Toxicology Undergraduate Research Experience Program (TUREP)

Rationale and Scope

The University of Saskatchewan Toxicology Undergraduate Program wants to offer more laboratory or field based research experience opportunities to undergraduate students, especially those in earlier years of their academic program. Since we do not offer dedicated laboratory or field based undergraduate courses in toxicology, we want to provide more of our students with practical, hands-on experience in toxicology research. The Toxicology Undergraduate Research Experience Program (TUREP) was created to address these needs. In order to facilitate faculty interest and participation in the program, the Toxicology Centre will pay 50% of the student wages; the participating faculty member will be required to pay the remaining 50%. In order to participate, faculty members must be active in some aspect of the Toxicology Program.

Program Guidlines

The TUREP will be open to Toxicology Undergraduate Program Majors only. Students must therefore have formally declared their major prior to applying.

The employment term runs for one academic term, either Fall (Term 1) or Winter (Term 2). Faculty are free to extend student employment past one term at their own discretion and expense. Summer student employment already occurs at a meaningful scale, so this program will not apply to summer research assistant hires.

The TUREP is a research experience program, not an independent research project; it is not part of a student’s formal academic program.

Each position is offered for up to 8 hours per week during each term (to a maximum of 16 weeks), using standard USask pay scales for undergraduate student assistants. The Toxicology Centre’s commitment is capped at 50% of the employment cost to a maximum of $1,000 per student. Faculty supervising a TUREP student are welcome to make commitments beyond that, but will then agree to pay the additional costs (e.g., if a student is hired for more than 8 hours/week).

There will be a maximum of three TUREP positions created each Fall and Winter term. Pending availability of qualified candidates, one position per term will be awarded to one student enrolled in each of Years 1, 2 and 3 of the Toxicology Undergraduate Program. Fourth-year students are not eligible (many of these students are already offered employment opportunities, especially during the summer, and TUREP should not “compete” with TOX 480.3 or TOX 481.6). Students are only eligible for this program once during their undergraduate program. Faculty often re-hire students in subsequent years outside of the TUREP.

Students apply to be considered for the program using an application form available on the Toxicology Centre website. The form will include their research interests and identification of potential faculty supervisors. Students must attach a copy of their most current USask transcript, and their high school transcript if they are enrolled in Year 1 of their undergraduate program.

Students who apply will be ranked largely based on academic standing. Once ranked, the top student per term in each of the three eligible years (Years 1, 2 and 3) will be notified and can then freely select which Toxicology Program faculty member they want to work with. If a faculty member is not able to hire a student who has identified them as the desired supervisor, the student will have to identify another potential supervisor. To ensure that successful students are provided a meaningful research experience, faculty employing these students must commit to offering students opportunities to participate in existing research and get meaningful hands-on experience with techniques and experiments.