What I learned visiting the URS

December 8, 2016  |   Found in Editorial // research

The Students’ Union Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) is an event where University of Calgary undergrads showcase their accomplishments in research. First, applicants apply with their research abstract where it is then evaluated for clarity, uniqueness and how much initiative the student has taken over the course of the work. If the abstract passes the shortlisting stage, the students are invited to present their projects at the symposium in a poster format. This year, there was over $29,000 available in awards for high scoring presentations.

Walking into MacEwan Hall, I saw rows of posters representing research from almost every faculty. The room was abuzz. Students were proudly and excitedly sharing their research with curious onlookers and judges. It was incredible to see so many projects of student led research with such a high level of innovation and creativity.

Some inventive titles included: “Tipping Points: Disparities in Accessible Healthcare in Upper East Region Ghana”, and “Democracy’s Other: Communism in the Development of Albertan Secondary Social Studies Curriculum, 1945-1960” and finally “Hypothermia Induced by General Anesthesia Interferes with Pain Assessment in Rats”. I don’t know about you, but I still am trying to fully understand that last title. The incredible work these students do come through in their enthusiasm to share their findings with peers and judges. Even though some projects took more of an effort to understand the scientific research and terms, you can always appreciate the determination, resiliency and the positive outcomes a curious mind can have on the world.

URS is a great opportunity to share your research endeavours and to receive recognition for your accomplishments than can help further your research. Look out for 2017 applications deadlines early next fall!


Nicolle Tokarek is a fourth year Law and Society and Sociology minor student. Holistic, embarrassingly indecisive and always on the go. A bit of a dreamer and always down for a burrito.