Skip to main content
Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Undergraduate Research Awards

Undergraduate Research Award recipients will engage in 14 or 16 weeks of full-time research activity under the supervision of an Ontario Tech professor. Students will gain research experience in an exciting academic setting while receiving financial support. If you're looking to gain hands-on research 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.

For questions, email studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca.

 

Applications for the 2024 Undergraduate Research Awards are now closed. Please stay tuned for the results as per the below Timeline tabs.

 

 Instructions for the Transcript Request Form

2024 Information for Students

  • Available Awards: Am I eligible to apply?

    To apply, students must meet the following requirements:

    • Be a registered student, as of Ontario Tech’s application deadline (January 8, 2024), 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 coursework (two full academic semesters) by the start of the research project (May 2024).
    • Have received an endorsement signature from the Project Supervisor of the project(s) listed on your application form.

    The university offers three types of awards in support of undergraduate research. Please read the information provided on each type of research award (links below for additional information including eligibility requirements).

    1. Ontario Tech University’s Student Training Assistantships in Research (STAR) Award
    2. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Awards (NSERC USRA)
    3. CIHR and SSHRC awards for self-identified Black students

    Please note: There is one application process for the Undergraduate Research Awards program. NSERC makes additional USRA awards available to eligible Indigenous and Black students. Students who self-identify as Indigenous or Black are strongly encouraged to apply. Additionally, CIHR and SSHRC have 1 award per category available to students who self-identify as Black. 

  • Deadline

     All Undergraduate Research Award applications must be submitted by January 8, 2023 at 3 p.m.

    Refer to the Award Term and Duration section of our website for more information on deadlines including award notifications.

  • Available Research Projects

    Potential Project Supervisors have been asked to indicate if their project will be in-person, remote or hybrid. This will be noted with each project description.

    Students may apply to any of the projects outside of their Faculty provided they hold the skills and qualifications identified in the project description. 

    Contact information for potential Project Supervisors can be found using Ontario Tech’s Faculty and Staff Directory. If you have any difficulties connecting with a potential Project Supervisor, please email studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca.

    Project Summaries by Faculty 

  • Award Term and Competition Timeline

    All research projects supported by Undergraduate Research Awards (URA) will take place in the summer term between May to August 2024. Specific dates will depend on the type of award you receive and will be outlined in your letter of offer (all projects will be either 14 or 16 weeks in duration).

    Competition Timeline

    2024 URA Competition Officially Opens
    • December 18, 2023 

    URA Application Deadline
    • January 8, 2024 at 3 p.m.
    Award Selection Process
    • January/February 2024 
    Results are Communicated to Applicants
    • March 2024
    • Successful applicants sign award letter of offer.
    • USRA recipients and their supervisors submit a separate application to the USRA portal directly.
    Award Holders Begin Full-Time Research Activity 
    • May 6, 2024 
    Undergraduate Research Awards Recognition Event 
    • August 14, 2024 
    • Successful award recipients come together for the Undergraduate Research Awards Recognition Event.
  • Contact Us

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

    After reading the FAQ, please send your questions about the Undergraduate Research Awards program to studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca.

  • FAQs for Students
     How do I know which projects/supervisors are eligible for NSERC USRA funding?

    NSERC has revised its funding eligibility requirements to include any project description that clearly falls within the Natural Sciences and Engineering (NSE) research domain.  Refer to NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for Students and Fellows for additional information. It is not necessary for your proposed Project Supervisor’s research project to be exclusively within the NSE.

    All research projects are eligible for a STAR Award.

    Will the 2024 Undergraduate Research Awards continue if the university closes due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Potential Project Supervisors have been asked to indicate if their project will be in-person, remote or hybrid. This will be noted with each project description for student applicants. Full-time research activity on-site at the university will need to follow all local and provincial health guidelines and university requirements.  

    The Statement of Interest requires an e-signature (endorsement signature) from the potential Faculty Project Supervisor. Is this signature necessary? How do I get it?

    To be considered for a specific project, students must obtain the Project Supervisor’s e-signature (endorsement signature) on their Statement of Interest form. The form is uploaded by the student to the URA Application Form. Statement of Interest forms that do not have an endorsement signature (for each of the research projects the student is applying to) will not be accepted and the application will be deemed incomplete.
    Project Supervisors have the right to decline to sign your application if they feel you do not have the necessary skills for their research project.
    We recommend that you contact any prospective Project Supervisor(s) well in advance of the application deadline to discuss your interest in the research project. Project Supervisors may want to meet virtually before endorsing a candidate. You should discuss your interest in the project, skills and qualifications during your virtual 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 the student meets the following eligibility criteria:

    • The student is registered in a university undergraduate program at the time of application.
    • The student does not hold higher degrees in the natural sciences or engineering (e.g., Graduate, Masters, PhD).
    • The student will not be commencing a graduate program in the natural sciences or engineering before September 2024.
    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 Ontario Tech University 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 the requirement; should I still apply?

