Skip to main contentSkip Navigation or Skip to Content

Undergraduate Research Certificate

Recognizing undergraduate research at TRU

The Undergraduate Research Certificate allows students to earn formal recognition for their undergraduate research experiences.

  • Earned in tandem with any undergraduate degree at TRU
  • Formally noted on your TRU transcript
  • Acknowledged at Convocation ceremony

What is it?

Undergraduate Research Certificate is a credential that can be earned in tandem with any undergraduate credit program offered by Thompson Rivers University. The credential formally recognizes the research knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired by students during their undergraduate educational journey at TRU.

How to earn it?

Students who actively engage in research activities at TRU during their undergraduate degree can earn this certificate by demonstrating their ability to conduct undergraduate research and by reflecting on how conducting this research has contributed to their learning as outlined in the standards.

Since faculty members mentor and supervise student research, it is highly recommended any students interested in pursuing this credential should discuss their intentions with their faculty mentor/ supervisor(s) to ensure they gather the necessary experience and evidence to earn the certificate.

To be considered for this certificate, students must:

  • be enrolled in an undergraduate degree at TRU (usually in their 3rd for 4th year)
  • have engaged in research activities during their studies
  • be able to demonstrate how they meet, or almost meet, the certificate standards

Students who meet these criteria can enroll in the one credit, Research Learning (RESL 1500) course with preapproval by the credential coordinator.

Once registered, students are expected to complete an electronic portfolio with evidence of their research experiences, plus a reflective essay to be handed in at the end of that semester.


The E-portfolios and reflective essays will be evaluated by faculty who will attest that the evidence presented meets standards appropriate to the student’s disciplinary field of research. Students must meet all the certificate standards to receive credit for the course and be granted the Undergraduate Research Certificate.

Contact Information

The UGR certificate is offered jointly by the Counselling, Academic Support & Assessment (CASA) and Student Research & Public Engagement. For more information please contact the the Student Research office ( or the Chair of CASA ( ).

Electronic Portfolio

As part of the Undergraduate Research Certificate students will need to complete an E-portfolio containing evidence of meeting standards, as well as a reflective essay. The portfolio must include the following sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Evidence of Meeting the standards
    1. Understanding the research process
    2. Evaluating existing research on a topic of the student’s choosing
    3. Applying disciplinary research methods appropriately
    4. Analyzing and drawing conclusions
    5. Engaging in knowledge mobilization
  3. Reflective Essay

I. Introduction

Students need to explain how they qualify for the Undergraduate Research certificate by providing a brief overview of their research experiences. The introduction should be approximately 300 words, and formatted the same as the reflective essay.

II. Evidence of meeting standards

Research is a process, so students are asked to demonstrate evidence of having engaged in that process (normally moving from generating a research proposal to engaging in recognized research activity to sharing the results via disciplinary-appropriate forms of knowledge mobilization). Students may submit evidence of research from a single significant research project (e.g., Honors thesis, UREAP project, Graduate Exhibition) or from multiple research activities (e.g., class research projects, research assistantships, volunteer research activity with a faculty mentor, etc.).

Research at TRU takes many forms, so evidence that demonstrates students’ ability to understand the research process, evaluate existing research, analyze information, draw conclusions and disseminate new knowledge will vary by discipline. A list of possible examples of evidence are provided in the following table:

Possible examples of evidence
Criteria Examples of Evidence
A. Understanding the research process
  • Self-authored research proposal, project outline, or artist statement
  • Research methods courses taken
  • Successful completion of a research program such as UREAP, NSERC USRA, Knowledge Makers, Research Apprentice Program, Research Coach Program, a research assistantship, an Honors program, Directed Studies, Service Learning involving research, Capstone projects, Graduate Exhibitions, major public Performances
B. Evaluating existing research
  • Self-authored literature review, a report or paper or presentation that includes significant discussion of secondary sources
  • Self-authored environmental scan
  • Completion of a research methods course
C. Applying Research Methods
  • Self-authored or co-authored report, paper or a summary that outlines the research method employed while conducting research. This can include, but is not limited to, methods such as interviews; focus groups; forms of mapping or visualization; arts-based methods; case studies; surveys; lab studies and field work involving descriptive, correlational, experimental and causal-comparative and quasi-experimental methodologies.
D. Analyzing and drawing conclusions
  • Self-authored or co-authored research results and discussion provided via written reports, articles, recordings, performances, presentations, exhibitions, or other modalities
E. Engaging in knowledge mobilization
  • Presentations such as poster and conference sessions, honor’s defenses, exhibitions or performances
  • Publication or co-publication of articles, reviews, studies, or academic notes in journals or any venue recognized by the student’s discipline; report submitted to a formal academic or professional body; a juried performance or an exhibition
  • Other modes of dissemination by students may include podcasts, YouTube videos, blogs, webinars and infographics/mapping.

All written evidence submitted must be clearly structured in Standard English, with few if any errors, and reference given to appropriate sources such as regulatory, professional and scholarly works.

III. Reflective Essay

The student must write and submit a 1,000 word reflection on the knowledge, skills and/or attributes they have gained as a result of their research activities; how participating in these activities has changed or shifted their way of thinking, behaving or communicating research; why the research activities were important; and what they will do going forward as a result of their research experiences.

Formatting for the essay:

  • 12-point font
  • Double-spaced
  • No more than 1000 words

What we DO want in the essay

  • Use the knowledge, skills, attitudes and awareness section for reflection
  • Clearly communicate your learning or shift to us (the committee) by using explicit examples
  • Proofread essay
  • Follow formatting guidelines that are stated above

What we DON’T want in the essay

  • We do not want a list of accomplishments
  • We do not want anything exceeding 1100 words
  • Please do not simply repeat events that are evident in the portfolio
Search To Top