USRI Evaluation

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I want to thank you so much for this opportunity and creating a program that allows students like me to explore research. As a student that is aspiring to go into graduate studies, this opportunity helped build my understanding, confidence, and relationships in my educational career.”

I had a great experience with my supervisor and everyone in the lab. I am now completing my honours thesis with the same supervisor, and I think the USRI is a great first step to prepare students for their thesis as it can familiarize them with their supervisors research and with their lab prior to completing the thesis.”

"I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of such an amazing internship that fosters both the curiosity and innovation of students.”

I cannot understate the value I see in this program, particularly for those of us that don't have graduate students in our programs. [The student] made valuable contributions to pushing my research forward this summer, represented Western well in collaboration with other institutions, and is now doing a thesis with me this year."

An evaluation was disseminated to students and supervisors at the end of the 2021 USRI program to understand their experience of the program and make any changes suggested for this year. Overall experience of the program was rated on an average of 4.6 on a 5-point Likert scale by both students and supervisors.

Student Outcomes

  • 100 per cent of students felt their confidence to work in a new research environment increased after participation in USRI program last summer
  • The majority of students (74 per cent) rated their confidence to work independently on a new research project after participation in USRI as Very Good or Extremely Impactful
  • More than 50% per cent of students who entered this program had no prior research experience
  • They were involved in a wide breadth of research activities
  • Students indicated they developed more than 20 skills, including the following top five:
    1. Organization, Time, Resource Management (66 per cent)
    2. Application of Research Methods (59 per cent)
    3. Communication (57 per cent)
    4. Data Analysis (55 per cent)
    5. Strategic or Critical Thinking (48 per cent)
  • The top five values students felt were most exercised, developed and/or enhanced included:
    1. Appreciation of research excellence (81 per cent)
    2. Personal responsibility (79 per cent)
    3. Curiosity (78 per cent)
    4. Self-regulation (55 per cent)
    5. Creativity (50 per cent)

Supervisor Outcomes

  • More than half (51 per cent) of supervisors were new to the program in 2021.
  • The majority of supervisors (62 per cent) did not have a previous mentorship and/or advisory relationship with the student(s) supervised.
  • Yet… 92 per cent of supervisors rated their intention to maintain a relationship with their student as high or very high.
  • The majority of supervisors stated that they were able to enhance their mentorship skills as a result of the program.


The USRI program is administered at the faculty/school level. For program-specific questions, please contact Western Research Internal Grants,