Undergraduate Summer Research Program

Centre for Blood Research – School of Biomedical Engineering Summer Studentship Program

Are you a student looking for summer research experience? The Centre for Blood Research-School of Biomedical Engineering (CBR-SBME) Summer Studentship Program provides students with an opportunity to get hands-on lab and clinical research experience during the summer months and to present their research at the CBR Research Day. This program also enhances the summer students’ learning with research skills workshops, tours of campus facilities, and complementary social events.

Competition for the 2019 CBR-SBME Summer Studentship Program is now closed. The next competition (for Summer 2020) will open in early 2020.

CBR Principal Investigators, Postdoctoral Fellows, and Research Associates can apply to supervise a summer student. Application deadline is April 1, 2019.

If you are a PDF/RA, download the CBR-SBME PDF/RA Summer Studentship Application 2019.
If you are a PI, download the CBR-SBME PI Summer Studentship Application 2019.

As an undergraduate or medical student, there are two options to apply:

  1. Contact a CBR or SBME Principal Investigator, Postdoctoral Fellow, or Research Associate you are interested in working with. It is good practice to send them your CV, cover letter, transcript and/or statement of interest.
  2. If you can’t find a PI, PDF, or RA, apply through a general application:
    Submit your CV, transcript, and letter of interest by March 15, 2019 to Stefanie Mak (Education Program Manager; stefanie.mak@ubc.ca). The letter of interest should describe your relevant accomplishments, interests, and career goals. Maximum length for CV is 2 pages and for letter of interest is 1 page.

*Note: Most summer students are hired through contacting PIs, PDFs, or RAs directly. Only a small proportion get in through a general application.

Out-of-town students are welcome to apply. It is the student’s responsibility to find housing for the duration of the program.

What past participants said about the Summer Studentship Program:

Sia Cecilia Jan-Abu, 2019 CBR-SBME Summer Research Student
Project: Modulation of the Immune System as possible therapy for Muscular Dystrophy
Supervisor: Dr. Kelly McNagny

Sia Cecilia Jan-Abu at CBR Research Day 2019.

“I am extremely grateful to be part of the 2019 cohort to receive the CBR/SBME summer studentship award. Before this summer I knew very little about research and academics outside of the classroom, but I have now found a new/renewed love for science and research. I did my summer research project titled “Modulation of the Immune System as possible therapy for Muscular Dystrophy” in the McNagny Lab (Biomedical Research Centre). This project allowed me to develop a hypothesis and follow through with experiments. I learnt the importance of paying attention to detail and time management especially when planning and conducting sensitive experiments. But I think some of the most valuable lessons I learnt this summer were learnt out of the lab. Being able to prepare and present my work to my peers and other scientists at the CBR Research Day was very beneficial. It was not only great practice of my presentation skills, but it tested my understanding of the work I had done, and I am so honoured to have been awarded best presenter. Furthermore, attending scientific conferences and meetings added another layer to an already holistic experience. I truly appreciate all the CBR/SBME staff and the McNagny lab for all their amazing support and direction.”


Amardeep Sekhon, 2019 CBR-SBME Summer Research Student
Frequency of Positive Antibody Screens on patients with Serial Group and Screens Every 3 Days (PASSeS 3D Study)
Supervisor: Dr. Andrew Shih

Amardeep (left) with his supervisor Dr. Andrew Shih at CBR Research Day 2019.

“As someone who recently finished up his first year of undergraduate studies and had no prior research experience, I cannot thank the Centre for Blood Research (CBR) enough for the opportunity to get an early start in clinical research and develop my skills.

The research study I have been working on in the summer is called the PASSeS 3D Study (Frequency of Positive Antibody Screens on Patients with Serial Group and Screens Every 3 Days), which is currently investigating a 3-day protocol for pre-transfusion compatibility testing at the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

With this studentship being my first immersion into clinical research, I did not know what to expect – I initially had this notion that it would simply be non-stop data collection and analysis but looking back I learned so much from the experience. Working with post-graduate medical residents on a daily basis under the supervision of a staff physician has taught me so much about what it takes to be successful not only in clinical medicine, but in academia.  The unparalleled guidance and mentorship I have received from Dr. Andrew Shih, Dr. Bhupinder Johal and Dr. Ann Tran, has made me realize that medicine and research is something I would pursue after my undergraduate studies. The meaningful professional relationships I have built I feel will serve me very well in making sure those dreams are a reality.

Overall, I am looking forward to remain being a part of the vibrant research community at the CBR and remain being involved in the research there.”