SINEWS – Guide for Applicants

Application Deadline

Applications must be received on or before midnight MST on February 18, 2019.

What are these awards for?

SINEWS is a bursary and mentoring program that aims to support women who are currently enrolled in post-secondary institutions in the 2018-19 school year. Awards will be given to pairs of women, one of who must identify as Indigenous, while the other is non-Indigenous, to complete a summer research project in a topic that supports Indigenous public interests, and also supports the research conducted at Natural Resources Canada. Students are encouraged to apply as a self-identified pair; however, interested individuals can go to the SINEWS website to “Look for a Partner” or apply as an individual to be matched with a partner by the SINEWS team. Students will have a mentor for their project. They may identify a potential mentor in the application form or SINEWS will find a mentor for each pairs of students. Potential project ideas and subject areas can be found in Appendix A. Successful applicants will have their project funded and be provided personal support for the summer months (May-August) of 2019 through a bursary award. Student pairs will be required to share the results of their project in some form of output (written report, multimedia, etc.) at the close of the summer term. Mentors for student pairs will be located in various institutions in Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

What is needed to apply?

To apply for the SINEWS program, students are required to submit:

  • a completed application form;

  • a recent copy of transcripts from their current post-secondary institution or other proof of enrollment

Students may also submit an optional letter of support from a mentor, professor, former employer or community member that is familiar with the student character or their achievements (note that family members are not eligible to write support letters). Complete applications should be submitted via email ( before or by 12:00 AM (MST) February 18, 2019. Incomplete applications, or applications submitted after the deadline has passed will not be considered.

Are you eligible for an award?

To be eligible to apply for an award, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada as of February 18, 2019;

  • identify as female (including Two-Spirit, non-binary and cis and trans women);

  • be registered (full time or part time), as of February 18, 2019 in a degree or diploma program at any eligible post-secondary institution;

To hold an award, you must:

  • have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of post-secondary study (or two academic terms) of your degree or diploma;

  • have been registered in at least one of the last two terms immediately before holding the award in a program at an eligible post-secondary institute;

  • not be registered in graduate studies for the duration of the SINEWS project

  • accept the award by April 5, 2019;

  • be engaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities of your project during the tenure of the award.

  • preference will be given to applicants currently attending full-time or part-time programs at post-secondary institutions in Alberta and the Northwest Territories, and to students who are residents of the Northwest Territories but are attending schools elsewhere in Canada.

  • preference will be given to those whose project proposals take place in Alberta or the Northwest Territories.

Value of awards

  • Bursary awards to provide personal support to students have a value of $12,000 (per student).

  • Students whose work is located in the Northwest Territories will receive an additional northern allowance.

  • Research projects will be funded at a value of $5000 (per pair).

  • Launch week training and orientation, including transportation to and from the event in Edmonton, Alberta, as well as housing and food during orientation.

  • Students are responsible for their own living expenses during the tenure of the award.

Duration of awards

  • The duration of the award is a full-time summer work term, from May 31 to August 2019.

  • Presentations of the student projects will be made in October-December of 2019 at a location convenient to each student pair.

Where can you hold your award?

Awards can be held at any of the approved institutions listed in Appendix B.  Students may select an institution by identifying a preferred mentor, or SINEWS will place students with the institution of a mentor identified by SINEWS. Students will be required to work at the facility where they are placed; however, the tenure of the award is flexible depending on the requirements of the project (i.e., field work, or a social science study). Placement will be evaluated on a project-by-project basis.

How are students selected for awards?

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • applicant’s eligibility for the program

  • relevance of project to public Indigenous interests;

  • potential to build relationships and create connections between cultures;

  • feasibility and ingenuity of project idea;

  • clear communication of project, and communication of a distinct project objective;

  • relevance to NRCan research mandates;

  • applicant’s statement of interest and demonstrated enthusiasm.

A maximum of 16 students will receive awards, given to eight pairs of students. Successful applicants will be selected by a review committee, and notified of the results by March 22, 2019. The selection committee will be made up of NRCan and post-secondary scientists, and an Elder-in-Residence. Applicants will be selected based on how well their applications meet the evaluation criteria. Please see the accompanying Application Instructions document for further details on how to fill out the application.

Payment of awards

Students will receive bursaries once established in the mentor’s institution. The institution will also issue a T4 or T4A slip (Statement of Income) at the end of the calendar year.

For more information

General inquiries can be directed to

Appendix A: Research topics and potential project ideas

 NRCan Research Areas:

  • Forestry (e.g., forest fire, forest restoration and land reclamation)

  • Energy research (e.g. bioenergy)

  • Oil sands research (e.g. resource extraction, upgrading)

  • Reclamation and tailings (e.g. water management, emissions reduction)

  • GIS (e.g. mapping, data creation, web data creation)

  • Property rights and boundary issues, including water boundaries

  • Capacity building (e.g. onsite training for First Nations communities on matters related to land management, surveys and mapping)

  • First Nations Land Management (under the First Nations Land Management Act)

  • Land surveying

Please consult NRCan’s website (, or contact for clarification if you need help fitting your idea into one of these areas.

 Example Project Ideas

Appendix B: Institution List

NRCan Facilities in Alberta/NWT:

  • Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton (Canadian Forestry Service, Surveyor General Branch)

  • CanmetENERGY Devon, Devon (Innovation and Energy Technology Sector)

  • Geological Survey of Canada, Calgary

  • NRCan Library Services

 Post-secondary institutions:

  • University of Alberta

  • University of Calgary

  • MacEwan University

  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

  • Keyano College

  • Aurora College

  • Grande Prairie College

  • University Blue Quills

  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Other schools in Alberta and the NWT as approved by the selection committee