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 (temporary change for 2021-22):  $7500 total! ($6,000 plus a minimum 25% supplement ($1,500) provided by the Department)

DurationThe duration of the award is 16 consecutive weeks on a full-time basisThe USRA program has no provision for sick leave or other interruptions of awards.

Deadline to apply: March 28, 2021, 11.59pm EST

Application instructions and procedure: online at https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/students-etudiants/ug-pc/usra-brpc_eng.asp. Once your application has been submitted, please forward the PDF version of Form 202 part I, Form 202 Part II, and your transcript to awards.ischool@utoronto.ca, with email subject line: USRA Summer 2021.


How to apply


UofT APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Step 1: Student Eligibility
 Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.
 Registered 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-“, if applicable)

Step 2: Supervisor Eligibility
 NSERC considers anyone that meets eligibility to apply for, and hold, grant funds according to NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for Faculty (the supervisor need not hold an active NSERC award)
 Hold, or have a firm offer of, an academic appointment at a Canadian Institution (minimum three-year position or tenure track) as of September 1, 2021
 Be in a position that requires independent research and allows supervision of HQP

Step 3a: NSERC On-Line System – First time users need to register:
 NSERC Initial registration for new users: https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/OnlineServices-ServicesEnLigne/Index_eng.asp 

Step 3b: NSERC On-Line System- Complete Form 202 Part I (completed by students)
 NSERC PDF Forms and Instructions: https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/OnlineServices-ServicesEnLigne/Forms-Formulaires_eng.asp

  • Name of discipline: Bachelor of Information
  • Institution: Students from UofT should indicate “Toronto
  • Department: Bachelor of Information
  • For expected degree completion, please follow the YYYY/MM format.   The month should either be June (06) or November (11).
  • Please use your UofT email address.

Attach a PDF copy of your transcripts (or the university e-transcripts or the most recent academic history report from ACORN) to the application form (Part I).

  • Once Form 202–Part I has been completed, provide your prospective supervisor with the reference number generated by the system so that they may complete Part II of the form.
    • Please note that the research grant application number – which is the RGPIN number – is no longer used by NSERC.  Please enter 999999 or any six-digit number.

Step 3c: NSERC On-Line System- Complete Form 202 Part II (completed by potential supervisor)

Once your student has completed Step 3b above, and sent you their form 202-Part I and reference number generated by the NSERC system, please log into the NSERC one-line system to complete your portion of the application.

  • Please note that the research grant application number – which is the RGPIN number – is no longer used by NSERC.  Please enter 999999 or any six-digit number.
  • Please let your student know once you’ve completed/submitted Form 202- Part II.

Step 4 (completed by student): remember to click “verify” to ensure your application is complete; and click “submit” to submit your application to the University for approval.

Step 5 (completed by student): email awards.ischool@utoronto.ca with the PDF version of Form 202 part I and Form 202 part II. Otherwise, we would not be able to process your application!

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).

  1. Academic record
  2. Research aptitude
  3. 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 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-“, if applicable)

      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 have started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering at any time
  • be engaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering during the tenure of the award and not be enrolled in courses.

Supervisor Eligibility

  • NSERC considers anyone that meets eligibility to apply for, and hold, grant funds according to NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for Faculty (the supervisor need not hold an active NSERC award)
  • Hold, or have a firm offer of, an academic appointment at a Canadian Institution (minimum three-year position or tenure track) as of September 1, 2021
  • Be in a position that requires independent research and allows supervision of HQP