Indigenous Undergraduate Summer Research Scholars

Applications are now available.

Indigenous undergraduate students are invited to apply for a summer initiative – the Indigenous Undergraduate Summer Research Scholars program (IUSRS) – that gives them a taste of graduate student life at McMaster. 

IUSRS is an eight-week intensive research training program hosted by McMaster University. Indigenous Undergraduate Students from universities across Ontario, who are interested in research and curious about graduate school are eligible to participate. Participants take part in workshops and Indigenous Knowledge programming while contributing as research scholars under the supervision of a McMaster faculty member.

IUSRS is funded by the McMaster Indigenous Research Institute (MIRI), McMaster Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Office of VP Research, and with support from the School of Graduate Studies.

The 2019 program runs from May 6 to June 28. This year, the program will accept up to 12 students.

You can find the IUSRS on Facebook.

Eligibility, Support, Requirements

Indigenous students currently registered in an undergraduate program at any Ontario University (priority given to upper year – third or fourth year students) are eligible to apply.

Indigenous scholars who have obtained an undergraduate degree and are considering graduate school are also eligible to apply.

IUSR Scholars receive funding in the form of a research scholarship of $5,000. The funding is intended to support the student financially while they complete their research full-time over the course of eight weeks. The funding is paid in two installments (direct deposit) after the student completes the registration and banking information processes.

Other support available to IUS Scholars:

  • Housing stipend (if living on campus is required)
  • Reimbursement for travel to and from the program
  • Modest meal card for daily food expenses on campus
  • Modest childcare stipend (for scholars with childcare responsibilities)

Students and supervisors will be matched by the IUSRS team in 2019 based on faculty availability and mutual research/academic interests.  

  • Scholars are required to create an academic poster about their research and present it during a closing reception and poster session. Training on how to create and present an academic poster will be provided as part of IUSRS curriculum, and time to make the poster will be allotted for within the scholar’s regular research hours.
  • Scholars are required to work full-time on their research project, unless otherwise negotiated with the faculty supervisor for the duration of the program.
  • The student’s research question, scope, and methodology will be negotiated between supervisor and student
  • Students should maintain regular communication with their supervisor (or designate) regarding research progress, milestones, challenges, etc.
  • The type of research project each scholar undertakes may vary considerably from others in the program, even within a particular discipline.
  • The style of research supervision students receive will vary considerably. For example, some Scholars may experience a more hands-on approach, daily contact with the supervisor, while others may have a more hands-off experience, with perhaps weekly contact.
    • In most cases, students will be working more independently than they would in a typical undergraduate environment as the research is more self-directed.
  • One day of your work week is dedicated to IUSRS programming – workshops and other activities

How to Apply - Students

  1. Download and complete the Student Application form.
  2. Download and complete the Reference Form.
  3. Completed applications and reference forms must be uploaded to MacDrive by the deadline: April 1, 2019
    • Links to MacDrive are included on the the Application and Reference forms


Information for Supervisors

Working with IUS Scholars: My experience as a supervisor

I oversaw a one-month study on Indigenous citizenship as part of my larger SSHRC Partnership Development Grant that explores the impact of digital technology on Indigenous participation and self-determination.

I taught students how to carry out Q-sort methodology and factor analysis and coached them through the analysis of the data and development of a poster that was presented at a student conference. The students also presented a paper at an international conference in September 2016 in New Orleans, LA.

A third student that I supervised in 2016, worked on my SSHRC Insight Development Grant that uses photovoice to examine intergenerational communication between Indigenous elders and youth. The IUS Scholar developed a community newsletter and travelled with the research team to Labrador as part of the project’s dissemination strategy to help put on a community dinner and photo exhibit.

 - Chelsea Gabel, Acting Director, McMaster Indigenous Research Institute,
and assistant professor, Social Sciences

How do I become an IUSRS supervisor?

McMaster supervisors are invited to apply online »

The deadline for applications is April 1, 2019.

What is the Indigenous Undergraduate Summer Research Scholar course?

It's a summer research and graduate school preparatory opportunity for Indigenous undergraduate students who may be interested in – or are planning to apply to – graduate school.

Who is co-ordinating the IUSRS course?

 The McMaster Indigenous Research Institute, with support from the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and Office of Vice-President, Research, and the School of Graduate Studies.

What is the goal?

The IUSRS aims to provide a culturally relevant, transformational program to Indigenous undergraduate students. Also, this course will introduce Indigenous undergraduate students to the graduate experience and community at McMaster, with the aim of contributing to the success of Indigenous researchers and engaging more Indigenous graduate students in the future.

How many Indigenous undergraduate scholars will take part?

As many as 12 Indigenous undergraduate students will be selected to join us at McMaster University.

How long will the course run? When does it start?

Students will take part in eight-week internships. The 2019 program will run from May 6 to June 28.

How will you match students and supervisors?

A selection committee will match IUS Scholars with supervisors. Decisions will be made based on the research interests expressed by incoming students.

Is this course open to supervisors across all Faculties at McMaster?

Yes, IUS Scholars may engage in research and scholarship on any topic across all six faculties.

Do supervisors provide financial support to an IUS Scholar?

Scholars recieve a stipend through the IUSRS course. Any research-related costs, including travel, will need to be budgeted for and covered through a supervisor's own research-related funding.

What types of research / scholarship opportunities are you hoping to provide to the IUS Scholars?

Research opportunities can include options:

    • joining a research team working on an ongoing research project
    • designing and implementing an individual research project
    • another approach that fits the discipline of study and is feasible within the scope of the program

What additional opportunities will be offered to the IUS Scholars?

In addition to their research component, IUS Scholars will participate in workshops and community-based activities covering a range of topics, including:

    • research ethics
    • community-engaged research with Indigenous populations
    • scholarly communication
    • time and project management
    • ePortfolios, social media, and other electronic platforms
    • leadership development
    • life in graduate school and beyond

IUS Scholars will take part in common social activities designed to build a cohort and introduce them to Hamilton and surrounding area, including Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and New Credit reserves.

Is the IUSRS open to current McMaster students only?

No. Indigenous undergrads who attend any university in Ontario will be eligible to apply for this course.

Will IUS Scholars live on campus?

The students will be offered room and board, but may choose to live off campus.

As a supervisor, how will my research group / lab benefit from hosting an IUS Scholar?

Supervisors will enjoy an opportunity to build the capacity of individual researchers/teams, while introducing the research experience to a potential future graduate student.

When will I know whether I have been matched with an IUS Scholar?

You will be contacted in mid April.

I have more questions. Who do I contact?