Robert W. Woolner Undergraduate Summer Research Studentship

The Woolner Studentship

The Woolner Studentship offers an experiential research opportunity in One Health for an undergraduate student. The Woolner Studentship supports opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in semi-independent research projects or participate in larger ongoing research projects during the summer.

Two studentships are awarded annually.

Value and Duration

Student Salary Support: $8,000

Operating Support: $1,000

A total of $8000 will be provided by each funding source for student salaries. This is based on a minimum hourly rate of $14.25 for a maximum total of 494 hours (14.1 weeks). A higher hourly rate or any additional hours over the 494 hours will be paid by the faculty member. In addition to the salary, the faculty advisor for each approved position will receive $1000 in operating support. Students must be present for a maximum of 35 hours per week during the entire 14.1 week period of the research project. As students will receive 4% vacation pay on their hourly rate, it is expected that they will work full-time (35hrs/week) for the entire 14.1 weeks.

Award Allocation

The Woolner Summer Research Studentships will be allocated through a two-stage process:

Stage 1: Selection of Project Abstracts by the One Health Institute Advisory Committee

Stage 2: Selection of Students by Faculty Members successful in Stage 1

Stage 1 (Project Abstracts)

Schedule of Dates

DateAction Due
Monday December 13, 2021Call for Project Proposals Opens
Thursday January 6, 2022Project Proposals Due
Monday January 24, 2022Successful Proposals Announced
Student Application Window Opens
Wednesday February 9, 2022Student Application Deadline

How to Apply

Please complete an online project proposal form using the following link [LINK WILL BE POSTED DECEMBER 2021]

You will need the following information at hand:

  • Proposed Start Date
  • Project Title
  • Project Proposal Description (~1/2 page or 250 words)

Evaluation Process and Criteria

The Director, One Health Institute, with members of the One Health Institute Advisory Board, will select the abstracts that will be associated with the Studentships based on the following criteria:

  • Suitability of the project for DVM and undergraduate summer research students
  • Clarity and feasibility of the research objectives and experimental plan
  • Faculty record of research student advising, research productivity and availability of operating funds and infrastructure for the summer research project (information derived from eCV)
  • Relevance of the proposed research to One Health

Stage 2 (Students)

Students interested in working on a specific summer research project will contact faculty members directly to discuss possible involvement with the project. 

Award Establishment

Once a successful candidate is chosen, please complete this form: [LINK TO FORM WILL BE POSTED DECEMBER 2021]

You will require the following information:

  • Faculty name
  • Faculty department
  • Faculty general purpose account number
  • Project name
  • Name of the student chosen
  • Student email address
  • Student number
  • Copy of the student’s transcript
  • Copy of the student’s curriculum vitae or academic resume

Terms and Conditions

Recipients of the Woolner Summer Research Studentships must:

  • be available to work on the research project for 14.1 weeks full-time (i.e. 35 hours/week) between May 1 and August 31 of the calendar year in which the award is granted
  • be a full-time University of Guelph student in good standing who is registered in Phase 1 or 2 of the DVM program, or after 2nd or 3rd year of a related University of Guelph undergraduate program and returning in the fall
  • participate in the summer Career Opportunities and Research Exploration (CORE) program. Advisors are requested to be flexible in research work hours to allow students to participate in this program
  • participate in the CPHAZ One Health Poster Day in the fall semester of the year in which the award is granted
  • complete a survey evaluating the research experience and the mentor’s performance

Faculty advisors must:

  • be available to supervise the summer research student for the entire 14.1-week period (or longer is the student is employed for a longer period)
  • provide an advisory and mentoring role to motivate and guide the student and to foster an interest in research
  • complete a survey evaluating the student’s performance and the efficacy of the program at completion

Summer 2021 Faculty & Student Recipients

Image of Dr. Katie Clow

Dr. Katie Clow

Project: Assessing spillover of ARS-COV-2 in peri-domestic wildlife species

Dr. Katie Clow is an Assistant Professor in One Health in the Department of Population Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College. Her research focuses on the ecology and epidemiology of vectors and vector-borne zoonoses, with a specific emphasis on the blacklegged tick and Lyme disease. She also conducts research more broadly on One Health, including pedagogy and community-level applications and is the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Collaborative Specialization in One Health.

She holds both a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (OVC, 2011) and PhD (Pathobiology, 2017). Dr. Clow has worked in private small animal practice as well as at the national and international level in One Health through internships at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Disease at the World Health Organization.


Image of Stephanie Gerend

Stephanie Gerend

Steph is entering her fourth year as an undergraduate student at the University of Guelph, completing an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science. She is eager to work with Dr. Katie Clow on this One Health project and emphasize the importance of a transdisciplinary approach to solving problems, as solely focusing on one sector does not account for spillover and downstream effects. Espeically considering that the effects of SARS-CoV-2 are not isolated to humans.

During her time at UofG, she has developed a deep interest in the intersection of global development and biological science subject areas. After taking the One Health course, she realized that is a way to combine these two disciplines and has found herself extremely passionate about this intersection.

Beyond academics, Steph loves being involved in community-based work. She is currently the Co-Chair of Relay for Life at UofG, and over the past three years the committee set a Canadian Cancer Society record for largest post-secondary amount raised. She is also involved with Big Brother Big Sisters as a community mentor, facilitating one-on-one weekly meetings with her mentee in an effort to help reduce the societal barriers and adversities they face.

Through the Robert W. Woolner Studentship, Steph hopes to learn more about how the One Health approach can shed light on potential gaps in disease transmission and help build a framework for preventing future zoonotic transmission and spillover. She is looking forward to working with professionals from different sectors to solve this complex issue and learn more about multidisciplinary collaboration.


Image of Dr. Amy Newman.

Dr. Amy Newman

Project: Effects of environmental modification and early-life stress on wildlife physiology

Dr. Amy Newman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology in the College of Biological Sciences. She is an ecophysiologist who’s training lies at the intersection of physiology, ecology and neuroendocrinology. She uses both field and laboratory techniques to answer questions that integrate ecology and physiology with the goal of understanding how the early life environment shapes stress physiology, behaviour and fitness.

Prior to joining the Department of Integrative Biology as a faculty member in 2012, Dr. Newman obtained a BSc from Queen’s University, a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia, and was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Guelph.


Image of Hossam Ehab

Hossam Ehab

Hello! My name is Hossam, and I am spending this summer working with the Newman lab on a project that involves a number of One Health principles. One Health is a research approach/outlook that I am passionate about. The project I will be working on examines the impacts of agricultural stress and landscape restoration on avian diversity in farms across southern Ontario.

I’m entering my fourth year of undergraduate studies at the university of Guelph this fall as a marine and freshwater biology major. In my spare time I enjoy biking, going for a hike, or photographing interesting things that catch my eye.

Through the Robert W. Woolner studentship, I’m looking forward to exploring how One Health principles can be applied to ecological diversity studies and to conservation efforts in a region that is also important for food production.


Previous Recipients

Summer 2020

Dr. Fiona James & Rachel Vella

Project: Comparing canine and human epileptic syndromes

Dr. Travis Steffens & Kiana Gibson

Project: Investigating the potential transmission of intestinal pathogens among people, lemurs, and domestic animals in Madagascar