NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA)
Research Admin Offices:
These awards have a minimum value of $7,980 (based on minimum wage of $14.25/hr)
- ($6,000 from NSERC + $1,980 minimum top-up from the contributing department) for a full 16-week period.
- Universities are required to supplement the amount of the award by at least 25% of its value using other sources, such as university funds, NSERC grants, or any other research funds. Universities may also provide fringe benefits.
- NSERC’s contribution is paid directly to the host university.
- Travel allowances have been discontinued, effective Summer 2020 competition (May 1, 2020 deadline). Per NSERC, this facet of the USRA program is seldom used and inconsistent with other training and scholarship programs. To increase efficiency and reduce administrative burdens, travel expenses will no longer be reimbursed.
NSERC will not reimburse the university for any period during which you worked part time. No payment will be approved for any vacation leave you take during tenure of the award.
- Health Sciences
- Natural Sciences and Engineering
- Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities
The NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) are intended to stimulate interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering. They are also meant to encourage students to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields. They help students to gain research work experience that complements studies in an academic setting; these awards can help provide students with financial support through their host university.
Please Note: If you are interested in a NSERC USRA position please contact the Administrators listed below directly.
If you are applying from the Faculty of Health Sciences, please visit NSERC USRA in the Faculty of Health Sciences for more information.
Additional Program Information:
- The duration of the award is 16 consecutive weeks on a full-time basis.
- You may hold an award at any time during the year as permitted by your academic program.
- Tenure may start on a date acceptable to both you and your host institution.
Are you eligible for an award?
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;
- 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.
- 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;
- 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 are not eligible for an Undergraduate Student Research Award if:
- 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.
Important Changes to Eligibility of Supervisors:
NSERC will no longer require professors to hold an active eligible grant when applying to supervise a USRA student. NSERC considers anyone who is authorized by their university to independently supervise students to be an eligible supervisor.
The NSERC USRA Program is administered internally through each eligible faculty/department at McMaster in conjunction with the Research Office for Administration, Development & Support (ROADS). Interested undergraduate students should apply to the department in which their research supervisor is appointed, which may not be the student’s home department. Please keep in mind that each department sets its own application deadline. Specific questions regarding the internal application process/requirements should be directed to the specific department contact.
For more information about the NSERC-USRA Program, please visit the NSERC website to consult the program guidelines.
Internal Departmental Contact Information and Application Deadlines
|Faculty of Business||Pina Del Monte||26045||March 20, 2021|
|Faculty of Engineering|
|Chemical Engineering||Linda Ellis||24957||February 5, 2021|
|Civil Engineering||Joanne Gadawski||24315||February 5, 2021|
|Computing & Software||Otse Umoru||22852||February 5, 2021|
|Electrical & Computer Engineering||Kelly Lyth||24347||February 5, 2021|
|Engineering Physics||Emma Trueman
||24545||February 5, 2021|
|Materials Science & Engineering||Chelsea Gregory||24295||February 5, 2021|
|Mechanical Engineering||Lily Sazz-Fayter||24294||February 5, 2021|
|Bachelor of Technology Program||Sarah Sullivan||20160||February 5, 2021|
|Faculty of Health Sciences||Ashley Ibbotson||21173||February 19, 2021|
|Faculty of Humanities
||Jennifer Richardson||24326||March 5, 2021
|Faculty of Science|
|Biology||Tania Baricevic||23049||February 19, 2021|
|Chemistry & Chemical Biology||Linda Spruce||23490||February 22, 2021|
|School of Earth Environment and Society||Kara Salvador||24534||February 17, 2021|
|Kinesiology||Doris Burns||24462||February 12, 2021|
|Mathematics & Statistics||Julie Fogarty||24580||February 12, 2021|
|Physics & Astronomy||Sara Cormier||26098||TBD|
|Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour||Sally Presutti||23026||TBD|
|Faculty of Social Sciences||Chris Hollins||24097||March 19, 2021|
To apply for these awards, you must complete and submit your application using NSERC’s On-line System; a printed copy of the application must be submitted directly to the department you are applying to. Refer to the instructions for completing Form 202 (video, award and eligibility details below provided by NSERC):
- NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards
- NSERC USRA Resource Video
- Detailed Instructions for Completing & Submitting Form 202 Part I and II
- NSERC Online Application Services
NSERC USRA FAQ – Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants and Proposed Research Supervisors for more information.
Students that are interested in the McMaster USRA (not associated with the NSERC-USRA program) should contact:
|Arts & Science USRA||Shelley Anderson||24655||February 19, 2021 at 4:00 pm|
|Humanities USRA||Jennifer Richardson||24326||February 24, 2021 at 4:00 pm|
|Social Sciences USRA||Mark Busser||23560||January 29, 2021 at 4:00 pm|
These Non-NSERC USRA program is not administered through ROADS.