2019-2020 NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA)

Program Guidelines and Application Procedures for NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) 

Purpose: To provide research work experience that complements the degree program which will encourage students to consider graduate studies and pursue careers in the natural sciences and engineering.

Award Value: $4,500 plus a minimum 25% supplement ($1,125) provided by the department

  • Any Supplement above this level may be set at the department’s or supervisor’s discretion. Departments may provide fringe benefits
  • Sources of supplements: NSERC grants, other research funds (non-NSERC) and university sources.
  • Travel allowances may be granted by NSERC if the award is taken up at a university other than the one the student is currently registered. These are taxable contributions.
  • The supervisor or department must cover any additional costs related to the fieldwork (e.g. travel expenses).
  • NSERC will not reimburse the University for any period in which the student worked part-time. In addition, it will not approve any payment for any vacation days taken during the tenure of the award.

Duration: 16 full consecutive weeks (similar to co-op work terms)

  • For USRA work terms shorter than 16 weeks: NSERC’s approval is required prior to the beginning of the work term.   Departments must submit any short work term requests along with a justification to Research Services as soon as possible.
  • No provision for sick leave, vacation or other interruptions of awards. Should a work term be terminated early, NSERC must be informed. Contact the Office of Research Services immediately.
  • Awards may not be deferred.

Tenure at Another Location: Quotas are not transferable from one university to another. Students may apply at any eligible university. The supervisor must be a faculty member at the university where the student holds the USRA.

USRA Workterm at UofT: The University of Toronto administers this program in the summer term only, between May 1st and September 30th of each year, and must fall on a weekday.

Departmental Quota’s and Deadlines: Contact the department Undergraduate Office where you wish to apply and inquire about supervisor and quota availability. The quota for 2019-2020 is 6.

Click here for application procedure and instructions.

Departmental deadline to receive completed application package is : Monday, February 4th, 2019, 5:00pm. 


Additional information can be found on NSERC web site


Summer 2019 NSERC - USRA Eligible Faculty Supervisors in the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences at University of Toronto Mississauga are:

(click on the name to link to their research web)

Virginijus Barzda, Physics
Andrew Beharry, Chemistry
Ulrich W Fekl, Chemistry
Claudiu Gradinaru, Physics
Patrick Gunning, Chemistry
Jochen Halfar, Earth Science
Voula Kanelis, Chemistry
Ulrich J. Krull, Chemistry
Marc Laflamme, Earth Science
John Lester, Astronomy
Semechah Lui, Earth Science
Joshua N. Milstein, Physics
Kent Moore, Physics
R. Scott Prosser, Chemistry
Sarah Rauscher, Physics
Lindsay Schoenbohm, Earth Science
Jumi A. Shin, Chemistry