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NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA)

 What is an NSERC USRA?

  • The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) will provide undergraduate students the opportunity to work on a research project in the natural sciences or engineering with a supervising Faculty member.
  • The award is intended to stimulate student interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering, and encourage students to continue on with graduate studies and careers in these fields.
  • Funds for these awards are provided by NSERC with additional support from supervising Faculty members through their own NSERC grants.
  • Successful students will receive a minimum of $9,300 over a period of 14 or 16 weeks (May to August) for full-time work on a research project. 


To apply, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada as of the application deadline date 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 a B- (70 per cent or 2.7 grade points).

*Students enrolled in universities other than Ontario Tech University may apply for an NSERC USRA, provided they meet all of the eligibility criteria (e.g. GPA, etc.). They must apply through our university's application process and must provide original transcripts from their home institution. 

In addition,

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

To hold an award, you must:

  • Have completed one full year of university coursework (or two academic terms) of your Bachelor's degree.
  • Have been registered in a Bachelor’s degree program at an eligible university in at least one of the two terms immediately before (Fall 2023 and/or Winter 2024 semesters) the award term.
  • Have not started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering during the term of the award (May to August 2024).

You are not eligible to apply if: 

  • You are an international student.
  • You are currently enrolled in an undergraduate professional degree program in the health sciences (e.g., MD, DDS, BScN).
  • You hold higher degrees in the natural sciences or engineering (e.g., Graduate, Masters, PhD).
  • You will be commencing a graduate program in the natural sciences or engineering before September 2024.

Selection Criteria

Successful applicants will be chosen based on the following criteria as demonstrated in their applications: 

  • High academic standing based on grades from their previous year of study.
  • Level of experience and training relevant to the specific research project position they have applied to work on.

 For more information, please visit the NSERC website.