Student Research

Student Research

The Quest Summer Fellows Program (QSFP) provides experiences in which Quest students take the lead on intellectually substantive projects that require creative and original thought. Fellows are supported by a Host Faculty member.

Here’s info about the 2019-2020 Student Project Grant program. For more details, you can reach out to the Research, Scholarship, and Creative Works (RSCW) Committee.

The 2018-19 period has closed. The 2019-20 Summer Fellow application details will be posted once determined.

Here are some FAQs and last year’s application guidelines:


A student is eligible to apply if (s)he:

  • has a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5
  • has completed at least 4 regular courses taught by Quest faculty (i.e., not  Experiential Learning or independent study) by the start of the Fellowship
  • is not under any disciplinary sanction
  • is in good financial standing with the university
  • has the intent to return to Quest as a student within one year of completing the Fellowship

When and what:

  • The 2019 Quest Summer Fellowship program will take place during the weeks of the May, June, and July Blocks.
  • Summer Fellowships are paid by Quest University Canada. All Fellows receive the same amount of compensation, as well as housing.
  • The research proposal can be on any topic of the student’s choice; there is no or minimal research funding available for the student; the fellowship is confirmed as soon as you accept.

What to include in your application:

A complete application consists of

  • a cover sheet that includes a title and the applicant’s name; an abstract; the name of the proposed host faculty member (must be continuing faculty or faculty associate); the name of the faculty member writing the second letter; and a statement regarding review from the Research Ethics Board (see below)
  • an unofficial transcript
  • a project proposal of not more than three single-spaced pages (this includes figures but not references, which may be on a fourth page)
  • a personal statement of not more than one single-spaced page that describes the student’s academic directions at Quest and explains the relationship of the proposed Fellowship to that direction
  • a letter of support from the prospective Faculty Host that indicates a commitment to serve as mentor; explains their commitment to the proposed project, including the provision of necessary resources, and contains a statement of the faculty member’s availability to the student during the Fellowship Period
  • a letter of support from one other tutor (e.g. continuing faculty, former faculty, visiting tutor, teaching fellow) who has taught the student in a class during the last 24 months.

Risk Management and Research Ethics Board Review

  • The cover page must include one of the following statements about Risk Management:
    • In the best estimation of myself and my prospective host faculty member, this project does not warrant review by the University Risk Management Committee.
    • My project may require a risk management plan developed in collaboration with the University Risk Management Committee. I have been in touch with this committee, and they have indicated to me that the development of such a plan will not be a barrier to my work should my Fellowship be funded.
    • My project is supported by a risk management plan developed in collaboration with the University Risk Management Committee. Please find a copy of it attached as an appendix.
  • The cover page must also include one of the following statements about approval from the Research Ethics Board (REB):
    • In the best estimation of myself and my prospective host faculty member, this project does not warrant review by the Research Ethics Board.
    • My project requires review by the Research Ethics Board, and that review progress is currently in progress.
    • My project requires review by the Research Ethics Board. Please see the Appendix for their letter approving my proposed work.

Who Will Be Selected?

Selection of Quest Fellows will prioritize applicants with:

  • complete applications that do not exceed length requirements
  • transcripts that show academic competence overall and especially in the areas of the proposed work
  • project proposals that reflect
    • an intellectually substantive project that requires creative and original thought
    • a clear understanding of the topic of study as indicated by a well-researched/referenced and concise proposal
    • if Quest resources beyond the control of the Faculty Host are required (e.g., a minivan), a clear indication that these will be available to the degree that they are needed
    • if additional resources not found on Quest’s campus are required, a clear indication that a firm plan exists for accessing them
    • clear statements of academic direction that suggest strong intrinsic motivation to do the work described in the proposal
    • entirely supportive letters from faculty, especially the Prospective Host and
    • applications that adhere to the goals of the program as stated in the program details (see link above)

Additionally, the intellectual diversity of the group will be a consideration.

Timeline and Submission

  • Applications are due by 9 am on Monday, February 11, 2019.
  • Students are responsible for submitting four items: the cover sheet, the unofficial transcript, the project proposal, and the personal statement.
  • These must be e-mailed as a single PDF document to
  • The title of your e-mail must be “QSFP Application: FirstName LastName“.
  • All late or incomplete applications will be rejected.
  • Faculty are responsible for submitting their letters of support directly to the Selection Committee.
  • These must be e-mailed as PDF documents to
  • Accepted applicants will be notified no later than February 22, 2019 and given four days to accept or decline.
  • The Summer Fellows will be announced on the Program website when all offers have been accepted or declined.


