Information for

NSERC's Undergraduate Student Research Awards program provides funding for exciting research projects. 

Length of project

  • Full-time (35 hours per week) for 16 consecutive weeks (80 working days)
  • Can be counted as a co-op work term but you do not need to be a co-op student to be eligible for this award.
  • Note: Student is not allowed to be in class full-time or working on another project/job while doing the USRA as it is considered a full-time job.


  • $4,500 from the award portion plus the supervisor's contribution. The recommended minimum amount for the supervisor’s contribution is $835 per month or $3,340 per term which means that the total minimum payment for the term would be $7,840. 
  • Does not include benefits or vacation pay


  • Must have completed one full year of school before starting the USRA, i.e., 2A or higher (students can be in 1B when they apply, and students can do a USRA in the term immediately after degree completion but not later than this)
  • Must have a 72% cumulative average or higher
  • Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent Canadian resident
  • Must find a faculty supervisor before applying
  • Only one USRA per student per award year (award year is May 1 to April 30)**
  • Maximum of three USRAs during undergraduate degree
  • Cannot have started a graduate degree or be involved in full-time research and development in natural sciences or engineering

For more information, see Undergraduate Student Research Award.

2019 application deadlines


  • Co-op* deadline - TBD
  • Final term deadline - Monday, April 8, 2019


  • Co-op* deadline - TBD
  • Final term deadline - TBD


  • Co-op* deadline - TBD
  • Final term deadline - TBD

The co-op deadline is meant for co-op applicants who wish to be taken off WaterlooWorks right from the start and directly use the USRA as their co-op term. The final term deadline applies to all applicants.

Note for co-op students: If you apply after the co-op deadline, you must check with your co-op advisor that can still use the USRA as your co-op term. If you can proceed with the USRA, you must ask your advisor to remove you from WaterlooWorks.

** Additional funding possibilities: Undergraduate Research Internship and President's Scholarships.

How to apply:

  • There are two parts to the applications: 1) Part 1 to be completed by the applicant and include an unofficial transcript and 2) Part 2 to be completed by prospective supervisor.
  • All applications are submitted using NSERC's online application system.
  • Contact Jessica Leung ( when the NSERC online application has been completed by the student and supervisor.

Form information

If accepted, ensure you include the following on the Temporary Student Appointment form (TSA):

  • Enter work dates that amount to 80 working days
  • Use your UWaterloo email address
  • The amount only for the top-up portion, not the total amount of the award. The NSERC award is processed by the Office of Research and no paperwork is required for that part. The amount in "monthly amount" should only be what the supervisor will be paying from their account. 

Note: If you have also been accepted for URI funding, then you do not need to complete the TSA form; however, please forward Jessica a copy of the URI form. 

If you have any questions, please contact:

Jessica Leung