Raised of $5,000 goal.






Days Left
This campaign ended on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

Who are we?

The Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI) launched at the University of Alberta in 2011 with a bold vision: to create a culture in which every undergraduate student has opportunities to engage in research and creative activities, both in and out of the classroom. Why? Because we believe that undergraduate students deserve the very best that a research-intensive institution has to offer: high-impact, hands-on experiences at the cutting edge of human knowledge -- the opportunity to put their ideas and their curiosity to work.

How do we support students? 

So far, the Undergraduate Research Initiative has funded more than 120 interdisciplinary undergraduate research projects. We’ve helped thousands of other aspiring researchers take their first steps by providing one-on-one advising, research skill development workshops, and other research-related activities. But creating a campus-wide culture of undergraduate research requires more than supporting individual students. It takes a community of passionate and curious people who believe, as we do, that students don’t come to university to just absorb knowledge. Undergraduate research provides opportunities for students to take charge of their learning  --
 to learn how to think critically, ask questions, express ideas, to discover how they can become active, engaged citizens and leaders.   

Last year, we launched the University of Alberta’s first ever campus-wide Festival of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities (FURCA). Our goal is to bring together students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the broader community to celebrate the creativity and innovation of our undergraduate students. With FURCA, unlike many discipline-specific events, students have opportunities to practice sharing their research with and learning from people outside their own areas of expertise. We believe that supporting students in meaningful and diverse interactions will help them develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for them to thrive as members of interdisciplinary teams, no matter what their future career goals might be.

In its inaugural year, FURCA brought together more than 25 groups and reached more than 2000 students from across all disciplines. You can check out some of the highlights here.

This year, FURCA’s back, with more of what students have told us they’re looking for:

  • Opportunities to explore undergraduate research & creative activities. (e.g. Research Crawls)
  • Events & activities that empower students to take their first steps (or next steps!) in research. (e.g. our first-ever Undergraduate Research Resource Fair)
  • A celebration of enlightening research and creative activities by University of Alberta students. (e.g. the Undergraduate Research Symposium, Awards Reception & Keynote Performance)
We hope that FURCA will be a catalyst for students to think about their learning beyond the scope of the classroom, studio, or laboratory -- to see in their own questions an opportunity to make a difference.

How can I help?

We invite you to help support this emerging culture of undergraduate research by becoming part of it! We are crowdfunding to raise money to support FURCA events, but also to provide a mechanism for the whole community to get involved in our celebration of undergraduate research. Every contribution in support of FURCA sends a clear message to our students: The University of Alberta is a place where their questions matter.

Where will your money go?

The funds we raise will help cover costs associated with running various events throughout FURCA, as well as monetary awards for outstanding undergraduate research in several categories, including interdisciplinary research and creative activities. (For a list of last year’s award recipients, click here).  

What events are happening during FURCA this year?

Here are some of the major events happening during FURCA this year:
  • Nov 3: Faculty Showcase: Highlights outstanding examples of course-based undergraduate research at the University of Alberta, and ways that students are exposed to research through their courses.
  • Nov 7-8: Tomorrow’s Ideas, Now: Hacking Social & Cultural Innovation: A hands-on, interdisciplinary event focused on developing undergraduate projects related to social & cultural innovation.
  • Nov 10: Research Crawls: Interactive guided tours of different research facilities on campus. It's a fun way for students to see behind the scenes of research and discover the diverse interdisciplinary research opportunities at the University of Alberta. 
  • Nov 13: Undergraduate Research Symposium: The marquee event of FURCA is our annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, where students from across all disciplines gather to share their research through posters, performances or other demonstrations.
  • Nov 14: Undergraduate Research Resource Fair: The Resource Fair helps empower students to get started in research by connecting them with organizations and resources that support undergraduate research and related activities.
  • Nov 14: Awards Reception & Keynote Performance (GWG Piece by Piece, with University of Alberta alumna, Maria Dunn. Read a profile of Maria here!)

A FURCA'n Reflection on crowdfunding, by Joel Johnston 

  Published on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM (MDT)
This update is provided by Joel Johnston, one of our campaign champions who got involved with URI & our USEED campaign through a community service-learning placement in his PERLS 335 class.

