to your Faculty by February 15, 2024. 


Faculties are responsible for adjudication. Ranked nominations are to be emailed to LTSI by 4:30pm, March 4, 2024. 

Applicants Notified

LTSI will verify eligibility and notify successful applicants, supervisors and their Faculties by March 15, 2024.  


In order to apply to the internship, the following eligibility is required.

    Eligible students and projects

    • In first or second year of an undergraduate program
    • In good standing and enrolled in at least 8 courses (4 per term) in each of the first and second terms of (September – April) at UVic
    • Registered at UVic for the term following the internship
    • Able to undertake the research internship full-time for 12 weeks (between May 1 and August 31st – for exact start and end dates, please consult with your supervisor)
    • Have a faculty member willing to supervise
    • Remote participation is allowed provided it works for the supervisor and the supervisor is still able to provide supervision and mentorship during the internship
    • Field work off-site is allowed*, but cannot be used as a field school course credit

    Not eligible students and projects

    • A previous VKURA scholar
    • Those who have already received an undergraduate degree
    • Self-directed studies

    International students

    In order to participate, international students require the proper authorization to work, based on their immigration status. For advice on your eligibility, please contact an International Student Advisor.

    Important notes

    • Students from under-represented groups will comprise twenty percent of internships (determined within Faculty).
    • Students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) with an accommodation that includes a reduced load are also eligible to apply.
    • Students must submit any supplementary application materials that the home Faculty deems appropriate for its selection process.
    • *If research work is happening at a distance, the student may be asked to self-fund their travel, be partially or fully covered under faculty member grant, or be asked to access a seperate grant if available.

    Value of internship

    A value of $7,500.00 is given for 12 weeks of full-time internship (420 hours). A shorter internship, in exceptional circumstances, of 8 weeks may be considered on a prorated basis ($5,000.00). The internship cohort will begin in May and will be paid out in installments from May to August. Students, for the term of the internship, will be registered in VKURA (VKUR 201) [non-credit no-fee course]. This internship cannot be used for course credit.

    Students have the option to use the VKURA internship for Co-op challenge if approved by the Co-op program. Please contact your Faculty Co-op Coordinator for more information.

    Application Process

    Each Faculty will be assigned a set number of internships. All applications will be adjudicated within the Faculty ensuring that 20% of seats will be reserved for students from equity-deserving groups.

    Supervisor criteria

    Each application will have a designated supervisor with a stated research project, detailing what the student will be doing during the course of the internship, including start and end date for the internship and the learning outcomes for the student.

      • Students may have a supervisor from another Faculty than their home Faculty
      • Each supervisor can only mentor one VKURA intern at a time
      • Supervisors must be regular faculty members at UVic, however you can also appoint a co-supervisor who is a sessional faculty
      • Students will be mentored by the supervisor usually within the context of the supervisor’s or the student’s existing research or creative activity project
    Academic Faculty Eligibility


    Faculty Internships
    per year
    Education 1*
    Engineering and Computer Science 5
    Fine Arts 2*
    Human & Social Development 2*
    Humanities 2*
    Science 4
    Social Sciences 8
    Gustavson School of Business 2*

    * For those Faculties with under 5 total internships per year, distribution to under-represented groups must meet the 20% minimum over two years.

    Last updated: November 16, 2023

    Course registration

    VKURA recipients are required to be registered in VKUR 201 (non-credit, no fee course). Once a VKURA student has received this award, the Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation (LTSI) will have each VKURA recipient registered in this course. The VKURA is an award and not considered employment. VKURA recipients are registered in this course to ensure that they retain their student status through the summer term (time of the award). 

    Project guidelines

    There are typically two main approaches to the project; faculty supervisor initiated and student initiated.

    Supervisor initiated

    In this 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.

    Student initiated

    In this 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. This internship is focused on student learning and therefore the work must be beneficial to the student and should not be solely focused on support tasks such as photocopying/book retrieval/repetitive routine tasks. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that the appropriate research protocols are in place as needed, including human subjects research ethics approval if required.

    Interdisciplinary projects

    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. Interdisciplinary applications, where the supervisor is from one Faculty and the student from another, are to be directed through the supervisor’s home Faculty for review (e.g., in the case of a supervisor from the Division of Medical Sciences, the application may come forward through the student’s home Faculty).

    Other requirements

    Using a cohort based model, all interns will commit to participating in the VKURA Internship Network. This will include a series of online and in-person events/seminars over the time of the internship to build a learning community. Supervisors will also be invited to attend. All interns will commit to present their work within an in-person symposium usually held during the term following the internship.

    Are you a current VKURA student or supervisor?

    We recommend accessing the VKURA Brightspace (you will be automatically enrolled) for other useful information regarding the projects and requirements for the symposium.

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