Undergraduate Student Research Awards Program (USRA)

The National Science and Engineering Research Council's (NSERC's) Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRAs) are meant to stimulate your interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering. They are also meant to encourage you to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields. If you would like to gain research work experience that complements your studies in an academic setting, these competitive awards can provide you with financial support.


Application DEADLINE for Summer 2018: FEBRUARY 15, 2018 (see details below)
Duration: A full 16-week period, full-time
Value: $4,500 from NSERC, plus a minimum of $1,960 (plus 14% benefits) from the supervisor
Travel Allowances: a travel allowance may also be granted if you take up the award at a university other than the one at which you are currently registered. 

The application deadline for Summer 2018 is February 15, 2018

By February 15, 2018, you must:

1. Submit a hard copy your application to the Dean's office (3230 Herzberg) - (Office hours are between 8:30 a.m. 12 noon, and between 1 and 4 p.m.)​​**
2. Submit an application online on the NSERC web site 

**NOTE: The hard copy of the application must include:

1. Cover page (including full name, program and CGPA)
2. Part I
3. Part II
4. Official transcript(s)

NSERC USRA contact information

Sara Landry,
Office of the Dean of Science,
3230 Herzberg,
Tel: (613) 520-4388
Email: sara [dot] landryatcarleton [dot] ca

Award Decisions

Applicants will be informed of award decisions after the selection process has been completed.

Payment of awards

Successful candidates will receive payment from the University in accordance with its pay procedures. The University will also issue a T4 or T4A slip (Statement of Income) at the end of the calendar year. NSERC will pay its contribution directly to the University.

Student Eligibility

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; and

  • have obtained, over the previous years of study, a CGPA of A minus or 10

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), and a maximum of three USRAs throughout your 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 in the term immediately before holding the award in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible university;

  • not have started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering; and

  • 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.

More information available at the links below:

Which faculty are eligible to supervise USRA holders?

Holders of the following types of grants are eligible to supervise USRA holders for the 2017 competition.

  • NSERC Research Grants Programs 

    • Climate Change and Atmospheric Research

    • Discovery Grants (Individual, Group and Subatomic Physics (SAP) Project, Northern Research Supplements, Frontiers, Accelerator Supplements, Ship Time) 

    • G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research Funding and Belmont Forum

    • CREATE (Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program)

    • Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering

    • NSERC John C. Polanyi Award

    • NSERC/NRCan/AECL Generation IV Energy Technologies Grants

  • Partnerships Programs

    • Automotive Partnership Canada (APC)

    • Strategic Network Grants (SNG)

    • Strategic Project Grants (SPG)

    • Chairs in Design Engineering (CDE)

    • Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grants

    • Engage Grants (EG)

    • Industrial Research Chairs (IRC)

    • Innovation Frontiers (IF)

    • Interaction Grants (IG)

    • Partnership Workshops Grants (PWG)

    • Idea to Innovation (I2I) Grants

  • Chairs and Faculty Support Programs

    • Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE)

    • Northern Research Chairs Program (NRCP)

  • Canada Research Chairs

  • Canada Excellence Research Chairs

Faculty Faculty who are eligible to have a USRA holder:

Please note that this is not a complete list.

Institute of Biochemistry 

  • Kyle Biggar

  • Jenny Bruin

  • Kenneth Storey

  • William Willmore

Department of Biology

  • Susan Bertram

  • Jenny Bruin

  • Mchel Dumontier

  • Lenore Fahrig

  • Mark Forbes

  • Jean-Guy Godin

  • Ashkan Golshani

  • Root Gorelick

  • Shelley Hepworth

  • Heath MacMillan

  • Bruce McKay

  • Owen Rowland

  • Thomas Sherratt

  • Andrew Simons

  • Jeffrey Skevington

  • Myron Smith

  • Alex Wong

  • Jayne Yack

Department of Chemistry 

  • Tyler Avis

  • Sean Barry

  • Maria Derosa

  • Farah Hosseinian

  • Anatoli Ianoul

  • Edward Lai

  • Robert Letcher

  • Jeffrey Smith

  • Apollinaire Tsopmo

  • Zhi Yuan (Wayne) Wang

  • Tao (Toby) Zeng

  • Shan Zou

School of Computer Science 

  • Michel Barbeau

  • Olga Baysal

  • Leopoldo Bertossi

  • Robert Biddle

  • Prosenjit Bose

  • Sonia Chiasson

  • Frank Dehne

  • Yuhong Guo

  • Evangelos Kranakis

  • Mengchi Liu

  • Anil Maheshwari

  • Patrick Morin

  • David Mould

  • John Oommen

  • Jorg-Rudiger Sack

  • Nicola Santoro

  • Michiel Smid

  • Anil Somayaji

  • Oliver van Kaick

  • Paul Van Oorschot

  • Anthony White

Department of Earth Sciences 

  • Richard Amos

  • Sharon Carr

  • Brian Cousens

  • George Dix

  • Richard Ernst

  • Fred Gaidies

  • Hillary Maddin

  • Dariush Motazedian

  • Timothy Patterson

  • Robert Rainbird

  • Claire Samson

  • Claudia Schroder-Adams

Institute of Environmental Science 

  • Joe Bennett

  • Steven Cooke 

Institute of Integrated Science

  • Susan Aitken

Scnool of Mathematics and Statistics

  • Ayse Alaca

  • Saban Alaca

  • David Amundsen

  • Yuly Billig

  • Aiden Bruen

  • Inna Bumagin

  • Miklos Csorgo

  • Donald Dawson

  • Frank Dehne

  • Zhicheng Gao

  • Minyi Huang

  • Emmanuel Lorin

  • Abbas Momeni

  • Matthia Neufang

  • Daniel Panario

  • Jonnagadda N Rao

  • Gennady Shaikhet

  • Sanjoy Sinha

  • Natalia Stepanova

  • Brett Stevens

  • Brajendra Sutradhar

  • Qiang (Steven) Wang

  • Yiqiang Zhao

Department of Neuroscience

  • Alfonzo Abizaid

  • Hymie Anisman

  • Marie-Claude Audet

  • Shawn Hayley

  • Michael Hildebrand

  • Matthew Holahan

  • Natalina Salmaso

  • Patrice Smith

Department of Physics 

  • Alain Bellerive

  • Mark Boulay

  • Dag Gillberg

  • Stephen Godfrey

  • Razvan Gornea

  • Thomas Gregoire

  • Paul C. Johns

  • Heather Logan

  • Sangeeta Murugkar

  • David Rogers

  • Daniel Stolarski

  • Rowan Thomson

  • Tong Xu