 It seems like yesterday I was introduced to my professor and found out who is going to be in my class. Within the first few weeks we picked our placement and I found out I was going to help out with FURCA. The saying goes, “time flies when your having fun.” This year’s Festival of Undergrad Research and Creative Activities is over, so where did the time go?

I have had a little experience with the Undergrad Research Initiative (URI) so when I found out that it was an option for a CSL placement in my class I jumped at the opportunity. This little piece of excitement set me up for success. At first I was skeptical of what the process of crowd funding meant and how the people I was connected to would receive it. I also thought it would be a tedious task, just going though the motions. It, however, turned out to be much more engaging and interesting than expected.

Fund raising is something that I have done before. I have gone door to door asking for pledges for spelling bees, swim/volley ball/ski-athons, and famines. Crowd funding for FURCA was by far much more that just asking for money. First of all there was training. This included meetings with URI staff and online modules.

Crowd funding is about engaging the communities that you are connected, whether that is school, work, family or friends. It is about showcasing something you believe is important and explaining how it is important to others as well. I very much enjoyed my experiences with research and liked how I was able to include my personal stories in order to promote this event. Every time I made a post I got questions; and I was more than happy to answer. Though this crowd funding campaign I got to talk to my family and friends about something that interests me. Not only did this provide them with greater insight as to who I am as a person but it also made me realize how passionate I am about research.

Sometimes the little things create the biggest change. I may have only played a small part in the Festival for Undergrad Research and Creative Activities, but that small part had a big impact. My experience not only gave me a greater appreciation for undergrad research, inspiring me to consider what areas of research I would like to get involved with, but let me know that I could get involve with other peoples research. There is a large world of opportunity out there and it is for everyone to experience.  

That's a wrap! Another successful year for FURCA! 

  Published on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 at 10:48 PM (MDT)
It's been a wild couple of weeks, but we're pleased to report that this year's FURCA was a huge success!  Thanks to everyone who was involved, and especially to our supporters, without whom, none of this would have happened!

Check out some of the highlights on our Storify feed, and watch this blog for post-campaign updates from our students!


145 presenters, 13 faculties, 100% awesome. 

  Published on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014 at 04:21 PM (MDT)
The Undergraduate Research Symposium is happening TODAY in CCIS from 2p.m. to 6p.m.

This is what it's FURCAn all about.

Check out the abstracts & schedule here -- then get on over to CCIS and see our students shine!

FURCA kicks off today! Here's what's happening this week! 

  Published on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 at 03:54 PM (MDT)
Happy FURCA, everyone!

FURCA is finally here! For the next two weeks, we'll be celebrating all things undergraduate research. To help kick things off right, The Wanderer published this story today from one of URI's past stipend recipients, reflecting on the value of her undergraduate experience. Check it out, get inspired, and then come FURCA with us!

Today, we'll be in SUB from 10-2p.m. handing out free popcorn and talking about undergraduate research in the classroom.

On Wednesday, November 5th, we'll be hosting a session on how to effectively present your undergraduate research -- a great chance to polish up your presentation skills before next week's Undergraduate Research Symposium.

And then - our feature event this week - on Friday, November 7th, Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell will be speaking about "Students as Leaders for Change" to help launch our first "social & cultural innovation hackathon" (Hack-a-what?? Find out more here!) The hackathon runs all day Saturday, and will bring together students from across disciplines to develop solutions to real challenges facing the campus community.  Challenges like:

  • How can we develop a social strategy to combat homonegative language on campus?
  • How do we create an inclusive culture on campus that welcomes international students into Canadian-student social networks for active 'face to face' learning and sharing?
  • How can we create a culture in which cheating and plagiarism are unacceptable to students?
  • What needs to be done to have a barrier-free, inclusive, universally designed electronic communications culture at UofA?
  • And many more....!
Students, this is YOUR opportunity to make a difference on campus -- one project at a time!

No experience necessary -- students from all years & all disciplines are welcome. Put your creativity & innovation to work! (And did we mention the free food?  RSVP here)

Find out what else is happening this week during FURCA by clicking here, following us on Facebook, or on Twitter (#FURCA2014)

That's a wrap - it's time to FURCA! 

