National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Thursday, January 28, 2010 | By

National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)



If you are an undergraduate student who’d like to get research experience in an academic setting, you should consider applying for an Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA). Through these awards, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) subsidizes eligible professors to hire students to work on their research projects. The program creates interesting research-related jobs and gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.

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

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • 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 B- (68%) average or above.
  • At the time of your award, have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) of your bachelor’s degree.
  • Not have started a graduate studies program in the natural sciences or engineering.

In addition:

  • If you already hold a bachelor’s degree and are studying toward a second bachelor’s degree, you may still apply to this program.
  • You may hold only one USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
  • You may hold a maximum of three USRAs throughout your university career.
  • If you are a graduating student, you may hold an award in the term immediately following the completion of all requirements of your undergraduate program, regardless of your graduation date.
  • Once you start working, you must be engaged, on a full-time basis, in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering during the tenure of the award.

Who is not eligible?

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.

Before submitting your formal USRA application, we recommend that you write a brief letter to the faculty member with whom you might like to work, explaining which aspects of their research interest you and what you believe you have to offer their projects. (This is excellent practice for future job searches!) If people with whom you are especially interested in working do not have any jobs posted, feel free to contact them (Email is usually best) to find out if they do have possible summer research projects.

Applications must be received no later than February 12, 2010. The official form (NSERC Form 202 Part I) is available on the forms page of the NSERC website, Besides this form, your application must also include:

  • official transcripts
  • curriculum vitae (CV)
  • the completed Questionnaire
  • ·a personal statement indicating your research interests and the names of three UBC faculty you would be most interested in working with during the summer (please indicate clearly your first, second, and third choice).
  • at least one letter of reference from a faculty member of your home institution or supervisor in a previous job (or volunteer activity). This letter may be sent directly to us by Email, mail or fax, or in a sealed envelope accompanying the application.

How do you apply?

  • Once you have found an eligible professor, you have to complete Parts I and II ofForm 202Application for an Undergraduate Student Research Award, and submit them to your faculty/department coordinator.
  • Students and supervisors can complete an online application on the NSERC website by clicking “System Login” or, if you are a first-time user, “Register.”
  • Instructions on how to complete the form can also be found on the NSERC website.
  • Filling out the forms online will not transmit them electronically to NSERC. Once completed, the forms (part I and part II) must be printed out, signed, and submitted to your department/faculty coordinator.
  • You must also submit a copy of your official transcripts with your Application for an Undergraduate Student Research Award.
  • Your department/faculty coordinator will be in touch with your proposed project supervisor about the outcome of your application.

Please note: NSERC will not accept handwritten forms.

Please forward your completed packages to:

Department of Civil Engineering
2002 – 6250 Applied Science Lane
Vancouver, BC – V6T 1Z4

Tel: (604) 822-2637

For more more information, please click on the link: National Sciences and Engineering Research Council 2009 – 2010 Competition (NSERC) - broken link


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