Interested in Research as a Career?
What are the requirements to do research when I graduate?
After an undergraduate degree, research work is typically pursued in the form of a Masters degree (usually 2 year programs). In many cases, graduating with Honours is a requirement to be considered for a Masters program. You can find more information on what an Honours is and its requirements by clicking the link at the top of this page.
A PhD is more advanced than a Masters degree and is most often pursued after a Masters degree. It is a far more advanced, in depth, and autonomous research experience. The length of PhDs varies greatly but they do tend to be far longer than a Masters degree.
What will give me an advantage over other applicants?
Typically, graduating with Honours is an expectation or requirement for Masters programs. Aside from that, the higher your GPA, the more competitive your application becomes. Another great way to boost your CV is by volunteering in research labs. This gets research experience on your CV. You can also get course credit for doing research by taking on a 3000 project (may be called "Experiential Learning" in other majors). Both volunteer research and the 3000 project prepare you for graduate research while adding to your CV. Click the link at the top of the page for information on available labs in which you can volunteer.
Pro tip: Ask an academic advisor about the NSERC Summer Scholarships!
How do I hone in on the research topic I most enjoy?
If you are still uncertain of your topic of interest, volunteering in more than one lab over the course of your degree might be a good option. Once you do end up with a topic you enjoy, staying in a lab for a substantial length of time allows you to develop a good relationship with that researcher. Attending research lectures can also be a great way to hear about cool research topics from our researchers (see our events page)!
Sometimes jumping right into research with professors can seem daunting. Journal club is another alternative that can help spark your interests in a more specified research topic! It is student-run and designed to turn these intense scientific works into more accessible and interesting reads for students (see our events page).