  Published on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 at 07:23 PM (MDT)
Wow -- those 30 days sure flew by fast! Thanks to the incredible support from our champions and supporters, our campaign raised 88% of its goal. And now it's time to FURCA!

Here's your field guide to our favourite FURCA'n fall festival.

FURCA: It's a noun, it's a verb, it's a two-pronged fork! But most importantly, it's the University of Alberta's only campus-wide celebration of undergraduate research from across all disciplines.

FURCA events at a glance


Nov 7-8: Tomorrow's Ideas, Now: Hacking Social & Cultural Innovation

A hands-on, interactive event in which students come together from across disciplines to develop solutions to real problems/issues facing the campus community.

Nov 7 (6pm-8:30pm, 2-190 ECHA)
  • Keynote presentation (Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell): “Students as leaders for change.” (Open to the public - please RSVP here)
  • Learn about campus challenges/issues that need solutions
  • Connect with other students to form interdisicplinary teams
Nov 8 (9am-5pm, 2-100 SUB)
  • Work with facilitators to develop their ideas for potential solutions/interventions.
  • Share your ideas with fellow students & campus organizations
  • Connect with resources (e.g. funding, programs, mentorship) to help execute your project.
  • Please RSVP here. 
Help make change, one project at a time! 


Nov 10 - Fine Arts Research Crawl

A behind-the-scenes look at various Fine Arts research facilities/groups across campus – a chance to explore potential research opportunities and meet other students/researchers.

Nov 10 (9:30-2pm)
  • Confirmed sites (so far – more to come!):  FolkwaysAlive!, Arts-based research studio
  • Learn about different types of research and research-related career paths, interdisciplinary opportunities and how to get involved.
  • Free – lunch included!  (Pre-registration required)
It’s like a pub crawl, for geeks!

Nov 13 - Undergraduate Research Symposium

U of A’s only campus-wide, interdisciplinary symposium for undergraduate students – see more than 120 undergraduate research projects from 13 different faculties!

Nov 13 (12pm-6pm, Main floor CCIS)
  • See posters, demonstrations, oral presentations, a student art exhibit, and more!
  • Includes student work from classes and extra-curricular/summer research.
  • Poster judging & oral presentations (4-6pm)
  • Talk to fellow students about their undergraduate research experiences and how they got involved.
  • Connect with potential mentors/supervisors!
Find out where a question can take you!


Nov 14 - Undergraduate Research Resource Fair

FURCA’s newest event: Learn how to get involved in undergraduate research & connect with resources that can help support your projects!

Nov 14 (10am-3pm, Dinwoodie Lounge, SUB)
  • Learn about student groups, organizations & campus services that support undergraduate research – from funding to mentorship to publication!
  • Take a study break – check out our puzzles, games & legos!
  • On-site advising about undergraduate research.
  • Free popcorn!
It’s never too early or too late to get started!

Nov 14 - Awards Reception & Keynote Performance

Celebrate Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities with U of A alumna, former undergraduate researcher, and Juno-nominated songwriter Maria Dunn!
Nov 14 (5:30-8pm, Dinwoodie Lounge, SUB)
Tickets: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/711879
$10 + service charges for the public
Free for Undergraduate Research Symposium presenters
A Friday FURCA Finale!


What's UR Question? Contest

Tell us UR good question for your chance to win a U of A Bookstore Gift Card -- and get your question on a lawn sign!
Nov 3-14 (Question submission)
Nov 15-Dec 1 (Voting)
•  Submit your funny, serious, or thought-provoking question online or at one of our FURCA events for your chance to win! 

Volunteer Opportunities

Want to volunteer during FURCA? Here are several ways you can get involved:
  • Social & Cultural Innovation Hackathon - Group facilitators (November 7-8). Volunteer opportunity for graduate students/post-docs. Contact uri@ualberta.ca for more information.
  • Undergraduate Research Symposium - Judges (November 13, 4-6 p.m.):  Volunteer opportunity for graduate students/post-docs/alumni. Register here.
  • Undergraduate Research Symposium - Event evaluators (November 13, 12-6 p.m.): Volunteer opportunity for students, staff or alumni. Register here. 
  • Undergraduate Research Symposium - Photographers (November 13, 12-6 p.m.): Excellent portfolio-building opportunity for student photographers. Contact uri@ualberta.ca for more information. 

