The Mathematics Undergraduate Research Award (MURA) Program is an undergraduate research award program sponsored by the Faculty of Mathematics. This award provides experience that nurtures an interest in research careers and mathematics experience for undergraduate students with financial support during a full-time, on-campus or remote position for 16 weeks.

Meet ClaraPicture of Clara Xi

Clara worked with Professor Xi He, where she investigated and designed novel techniques to support differentially private analysis of graph data during the Winter 2022 term.

“One thing I appreciated a lot about my research assistantship under Dr. He was the amount of independence and ownership I had over my project. This autonomy and level of trust between my supervisor and I was unlike anything I had never experienced before in my previous co-ops.

I would absolutely recommend other undergraduate students to pursue a research assistantship if they're curious about research or graduate school at all. It's hard to know what research is really like until you do it!” Clara Xi, BCS candidate

    Application Deadlines

    Competitions for MURA are held three times each year. Deadlines are as follows:

    Term Due Date
    Spring 2024 Closed.
    Fall 2024 Sunday, June 9, 2024
    Winter 2025 TBD (early September)

    Length of Project

    Full-time (35 hours per week) for 16 consecutive weeks (80 working days). Can be used as a co-op work term if a co-op student. Regular students are also eligible for this award.

    Note: An MURA is a full-time position. Students cannot be full-time or working on another project/job while holding an MURA.


    Student Eligibility:
    • Be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada or an International Student on study permit, as of the application deadline.
    • Be registered in at least one of the two terms immediately before holding the award in a bachelor's degree program in the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo.
    • Have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) (i.e. student must be in their 2A term or higher).
    • Have a cumulative average => 80%.
    • Not have started a program of graduate studies in a field of mathematics at any time.
    Supervisor Eligibility
    • Must be eligible to administer NSERC funds.
    • Must be authorized to independently supervise students.


    The award has a value of $6,000 per academic term (commencing the Spring 2021 term). The recommended minimum amount for the supervisor’s contribution is $3640 per term (or $910 per month), giving a total minimum payment for the term of $9,640. The number of awards available for each fiscal year is limited and will be communicated by the Mathematics Research Office in advance.

    Interdisciplinary Criteria

    As of Spring 2024, there are additional awards available for interdisciplinary research projects. To be considered the proposed research must meet one of the following definitions and clearly identify the different disciplines involved:

    • Research that involves the interaction among two or more different disciplines and occurs at the interface between disciplines. This may range from the sharing of ideas to the full integration of concepts, methodology, procedures, theory, terminology, data, organization of research and training.
    • Research that draws on knowledge from different disciplines but stays within the boundary of one primary field.
    • Research intended to impart knowledge about, and train a student in, a discipline that is different from the student's own discipline.

    This definition aligns with NSERC’s definition of interdisciplinary.

    How to apply

    After finding an eligible supervisor that has agreed to work with you and deciding on a research project that clearly defines your role and responsibilities with the supervisor, the following steps must be completed.

    1. Complete the online form using your WATIAM sign in information
    2. Your supervisor will have to complete the following online form
    3. Once the student application is completed, contact Daniel Huab with the following information:
      1. Unofficial transcripts
      2. Date you expect to complete your degree (year/month)
      3. Have you held an NSERC USRA/MURA in the past? Yes/No
      4. Is the project to be considered interdisciplinary? Yes/No
      5. Would you be claiming the President's Research Award for this experience? Yes/No