    The minimum cumulative GPA is required to receive an Undergraduate Research Award. Please connect with us directly at studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca for tracking purposes to inform future decisions.

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

    Students who are not registered at Ontario Tech University may apply for an NSERC USRA as long as they are a Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and meet all other eligibility criteria (e.g. minimum GPA, etc.). STAR awards are only available to Ontario Tech students.
    Non-Ontario Tech students: Please complete the same application form as internal students.

    I am not an Ontario Tech University student; is my application process different?

    Non-Ontario Tech student applicants will submit through the same form as internal students. If you have any issues, please contact studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca.

    External applicants must upload a copy of their transcript with the URA Application Form.

    How do I complete the transcript request form? I am an Ontario Tech student (internal student).

    You must complete and submit the Request for Official Record of Transcript form linked in the URA Application. You do not need to submit this to the Office of the Registrar and you do not need to pay for this - simply complete the form and upload it within your URA Application.

    Instructions for completing the Form

     

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

    It is the responsibility of the applicant requesting official transcripts from institutions outside Ontario Tech University to ensure enough time is given for the transcript to arrive by the application deadline. You should contact the transcript office at your 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. Please have your Official Transcript sent to you directly. Non-Ontario Tech Applicants will upload their transcript directly into the URA Application Form.

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

    You may apply to 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 application 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 across all faculties. Be sure to rank your projects in order of preference on your application.

    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. Be sure to rank your projects in order of preference on your application.

    Will including a resume/CV help my application?

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

    How do I submit my application?

    Please click on the blue 'Apply Now' button at the top of this page to submit your application.

    How will I know my application has been received?

    Please check that you received a confirmation email to your .NET account. Email studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca if you require additional confirmation.

    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 and time has passed. For this reason, we encourage students to plan ahead. Remember to email Project Supervisors in advance of the application deadline to request their endorsement signature.

    I have received an Undergraduate Research Award - when and how will I receive my award funds?

    This information will be outlined in your official Award Letter. Award letters are distributed beginning in March on a rolling basis. 

    Are award funds taxable?

    Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulations require the university to issue T4A statements for all awards/scholarships/bursaries disbursed in a given calendar year.  An award is not subjected to any tax deductions at source (income tax, CPP or EI) and the university will issue a T4A statement reflecting the value of the award received for the calendar year. This does not eliminate your own tax responsibilities and you may wish to set aside funds to cover income tax obligations upon filing your tax return.

    My question was not answered in this list - who do I contact?

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


2024 Information for Project Supervisors

  • Available Awards

    The Undergraduate Research Award (URA) program is a university-wide student competition run by the Office of Research Services (ORS). The program allocates awards to undergraduate students contributing to summer research projects under the supervision of Ontario Tech University faculty members. These awards include:

    1. Ontario Tech University’s Student Training Assistantships in Research (STAR) Award
    2. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Awards (NSERC USRA)
    3. CIHR and SSHRC awards for self-identified Black students

    Please note: There is one application process for the Undergraduate Research Awards program. NSERC makes additional USRA awards available to eligible Indigenous and Black students. Students who self-identify as Indigenous or Black are strongly encouraged to apply. Additionally, CIHR and SSHRC have 1 award per category available to students who self-identify as Black. 

  • Supervisor Eligibility

    Ontario Tech STAR Award: Eligible supervisors include Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty and/or Teaching Faculty*.

    NSERC, CIHR & SSHRC USRA: Eligible supervisors include Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty and/or Teaching Faculty* who:

    • currently hold a tri-agency grant; or
    • have previously held a tri-agency grant; or
    • have previously applied for a tri-agency grant; or
    • are in the process of applying for a tri-agency grant.

    The tri-agency grant referenced above should be aligned with the agency for which you are submitting your USRA project.

    *Teaching Faculty must obtain written permission to supervise an undergraduate student from their Faculty Dean. Faculty Deans must send this approval by email to the Office of Research Services at studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca.

  • Competition Timeline
    Project Submission Deadline for Faculty Supervisors 
    • December 1, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.
    Program Launch to Students 
    URA Application Deadline for Students
    • January 8, 2024 at 3 p.m. 
    • Student applications are submitted to ORS where they are initially screened for eligibility. 
    Award Selection Process
    • January/February 2024
    • Student application packages are sent to each Faculty Rankings Committee Representative for review and ranking.

    Note: The Faculty Rankings Committee may ask Project Supervisors for student rankings in cases where more than one student has applied for a research project.