Follow FURCA!

Follow FURCA throughout November by visiting our website, following us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter (@URIUofA, #FURCA2014)!


The Festival of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities is made possible through the generous support of:

Less than 12 hours to go!  

  Published on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 at 08:00 PM (MDT)
It's the last day of our campaign -- and we're inching closer to our goal -- up to 76%! We are soooo close but we still need your help!

Please contribute now. Your support helps keep high-impact events like the Undergraduate Research Symposium free for students, and ensures that we are able to provide awards for their outstanding research.

We see FURCA as a catalyst for students -- a chance to explore research opportunities and possible career paths, while developing skills and connections that will help them become more engaged, active learners. It's about breaking down barriers & disciplinary stereotypes, and empowering students, not only to ask questions that make a difference, but to be part of the solutions.

A question can take students anywhere. Please help them take their first steps and support FURCA now.

Only 2 days left -- and why undergraduate research isn't just good for students 

  Published on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014 at 09:25 PM (MDT)
This is it. We're down to the wire -- only 2 days remaining in our campaign. We really need a strong finish to raise our goal in time! Now is the time to contribute and share our campaign!

Although our crowdfunding campaign may be winding down, FURCA itself is just starting to warm up. FURCA launches exactly one week today, on November 3rd! Our "What's UR Question?" lawn signs are going up around campus as we speak, and our team is busy making all the final preparations for next week's events. There is a FURCA'n buzz in the air!

But FURCA is also more than just a celebration. Everything we do at URI is focused on student skill development -- helping students put their education to work. Last week, the Globe and Mail published their annual Canadian University Report, which examines the quality of the student experience at various Canadian post-secondary institutions. One article in this year's report focuses on bridging the "expectation gap" --  ways students and institutions are working to ensure that educational experiences meet the needs of students after they graduate.

We often talk about the benefits of undergraduate research for students, but undergraduate research is also of tremendous value to employers. According to a 2013 Job Outlook Survey by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, the following skills top the list of qualities rated as most important for applicants to possess:
  • the ability to communicate effectively
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • the ability to solve problems
  • the ability to prioritize work
As well, more than 70% of employers surveyed also indicated a preference for hiring candidates with relevant experience, such as undergraduate research. In another survey (released by the Chronicle of Higher Education), employers further rated candidates' internship or work experience over academic factors such as major, relevance of coursework, and GPA.

FURCA is meant to be fun, but our emphasis on student skill development is maintained through all of our events. Here are some of the ways FURCA supports students in developing the skills employers want:

  • Our Social & Cultural Innovation "hackathon" (Nov 7-8) will bring students together in interdisicplinary teams to solve problems affecting the campus community. Our keynote speaker, Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, will emphasize the importance of students' leadership skills and their role as agents for change.
  • Our Research Crawls (Nov 10) give students an opportunity to explore what research looks like in different fields, learn about potential research-related career paths, and connect with potential research opportunities in their field of interest. 
  • The Undergraduate Research Symposium (Nov 13) is all about interdisciplinary communication. Here, we take students out of their traditional disciplinary context and challenge them to "talk nerdy" with people from other disciplines. Judges will provide constructive feedback, and awards will be given for outstanding communication & interdisciplinarity. 
  • The Undergraduate Research Resource Fair (Nov 14) encourages students to take action -- to get involved, to connect with the resources they need to be successful in their research, and to feel empowered to take control of their undergraduate experience. 
At URI, we believe that "a question can take you anywhere."  We want to help equip students with the skills they need to be successful no matter where they go. You can help:

  • Please contribute to our campaign now. We only have 2 days left, and we rely on your support to provide these kinds of experiences for our students!
  • Please share our campaign with your networks -- whether you're a student, a parent, an alumnus, or an employer -- we all know someone who benefits from undergraduate research.  If all our supporters and advocates could reach out to just one person, we'd reach our goal in no time at all! 