The 2018-19 Fellows Research Award consisted of:

  • Housing: Fellows receive on-campus housing for the duration of the Fellowship. Summer Fellows live together in a Quest condo (shared bedrooms) at no charge. Winter Fellows remain in their current residences at no charge.
  • A stipend: Fellows receive a $4,000 stipend. Half the stipend is paid in regular installments during the Fellowship period. The remainder is paid upon satisfactory completion of the deliverables. Tax, EI, CPP and vacation pay deductions are applied.
  • A dedicated work space that can be customized to students’ needs.
  • Access to Quest laboratory facilities, field gear, library resources, and study space are provided as needed.

Timeline and Attendance

  • A Summer Fellow can *not* do an experiential learning during their Fellowship, as these weeks are to be dedicated to research.
  • The 2019 Summer Fellowship period begins on Monday, May 13, 2019 and ends on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.
  • If enrollment in courses is necessary for maintenance of an international student visa, contact If you are receiving financial aid, contact
  • The Summer Fellowship is not compatible with classes in May, June, or July. Students do not receive any Quest course credits for completing this Fellowship, i.e., these are not “independent study blocks”.
  • Summer Fellows are expected to attend a weekly Seminar Series on Wednesday afternoons.
  • The dates of the Fellowship Period may be negotiable. Fellows seeking to shift their dates or include a several-day vacation should petition the Selection Committee as early as possible.
  • Fellowship activities are expected to be the main priority for Fellows during the Fellowship Period. Fellows should spend a minimum of 35 hours per week on their Fellowship activities. If possible, Fellows are expected to work at their Fellowship full time (i.e., >40 hours per week).


Fellows will be responsible for four deliverables:

  • A public presentation approximately midway through the Fellowship period.
  • A final report that must be approved by the Host Faculty member.
  • A narrative self-evaluation.
  • An oral presentation to the Quest community during the Quest Scholarship Conference, which takes place each November.
    (If a Fellow will not be on campus in November, that Fellow may present during the first block (s)he is back on campus.)

Priorities of The Program

  • Promote individual student scholarship.
  • Promote close interaction between students and faculty.
  • Cultivate a culture of on-campus research at Quest.
  • Foster a diverse community of student scholars.
  • Support the intellectual activity of faculty.

Faculty Hosts

Faculty Hosts are expected to provide active mentoring of their Fellows during their projects. Hosts will be the primary mentor and contact for help in all things relating to a Fellow’s project. Hosts should be readily and consistently available so that they can serve in this capacity reliably. Two or three suitable faculty may offer to jointly support one Fellow. This is possible where a student project overlaps the expertise of several faculty, and it affords faculty the opportunity to be away for part of the Fellowship period. The co-Hosts should coordinate their schedule to ensure continuous support for the student throughout the entire Fellowship period.

While interacting with his/her Fellow, the Faculty Host should expect to coach the Fellow through every part of the project, including background reading, experimental design, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, report writing and any other activities pertinent to the project. As it seems unwise to expect students to manage their time across a 12-week period, it is incumbent on the Faculty Host to make sure each of these steps proceeds at a reasonable pace so that a quality report can be completed by the end of the Fellowship Period.

Historically, faculty members have been hesitant to support multiple Fellows in any given summer. Therefore, students should contact the potential faculty host well before the application deadline to ensure that the faculty member is willing to support the student’s fellowship application. This is achieved through an informal process that varies among faculty, but often starts by an inquiry from the prospective student. Faculty should decide which student(s) they intend to support far enough in advance to allow prospective students time to find alternate host faculty members and develop new proposals.


The 2018-2019 Program is overseen by the Research, Scholarship, and Creative Works Committee (RSCWC). Fellows or Hosts should contact this group at any time if difficulties arise.

The RSCWC will ensure that Program policies described here are followed, and will serve as the Selection Committee to decide the Fellowship recipients.

If students fail to meet the obligations described above, they will be subject to discipline by the RSCWC that might take the form of A) loss of a portion of their stipend, B) loss of their Fellowships (and subsequent eviction from campus housing), or C) other measures as appropriate.

Failure to submit the deliverables by the deadline implies that Fellows will forfeit their end-of-fellowship lump-sum payments.

Despite this disciplinary duty, the RSCWC is meant to be a resource to Fellows, especially insofar as difficulties might arise between Fellows and Host Faculty or between multiple Fellows. The RSCWC exists to ensure a productive and satisfying experience for the students and faculty involved in the Program.


