Prince George, B.C. – A new set of research internships and scholarships at UNBC will equip Indigenous students with the skills to introduce respectful, culturally sensitive and collaborative community-based research tools to fellow students using Indigenous and non-Indigenous research methodologies.
The Indigenous Research Ambassador Program and the Mitacs Indigenous Research Award are being offered in association with Mitacs, a national not-for-profit research organization, which in partnership with companies, government and academia develops the next generation of innovators with vital scientific and business skills through unique research and training programs.
The Mitacs-supported initiatives will create 10 six-month internships and 12 Indigenous student awards.
“Mitacs is demonstrating valuable leadership in cultivating research capacity and fostering diversity in those who conduct that research,” said UNBC President Dr. Geoff Payne. “Partnerships on such critical areas of need are vital to advancing Truth and Reconciliation while also providing rich, experiential learning opportunities for UNBC students.”
The Indigenous Research Ambassador program will engage students in research and experiential learning opportunities, connect them with researchers and communities, facilitate leadership and mentorship opportunities and celebrate and promote research and cultural connection to the natural world. UNBC is also providing participants with laptops to assist with digital equity.
"Mitacs is pleased to be collaborating with UNBC on this important initiative that will offer experiential learning opportunities to Indigenous students while also developing more diverse, community-oriented research tools," said John Hepburn, CEO, Mitacs. "We look forward to seeing the difference these ambassadors are sure to make."
The ambassadors will participate in a wide range of activities, including the following:
- Working with Indigenous researchers and knowledge holders for an introduction to research.
- Advising fellow students about research-related opportunities at UNBC.
- Providing advice to the Office of Research and Innovation and Office of Indigenous Initiatives on how to improve student programming, celebrate research and get students involved in research.
- Assisting with the creation of digital content related to student and faculty research.
- Establishing an Indigenous “science fair” during Research Week.
- Working with external partners to build connections within the research community.
UNBC students wanting more information can contact Indigenous Research Ambassador Program Lead Marion Erickson.
Here is the link to the Indigenous Researach Ambassador Program application form.