Remember that Kickstarter project that raised $50K for a bowl of potato salad? 

  Published on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014 at 03:44 PM (MDT)
Seriously. A bowl of potato salad.

Don't get the wrong idea. We love potato salad in all its creamy, delicious, awesomeness. It's just that we're looking at more than 120 undergraduate research projects right now that are way cooler than potato salad.

Here are just 10 of the projects you'll see during FURCA this year:

1. "The Write Chemistry" -- or, how to measure antioxidants in beverages using a pencil.

2. "Climbing the Ladder to the Clouds: Building Better Leaders Through Shakespeare" -- or, the answer to anyone who ever asked "A humanities degree...what are you going to do with that?"

3. "Teaching surgery using creativity, popular culture and online technology." -- Did someone say Zombie Surgery?

4. "Alberta Oil: Democratic Dialogue Amidst Fractured Cultures" -- fostering dialogue on oil and gas development through film.

5. "Antisense-mediated gene therapy in cells from patients with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva" -- developing genetic "band-aids" for Stone Man's Syndrome, a condition that turns human tissue into bone.

6. "Chemistry, Computers and Jellyfish" -- how chemists use computers to make cells glow in the dark.

7. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Bonnie Doon" -- exploring the geography & identity of Edmonton's francophone neighbourhood.

8. "Perceptions of Changes in Children's Active Free Play: An Intergenerational Study" -- exploring how technology, parental involvement, and imagination have changed how children play.

9. "Investigating the 2012 pertussis outbreak" -- Investigating Alberta’s 2012 whooping cough outbreak—can bacteria out-evolve vaccines as well as antibiotics?

10. "Kastro Kallithea Archeology Project" -- how undergraduates are mapping and excavating an Ancient Greek city.

We could go on...but here's the thing. We need your support in order to continue to host events where all these terrific projects can be shared. FURCA is the U of A's only campus-wide, interdisciplinary celebration of undergraduate research -- the only place you'll find jellyfish chemistry, zombie surgery, and local, community-based projects all in one venue, all driven by our amazing undergraduate students.

There are only 7 days left in our campaign. Please contribute now and help spread the word: https://ualberta.useed.net/projects/134/home.

Because today's potato salad...won't innovate tomorrow.

Exciting news about FURCA!  

  Published on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 at 10:32 PM (MDT)
We've got 8 days to go with our FURCA campaign, and we're nearly halfway to our goal. Let's keep going!

FURCA itself is only two weeks away, and we've got an exciting lineup in store. Here are just a few highlights that your contribution will help support:

  • November 10: Fine Arts Research Crawl - Registration now open! (Students from all disciplines are welcome!)
  • November 7-8: Tomorrow's Ideas, Now: Hacking Social & Cultural Innovation -- with introductory remarks by the Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell! (RSVP here!)
  • November 13: 4th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium -- featuring more than 120 posters, demonstrations & presentations from across 13 faculties!

Our team will be tabling around campus this week for Sustainability Awareness Week. Tomorrow you can find us in SUB at Sustainability Fair (10am-3pm) or at Keeping Up With the Grants (5-7:30pm.) Thursday we'll be in ECHA from 10am-3pm.

Please help us make the most of this final week of our campaign. If you've been thinking about contributing, we can still use your support!

Don't forget to share our campaign page with your friends & colleagues!


One student's journey with undergraduate research 

  Published on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 at 08:26 PM (MDT)
We've passed the midway point of our campaign! 

Today's update comes from Bo Bao, one of URI's Peer Undergraduate Research Liaisons, and one of the leaders on our crowdfunding campaign. He shared his reflections on undergraduate research on the CAPS blog, here: http://capsfromthedirectorschair.blogspot.ca/2014/10/one-students-journey-with-undergraduate.html

Want to help us spread the undergraduate research love? Please share our campaign on social media -- you can use the following templates to get started:

Twitter: Help support a culture of undergraduate research at #Ualberta! http://bit.ly/1oq3cPm

"[undergraduate research] can ignite a lifelong passion for future research and the potential for some of the best and brightest to lift off. You never know how far someone will go with just a little spring to get them started.” Help #Ualberta students spring into research: http://bit.ly/1oq3cPm

We'll be sharing more updates soon -- stay tuned!

