Summer Research Project

Can you picture yourself working on a cure for cancer, building prototype robots, doing genetic engineering, or discovering solutions to today’s environmental problems?
If this sounds interesting, then DRSA’s summer program is for you. You could spend the summer doing real science or engineering research in a research laboratory and earn high school or post-secondary credits at the same time.

The research experience we offer is unique. For six weeks we put over 60 talented high school students into projects that are part of current research programs at some of Canada’s leading laboratories. The students have direct access to professional researchers in government labs, universities, and private companies.

How DRSA Provides Research Opportunities?
These are not demonstration projects and the students are not mere observers. They actively participate in real scientific research. DRSA students become an important part of this research team, with a ratio of one scientist and one Research Assistants to every two high school students.

The answers to the questions posed by the research cannot be found at the back of any textbook. Each project is original and unique.

Students: Weekdays are spent working, in pairs, under the guidance of an undergraduate-level Research Assistants in an operating research laboratory. The work of the students and the Research Assistants is directed by a professional scientist or engineer.

Research Assistants: The Academy hires Research Assistants from scientific undergraduate programs in universities across Canada. The Senior Research Assistants are university graduates. The Research Assistants work in the laboratory for approximately eight weeks prior to the high school students’ arrival. They develop the structure for the six-week program to ensure that the students can come to grips with the project objectives and context quickly in order to participate meaningfully in the research, and to complete their contribution to the research within the six-week program.

Leading Scientists & Engineers: The work of the Research Assistants and the students is supervised by a laboratory staff researcher who is a professional scientist or engineer. They liaise with the Research Assistants and the students throughout the program.


Since every project is new, the range of project topics varies each year depending on which laboratories partner with DRSA to provide research opportunities, and where their current research focus is concentrated. The scope of research covers science, physics, biology, engineering, earth sciences and technology.