UVic Learn Anywhere

Virtual Centre for Student Learning

Valerie Kuehne Undergraduate Research Awards (VKURA)

Research-enriched and Applied Learning (REAL) 

The University has recently named this internship as the Valerie Kuehne Undergraduate Research Awards (VKURA) in honour of Dr. Valerie Kuehne, VP Academic and Provost from 2014-2022 and to recognize her leadership and commitment to the value of undergraduate research experiences.  This recently launched award provides an opportunity for first year students to gain research-enriched and applied experiences in their discipline or field of study. Students gain first-hand experience in planning and undertaking research or creative works.  

About the Award

This award ensures that UVic 1st-year undergraduate students have opportunities for a research-enriched learning experience. The Valerie Kuehne Undergraduate Research Awards have been developed with a total of 50 internships to be distributed across academic Faculties with a total of 20% of internships reserved for students from under-represented groups.

These internships will provide students with “hands-on” experiences with research leading to development of future careers in government, industry, community and higher education (graduate studies). 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.


Undergraduate students in their first year* of an undergraduate program. Second year students may be considered in exceptional circumstances. 

Students are required to:

  • Be in good standing and enrolled in usually at least four courses in each of the first and second terms of the prior Winter Session (September – April) at UVic. Students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) with an accommodation that includes a reduced load are also eligible to apply.
  • Be returning to study at UVic for the term following the internship.
  • Be enrolled in an academic Faculty offering undergraduate programs.
  • Be available to undertake the research internship full-time for 12 weeks starting no earlier than May 1.
  • Have a faculty member willing to supervise.
  • Submit any supplementary application materials that the home Faculty deems appropriate for its selection process.
  • Students from under-represented groups will comprise twenty percent of internships (determined within Faculty).

Important note for 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 Adviser prior to applying for the internship.

  1. Gustavson School of Business international students: contact Gustavson International at gsbimmigration@uvic.ca
  2. All other international students: contact the International Centre for Students at icsinfo@uvic.ca

* Note: For those programs where entrance typically occurs in year 3 (e.g. Gustavson, HSD), students completing the first winter session of their program in the academic unit will be eligible for VKURA, similarly LAW students at the end of their first year are eligible for VKURA. 

    Value of internship

    • $7,500.00 for 12 weeks of full-time internship (420 hours). On an exceptional basis shorter internships of a minimum of 8 weeks with prorated funding may be considered.
    • The first internship cohort will begin in May 2022.
    • The internship will be paid out in installments (May through August).
    • Students, for the term of the internship, will be required to register in VKURA (REAL 201) [non-credit no-fee course]. This internship cannot be used for course credit.


    Students with first year standing can use the VKURA for Co-op challenge if approved by the Co-op program. Also students in multi-year programs (such as Business and others) may be eligible after completion of their first Winter session. Students who are in approved Co-op programs may use the VKURA experience for Co-op credit. In this instance, students will simultaneously register in VKURA (REAL 201) and in their Co-op work term. Students are responsible for paying Co-op related fees. Co-op funding will not exceed the remuneration provided by the VKURA.

      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.
      • 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
        • 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
      • Students will participate directly in the project, undertaking an appropriate level of work where they can build knowledge and skills and contribute more generally to the project. 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 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. In the case of a supervisor from the Division of Medical Sciences, the application may come forward through the student’s home Faculty.

      Deadline Passed

      Requirements for the VKURA Awards and VKURA Symposium

      • Using a cohort based model, all interns will commit to participating in the VKURA Internship Network. This will include a series of 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 a public symposium usually held during the term following the internship.

      We acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.