Office of Undergraduate Research

The Office of Undergraduate Research at McMaster – OURMac – is located within the School of Graduate Studies.

OURMac provides training and other opportunities for undergraduate students across all faculties at McMaster, helping young scholars develop and practice their skills as a researcher.


USRA  for Arts and Science, Humanities & Social Sciences Students

The McMaster Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) provides undergraduate students in the Faculties of Arts & Science, Humanities, and Social Sciences with an opportunity to receive $6,000 to cover 15 weeks of full-time research-based activity in the summer, while cultivating research partnerships between faculty members. The intent is for the research to be student initiated, and that the proposed research activity deepens a student's learning about a substantive area and enhances the student's research skills. Student award recipients agree to present their research in a poster session in the following academic year. For more information, including eligibility requirements and information on the application process

  • For the Faculty of Arts and Science »
  • For the Faculty of Humanities »
  • For the Faculty of Social Sciences »


NSERC USRA for Science & Engineering Students

The NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) are meant to stimulate students' interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering. They are also meant to encourage students to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields. If you would like to gain research work experience that complements your studies in an academic setting, these awards can provide you with financial support through your host university. NSERC encourages qualified Aboriginal students to apply to this program.

For more information, including eligibility requirements, application procedures, the application form, and deadlines, visit Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

The annual Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) Poster Session provides McMaster undergraduate students the opportunity to share their summer research experience with peers, faculty members, staff and the broader Hamilton community. The session highlights the work done by the 2016 Undergraduate Student Research Award winners, who spent this past summer working in the labs, libraries, and in the field. Their hands-on research experience gives them an opportunity to get a taste of what it is to be a graduate student researcher. 

The Undergraduate Student Research Awards are sponsored by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; Office of the Vice-President Research; the faculties of Social Sciences, Humanities and Business; the Arts & Science program; and the School of Graduate Studies.

From Arts & Science 

  • Special Relativity as Told by the Luminaries, Matthew Jordan
  • Sojourning in the World, Henry Krahn
  • A History of Churches Formed by Immigrants to Hamilton, Clare MacDonald
  • Defining Rumination: A Factor Analysis of Rumination Questionnaires, Jonah Nadler
  • Investigating the Effects of Social Mix On Residents’ Experiences of Social Inclusion/Exclusion In Toronto’s Regent Park Public Housing Community, Emily Power
  • Mexican Fiction and Identity, Alex Recio
  • LEED and Perceptions of Sustainable Design in the City of Hamilton, Spencer Williams

From Health Sciences 

  • Detection of Legionella pneumophila using Flurogenic DNAzymes, Suraj Gopinathbirla
  • Investigating the effects of AMPK on Atherosclerosis, Matthew Han
  • Impact of maternal nutrient restriction during pregnancy on ovarian follicle number in guinea pig offspring, Xinglin (Lyn) Li
  • The Cytochrome P450 Superfamily in Cnidaria, Kirill Pankov
  • Screening for Pseudomonas aeruginosa genes involved in biofilm stimulatory response to sub-lethal antibiotics, Madeleine Rudolph
  • Influence of fetal exposure to SSRIs on the development of the enteric nervous system, Megan Wang

From the Humanities

  • The Healing Arts, Ema Asler
  • Fertility Treatments and the Singing Voice, Laura Curtis
  • Covert Hegemony: Explaining Nixon's Hostility to Chilean President Salvador Allende, Jaime Graydon Dennison
  • Women's Leadership Roles in Haudenosaunee Society, Oznur Kaynak
  • Ongoing Colonial Violence against South Asian Communities in Canada: Air India Bombings of 1985, Zarah Khan
  • Derrida's Hospitality and its Local Implications in the Syrian Refugee Crisis, Adam Watters
  • Perception of Tonality and Harmonic Progressions, Brandon Wild
  • Teaching Introductory Italian Using Digital Tools, Kaitlyn Zarcone-Beam

From Engineering

  • Air-Floating Wind Turbine, Akshay Aubeeluck
  • Teaching Computer Science Game Graphs, Tanya Bouman
  • Using MEMS techniques for fabrication of planar electromagnets for applications in DNA sensing, David Philpott
  • Inducing Apoptosis in MCF-7 cells using MNP's and Magnetic Fields, Justin Sing
  • Thermal Stability of Cellulose Nanocrystals via Hydrolysis with Sulfuric and Phosphoric Acids, Oriana Vanderfleet 

From Science

  • Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) reflectance of decayed root matter under varying soil moisture conditions, Julia Andersen
  • The Effects of Driving Experience on Visual AttentionSenuri Aponso
  • A Microfluidic Microinjector for toxicological and developmental studies of cardiogenesis in Drosophila embryos, Pouya Aref
  • How do plants deal with low phosphate? Getting to the root of the problem, Anna Axakova
  • Ligand-induced cooperativity between CBD activation and channel gating in HCN channels, Adam Bernardo
  • The Search for an Integrable Discretization of the Derivative Nonlinear Schrodinger Equation, Sylvie Bronsard
  • Exploring the Interplay Between Lsr2 Proteins in Streptomyces venezuelae, Loryn Byres 
  • Localization and assessment of functional groups on surface modified PDMS, Srimann Chari
  • Sign Patterns and their ApplicationsBiran Falk-Dotan 
  • Digital Drumming: Visualizing a Desynchonizing Percussion Performance, Kyle Gauder
  • One-pot synthesis of quinazolinones as anti-parasitic agents for promotion of global public health, Tiffany Kong
  • The Effects of Power on Empathic Responses to PainMichael, Ku
  • Heat flow, Brownian motion, and Feynman diagrams, Kyle MacDonald
  • Photoreactions in an Optical Vortex, Fariha Mahmood
  • Fourier Series, Hilton Maurer
  • Characterization of Transient Germlyenes in Solution, Austin Read
  • Quantifying evapotranspiration edge effects in peatland systems: implications for at-risk reptiles, Kyra Simone
  • A distributed hydrogeochemical assessment of Spencer Creek Watershed, Supriya Singh
  • Polymer hydrogel microspheres as building blocks for extracellular matrices, Marta Skreta
  • The impact of reduced daily ambulation on glycemic control in older adults: a pilot study, Tanner Stoeks
  • Breast Cancer in Women of African Ancestry, Yulika Yoshida-Montezumae

From Social Sciences

  • Ontario's Allied Health Professions / Medical Expense Tax Credit, Collin Brown
  • Differentiating Commingled Remains through EDXRF, Katie Campeau
  • Chert Sourcing in the Cyclades, Jeffrey Coffin
  • Being Transabled: What it means to seek disability in an able-bodied world, Kaelyn Danahy
  • Association between socio-demographic and socio-economic characteristics and household food insecurity in Canada, Mack Fielding
  • Associations among shyness, physiological regulation, and social and private speech in typically developing 4-year-olds, Raha Hassan
  • Hamilton's Women's Shelter System and the Housing Market, Sarah Hugh
  • The Recipe of Choice: A Petrographic Analysis of Neutral Iroquoian Ceramics at the Christianson Site, Daniel Ionico
  • Exploring Hairstylists as Cultural Intermediaries, Sasha  Johnstone
  • Mapping Disabled Homeless Youths' Navigation of (Dis)connected Services, Daire Kavanagh
  • Accessing democracy: Barriers to voting for People Experiencing Homelessness, Grace Kennedy