Happy Thanksgiving!  

  Published on Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 at 06:48 PM (MDT)
Today's update is from Crystal Snyder, Coordinator for the Undergraduate Research Initiative and Team Captain for our FURCA crowd-funding campaign. 

As we pause this weekend to reflect on the things we're most grateful for, I wanted to take a moment to personally thank all of our champions and supporters, and share a little about why supporting undergraduate research matters so much to me. 

Put simply, I am where I am today because of undergraduate research. In 14 years, my career has come full circle thanks to undergrad research -- from my own first steps into the lab as a biochemistry student, to my first job out of university as a lab technician, to managing a busy lab and mentoring undergrads, to graduate school, and now to coordinating one of the first campus-wide initiatives in Canada that supports undergraduate research across all years and all disciplines.

2001: In the lab where it all started. 

As author Douglas Adams once said, "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." 

Undergraduate research gave me the skills and the confidence to apply what I was learning in the classroom to real-world problems. It gave me the experience and the contacts to help me land a job after I graduated. But more than that, it gave me a community of like-minded people who treated me, not as merely an undergraduate student, but as a valued colleague. My lab mates remain among my dearest friends, scattered as we are around the world: Germany, Switzerland, Qatar, Canada, the UK, and the US. And the mentorship I received as an undergraduate researcher set an example that continues to guide my work with students today. 

With everything that undergraduate research has given me, it's easy to see why supporting the next generation is more than just a job for me. I'm passionate about what I do, and I'm grateful for the rapport I have with our students. It's a privilege to support them as they embark on their own projects and discover the challenges and rewards of undergraduate research for themselves. But I've also gained as much as I've given back. I continue to learn and be inspired by our students -- they challenge me as they challenge themselves -- to make their campus and their community a better place for all of us. 

I think that's something we can all be thankful for. 

And that's what FURCA is all about -- celebrating the achievements and contributions of undergraduate researchers, and building a campus community that creates and supports opportunities for every student to get involved in undergraduate research. 

You can help us make that vision a reality by supporting and sharing our campaign. We also invite you to share in the celebration by attending or volunteering at upcoming FURCA events, such as the Undergraduate Research Symposium

Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving! 

Today: Proud to support our terrific undergraduate students at the University of Alberta! 

Exciting news! We've passed 30% of our goal!  

  Published on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014 at 05:34 PM (MDT)
Thank you so much to our advocates and supporters who have helped us reach 33% of our goal so far! 

It's been a busy and exciting week at URI. We're counting down the days now until FURCA 2014 launches on November 3rd!  Abstracts for this year's Undergraduate Research Symposium are in -- we've received more than 120 abstract submissions from across 12 faculties!  The Symposium is one of the most important events of the year for our students -- and we need your help!  Please consider contributing to our campaign (which supports events such as the Symposium), spreading the word, or even volunteering your time as a judge or event evaluator at the Symposium on November 13.  

Our team is also hard at work preparing for some of the other amazing FURCA 2014 events. On November 7-8th, we'll be hosting a social innovation hackathon, which will bring together interdisciplinary teams of students to tackle challenges that affect the campus community, such as:  

  • how can we address social isolation on campus?
  • what can we do to cultivate the spirit of volunteerism at the U of A?
  • what direct democracy tools would catalyze better engagement at the U of A? 
We're also working on two Research Crawls (one of our most popular events during FURCA), our first Undergraduate Research Resource Fair, and our annual What's UR Question contest

Stay tuned for more updates about what's happening during FURCA -- we'll be sharing announcements here for our supporters! It's the busiest time of year for us, but also the most satisfying -- because our work is driven by our incredible students!

Day 4 update: 18% of our goal raised!  

  Published on Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 at 10:04 PM (MDT)
Thanks to everybody for their support: It’s only been four days into our campaign for FURCA but we have already raised $875.00!  That’s 18% of our final goal of $5000!  

