AVC Summer Research Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I find a project if I don’t know exactly what I want to do.
Refer to the list of faculty and the topics that they will be researching for the summer.
Look at their topics and see if a project interests you for the summer and then contact that faculty member (contact information on the website also). However, you are not limited to the faculty on the list. Any AVC faculty member can supervise a VetSRA student. The only stipulation is that they be full-time tenure track or contract faculty if you are applying to one of the awards on the website (the faculty member will know if this applies to them).
2. If I receive a VetSRA and then find I am successful with the NSERC-USRA, what happens to the VetSRA?
If you apply to VetSRA and your supervisor is one of the NSERC - USRA eligible supervisors then your application will automatically be submitted to NSERC - USRA and if you are successful in the NSERC-USRA then you are required to take the NSERC - USRA. Generally we make arrangements with your faculty supervisor to ensure that there is no disadvantage to you financially for the award(s). VetSRA may contribute some funds to make this happen.
3. I am torn between 2 interesting projects under 2 different supervisors. Do I have to pick one for the application or can I submit two applications?
You can only apply to VetSRA once in a given year. You should discuss with your potential supervisor to see if they have more than two students requesting their supervision because they are only permitted to supervise two VetSRA funded students. They can have more than two applications submitted listing the same supervisor but only two awards will be granted.
The adjudication is based on the student and not the project (although the project must be adequately described to provide appreciation that the student has carefully considered the research project and can describe their plan and benefit from participating). If the supervisor is listed on more than two applications, it would be best that you and the supervisor identify possible co-supervisors. That way, you can transfer your project to the co-supervisor if more than two students are awarded VetSRAs.
4. What transcripts do I need?
You do not need to submit transcripts. VetSRA administration will obtain academic rankings and will use those to adjudicate your academic performance. If your supervisor is a NSERC-USRA eligible faculty member then at some point you may be asked to submit official university transcripts from all institutions you attended. We will let you know when they are needed.
5. If I am successful how long do I have to accept the award?
Once you receive your acceptance letter, you should confirm acceptance as soon as possible but definitely within two weeks. If you do not accept the award, we will include the funds for other applications.
6. When does the stipend begin and when does the AVC Summer Research and Leadership Program begin?
The AVC Summer Research and Leadership Program begins on May 17, 2021. Your VetSRA stipend will be arranged as a non-employment agreement that begins on that date. The stipend will be paid in biweekly instalments (i.e., 6 payments) over the 12 weeks of the project. Your supervisor may wish to cover your stipend for a longer period of time (i.e., up to 14-15 weeks). You should discuss the time period with them before accepting the award. If they plan to increase the length of time of the project, they will need to arrange finances with Sherri Pineau (firstname.lastname@example.org). This extra time will be covered by the supervisor. You will need a social insurance number (not a social security number) and will need to fill out banking information forms in order to get the payments started. If you’ve been on the UPEI payroll before and none of your banking information has changed then you will not have to fill out these forms. If you are an international student, Human Resources will require a copy of your student visa. You will receive an email letting you know when and where to submit this information.
7. Do we get academic credit for this program?
There is a planned one credit elective (equivalent to 1 week) in third year available for students who completed the SRLP during their DVM program. Taking SRLP twice does not earn more than the one credit. Credit is only applicable for students who attend the complete SRLP.
A second elective credit is also available for students who have an approved research project between their SRLP and third year.
Fourth year rotations in research may also be possible with SRLP and third-year electives as prerequisites.
8. How many students get to go to the Boehringer Ingelheim Symposium at Iowa State University and how are they chosen?
This year, the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium is planned for Iowa State University. AVC may send four students in-person but only if travel restrictions permit. Early decisions are more likely to favour a virtual conference, as in 2020. All student will be expected to present their posters at a virtual NVS Symposium. The method of selection for which students will attend in-person will be discussed early in the SRLP. Those students attending the symposium are expected to go to all events of the symposium and present their poster.
9. Do I have to attend every event in the AVC SRLP?
We expect you to attend all events unless you have a pre-approved reason not to be there. All events will be mandatory including AVC poster presentations and presenting your research project to your peers. For any planned absence you must get permission from your supervisor and SRLP coordinators.
10. If my supervisor declines to include a research plan for an online project or declines to provide the matching funds, can the student still apply with this supervisor?
No, you should find another supervisor before submitting an application.
11. Is it possible to do campus-based or field-based research in the summer of 2021?
Yes, if it is compatible with the approved public health restrictions at the time of the project. However, all VetSRA projects must include the option for entire summer research experience to be executable assuming there are no in-person activities during the VetSRA time period. If the proposal depends on any return to campus or field research without an option for a virtual project, it will not be accepted.