Faculty of Science Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRAs)

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2020 USRAs

Each summer, students have the opportunity to work alongside professors in their research labs. These awards are intended to stimulate the interest of undergraduate students by providing them with a valuable experiential learning opportunity in a scientific research environment. Students holding one of these awards will participate in research activities during their work period.

Eligibility

Visa students are not eligible for NSERC awards. You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada as of the deadline date for NSERC applications at the university.

  • NSERC applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • NSERC Indigenous applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Supervisors for NSERC awards must be NSERC holders.
  • Students from other universities are only eligible for the NSERC awards.
  • Students who have been registered as full time students, except in their final term prior to graduation, are eligible to apply for an award.
  • Students may apply to graduate studies but must not have started their graduate program.
  • Student must be registered, as of the deadline date for applications at the university, in a bachelor’s degree program at an eligible university. Student must be registered, as of the deadline date for applications at the university, in a bachelor’s degree program at an eligible university.
  • Student has completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) of your bachelor’s degree.
  • Student has been registered in at least one of the two terms immediately before holding the award in a bachelor’s degree program at an eligible university.
  • Student must Not have started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering at any time.
  • Student 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.
  • Student may hold only one university USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
  • Co-op or other students who complete their degree requirements in December rather than April are eligible to hold a Faculty of Science award in the summer following their final term.
  • Students already in possession of a Bachelor’s degree who are studying towards a second Bachelor’s degree are eligible to hold NSERC or a Faculty of Science award, provided they do not hold a higher degree in the natural sciences.
  • Students may undertake their research project through any department in the Faculty of Science.
  • Students may hold a maximum of three (NSERC and/or Faculty of Science) USRA awards throughout their university career.
  • Supervisors for Faculty of Science, H.D. Gesser or Jack Prior, Phil Hultin Pedagogy awards must hold an appointment in the Faculty of Science.
  • Students must be enrolled in 24 credit hours for the H.D. Gesser or Jack Prior award.
  • NSERC website: https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/students-etudiants/ug-pc/usra-brpc_eng.asp

Value of Awards

NSERC and NSERC Indigenous

Minimum Value of $8,000. NSERC provides $4,500 and the remainder (at least $3,500*) will be provided by the Faculty of Science Dean’s office, the Department and the supervisor.

$8000.00 ($1500 [FoS] + $1500 [researcher] + $4500 [NSERC] + $500 [department])

Researchers can increase their contribution beyond the minimum, especially when supporting senior, experienced trainees.

*The supervisor’s portion can be from an NSERC grant or any of their other research grants.  However the supervisor of a student holding an NSERC award must hold an active NSERC research grant.

Faculty of Science

Minimum Value of $6,750. The Faculty of Science Dean’s office provides $4,500 and the remainder (at least $2,250*) will be provided by the Department and the supervisor.

$6750.00 ($4500 [FoS] + $1750 [researcher] + $500 [department])

The Jack Prior Memorial Undergraduate Summer Research Prize

Minimum value of $6,750. The donor funds $5000.00 and the remainder (at least $1,750*) will be provided by the supervisor.

H.D. Gesser Undergraduate Summer Research Prize in Chemistry

Minimum value of $ $6,750. The donor funds $4,500 and the remainder (at least $ $2,250*) will be provided by the supervisor.

Philip Hultin Pedagogy Award

Minimum value of $6,750. The Faculty of Science Dean’s office provides$4,500 and the remainder (at least $ $2,250*) will be provided by the supervisor.

This fund will be used to support one or more Faculty of Science students to assist Faculty members in developing any aspect of science pedagogy and curriculum development including but not limited to: the development of new laboratory and lecture content; the development of teaching media including digital media and textbooks; the development of student performance evaluation tools; the development of self-learning and self-testing tools for students; the development of web sites and tools for student communication; and the development of tools such as software that advances student learning in the Faculty of Science. The funds are meant to encourage curriculum development and assist Faculty members but also should help enhance student interest in science education and develop their skills in this endeavor.

Duration of Support

The duration of the NSERC, NSERC Indigenous, Faculty of Science, H.D. Gesser, Jack Prior and Phil Hultin awards is 16 consecutive weeks.  If a supervisor wishes to extend this period, the difference will have to be provided from the supervisor’s grant(s).

Location of Tenure

Students may undertake their research project through any department in the Faculty of Science.

Selection of Students

Ranking will be based on Cumulative GPA for NSERC. Faculty of Science USRA, H.D. Gesser will be ranked by department. Jack Prior award is selected by the Prior family based on the student’s community involvement and/or leadership but students must also hold a minimum GPA of 3.5. Phil Hultin award is selected by the selection committee.

Note: Award Recipients will be expected to participate in the Faculty of Science lunch hour professional workshops and poster competition