We’re excited about FURCA because it’s a celebration of student-driven work. At URI, we believe that students are agents of change – in fact, FURCA itself has grown out of the original Undergraduate Research Symposium, which was created by students in 2011.  Since then, we’ve continued to listen to students and build on that foundation, adding more hands-on exploration opportunities (e.g. Research Crawls) and ways for student to connect with resources to support their research (e.g. the new Undergraduate Research Resource Fair).  

What do students tell us about the value of undergraduate research experiences at the University of Alberta?  Here are just a few of the comments we have received:  

  • “All in all, this experience has excellently supplemented the classroom knowledge I gained and allowed me to put it into practice in the real world. Abstract theories, methods and techniques, etc. became grounded in my mind to their actual uses. It was an excellent culmination to my four years at the University of Alberta, and distinguished my education at this institution from what I could have had at another university. -4th year history & classics student 
  • “My experience with the Undergraduate Research Initiative project has suggested new research possibilities to me, and has filled me with excitement for my future. Being involved with research has shown me that there are exciting, rewarding positions out there, and make me anticipate finding my own.” -3rd year math & stats student  
  • “[undergraduate research opportunities] are not about giving students money and telling them to go forth and prosper, but about telling students that their ideas are interesting, valuable, transformative, and important, and allowing them the forum and the opportunity to be so." ~3rd year sociology student
Thanks to everybody who has already participated in the campaign! We’re off to a great start, but we still need help spreading the word!  The more quickly we reach the first 30% of our goal, the more likely we are to successfully raise our final goal. Please help us keep the momentum going by sharing our campaign with your friends, colleagues, and through social media! 

Here’s the link to share and explore:  https://ualberta.useed.net/projects/134/home

FURCA Campaign Launch!  

  Published on Monday, Sep. 29, 2014 at 11:03 PM (MDT)
We’re excited about kicking off our campaign for FURCA (Festival for Research and Creative Activities) today! FURCA provides opportunities for students to get involved in the many steps of research, from finding an opportunity to presenting their work.

This year, FURCA has the theme of “Explore. Empower. Enlighten.”
  • Explore undergraduate research opportunities available on campus:

Students participating in a Research Crawl visiting various research groups and resources around campus, including the Rawlinson Rare Book Collection.
  • Empower students to get involved with research and creative activities, to relentlessly pursue their passions and make their own discoveries:
  “This program provides an opportunity for young undergraduates like myself to have a glimpse of what science really is. In school, we read textbooks; pages and pages of theory.  In research, we practice this theory. Therefore, if we do not have the research portion, are we really learning?”- feedback from a URI Stipend recipient  

The goal of our crowdfunding campaign is not only to raise funds for FURCA, but also to spread awareness and spark a campus-wide discussion of the importance of undergraduate research.  If you would like to learn more about our campaign, check out our video on our campaign webpage.

You can support us by giving to the campaign or by sharing this campaign to any friends, family or colleagues who may be interested using this link: https://ualberta.useed.net/projects/134/home

Thanks for your support of FURCA!

Counting down to our campaign launch - Monday, September 29th! 

  Published on Friday, Sep. 26, 2014 at 05:57 PM (MDT)
Our team is hard at work preparing for the launch of our 30-day crowdfunding campaign for the Festival of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities (FURCA). Our campaign is set to launch on Monday, September 29th. 

What’s FURCA?

Well, technically, a “furca” is a two-pronged fork. We didn't plan it that way, but it works -- FURCA (the Festival, taking place November 3-14, 2014) is a celebration both of students' research & creative endeavours as well as a chance to encourage more students to take advantage of the amazing undergraduate research opportunities at the University of Alberta. Participating in undergraduate research and creative activities is a greatly enriching experience for students; it allows students to transcend their coursework and dig deeper to learn new skills complementing those taught in the classroom. Ultimately it empowers students to explore -- and pursue -- their passion.

Our campaign goal is to raise at least $5000 in support of FURCA events, while also raising awareness of FURCA and the outstanding creativity and innovation of our undergraduate students.

How can you help?

Check out our video & campaign page and let us know what you think! You can also support the campaign by making a donation when the campaign launches, or by helping us spread the word through your contacts and social media networks.

