Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) 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.


To be eligible to apply for an award, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • be registered, at the time of application, in a bachelor’s degree program at Carleton University
  • 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 obtained, over the previous years of study, a CGPA of at least (“B”, 74% or “B-”, 70%)

In addition…

  • If you already hold a bachelor’s degree and are studying towards 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 been registered in the term immediately before holding the award in a bachelor’s degree program at Carleton University
  • not have started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering
  • 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?

  • Those currently enrolled in an undergraduate professional degree program in the health sciences (e.g., MD, DDS, BScN)
  • Those who hold higher degrees in the natural sciences or engineering

NSERC Eligible Programs for Supervisors

To be eligible to supervise USRA holders, faculty members must be eligible to supervise undergraduate students in the natural sciences and engineering. Eligibility of supervision will be authorized by the Department/School (subject to the final approval by the university) based on its criteria, including a track record of quality research programs and  the quality of the proposed research project, which should be beneficial to USRA students, and the ability and commitment of providing the minimal portion of the funding set by NSERC from faculty’s research fund.

Funding Available

$4,500 from NSERC, plus a minimum of $2,235 from the supervisor (a higher minimum from Physics)

Project duration: A full 16-week period, full-time during the summer of 2020

How to Apply

  • Students apply through the Faculty where they request to hold their award (the supervisor’s Faculty, not necessarily the student’s)
  • The internal deadline for the Faculty of Science is: February 15, 2020
  • Students from other universities may also apply

Application Package

Application Form: NSERC form 202, Part I and Part II
  • Create an NSERC online portfolio
  • Create a Form 202 from the drop down menu, and follow the instructions
  • Students complete Form 202 Part I and forward the reference number provided by the system to their potential supervisor(s) – this is required to link Parts I and II
  • Students upload PDF file(s) of official transcript(s)
  • Supervisors complete Form 202 Part II

Student Deadline

Completed online applications to be submitted by: February 15, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. EDT

Please note that applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Award Decisions

Each Faculty will inform applicants of its award decisions after it has completed its selection process.