Student Funding Opportunities at NSERC

Student Funding Opportunities at NSERC

NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA)


Internal Deadline for 2016 competition: 4:30 p.m., Friday, February 12, 2016.  Late applications will not be considered.

The NSERC USRA program is intended to stimulate undergraduate students’ interest in pursuing research in the natural sciences and engineering. The objective of the program is to provide a research work experience to complement the degree program in order to encourage students to consider graduate studies and/or research career in the natural sciences or engineering.

See the NSERC website for details.


To be eligible to apply for an award you must

  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;
  • be registered, at the time you apply, in a bachelor’s degree program at an eligible university
  • have obtained, of the previous years of study, a cumulative average of at least second class (“B” or “B-”) as defined by your home university. A Brock University student must have a cumulative average of no less than 70%.

To hold the award you must

  • have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) of your bachelor's degree;
  • have been registered in at least one of the two terms immediately before holding the award in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible university;
  • not have started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering; and
  • be engaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering during the tenure of the award.

You may hold a maximum of three USRA awards throughout your university career.

Eligibility of supervisors

Brock University guidelines require that the proposed supervisor hold an active NSERC research grant at the time of application. In addition, faculty members whose research grants terminated on March 31, 2015, but who have received an extension to use remaining funds from April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2016, are eligible to supervise a USRA student in the summer or fall of 2016 or the winter of 2017.  For a list of eligible supervisors please contact Josie Reed.



Value and payment of awards

  • The award is valued at $4,500. This amount will be reimbursed to your project supervisor’s research account after the end of the work term.
  • In addition, your supervisor will supplement the amount by at least 25% ($1,125) of the NSERC USRA award value using other sources such as NSERC grants or other research funds so that the minimum stipend to the awardee for the tenure of the award is $5,625. The awards are paid as stipends.

You may hold your award at your home university, at another eligible university, or in an eligible Canadian company. You must apply at the institution where you wish to hold your award. To apply at another university, please contact a faculty member or the department where you wish to work.

Travel allowances are available if you use your award at a university other than the one where you are currently registered.

Duration of the award

The duration of the award is 16 consecutive weeks on a full-time basis. We hold one competition per year. At Brock University, students generally hold the award during the Spring/Summer term (May–August), but the award may also be held during the Fall or Winter term.

Applying for an NSERC USRA

Brock University's 2016 USRA application form and guidelines will be available in early January 2016. To receive your copy, please email Brock’s USRA Liaison Officer, Josie Reed, Office of Research Services.

For a tutorial video on NSERC's USRA program  click here


Industrial Undergraduate Student Research Awards Program

A number of Canadian companies participate in the NSERC USRA program. If you are interested in an industrial award, contact the company directly. See the NSERC Industrial Undergraduate Student Research Awards Program website.