First Nation, Métis and Inuit Youth in Science and Engineering Initiative


First Nation, Métis and Inuit Youth in Science and Engineering Initiative

Are you a First Nations, Métis or Inuit grade 11 high school student who wonders what it would be like to study science at University?

If so, we have an opportunity for you!

The Verna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Program will be offered at the University of Manitoba (May 29 – June 2, 2017), University of British Columbia (May 15 – May 19, 2017) and University of Saskatchewan (May 8 – May 12, 2017).

This is a truly Unique Experience!

Students will be chosen from across Canada to spend a week in a University research lab. With 2 students per lab, you will have someone your own age on this adventure with you! You will become a member of a research team for the week doing experiments and attending lab meetings.

In order for you to easily keep in touch with your new mentors and friends, you will also receive your own electronic tablet/notebook to take home with you.

Aboriginal Student Centre

The University of Manitoba, the University of British Columbia and the University of Saskatchewan have excellent Aboriginal Student Centres that are great resources for any questions you have on attending University. You and your fellow students will spend a half a day at the Centre with Elders and staff.

Student Residence

You will spend the week in a student residence on the campus and eat at one of the many food outlets on campus. This experience will help you to understand what it is like to live on a university campus.

We cover your Expenses

Successful applicants will have their meals, accommodations and travel expenses covered.

Areas of Research

Current  list of Faculty and Projects for the 2017 Program.

If you are interested in applying please see your teacher or school counselor who will help you fill out the application and submit it by January 31, 2017.



Watch the videos of the students who attended the Program in previous years. Two videos are found on the opening page of the website and 3 more are on the program description page. If this looks like fun then:

Once you have completed the form save the file with your name and email the completed application form along with the reference letter (Step 2) and the consent form (Step 3) to Susan O’Brien at If you do not have email access ask your science teacher or guidance counsellor for help. The application MUST BE typed and all requested information provided.

An incomplete application will not be considered.


Ask one of your teachers or guidance counsellors to provide a letter of reference.

The letter of reference should indicate that you have the interest and ability to attend college, university or other post-secondary school after graduation from grade 12 and that attending the Verna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Program
would help you to decide what you would like to study.

The reference should indicate how they know you and explain why you would be a good participant for this Program.

The letter of reference should be submitted along with your application to Susan O’Brien at


The Kirkness Program consent form (page 4 of the application) must be signed by your Parent or Guardian, scanned and submitted along with the application to

Download the following consent form


View list of Faculty and Projects for the 2017 Program.

On page 2 of your application indicate your preference for projects. We will try and match each student’s preference but this is not always possible. Applicants must be prepared to work in any laboratory that is assigned to them.

Your application, the letter of reference and the consent form must all be received no later than
January 31, 2017

In February of 2017 someone from the Kirkness Program will contact you and your Parent or Guardian about the Program. Please provide accurate and complete contact information. If we are unable to speak to your Parent or Guardian you will not be considered for acceptance into the Program. Please respond to all email correspondence promptly.