Skip to main content
Collapse Menu
Purple Leaf

A transformational experience

Promoting a Culture of Undergraduate Research Excellence with ACERS

The annual Academic Creative and Engaged Research Showcase (ACERS) recognizes student and faculty research, showcases creative projects by Laurier students and provides learning experiences for the general public and for the Laurier community. It’s just one of many research initiatives supported by Laurier’s Faculty of Liberal Arts at the Brantford campus that highlight the excellent quality of undergraduate research and help sustain a robust intellectual climate.

“Donor support has played an absolutely critical role in fostering excellence in undergraduate research on the Brantford campus,” says Heidi Northwood, Senior Executive Officer on Laurier’s Brantford campus. “Students experience first-hand the pride of presenting their original work in ACERS, and the joy of discovery in the Research Apprenticeship program. These experiences have changed the career paths of many of our students, showing them that research and creative endeavours can be at the centre of their lives. It’s hard to imagine donor support having a more transformational role for our students.”

The annual ACERS showcase includes a Creativity and Engagement Expo, which features presentations of students’ creative and engaged projects, including posters, visual arts, multimedia and recorded performances; Feature Conferences, which provide a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about and discuss current issues and trends in contemporary society; and the Undergraduate Research and Project Showcase, at which top Laurier undergraduate students present their research using academic posters.
24 undergraduate apprenticeships supported

In early March 2020, the ACERS Undergraduate Research and Project Showcase was held in the new One Market space in Brantford for the first time, allowing greater accessibility to the public and more room for students to exhibit their posters.

The Faculty of Liberal Arts also administers the Research Apprenticeship Program, an opportunity that is uniquely offered to Laurier students studying on the Brantford campus. Unlike a research assistantship, in which the student works for a faculty member on the faculty member’s project, the apprenticeship allows an exceptionally qualified undergraduate student to work closely with a faculty member on a project of mutual interest, with the student’s research training being an additional goal of this close working relationship. Funded by the Race Family Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, each student chosen for the program receives an award worth $1,000 which the student can use to fund activities and materials related to the project. To date, $19,650 has been granted to students through the apprenticeship program.

“The Research Apprenticeship Program was an amazing opportunity that helped me to confirm my desire to attend graduate school,” says Megan Blair, a past recipient of the Race Family Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship. “It allowed me to work one-on-one with a professor and compile an original piece of research using archival material, which I was able to present to faculty and students and will continue to work on to present at an academic conference.”

“I am thankful for an established opportunity such this to be able to carry out research with appropriate guidance and funds”

Emmanuel Bimpong is a student in the Bachelor of Arts Law and Society program and a past recipient of the Race Family Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship on the subject of Money, Power and Politics.

Here at Laurier, I’m a second-year Law and Society major with a minor in Human Rights and Human Diversity, but I engage in a host of activities. I actively participate in the Mock Trial Club, Acts of Random Kindness club, volunteer with the Food Bank initiative, work with the Fashion for Freedom club and the Tshepo Institute for African Studies.

In the next few years, I hope to graduate from Laurier (2021), go on to do a Graduate Diploma in Law from the University of Manchester and return to work in Ghana with a corporation in their legal department after obtaining my Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Bachelor of Arts Law and Society. It is my hope that after completing this research you have so generously funded, I would receive a more acceptable welcome into the Ghanaian political climate by shedding light on issues that have for long been kept out of the public’s knowledge.

I am eternally grateful for this Race Family Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program for my research because this is a topic that has always been dear to my heart and has lingered far too long. I am thus thankful for an established opportunity as this to be able to carry out research with appropriate guidance and funds, as this enables me to go deep into the research and obtain some information that I otherwise would be unable to with my limited means.

Unknown Spif - $key