    ORS finalizes award administration based on Faculty rankings, student eligibility, award allocations, etc.

    Notice of Award to Students and Project Supervisors 
    • March 2024
    Completion of Award Paperwork 
    • March 2024
    • Successful applicants sign the award letter of offer.
    • USRA recipients and their supervisors submit a separate application to the USRA portal directly.
    Award Holders Begin Full-Time Research Activity 
    • May 6, 2024
    • Award holders begin research activities on designated projects.
    Undergraduate Research Awards Recognition Event 
    • August 14, 2024
    • Successful award recipients come together for the Undergraduate Research Awards Recognition Event.
  • Endorsing a Student Applicant

    Students applying to the URA program must obtain their prospective Project Supervisor(s) signature prior to the student application deadline. A signature from the prospective Project Supervisor endorses the student to engage with them if offered an award. 

    The Project Supervisor agrees to supervise any successful award recipient, provided that the student’s application bears the signed endorsement of the proposed Project Supervisor. If a Project Supervisor feels the student is not a good fit for the research project, they should not provide an endorsement signature. 

    Project Supervisors may endorse more than one student. Additionally, pending award availability, Project Supervisors may have the opportunity to support more than one student.

  • Funding Requirements
    USRA
    • 14 or 16 weeks 
    • Supervisor contribution: $3,300 minimum
    • USRA contribution: $6,000
    STAR Award
    • 14 or 16 weeks 
    • Supervisor contribution: $3,300 minimum
    • VPRI/ORS contribution: $6,000
  • Potential Impacts of COVID-19

    Potential Project Supervisors have been asked to indicate if their project will be in-person, remote or hybrid. This will be noted with each project description for student applicants. Full-time research activity on-site at the university will need to follow all local and provincial health guidelines and university requirements.

  • FAQs for Project Supervisors
    What is an Undergraduate Research Award?

    The Undergraduate Research Award (URA) program is a university-wide student competition managed by the Office of Research Services (ORS). Under this program, undergraduate students contribute to summer research projects under the supervision of Ontario Tech University Faculty members.

    The program offers three types of Undergraduate Research Awards:

    1. Ontario Tech University’s Student Training Assistantships in Research (STAR) Award
    2. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Awards (NSERC USRA)
    3. CIHR and SSHRC awards for self-identified Black students
    Am I eligible to supervise an undergraduate student through the Undergraduate Research Award program?

    You are eligible to supervise an undergraduate award student if you meet the following criteria:

    Ontario Tech STAR Award: Eligible supervisors include Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty and/or Teaching Faculty*.

    NSERC, CIHR & SSHRC USRA: Eligible supervisors include Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty and/or Teaching Faculty* who:

    • currently hold a tri-agency grant; or
    • have previously held a tri-agency grant; or
    • have previously applied for a tri-agency grant; or
    • are in the process of applying for a tri-agency grant.

    The tri-agency grant referenced above should be aligned with the agency for which you are submitting your USRA project.

    *Teaching Faculty must obtain written permission to supervise an undergraduate student from their Faculty Dean. Faculty Deans must send this approval by email to the Office of Research Services at studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca outlining:

    1. The name of the faculty member (Project Supervisor).
    2. The title of the research project.

    ORS will confirm receipt of this email to both the Dean and potential Project Supervisor.

    What NSERC USRA research projects are eligible for NSERC funding?

    NSERC has revised its funding eligibility requirements to include any project description that clearly falls within the Natural Sciences and Engineering (NSE) research domain. Refer to NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for Students and Fellows for additional information. It is not necessary for your proposed research project to be exclusively within the NSE.

    NOTE: NSERC no longer requires professors to hold an active NSERC grant when applying to supervise a USRA student.

    All research projects are eligible for a STAR Award. 

    Are undergraduate students from another institution eligible to hold an Undergraduate Research Award at Ontario Tech?

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

    All student applications must bear the endorsement signature of the Project Supervisor. This confirms their willingness to supervise the student should the student receive an award.

    Can students apply to a research project outside of their home faculty?

    Yes, in the spirit of Ontario Tech’s interdisciplinary research environment, students can apply to any two projects they are interested in, regardless of their home Faculty, as long as they hold the skills and qualifications listed in the project description. 

    When do the Undergraduate Research Award research projects begin? 

    All awards are valued at a minimum of $9,300 and will run for either 14 or 16 weeks. A member of the ORS team will confirm award term/top-up amounts with Project Supervisors prior to issuing the Notice of Award.

    • 14 Week Award type (May 6 to August 9, 2024) 
    • 16 Week Award type (May 6 to August 23, 2024)
  • Resources and Training Material
  • Contacts

    Please contact studentresearch@ontariotechu.ca if you have any questions related to the URA program.

    Note: Faculty representatives as of January 2024