Education Tower

Werklund Undergraduate Research

Exploring your research opportunities

Werklund School of Education Bachelor of Education students have the opportunity to engage in undergraduate research, through undergraduate research awards and our Honours program.

The benefits of engaging in research

Undergraduate research awards provide students with the opportunity to pursue research between May and August, under the supervision of a faculty member, while the addition of Honours to your degree allows you to engage in research throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall terms of your final year. Students are able to delve into a research topic that is in alignment with their interests, deepening their understanding in the area and gaining research skills and experience. Research awards provide financial support for students while they engage in their research endeavours, while the Honours program adds an official research designation to your degree. Past research award recipients have identified the following academic, professional, and personal benefits from their research experience.

  • Improve academic abilities which will help as you progress through your program
  • Gain research experience that can help you prepare for graduate studies (and may help to support your application)
  • Opportunity to learn from and collaborate with your supervisor
  • Broaden your exposure to educational research
  • Incorporate your research findings into practice, both in your field experiences and as a professional
  • Increase awareness of the research and literature available, and the importance of utilizing research-supported methods as a professional
  • Speak to your research experience in future employment opportunities – both the knowledge you have gained on the topic itself, and the research process
  • An opportunity to network and build connections in the community
  • Expand your professional skills in areas such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, project-management, and time-management
  • A research award or Honours provides you with the time and resources to explore a topic that you are passionate about
  • Opportunity to gain clarity around your personal goals and interests
  • Gain increased confidence in yourself and sense of connection to the teaching profession

I've already started incorporating my knowledge gained in this research into my course work. I am better student, a better researcher and I am confident this experience will make me a better professional in my field.

Justin Acton

PURE award recipient 2021

Recommendations for your award or Honours applications

Straight from past undergraduate research award winners, some tips and tricks on preparing for and submitting your application!

Start early

It is best if you are able to start early, as developing a research proposal can take time (however, don’t let this prevent you from applying even if you didn’t get an early start)! The Doucette Library is a great place to start!

Visit Doucette resources


Consider the topics that are of the most interest to you, and start brainstorming some questions you have that you would be interested in investigating. Consider the research interests of Werklund School of Education Faculty.

Discover Werklund research

Reach out

Talk to your instructors, Undergraduate Programs in Education, fellow students, and then reach out to potential supervisors.

How to approach a supervisor


Students can apply to both the Honours program and research awards. Additionally, students can apply to both PURE and the Werklund Undergraduate Research Award, and are highly encouraged to apply to both! Applying to both will increase your chances of winning an award.

Learn more about Honours

Starting your research journey? Get your Ready for Research micro-credential!

Past research award winners

Thank you to all Werklund School of Education faculty who supported undergraduate students through their applications and research!

  1. Werklund Undergraduate Research Award Recipients

    Eric Kun Xie | “A Symptom of the [Cis]STEM: Queer Cognitive Dissonance in Tertiary STEM Education"

    Michael Larocque | “Integrating Strength and Conditioning into High School Physical Education: A Scoping Review and Narrative Synthesis"

    Daniela Lozano Sarmiento | “Enhancing Elementary Mathematics Education: A Synthesis of Recommendations for Proving and Argumentation"

  2. PURE Program Recipients

    Rebecca Holm | “Gender Diversity Policy as Discourse: An Environmental Scan of Alberta School Authorities"

    Jasmine El-Hacha | “Cultivating Inclusive Curriculums: Critical Discourse Analysis and a Call to Action"

    Kevin Sandal | "G.E.A.R.S.: Gamification for Supporting the Transition of ADHD Youth to Post-Secondary Education"

  3. Alberta Innovates

    Sarah Sbeiti | "Technology Integration in Support of Wellness for Neurodiverse Students"

    Aislyn Rickard | "Music-Based Learning in Special Education: How Music can help Improve Emotional Regulation for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder" 

  1. Werklund Undergraduate Research Award Recipients

    Evan Beck | “Teacher Technostress During COVID-19: A Rapid Review”

    Kevin Dang | “Community English Language Learner (ELL) Programs and Supports”

    Leila Linton | “Technology-Enhanced Music Education during COVID-19: A Literature Review”

  2. PURE Program Recipients

    Arianna Mamer | “Integrating Critical Literacy into Science Classrooms”

    Mischa Simpson Kovalchuk | “Boardgame Reasoning: A Field Guide”

    Munesah Rahman | “'Changes in Students’ Written Communication of Strategies and Challenges with Iterative Board-Game Play”

    Sharmaine Tay | “A Review of the Research: Collaborative Group Learning in Education during COVID-19 - A Call Forward"

    Tajinder Athwal | "English-as-an-Additional Language Learners in Chemistry Classrooms – A Literature Review”

  1. Werklund Undergraduate Research Award Recipients

    Raneem Elhowari | “An Exploration of Counter-Deficit Pedagogy with Refugee Families in the Context of Early STEM Education”

    Claire Paton | “Students’ Understandings and Experiences of Creativity and Risk in Science Learning”

    Education Student | “An Annotated bibliography of geometric transformation games”

  2. PURE Program Recipients

    Justin Acton | “Infinite Habitat – Customized Gaming to Engage Diverse Youth”

    Kristen Beechey | “Best Practices for Alberta Teachers Engaging with Citizen Science”

    Lindsay Swartz | “Building Indigenous Identity Through Culturally Responsive Programming”

    Samantha Ruud | “Exploring Student Assessments in an Online Learning Environment: Challenges and Opportunities in the New Normal”

    Grace Bogowicz | “Experiences of LGBTQ+ youth with isolation and family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic”

    Madelyn Shuffler | “Affordances of Children’s Nonfiction Picturebooks on Climate Change”

    Jeanne Liendo | “The History of the Spanish Bilingual Program in Calgary”

    Jason Valleau | “A lesson plan celebrating a collaboration with Stoney Nakoda and Tsuut’ina Nation drumming that also recognizes the limitations and imposition of Eurocentric music theory systems”

  3. Alberta Innovates Recipient

    Veronica Rawnsley | “Optimizing the virtual reality experience through mindfulness” 

I entered the PURE program having very little knowledge regarding research, so do not feel like you need to be an expert.

Samantha Ruud

PURE award recipient, 2021

Sharing your Research

Past undergraduate students have shared their research through a number of venues, below! You can also check out the Program for Undergraduate Research Experience blog for stories of students' experiences during their research!

Professional Conferences

Students have also shared their research through a number of conferences.

Presenting Research

Calgary City Teachers' Convention

Present your research findings to K-12 professionals! Supported by the Alberta Teachers' Association, this convention hosts teachers and students in their final practicum.



This conference brings together over 600 education faculty and teacher education students to learn, share, and connect.

Student Presenting

Palliser Disctrict Teachers' Convention

Present your research findings to K-12 professionals! Organized by the Palliser District Teachers' Convention Association Board, this convention hosts teachers and students in their final practicum.

Celebrating Student Excellence

Inspired? Apply for awards, now!

Explore award details

Questions about Werklund awards? Get in touch