Light bulbs

IDEAS Fund

Fuelling student innovation, development, and experiential activities in the Faculty of Science.

Students may apply as an individual or as part of a formal (e.g. student club) or informal (e.g. conference organizing committee) group.

  1. Individual application eligibility criteria

    • Current full-time or part-time University of Calgary undergraduate student
    • Enrolled in a degree program offered by the Faculty of Science
    • In good academic standing (GPA of 2.00 or higher)
    • Have not reached the maximum IDEAS Fund individual limit of $3,000 during their degree
  2. Group application eligibility criteria

    • A minimum of two students per group application. There is no maximum on number of students.
    • All students must be current full-time or part-time University of Calgary undergraduate students
    • A minimum 50% of students in the group application must be enrolled in a Faculty of Science degree program
    • All students must be in good academic standing (GPA of 2.00 or higher)
    • All students must not have reached the maximum IDEAS Fund individual limit of $3,000 during their degrees.

There is a broad range of activities that are eligible for funding through the IDEAS Fund. The intention of the IDEAS Fund is to enhance student experience and provide an opportunity for students to grow as leaders and contribute to the scientific community.

While the eligibility is broad, all activities must:

  • Further the student’s personal and/or professional goals
  • Aid in the student’s development as a scientist and/or leader

Some examples of eligible activity costs include transportation, accommodation, conference fees, registration fees, food costs, etc. For a list of ineligible expenses, please review the IDEAS Fund Terms of Reference.

Students have a maximum individual fund limit of $3,000 over the duration of a student’s University of Calgary undergraduate experience. Once a student has reached their maximum limit of $3,000, they are not eligible to apply for the IDEAS Fund.

Successful group applications count towards students’ individual limits. Group application fund amounts will be divided by the number of group applicants and applied to the students’ individual limits.

The IDEAS Fund is a competitive program. Not all applications will be funded. The IDEAS Fund will support:

  1. Individual applications

    • Canadian activities: Up to 50% of the total eligible costs of the activity or a maximum of $3,000.  
    • International activities: Up to 75% of the total eligible costs of the activity or a maximum of $3,000. 
  2. Group applications

    • Canadian activities: Up to 50% of the total eligible costs of the activity or a maximum of $5,000.  
    • International activities: Up to 75% of the total eligible costs of the activity or a maximum of $5,000. 

International travel is an eligible activity for IDEAS funding. All travel must register and be in compliance with University of Calgary Risk Management.

Students travelling internationally as part of their IDEAS Fund are responsible for registering travel and completing University of Calgary Risk Management travel requirements. Students must show proof of travel registration and/or approval prior to the date of travel to receive IDEAS funds. If a student does not complete the requirements before their travel, the IDEAS funds may be revoked.

If an application is successful, students are expected to commit to the following:

  • Submit a pre-activity reflection in Elevate prior to the activity start
  • Complete the IDEAS Fund Communications Package within one (1) month of activity completion
  • Submit receipts and/or proof of attendance within one (1) month of activity completion
  • The support of the Faculty of Science shall be acknowledged for all activities funded by the IDEAS Fund where printed or publicity materials are produced (brochures, announcements, etc.)
  • Review and adhere to the IDEAS Fund Code of Conduct
  • Activities that occur during the school term should not result in more than three (3) days absence from classes. Students are responsible for notifying their instructors of any absence and must ensure no required course components are missed because of their activity

Students who do not complete the expectations and commitments may not be considered for future IDEAS Fund applications.

Deadline to apply

The IDEAS Fund application is now open! Activities with start dates between September 1, 2024 – April 30, 2025 are eligible for funding. Deadline July 1, 2024.

How to apply

  • Log into Elevate via the following link:  https://elevate.ucalgary.ca
  • Click on Science Experiences found under Faculty of Science on the Dashboard 
  • Click View under Courses/Program and find the IDEAS Fund 
  • Start the application by clicking on "Answer Questionnaire". Note: Once you have submitted your application you will not be able to go back and edit it

Student profiles

Lillian Supo-Adekola

BSc Biological Sciences


Douye Igoniderigha

BSc Honours Neuroscience


With the support of the IDEAS Fund, Lillian and Douye were able to share their ongoing mission to cultivate equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) at the University of Calgary; focusing their efforts on organizing a conference aimed at promoting mental health equity for racialized groups on campus grappling with the isolation of leaving their home country. They address a critical gap in understanding the mental health trauma faced by immigrant students and their families. The conference, hosted by the University of Calgary's New Doors for Newcomers in 2023, came to life in vibrant discussions that bridged diverse experiences with keynote speakers like Paula Calderon, Humaira Falak, and Noël Bahliby.

Building on this success, their current projects include initiatives to bring more black therapists to campus and create a website resource tailored for black students.

Lillian Supo-Adekola

Lillian Supo-Adekola

Douye Igoniderigha

Douye Igoniderigha


Samantha Ho

Samantha Ho

BSc Natural Sciences, BEd 2020

The IDEAS fund supported my participation in the Teaching Across Borders (TAB) program which is a non-credit unpaid program that offers second-year education students the opportunity to volunteer teach, experience a new culture, and share and receive knowledge regarding teacher education and teaching practice. I spent over 10 weeks Xi'an, China and volunteer taught English reading and biology in schools for approximately 12h/week. 


Angie Hu

BSc Chemistry, 2020

The IDEAS Fund supported me on my 8-week research placement at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. My project focused on a novel method of tracking protein modifications in cells. In addition to working with exceptional scientists and gaining exposure to cutting-edge technologies, I had the opportunity to explore a fascinating new country. 

Learn more about Angie's undergraduate experience in her Class of 2020 profile.

Angie Hu

Taylor Markham

Taylor Markham

BSc Pure Mathematics, 2020

The IDEAS Fund provided support which enabled me to work on a summer research project abroad. My project was through a Mitacs Globalink Research Award and took place at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. My research was in the field of computational number theory and in particular, it focused on the integer factorization problem. I researched various factoring algorithms, with an emphasis on the General Number Field Sieve.

Learn more about Taylor's undergraduate experience in her Class of 2020 profile.

 


Graham Robinson

Honours CMMB, 2020

The IDEAS Fund allowed me to volunteer overseas for 2+ weeks in Santa Elena, Ecuador. While in Ecuador a small team and I were promoting Oral and Physical Health Education to a local school found on Santa Elena's Coast and attempted to further the work on improving the health and medical services available to the people of Santa Elena. As a Biological science undergraduate student, the first-hand experience and cross-cultural learning will lead to a new perspective and thought process I could not obtain volunteering in Canada.

Graham Robinson

Jared Schlechte

Jared Schlechte

Bsc Cellular, Molecular and Microbiology Honours, 2021

The IDEAS fund enabled me to attend a workshop in Montreal put on by Bioinformatics Canada. Being able to learn from some of the leaders in Bioinformatics applications in Canada gave me the skills and confidence to take on projects in my own lab in the area of Bioinformatics. Thanks to this, I have been able to collaborate and present to other researchers, such as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.