CBU Student Research Hub

CBU’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS) is eager to support and celebrate the undergraduate student research experience. It’s about empowering CBU students to make links between classroom learning, the research experience and how to approach complex questions. It’s also about doing amazing research with world-class CBU researchers as mentors, contributing to community-engaged research and building a portfolio of your experiences.   

How do I get involved in research during my studies at CBU? 

Students often ask how to get involved in research at CBU. First, bring your curiosity to the classroom. Ask questions, share things you’ve read or learned – show that you are inquisitive and like to learn new things. Next, approach your instructors and let them know you are interested in research opportunities. It may help to get familiar with your professor’s research and scholarly publications.  

As part of CBU’s Strategic Research Plan, we’ve committed resources to increase research opportunities for undergraduates, as well as mentoring and training for graduate students.  

CBU offers two programs to support the student research experience. Some offer research opportunities with CBU faculty, connections to community and industry partners or a combination of these experiences.


Community-Student Research Connections

UPDATE (October 31, 2022): We are currently accepting applications for Community-Student Research Connections. The deadline to apply is December 1, 2022.

Student Application – Community-Student Research Connections Program

Community Group/Business Application – Community Student Research Connections Program

Quick Facts: Community-Student Research Connections 

  • Call issued twice per year during the fall and winter semesters
  • Students matched with community/business with a research need 
  • Research may include projects ranging from desk-top study to fieldwork  
  • Students provide 100 hours of research assistance 
  • Students receive $2000 for their service 

Community-Student Research Connections invites community organizations and small businesses to consider how academic research might help direct their development efforts by responding to needs or gaps in information. Consider a youth sports league that wants to examine best practices for equity, diversity and inclusion, or a business that wants to evaluate its recycling efforts. Maybe it’s the local historical society seeking archival research or a seniors’ association looking to evaluate its programming. The possibilities for Community-Student Research Connections are as varied as the people and communities across Cape Breton!

The work may be a continuation of an ongoing research initiative or maybe is a new research question. Students will be matched with eligible community-based projects, providing up to 100 hours of research service. Students must be enrolled in fulltime studies at CBU at the time of application, as well as returning fulltime following their participation in the program.

Research methods students may use include:  

  • Archival research
  • Literature review
  • Policy/document analysis
  • Data collection
  • Needs assessment
  • Program evaluation
  • Environmental scan
  • Impact studies

Projects will be reviewed and each successful community applicant will be matched with a student researcher, one who brings experience in research methods, along with interest and enthusiasm in the topic at hand. The student will provide 100 hours of research assistance, at no cost to the community partner. The student will gain valuable research experience while receiving fair compensation for their work.

Student Benefits:

  • Earn $2000 for 100 hours of research assistance
  • Gain valuable experience to add to your resume and co-curricular record
  • Learn about the people, places and pursuits of local community interests
  • Contribute to community development by sharing your research skills

Community Benefits:

  • Gain assistance in data-gathering at no cost to you as a community group
  • Design programs, projects and activities with the benefit of timely applied research
  • Understand stakeholder perspectives by collecting their input or feedback
  • Build partnerships with CBU and other community interests
  • Support student success, allowing students to develop and apply their research skills

Undergraduate Student Scholar Awards 

UPDATE: We are currently accepting applications for Undergraduate Student Scholar Awards (USSA). The deadline to apply has been extended until November 22, 2022.

Up to 20 USSAS will be awarded to students working with CBU researchers, through a competitive process, on projects affiliated with one or more of CBU’s Collaborative Research Networks:

  • Culture and Community
  • Ecology, Environment & Sustainability
  • Indigenous Wellness & L’nu Research
  • Community Economies & Ecologies
  • Sustainable Health & Wellness
  • Research in Science & Engineering

CALL FOR USSA APPLICATIONS FALL 2022

 Quick Facts: USSA 

  • Call issued once per year, typically in the fall with a January start date
  • Work with a faculty member on their research project 
  • Students provide 100 hours of research assistance 
  • Students receive $2000 for their service 

In 2022, CBU launched a program to engage students in faculty research projects. The Undergraduate Student Scholar Awards (USSA) are presented to CBU students working on a research project under the supervision of a CBU faculty researcher, supporting the study with 100 hours of service to the projects. Students receive a $2000 award for their service, along with invaluable experience in research.  

Here’s what some former USSA recipients say about the program:  

“The USSA experience was one for the books. This whole experience allowed me to grow and explore another side of being a university student. I was able to prove to myself that I can accomplish great things and contribute to the research community.”

“This project has provided me with a unique opportunity to meaningfully develop my research, communication, and project management skills through experiential learning, as well as the opportunity to work with others and build community relationships.”

“This process has taught me many valuable lessons not only in the aspect of working in a lab/research environment but also in working with people, problem solving and critical thinking.”


Career Services for Students 

Visit CBU’s Career Services to explore job postings that may include research assistant positions, work-study placements and even volunteer opportunities with a focus on research. Check back regularly for updates. 

Career Services – Cape Breton University: Cape Breton University (cbu.ca) 


External Student Research Awards 

The National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) provides student awards for research in the areas of natural sciences in engineering. Details can be found on their website 

NSERC – Undergraduate Student Research Awards (nserc-crsng.gc.ca) 

Research Nova Scotia (RNS) recognizes student research in health studies, with funding dedicated to students from Cape Breton University. Visit the RNS website for more information.  

Scotia Scholars Award – Research Nova Scotia (researchns.ca)