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Undergraduate Research Awards

If you're looking to gain more hands-on experience in your field of study and work with leading professors on innovative research, Ontario Tech University offers a number of undergraduate research awards for summer project opportunities.

Undergraduate Research Award recipients will engage in 12 to 16 weeks of full-time research activity under the supervision of an Ontario Tech professor. They will gain research experience in an exciting academic setting while receiving financial support.

2020 Undergraduate Research Awards

  • Available awards: Am I eligible to apply?

    To apply, students must meet all of the following requirements:

    • Be a registered student, as of Ontario Tech’s application deadline (January 17, 2020), in a bachelor’s degree program at an eligible university.
    • Have obtained, over the previous years of study, a cumulative average of at least B- (70 per cent or 2.7 grade points).
    • Have completed at least one full year of university course work (two full academic semesters) by the start of the research project (May 2020).

    The university offers two awards in support of undergraduate research. Please read the information provided on each research award below for additional requirements.

    Ontario Tech University STAR Award

    • One award available per faculty.
    • Open to Canadian citizens, permanent residents and international students registered in a bachelor’s degree program at Ontario Tech University.

    NSERC USRA

    • Ontario Tech University’s 2020 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Award (NSERC USRA) quota is roughly 30.
    • As of May 2020 you must:
      • Not have started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering at any time.
      • 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.
    • Students who are not registered at Ontario Tech University may apply for an NSERC award, provided they meet all of the eligibility criteria (e.g. GPA, etc).

    You are not eligible for a USRA if:

    • You are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada as of the deadline date for applications at the university;
    • 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.
  • How do I apply?

    There is one application process for the Undergraduate Research Awards program.

    Step 1: Choose a research project

    Students may select a maximum of two summer projects from the project summaries listed in the Available research projects section below. We encourage students to choose two projects they are interested in so they have a backup in case their first choice is awarded to another student.

    Note: You may apply to projects outside of your Faculty, provided you hold the skills and qualifications identified in the project description. For example, students in the Faculty of Science may apply to projects listed in the Faculty of Health Sciences if they meet the qualifications listed in the project description.

    Step 2: Complete your electronic application package 

    Applications open to students late November 2019.

    An updated applications package will be posted shortly.

  • Deadline

    All Undergraduate Research Award e-packages must be submitted as an attachment to studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca by Friday, January 17 at 4 p.m. You will receive an automatic email confirming receipt of your email immediately, followed by a personal confirmation of receipt within five business days confirming that your application is complete and functional.  

    Non-Ontario Tech students must submit a hard copy of their transcripts from their university to the Office of Research Services by the application deadline.

    Location:

    Campus Corners, Room CC 2311

    Mailing address:

    Student Research
    Office of Research Services, Ontario Tech University
    Campus Corners
    2000 Simcoe Street North
    Oshawa, Ontario L1G 0C5

    Note: Results of the Undergraduate Research Awards competition will be communicated to all students via email in March 2020.

  • Available research projects
  • Project work term and duration

    All research projects supported by Undergraduate Research Awards (URA) will take place in the summer term between May to August 2020. Specific dates will depend on the type of award you receive and will be outlined in your letter of offer (all projects will be from 12 to 16 weeks in duration).

    Competition timeline

    January 17, 2020

    • URA application deadline.

    January/February 2020

    • Selection process.

    March 2020

    • Results are communicated to all students and successful students sign contracts.

    May 2020

    • Award holders begin full-time research work on designated project.
    • NSERC USRA recipients and their supervisors submit a separate application to NSERC directly.

    May/June 2020

    • Successful award recipients come together for the Undergraduate Research Awards Recognition Event, Summer 2020
  • Contact information

    Please read all information carefully, including the Frequently asked questions section.

    Questions about the Undergraduate Research Awards program should be sent to studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca.

  • Frequently asked questions

    The application form has a space for the potential faculty supervisor to provide an e-signature. Is this signature necessary? How do I get it?

