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Student FAQs

2022 VJKF Student Experiments

Who we are: 

The Verna J. Kirkness Education Foundation Program addresses the under-representation of First Nations, M├ętis, and Inuit students at Canadian universities. One of the factors contributing to this is the lack of academic role models for these students. The Foundation addresses this by offering scholarships to Indigenous students in grades 11 and 12 to spend a week at a Canadian university interacting and learning with professors and their teams. During their week on campus, students can meet role models, learn about the support systems available to them on campus, and experience the excitement of doing research. The VJKF Program develops motivated role models who foster the importance of graduating from high school and obtaining a postsecondary education.

What is required to apply?

Our VJKF In-Person Program is open to high school students in grades 11 and 12, prioritizing grade 11 students. Our application can be completed online through our website, or if you prefer, it can be printed and mailed or emailed to us. The application requires a brief essay telling us why you want to attend the Program, a letter of recommendation from a teacher or someone at your school, and a signed consent form from a parent or guardian if you are under the age of 18.

I want to apply but I’m not smart enough to attend university classes.

Our Program is for you to obtain new experiences and hopefully learn something new and exciting. You are smart enough, and you can do anything you set your mind to. You will be working closely with a university mentor and their team. They are not going to grade you, judge you, or criticize you. They will get to know you and show you a new environment, equipment, and resources. You will have the opportunity to meet new people, make new friendships, and do some really cool things.

You can do this!

I want to apply but I don’t want to get behind on my studies.

This is a valid concern, but we wouldn’t let it stop you from applying. You will know if you are accepted months before the trip, giving you plenty of time to inform your teachers and get your homework done. There will also be downtime during the week to study and work on your homework. Some of the other students may be working on the same thing you’ll be working on, and you could possibly even work together!

Is there a curfew?

Yes, students must be back and in their room by 10:00 PM each night.

You will receive a packet with information on the week as well as rules and expectations. The on-site coordinator will review all rules and expectations again at the beginning of the Program week.

Program Video



The Verna J. Kirkness Education Foundation logo

To increase the number of Indigenous students graduating from pure and applied science, engineering, and mathematics programs in Canada. Charity Registration #822843629 RR 0001

Picture of student in a lab with a microscope behind them.

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