Marika Dunham (host: Emma Davy) / You Are What You Eat: Narratives of the Food System

Jesse Genereux (host: Jeff Warren) / Being Otherwise: Generating Levinas’s Ethical Subject

Mason Pitchel (host: Steve Quane) / Landslide Detection at the Mount Meager Volcanic Complex


Daan de Kruijf (host: Andre Lambelet) / A Crisis of Personality: Working Through Problems of Memory, Authenticity and Modernity in Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s Buru Tetralogy

Michael Geuenich (host: Marina Tourlakis) / On the Conservation and Distribution of SBDS Across Species

Samantha Leigh (host: Eric Gorham) / Watching People Throw Out Garbage: Food service waste management in Squamish, B.C.


Jessica Hancock (host: Marina Tourlakis) /  An Exploration of Algal Lignin: Potential of ​Cladophora Glomerata​ as an Alternative to Wood Derived Pulp

Sawyer Plato (host: Neal Melvin) / Up-Regulating Memory: Research into RNA Binding Motif Protein 3’s role in Synaptic Translation

Anika Watson (host: Thor Veen) / A Practical Guide to Function-Valued Traits


Cameron Friend (host: Glen Van Brummelen and Jamie Kemp) / Carrying Across: A Translation and Analysis of Leonhard Euler’s Text “Problematis Cuiusdam Pappi Alexandrini Constructio

Ali MacKellar (host: Kim Dawe) / Locating a Remote Teaching & Research Site near Pemberton, BC

Hannah Mendro (host: Shira Weidenbaum) / Constraints, Additions, and Distance: Reading Rilke in Translationo

Sophia Vartanian (host: Andre Lambelet) / A Clash of Civilizations? France, Islam, and the Far Right


Emma Badgery (host: Kaija Belfry Munroe) / Tsilhqot’in Nation, Provincial Jurisdiction, and the Misunderstanding of Culture as its ‘Paraphernalia’

Graeme Lee-Rowlands (host: Rich Wildman) / A framework for analyzing transboundary resource sharing negotiations and the case of salmon restoration in the renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty

Sophie McGregor (host: Mark Vaughan) / Bioincorporating L-Monofluoroethionine into Green Fluorescent Protein


Maya Broeke (host: Colin Bates) / The Howe Sound Project

Kelsey Chamberlin (hosts: I-Chant Chiang and Maï Yasué) / A mixed-methods approach to exploring the impact of grades on academic motivation at three North American universities

Janali Gustafson (hosts: I-Chant Chiang and Meaghan MacNutt) / Exploring mind-body connection – can “power poses” impact physical performance?

Seth Newman (host: Shira Weidenbaum) / Irony and the Bible

Marielle Rosky (host: John Reid-Hresko) /Writing Myself into Being: The Process of Creating a Self Representational Story

Aaron Slobodin (host: Sarah Mayes-Tang) / Betti Table Stabilization of Homogeneous Monomial Ideals


Holly Bull (host: Mark Vaughan) / Quorum Sensing Communication in Biofilms: In Vivo Synthesis of Autoinducer-2 Molecule

Elijah Cetas (host: Maï Yasué) / Why Do We Conserve? A Structured Look at the Incentives behind Community Based Conservation

Tenea Dillman (host: Steve Quane) / Hazardous Hydrology: Developing a Monitoring Program for the Garibaldi Lake/Rubble Creek Hydrological System, British Columbia

Katie Gerstle* (host: Marjorie Wonham) / Biodiversity Monitoring and Education in the Foreshore Environment of Howe Sound

Kestrel Kunz (host: Rich Wildman) / Using Field Monitoring and Computer Modeling to Investigate Thermal Stratification and Mixing Patterns in Three Lakes in the Sea to Sky Region

David Leehr (hosts: Darcy Otto and Jeff Warren) / A Geneology of the Analytic-Continental Divide in Contemporary Philosophy

Cassi Mason* (host: Mark Vaughan) / Let in the Light: Developing a Screening Method to Tune the Absorption Spectrum of Proteorhodopsin

Camilo Romero* (host: Steve Quane) / Geology of the Woodfibre LNG Building Site: Implications of Acoustic Transmission into the Howe Sound

* These Fellows were supported by Woodfibre LNG, Ltd.


