NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards

Physiology's quota this year is awards.

Supervisor Eligibility: supervisors no longer need to hold an active NSERC grant to supervise a USRA student.


  • Applicants must have completed a minimum of two terms at the time of application and by the start of the work term in May.

  • Applicants who self-identify as Black (similar to those who identify as Indigenous) are funded by NSERC above and beyond its allocation for USRA.

  • As these awards are competitive, departments are strongly urged to nominate only the most deserving students who can commit to the completion of the full 16-week work term.

  • Students must upload a PDF copy of either the academic history report/e-transcript/official paper transcript on NSERC’s online system when completing their application. (To ensure the authenticity of the transcript, we recommend that the Undergraduate Coordinator verify the transcript and make a PDF copy of the transcript for the eligible students to upload to the NSERC application), the e-transcript or academic history report that students can generate directly from ACORN are acceptable forms of a transcript.

  • Academic supervisors should supervise students at the department where they hold their primary appointment and/or where their grants are held. Quotas are not transferrable between departments. Supervisors with cross-appointments can supervise students at those departments with the Chair’s approval.

  • Start dates should not begin on a weekend/holiday and not before May 2nd, dates on all forms and nomination table should match.

Student Eligibility:

  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

  • Registered either full-time or part-time at the time USRA application. Graduating students in the term immediately following the completion of their undergraduate program requirements, as long as they have not started a program of graduate studies.

  • 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). First-year students are excluded from the competition.

Supervisor Eligiblity:

  • NSERC considers eligible supervisors to be those who meet NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for Faculty, and be able to independently supervise students as per their appointment with their university.

  • Supervision of two NSERC grantees at the same time is allowed as long as they are engaged on a “genuine” research project. However, NSERC does not permit students to move between laboratories on different projects over the 16-week period since the Agency believes that this  would dilute the value of the USRA experience.
  • The supervisor must ensure proper supervision of the USRA Awardeed at all times, especially during fieldwork. One NSERC grantee has to be designated as the student’s official supervisor.
  • Postdoctoral fellows, graduate or Ph.D. students are NOT eligible supervisors.
  • Quotas are not transferrable between departments. Therefore, researchers should supervise students at the department where they hold their primary appointment and/or where their grants are held


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

1. 2023 USRA Application Checklist.docx
2023 USRA FAQs__0.docx
2023 USRA Program Guidelines (Summer)__0.docx

NSERC USRA 2023 -Internal Application and guidelines_1.pdf