Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) are meant to stimulate your interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering. They are also meant to encourage you to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields.


If you would like to gain research work experience that complements your studies in an academic setting, these competitive awards can provide you with financial support


To be eligible to apply for an award, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada as of the deadline date for applications at the university;
  • be registered, at the time you apply, in a bachelor’s degree program at an eligible university; and
  • have obtained, over the previous years of study, a cumulative average of at least second class (a grade of “B” or “B-,” if applicable) as defined by your university.

In addition…

  • If you already hold a bachelor’s degree and are studying toward a second bachelor’s degree, you may still apply for this award.
  • You may hold only one university USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
  • You may hold a maximum of three university USRAs throughout your undergraduate university career.

To hold an 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 at any time; 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.

Who is not eligible?

  • you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate professional degree program in the health sciences (e.g., MD, DDS, BScN); or
  • you hold higher degrees in the natural sciences or engineering.

It is strongly recommended that you also review: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – ANSWERS

NSERC Eligible Programs for Supervisors

Holders of the following types of grants are eligible to supervise USRA holders for the 2017 competition:

  • Canada Research Chairs
  • Canada Excellence Research Chairs

Funding Available

  • Maximum amount: $4,500 from NSERC, plus a minimum of $1,800 from the supervisor
  • Maximum duration: A full 16-week period, full-time (Summer 2017 – May 1, 2017 – August 19, 2017)

Travel Allowances: a travel allowance may also be granted if you take up the award at a university other than the one at which you are currently registered:

How to apply

  • Each Faculty has a number of available awards, and has its own selection process.
  • Students apply through the Faculty where they request to hold their award (the supervisor’s Faculty, not necessarily the student’s).
  • Students from other universities may also apply.

Application Package – 3 required elements

1/3. Application Form: NSERC form 202, Part I and Part II

  • Create an NSERC online portfolio
  • Create a Form 202 from the drop down menu, and follow the instructions
  • Students complete Form 202 Part I, and forward the reference number provided by the system to their potential supervisor(s) – this is required to link Parts I and II
  • Students upload a PDF of official transcripts
  • Supervisors complete Form 202 Part II

2/3. Carleton transcripts and other postsecondary transcripts

3/3. Calculated CGPA (on separate sheet, with your name, NSERC reference number, and name and department of proposed supervisor; the minimum CGPA is defined by the Faculty)

Complete application to be submitted to the Faculty as described below (faculties will specify whether a hard copy or soft copy is required):

Student Deadline

Applications to be submitted to the Faculties by:

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences February 20, 2017
Faculty of Engineering and Design February 17, 2017
Faculty of Science February 15, 2017

* Please note that applications not delivered by the deadline will not be considered.

NSERC USRA Contact Information

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Sarah Mohammed


PA 330A X7590
Faculty of Engineering and Design Jenna Hobin MC 3091 x5659
Faculty of Science Sara Landry
Faculty of Science USRA Page
HP 3230 x4388

Award Decisions

Each Faculty will inform applicants of its award decisions after it has completed its selection process.

Payment of Awards

Successful candidates will receive payment from the University in accordance with its pay procedures. The University will also issue a T4 or T4A slip (Statement of Income) at the end of the calendar year. NSERC will pay its contribution directly to the University.

Internal Contacts

Lisa Saunders (Research Administrator)
1322 Dunton Tower
Phone: 613-520-2600 ext. 8045

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