    Students must email prospective faculty supervisors before the application deadline to discuss their interest in the research project and qualifications; supervisors may want to meet in person before endorsing a candidate. To be considered for a specific project, students must obtain the faculty supervisor’s e-signature on their application form. Applications that do not have faculty signatures will not be accepted. Faculty have the right to decline signing your application if they feel you do not have the necessary skills for their project.

    We recommend that you contact any prospective faculty supervisors well in advance of the application deadline by email to set up an appointment. You should discuss your interest in the project and qualifications during your meeting. We strongly recommend that you bring an unofficial copy of your transcript to this meeting. 

    I am currently in the fourth (or last) year of my degree; can I still apply for the Undergraduate Research Awards program?

    Yes. A fourth-year student can apply for the Undergraduate Research Awards program provided that he/she meets the following criteria: 

      • Registered in a university undergraduate program at the time of application (January 2020).
      • Has not started a graduate program. You may accept a graduate position for the Fall 2020 term; however, you may not begin your graduate studies while holding an undergraduate research award.

    I am an international student enrolled in an undergraduate program at Ontario Tech University; am I eligible for an Undergraduate Research Award?

    International students registered in a bachelor’s degree program at the Ontario Tech are eligible to receive the Ontario Tech STAR Award. The NSERC USRA is restricted to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada, according to NSERC. 

    My cumulative GPA is below 2.7; should I still apply?

    A cumulative GPA of 2.7 is required by the federal granting councils to receive an undergraduate research award. The Undergraduate Research Awards are highly competitive. Most students who have received an award in the past hold GPAs much higher than the 2.7 minimum.

    I am not an Ontario Tech University student; am I eligible to hold an award?

    Students who are not registered at our university may apply for an NSERC award, provided they are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada and meet all other eligibility criteria (e.g. GPA, etc). STAR awards are only available to Ontario Tech students.

    My transcript is being ordered from another university; what if it doesn’t make the application deadline?

    It is the responsibility of the applicant ordering transcripts from institutions outside Ontario Tech University to ensure enough time is given for their arrival by the application deadline. You should contact the transcript office at your previous institution to ask about delivery times and plan accordingly. To ensure fairness, late transcripts will not be accepted and the corresponding applications will not be considered for awards.

    Can I apply to work on a research project in a faculty other than my own?

    You may apply to work on projects outside of your faculty as long as you hold the skills and qualifications listed in the project summaries on our website. 

    What is the spacing requirement and page limit for the Statement of Interest?

    The Statement of Interest is limited within the form to just less than one page.

    Can I apply to more than one project?

    Yes. We encourage students to choose two projects they are interested in so they have a backup in case their first choice is awarded to another student. You can apply to a maximum of two projects.

    Do I need a separate application or Statement of Interest for each project I apply to?

    Students may submit only one application and one Statement of Interest. If you are applying to two research projects, you must list both projects on your application form and discuss both projects in your Statement of Interest.

    Will including a resume/CV help my application?

    Please do not include a resume/curriculum vitae (CV) with your application. If any are submitted they will be removed from your application package. This will ensure all selection committees choose successful applicants in a fair manner using the same amount of information for each applicant.

    How do I submit my application?

    Completed applications (with all e-signatures) should be saved as a PDF with the filename [LASTNAME]_2020_URA_Application.pdf and emailed as an attachment to studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca by the application deadline. Early submissions are encouraged.

    How will I know my application has been received?

    You will receive an automatic reply from the Student Research email address as soon as your email is received. If you do not receive the automatic reply, please resend your email. You will also receive a personal confirmation from an ORS team member within five business days of submitting your application confirming that we are able to open the application document and that it is complete. If you do not receive this personal confirmation within five business days of submitting your application, please contact studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca.

    If I miss the deadline to submit my application, is there a chance it will still be accepted?

    No. To ensure fairness and to allow us to start the application review procedures immediately, the deadline is firm and late applications will not be accepted after the deadline date has passed.

    My question was not answered in this list; whom can I contact?

    All other inquiries regarding the Undergraduate Research Awards program can be sent to studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca