What projects can you do at VIU?

As an undergrad at VIU you can do cool research. You have opportunities to work on projects that are often reserved for graduate students at other universities. 

This sets you up for success after graduation, because 87% of employers are looking for candidates with research skills.

Research in the classroom

Many courses at VIU train you in research skills. We offer courses in nearly every discipline that give you the chance to hone your research skills. Check out the list of courses with a research focus to find something you'd like to take

A smiling young woman holding models of cellular structures.

Ocean plastics and harm reduction

Savannah Mercer’s undergrad projects taught her how her studies could help solve real-world problems. She took part in two computational chemistry projects while working on her Bachelor of Science degree. One looked at how deep-sea organisms metabolize contaminants like plastics. For the second project, she worked with Dr. Chris Gill looking at the toxicity of opioid-like molecules in street drugs.

Applied research

Research jobs

At least 20% of the VIU work-op positions have a research focus. This represents 50-80 jobs. First year students can apply to many of these positions. Many internship and experiential learning positions involve research as well.

Community-based projects

The Community-Based Applied Interdisciplinary Research course (CBAIR) is a great example of how you can gain real-world research experience. When you take part in CBAIR you work in a team to answer questions or solve a problem for a local community organization. Undergrad students in the Social Sciences, Faculty of Management and Arts and Humanities can apply to CBAIR. Visit the CBAIR page for details.


CREATE is a student event that happens each spring. VIU students in every discipline are invited to present. CREATE is about more than just research – it is about knowledge translation. CREATE presentations help you hone your skills in making research accessible to the public. This is another great way for first year students to get research communication experience to put on a resumé. You can make a poster, or do a presentation or performance. You can also submit a podcast or video for CREATE. The public is welcome to attend CREATE.

Funded research

Funding is available for undergrad research. You need to be in second to fourth year to take advantage of most opportunities, but there are many to choose from. There are also free workshops to help you with funding opportunities. Visit Scholarship, Research and Creative Activities’ funding page for details.

Climate change and honeybees

VIU Geography honours student Sierra De Buysscher-Nailor is an aspiring beekeeper. In her fourth year, she studied the imapacts of climate change on the western honeybee. She Presented her findings at the Western Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers conference and at the CREATE conference. 

Smiling young woman