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New tool helps connect undergrads to research opportunities

UTSC undergrads can access the new Research Catalogue featuring research opportunities with partner institutions and faculty members. The catalogue is available through the Career Learning Network, an online hub that helps students manage their academic and career goals. (Photo by Ken Jones)

A new tool developed at U of T Scarborough can help undergraduate students discover research opportunities available to them on campus and beyond.

Starting today (Feb. 24), undergraduate students at UTSC can access the new Research Catalogue featuring research opportunities with partner institutions and faculty members all in one online location for students.

“We have many talented undergraduate students doing amazing research on campus already and this tool will serve as a pathway for even more students interested in pursuing their academic and professional goals,” says Professor Bernie Kraatz, UTSC’s Vice-Principal of Research.

Developed by UTSC’s Office of the Vice-Principal Research and Academic Advising & Career Centre (AA&CC), the catalogue is available to students on the Career Learning Network (CLN), an online hub that helps students manage their academic and career goals.

“Having a research catalogue available through CLN is an ideal fit because it allows undergraduates interested in doing research the ability to start planning ahead by learning about research opportunities at UTSC,” says AA&CC Director Jennifer Ankrett.

The faculty profiles not only introduce students to various opportunities on campus, they also provide helpful advice to those interested in doing research with a particular faculty member or in a specific academic field. Some of the advice includes how best to connect with faculty members about their potential opportunities, the skills and attributes faculty are looking for in successful student researchers, as well as what skills students can hope to develop.

Students can also look up research opportunities with universities abroad and with external organizations including health networks and other major research centres.

The tool benefits faculty in broadening awareness about their research opportunities, while also offering valuable advice and setting expectations for students who may want to do research with them. Biology Professor Clare Hasenkampf, whose main research focuses on the structure and function of chromosomes in plants, has offered paid work, course credit and volunteer opportunities to undergraduate students in the past and appreciates the convenience of having the catalogue within the CLN.  

"It’s great to have one site where students can go for curricular and co-curricular research experience as well as for paid work in research laboratories," says Hasenkampf, who is also director of UTSC’s Centre for Teaching and Learning.

The catalogue also has the added benefit that faculty are already using the CLN to post work study and other research opportunities on and off campus in one highly visible location for students. There are already nearly 200 faculty and institutional profiles, with new ones being added daily, notes Ankrett. 

“We wanted to create a hub that connects students to the amazing research talent on campus and showcases the many opportunities available to them,” says Ankrett. “The Research Catalogue is a great starting place for students to pursue their research aspirations.”  

 




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