A defining feature of a university is that knowledge is not only transmitted but created, and the training you gain here gives you the tools to be part of that process. Most physics courses in the undergraduate curriculum are designed to help you learn, as efficiently as possible, concepts and techniques that took many people a lot of time to uncover. Research operates at the messy boundary between what we understand and what we do not yet understand.
If you are interested in experiencing what it is like to do research, we encourage you to speak to faculty in our department about their research and potential opportunities.
There are two common paths:
— Project courses (PHYS 4000Y/4010H): In this case, a student carries out research under the supervision of a faculty member for course credit during the academic year. Projects are selected in consultation with the faculty supervisor. See the Physics & Astronomy section of the Academic Calendar for further information.
— Summer research: In this case, students work with faculty members on research during the summer months. A number of funding options are possible. In particular, each year the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) offers awards to support undergraduates doing research during the summer. Applications for these awards, known as undergraduate student research awards (USRAs), are generally due in January. The department office notifies students by email in December.
Please contact the Office of Research & Innovation by email for further information.