Tyler Heilman (host: Court Ashbaugh) / Garibaldi Provincial Park Weather Station: Technical Overview

Andrew Laird (host: Rich Wildman) / Towards the Modeling of Simulated Inflows to Lake Powell

Gillian Pool (host: Chris Neufeld) / Wildlife Monitoring of the Sea to Sky Gondola

Jenna Treissman (host: Negar Elmieh) / How our behaviors now affect our fertility later: Examining sexual health behaviors and STI prevalence at Quest University Canada

Mabel Vautravers (hosts: John Reid-Hresko and Curt Wasson) / Radio Silence, an original novella


Annie Borch (host: Steve Quane) / Beyond the Barrier: A Final Report

Sommer Harris (host: Colin Bates) / Geology from Sea to Sky

Justin Lee (host: Neal Melvin) / Detecting the Source: Riboprobe Detection of APP mRNA to Delineate Aß Protein Expression in a Rhesus Macaque Model of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Emma Linde (host: Rich Wildman) / Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Hydroelectric Reservoir and a Natural Lake in the Squamish Area

Caleb Raible-Clark (host: Richard Hoshino) / A Summer of Implementing Gradual Improvements to Systems at Quest


Zuri Biringer (host: Jim Cohn) / Flowers, an original short story

Heather Harden (host: Megan Bulloch) / Psychological survey method development

Ashley Pearson (host: Rob Knop) / Nerves of the Heart, an original play

Eric Ross (host: Rob Knop) / Classical Chaos

Chloe Wightman (host: Rob Knop) / Methods of Galaxy Merger Classification

Quest Student Publications and Conferences: A Selection

Quest Students in the Media: A Selection

Below are the abstracts for the summer 2019 Fellows’ presentations, which were held on Saturday, October 19, 1:30 – 2:30pm in the Quest University MPR.

Jesse Genereux / Being Otherwise: Generating Levinas’s Ethical Subject

Emmanuel Levinas shifts the grounds of metaphysics radically. Instead of placing being and the question of being at the base of all understanding qua existence, Levinas places ethics, goodness and responsibility prior to all. Levinas places the source of the meaning of ethical responsibility in the pre-ontological structure of human subjectivity. In educational theory, according to Guoping Zhao and Claire Katz, Levinas’s ideas have been incompletely interpreted. Both theorists suggest that Levinas’s ideas provide renewed ground for subjectification as an end of education, something almost all ‘Levinasian’ educational theorists have overlooked in the past.

This research project aims to investigate the problem of producing Emmanuel Levinas’s primordial ethical subject. We introduce Levinas and the metaphysics of production, explicate Levinas’s ideas and develop a practical way forward in the project of ‘Levinasian’ ethical subjectification. In short, we concern ourselves here with the generation a good person and the metaphysical-ethical puzzles which arise in such an endeavour within the continental European tradition of philosophy from the 20th century.

Marika Dunham / You Are What You Eat: Narratives of the Food System

In an attempt to integrate academic theory with practical knowledge Marika’s summer fellow project was the creation of an interview style podcast; called Savory. It’s about the people and processes behind food production and the politics that shape our understanding of the food system. While the podcast is rooted in critical academic theory, it works to recognize voices outside of academia as valuable contributors to our understanding of the food system. The goal of the podcast was to interview people who are involved in the food system in a variety of ways in order to gain a better understanding of how a person’s lived experience shapes their understanding of the food system.

Mason Pitchel / Landslide Detection at the Mount Meager Volcanic Complex

In 2010, rock slopes above Capricorn Creek at the Mount Meager Volcanic Complex (MMVC) failed in what became the largest landslide in Canadian history. The event caused roughly $10,000,000 in damage, and while no lives were lost, the communities of Pemberton and Pemberton Meadows are still in significant danger of a large runout landslide (Friele et al., 2008). Recent research has identified multiple slopes on the MMVC that are in danger of failing, but one is of particular concern. This slope is approximately 10x the size of the source of the slide in 2010, and poses a significant danger to the communities of Pemberton Meadows and the Village of Pemberton (Roberti, 2019). Landslides are quite prevalent in the area, especially at loosely consolidated volcanic edifices like the MMVC. Just recently, a large landslide off of Joffre Peak made headlines (CBC, Global News). As we see increasingly warm weather and rapid snowmelt through the spring and summer, we will see an increase in large landslides (Petley, 2019).

We will be implementing the first rendition of a seismic monitoring system at the MMVC, using an industry-standard geophone and infrasound system, coupled with a weather station and a camera. Data will be transmitted to Quest via satellite and to an Innergex power plant via radio frequency transmission. This project is collaborative. Our main partners are Weir-Jones Engineering (WJE) out of Vancouver. The geophysical group has offered equipment and a small honorarium. They will be using the system we helped design and install to create a landslide alarm system for an Innergex power plant at the base of the MMVC. The duration of the QSFP was spent organizing donors, securing helicopter time, designing the system, and planning the installation. Once we have installed (early September), we will be using the data to look for correlations between weather trends and landslides/rockfall.

Quest University Canada is suspending regular academic programming following
completion of the current academic year in April 2023.

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