Undergraduate Research Awards with CPS

For CPS application procedures and instructions, please click here.


1. NSERC Undergraduate Students 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.

Summer 2024 Award Value: $6,000, plus a minimum of $1,500, paid in 4 installments over the summer term (May to August).

DurationThe duration of the award is 14-16 consecutive weeks on a full-time basis during the summer term (May to August). The USRA program has no provision for sick leave or other interruptions of awards.

Selection process: At UofT the selection is undertaken at the departmental level (against their quota) using NSERC assessment criteria. In 2020 a third criterion was added (c, below).

a. Academic record

b. Research aptitude

c. Expected quality of the training to be received (suitability of the supervisor)

As with all internal research competitions, it is expected that principles of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) will be incorporated into the selection process.

Student Eligibility

  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.
  • Registered in a bachelor’s degree program either full-time or part-time at the time of USRA application.
  • Must have obtained, over the previous years of study, a cumulative average of at least second class (a grade of "B" or "B-").
  • Cannot be currently registered or have been previously registered, at any time, in a graduate program in the same field of study.
  • You cannot have completed all your degree requirements.

      In addition...

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

To hold an award, you must

  • have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) of your bachelor's degree.
  • have been registered at the time of application and in at least one of the two terms immediately before holding the award in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible institution.
  • not be registered in a graduate program.
  • be employed full time in eligible research and development activities in your proposed field of research during tenure of the award.

The CPS departmental deadline to receive completed application packages for the Summer 2024 NSERC USRA with CPS is: Wednesday, January 31st, 2024 by 5:00pm. Note: students that apply for NSERC USRA will be automatically be considered for the UTEA (see below).

Additional information can be found on NSERC website.

2. University of Toronto Excellence Award (UTEA) 

In addition to the quota for the NSERC USRA fellowships for the Department, there may be one university-funded additional fellowship (equally prestigious) added to the pool. Typically in the past, international students have also been considered for the UTEA.

Summer 2024 Award Value: $5,250, plus a minimum of $2,250, paid in 4-5 installments from May to September.

Students applying for the NSERC USRA are automatically considered for the UTEA. International students looking to apply for the UTEA should follow the same application procedures, instructions, and deadline listed above for the NSERC USRA. 

Additional information can be found on OVPR’s UTEA webpage.

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

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

Virginijus Barzda, Physics
Andrew Beharry, Chemistry
Marta Bryan, Astronomy
Ulrich W Fekl, Chemistry
Claudiu Gradinaru, Physics
Patrick Gunning, Chemistry
Jochen Halfar, Earth Science
Voula Kanelis, Chemistry
Maciej D. Korzynski, Chemistry
Marc Laflamme, Earth Science
Semechah Lui, Earth Science
David McMillen, Chemistry
Joshua N. Milstein, Physics
Kent Moore, Physics
Alana Ogata, Chemistry
R. Scott Prosser, Chemistry
Sarah Rauscher, Physics
Lindsay Schoenbohm, Earth Science
Jumi A. Shin, Chemistry