For more information about undergraduate research opportunities & events, you can also follow the Undergraduate Research Initiative on Facebook or Twitter!

Colleen Fortier

Gave $40.00

Jody Nisbet

Gave $100.00

D Eliuk

Gave $50.00

Bindi Lovin

Gave $25.00

Ly Dao

Gave $15.00

Connie Varnhagen

Gave $250.00

Hengjia Zhang

Gave $15.00

Lisa Nikolai

Gave $25.00

Kelley Dunfield

Gave $25.00

Steven Shi

Gave $10.00

Carl Amrhein

Gave $100.00

Robin Miles

Gave $260.00

Sarim Mirza

Gave $15.00

Karsten Loepelmann

Gave $50.00

Paul Jurasz

Gave $100.00

Interdepartmental Science Students' Society (ISSS)

Gave $250.00

Hyun-Joong Chung

Gave $25.00

Piush Mandhane

Gave $25.00

Bo Bao

Gave $10.00

Clarissa Atienza

Gave $5.00

Alexander Brown

Gave $100.00

Maya Shmulevitz

Gave $100.00

Fern Snart

Gave $100.00

Juanita Gnanapragasam

Gave $5.00

Blessie Mathew

Gave $25.00

aimee carter

Gave $25.00

lois stefaniuk

Gave $25.00

Mikael Adolphson

Gave $20.00

Lola Wright

Gave $200.00

Tim Walsh

Gave $5.00

Jeff Bisanz

Gave $100.00

Fahim Rahman

Gave $25.00

Oliver Rossier

Gave $50.00

Amber Nicholson

Gave $25.00

Joy Gnanapragasam

Gave $30.00

Yuan Shi

Gave $5.00

Ingrid Johnston

Gave $25.00

Joan Schiebelbein

Gave $50.00

Don Macgregor

Gave $100.00

Michael Serpe

Gave $10.00

Kerri Scott

Gave $50.00

Martin Ferguson-Pell

Gave $100.00

Lesley Cormack

Gave $50.00

Crystal Snyder

Gave $100.00

Sharon Sherman

Gave $100.00

Rhiannon Williams

Gave $25.00

Jia Jia

Gave $25.00

Sheila Graham

Gave $25.00

Tim Walsh

Gave $5.00

Matthew Racz

Gave $5.00

20 supporters have chosen not to be listed for "Festival of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities (FURCA)".

Make an Impact

Ask a question!

Give $5

In undergraduate research, everything starts with a question -- and a question can take you anywhere! By helping us raise awareness of undergraduate research through FURCA, you’ll be helping to ignite students’ curiosity. It starts here!

Dig deeper

Give $25

You've got a great question. Now what? The next step in undergraduate research is to dig deeper and learn more about the topic. By supporting FURCA, you’ll be helping us empower students to take those first steps toward independent research, through events like our Undergraduate Research Resource Fair.

Get your hands dirty

Give $50

Undergraduate research is all about hands-on experience. Your support of FURCA will help us facilitate Research Crawls and other events where students can explore potential projects and connect with mentors and other students.


Give $100

Research isn't just about satisfying students’ curiosity -- it’s also a chance to develop practical skills, and discover new and exciting career paths. Your support helps students experience the thrill of discovery.

Inspire others

Give $250

Sharing new knowledge and inspiring others to ask new questions is one of the most important stages of the research process. FURCA events, such as the Undergraduate Research Symposium, allow students to share their work and learn from one another. Your support helps recognize students as active and valued contributors to the research community.

Move mountains

Give $500

One of the goals of the Undergraduate Research Initiative is to foster a culture of undergraduate research at the University of Alberta. Events like FURCA are a “snapshot” of what that culture might look like -- each successful FURCA event brings us one step closer to our vision of making undergraduate research accessible to every student.

Uplift the whole people

Give $1,000

The University of Alberta’s founding president, HM Tory, believed that “The people demand that knowledge shall not alone be the concern of scholars..” Undergraduate research helps equip students -- our future alumni -- to be engaged citizens and leaders, realizing Tory’s dream of “uplifting the whole people.” Your support of FURCA is just the beginning.