Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Awards

About the Awards

Designed for International Undergraduate students who are interested in research, the Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Awards subsidizes professors to hire students to work on their research projects. The program provides students with workplace experience through undergraduate research opportunities, particularly for students interested in research as a career.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible to apply for an award, you must:

In addition:

  • Graduating international undergraduate students are eligible only for the academic term directly following the completion of your program requirements (regardless of your graduation date). 
  • Students who finish their courses in Winter Term 2 (April) and graduate in the spring (May) will be eligible to hold a Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Award in the summer term.
    • UBC students who have completed program requirements and whose program completion letter is not yet available are considered by UBC to be “full time for immigration purposes.”
    • If your letter of completion is available, you must have applied for a post-graduation work permit or have some other form of authorization to work in Canada. If you have questions about your eligibility, please speak with an International Student Advisor.

    • It is your responsibility to ensure you have the necessary work authorization documents to work after completing your studies.

  • International exchange or visiting students are not eligible for this award.
  • To be eligible to hold the award, the student must be residing within Canada during the duration of their work term. 
  • You may hold only one Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Award per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) and hold a maximum of three Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Awards throughout your university career.
  • You must be engaged in research activities on a full-time basis (35 paid hours/week plus a 1-hour unpaid lunch break) for a minimum of 16 weeks at the UBC Vancouver campus. 
  • You must work under the supervision of a faculty member.
  • At the end of the award, you will be asked to complete an evaluation, which will be initiated by the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers.
  • Students are not eligible to hold a Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Award position in the same term they are holding an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award or a Work Learn placement.
  • Please note that undergraduate international students who are going to be working full time during Summer (as it is the case for WL IURA) are supposed to be on ‘scheduled break’ to meet the full-time for immigration purposes definition.
    • We recommend WL IURA students to not have more than 3-credits during the Summer (3-credits in Term 1 and/or 3 credits in Term 2), in order to focus on the 35h/wk of full time work in their WLIURA position. 


  • The minimum normal duration of the award is 16 consecutive weeks of full-time work (35 hours/week plus 1 hour unpaid lunch break).
  • Under exceptional circumstances, the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers may approve awards for periods of less than 16 weeks (prior approval is needed).
  • Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Awards are held in the Summer term (May 1 – August 31), the latest a student can start working on their award to meet the minimum 16 week requirement is May 12, 2021.

Value and payment

  • These awards have a value of $6,000. This amount will be reimbursed to your project supervisor's account.
  • Faculty supervisors are required to supplement the amount of the award using other sources such as university funds or other funds from research grants to meeting BC’s minimum wage requirements
  • The minimum pay for the tenure of your award of 16 weeks is $8,654.46 (inclusive of 4% vacation pay).  If the award is longer than 16 weeks, your pay should increase by a minimum of $553.28 for each additional week (inclusive of 4% vacation pay) or $110.66 for each additional day (inclusive of 4% vacation pay).
  • In addition, supervisors are required to fund benefits (Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Employment Insurance (EI), Workers Compensation Board (WCB)) amounting to approximately 7.48%.
  • You will receive your payment from the university in accordance with its pay procedures. You will also receive a T4 or T4A slip (Statement of Income) for tax purposes from UBC Payroll.
  • We will not reimburse for any period during which you worked part-time. No payment will be approved for any vacation leave you take during the tenure of the award.

Find opportunities

Create your own research opportunity by contacting eligible professors you would like to work with and tell them about this program. Many professors will be happy to talk to you about the opportunity to hire you at a subsidized wage. If you find a professor who is interested, ask them to contact for more information or to submit a proposal on UBC CareersOnline (Refer to Submit a Research Proposal with a Faculty Member section below for details). Here are some tips:

  • Know what you are going to say: be prepared to talk about your interests, knowledge areas, and lab or volunteer experience. Familiarize yourself with the professor's research subject so you can ask informed questions about it. This will show that you are genuinely interested in helping with the research

  • Bring a copy of your resume

  • Regardless of whether you get the opportunity or not, thank the professor for their time after you meet with them

How do I apply?

You have two options for applying to the Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Awards:

1. Submit a research proposal with a faculty member

2. Apply on UBC CareersOnline

Please see below for further details as deadlines will differ depending on the option you wish to take.

Summer 2021 Flowchart Information for Students 

Submit a Research Proposal with a Faculty Member

Create your own research opportunity by contacting a UBC-Vancouver faculty member and let them know about the program. The faculty member must submit the research project proposal on UBC CareersOnline (employer account) by February 17, 2021. You may choose to work with your faculty member to complete the online proposal form. Please refer your faculty member to the Faculty and Staff webpage for additional information on how to submit a research project proposal. 

Call for research proposals now open from January 4 - February 17, 2021

The faculty member will be notified whether or not they have received the award in early March 2021. 

Apply on UBC CareersOnline 

All research opportunities within the Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Awards will be posted on UBC CareersOnline (student account). You will apply directly to the faculty member through whichever means they have indicated in the posting on UBC CareersOnline. 

Research opportunities will be posted from March 8 - 28, 2021 for positions in the Summer 2021 term.

Tips for Students

 1. Have a specific resume and cover letter for each application you apply to. Generic cover letters rarely get looked at. Find opportunities you are interested in and highlight what excites you about the opportunity as well as the skills and experience that would help you be successful. 

More resume/cover letter tips

2. Ensure you have a valid study permit and a SIN number. A social insurance number (SIN) is necessary for working in Canada. Visit the Government of Canada website for information on how to obtain a SIN if you do not already have one. If you have any questions about working while you are a student, visit International Student Advising as soon as possible. 

Visit the Government of Canada website

3. Prepare for your interview. A little preparation goes a long way. Read the position description carefully and be prepared to speak to why you are interested and what you hope to learn from the experience. Anticipating what questions you might get asked will help make you feel more confident for your interview. 

Learn more about interview preparation