The NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) is a great opportunity for undergraduates to work with a researcher and carry out full-time research for a term. The goal of the program is to stimulate your interest in research and to encourage you to pursue a future in research and/or better prepare you for a graduate studies degree. If you would like to gain research work experience that complements your studies in an academic setting, this award provides you with financial support to do so.
|Coop*||Passed||April 27, 2020||TBD|
|Final for coop and regular||March 23, 2020||July 27, 2020||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. If you apply after the co-op deadline, you must check with your co-op advisor that you can use the USRA as your co-op term. If you can proceed with using your USRA as a co-op term, then you must ask your advisor to remove you from WaterlooWorks. The final term deadline applies to all (coop and regular) applicants.
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
- The student and/or the supervisor can apply for the following as additional funding possibilities: Undergraduate Research Internship and President's Scholarships.
- 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.
Supervisors must meet one of the following criteria:
- Hold an active research grant from NSERC, or an eligible tri-agency research grant administered jointly by NSERC, CIHR, and SSHRC, by the beginning of the USRA term. If you are unsure whether your grant is eligible and/or if you have applied to a grant, but have yet to hear your results, then please email Jessica Leung and Shoshannah Holdom.
- Be a newly appointed Assistant Professor.
How to apply
Ensure that you are eligible.
- Find a supervisor that you would like to work with. Contact Jessica Leung and Shoshannah Holdom for advice or if you are open to the field of study.
- Decide on a research project and clearly define your role and responsibilities with the supervisor.
- Complete the following on the NSERC online system:
- Complete and submit Form 202 - Part I.
- Upload your unofficial transcript if you are a UW student. Otherwise, non-UW students must upload an official transcript (with a legend attached, if applicable).
- Send your reference number to your supervisor (the supervisor will use the student’s reference number to create and link form 202 Part II).
- Ensure that your supervisor completes the online application (Form 202 - Part II).
- Email Jessica Leung and Shoshannah Holdom when Form 202 (Part I and II) is completed by the student and supervisor before the deadline (see above).