(Competition year May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023)

Program Description

USRAs are meant to nurture undergraduate student interest in the natural sciences and engineering, in view of fully developing their potential for a research career. These competitive awards are also meant to encourage undergraduate students to undertake graduate studies in these fields.


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

  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or Protected Person as of the deadline date for applications at the university;
  • Be registered, at the time you apply, in a bachelor’s degree program
  • Have obtained, over the previous year(s) of study, a second class overall average, which; at Carleton, translates into a  “B-“ or “7.0”

In addition…

  • If the student is already holding a bachelor’s degree and is studying toward a second bachelor’s degree, they may still apply for this award
  • Students may hold only one USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31)
  • Students may hold a maximum of three USRAs throughout their undergraduate university career.

To hold an award, you must:

  • Have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study 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
  • 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

Students are not eligible to apply for a USRA if

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

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

Eligible Supervisors of NSERC USRA Students

Any faculty member who is authorized to supervise undergraduate students undertaking projects in the natural sciences and engineering fields at Carleton is eligible to act as a supervisor.

If you would like to hold the award at Carleton University, please contact your faculty administrator (listed below).

Duration of Awards

  • The duration of the award is 14 to 16 weeks on a full-time basis.
  • USRA awards are tenable at any time during the year as permitted by your academic program and Faculty and agreed upon by student and supervisor.
  • A maximum of two (2) courses are allowed during the tenure of the award.
  • USRAs may be held during co-op placements.

Award Value

For the 14-16 week duration of positions held between May 1, 2022, and April 30, 2023, the total value of the award ranges from $8,379.00 to $9,576.00.

  • NSERC contributes $6,000.00
  • Supervisor contributes $2,379.00 (14 weeks) to $3,576.00 (16 weeks)
  • Note: Carleton pays the awards directly to the USRA recipients. No payment will be approved for any vacation leave or part-time work undertaken during tenure of the award.
  • No matter the time length (14, 15 or 16 weeks), the payout of the sum owed will occur evenly over the same 8 pay periods that span the academic term

How and When to Apply

  • Each Faculty has a number of available awards, and has its own selection process. Please consult the table below for more information regarding individual Faculty deadlines, contact information and application requirements.
  • Students apply through the Faculty where they request to hold their award (i.e. the Supervisor’s Faculty).
  • Students from other universities may also apply, provided they meet the eligibility criteria above.
  • See below for individual Faculty deadlines and requirements.

Note that all USRA applicants must complete the online Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Survey by the application deadline. The data that is submitted is strictly confidential.

Faculty Name Application Requirements Application Deadline Contact Person
Arts and Social Sciences Available here February 25, 2022 Sarah Mohammed
Engineering and Design Available here February 22, 2022 at noon Tom Morrice
 Science Available here February 15, 2022 Maria Doria

*Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. 

Faculty Award Decisions 

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

Complete NSERC Application Package

Application Form: NSERC Form 202, Part I and Part II

  • Create an NSERC online portfolio
  • Complete Form 202 following the instructions
  • Students complete Form 202 Part I, and the reference number provided by the system will be forwarded to their potential supervisor(s) – this is required to link Parts I and II
  • Students upload a PDF of their official, up-to-date transcripts for all university programs. This must include one copy of the legend located on the back side
  • Supervisors complete Form 202 Part II

Checklist for a Complete Application Submission to NSERC

Use the following list to make sure your application is complete.

  • Form 202 – Part I (to be completed by the student)
    • Application Profile
    • Personal Profile
    • Addresses
    • Academic Background
    • Awards
    • Transcripts (attachment)

Please see here for comprehensive instructions on filling out Part I.

  • Form 202 – Part II (to be completed by the university research supervisor)
    • Project Profile
    • Research Supervisor Profile
    • Current Employment
    • Address at Location of Tenure
    • Outline of Proposed Research

Please see here for comprehensive instructions on filling out Part II.

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.

Please note that students who receive additional supplemental funding (Canadian Forest Sector Workforce Diversity or ECCC Atmospheric and Meteorological undergraduate supplement) will receive the amount awarded over and above the supervisor’s top-up amount.

Internal Contact

Sarah Adams (Research Administrator): sarahadams3@carleton.ca

Last updated 18 January 22