Welcome to Harjot Atwal's Personal Fundraising Page!


I believe that curiosity can take you places beyond your wildest imagination.

I didn't get involved in undergraduate research until my fourth year of university, and that was only because I believed at the time that as a bio major I shouldn't complete my undergraduate degree without any practical research experience. I'm so glad that I chose to get involved because my research experience opened my eyes to so many opportunities. From collaborating with other students, to grad students, to faculty members, I found that research really provides you with a close knit family to discuss and bounce ideas off of. You then watch these ideas that were once just in your head take off and become a reality you may have never thought possible.

I invite you to watch your ideas grow and take flight, and to help others do the same.


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!)

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:

Link to this Update
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.