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Queen's University

Summer 2015 Undergraduate NSERC Awards

Objective: To stimulate student’s interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering, and to encourage students to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields.

Each award is worth $4500.00 ($1125.00/month for a maximum of 4 months), plus a total supplement of $1660.00 in order to meet the Ontario minimum wage requirement of $11.00/hr. to be paid by the supervisor.       

Duration and Terms:

  • Students must work 16 consecutive weeks (35 hours per week)

  • Student are not permitted to do thesis researchwhile holding an award;
  • Students are not permitted to take courses during working hours throughout the term of their award. 


Complete the Department of Biology Internal Application Form.   Departmental Guidelines for nominations are available here . You are welcome to discuss possible opportunities for supervision of summer research projects with Biology faculty members ahead of time and you should be aware that faculty members are under no obligation to make any promises to students until students have been nominated (nominations will be sent out on or about Feb 11th).    Do not fill out the official NSERC application form until you are asked to complete it (you will only be asked if your application is successful - decisions will be made on or about Feb. 11th). You will find a listing of biology faculty and their research interests at:

Deadline:    Completed internal application forms (Part I) must be returned to Julie French, Rm. 3109D, Undergraduate Office, Biosciences Complex, no later than 3:00 p.m. Feb. 3rd , 2015( no exceptions ).    Students who are nominated for an award will be notified by e-mail on or about Feb 11th.   At this time successful candidates will then secure a supervisor and complete Part II of the internal application form and the official NSERC application form.  

Supervisor Eligibility:   
The holder of a USRA must normally be supervised by a biology faculty member who holds an NSERC grant, either at the time of application or when the student holds the award.  

  • Eligibility for Applications
    - Must b e a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada ;
    - Must be registered in a honours degree program in BIOL at the time of application and must be in at least year 2 of study;
  • - Must have obtained at least a “B” (or B-) (65-79%) average in their previous years of study.

If you are registered in health sciences (M.D., D.D.S., and B.Sc.N.) or have a higher degree in the natural sciences or engineering you are NOT eligible.   Graduating BIOL students are eligible providing they have not started a program of graduate studies.     

To Hold an Award :

  • you must have been registered full-time/part-time in the term immediately before holding the award (Queen's and NSERC expects that most awards will be held by full-time students);
  • you must have not started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering;

  • be e ngaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering during the tenure of the award;

  • holders of USRA’s are not permitted to take courses during working hours throughout the term of their award;

  • are expected to work 16 consecutive weeks – on a full time basis;

  • h olders are not permitted to do thesis research during the term of the award.

Note:   If you have been registered as a full-time student throughout your program but are now only registered as part-time in order to finish off the requirements of the degree you are still eligible to apply.   The award will be held immediately after your final session/year.    Students may hold one USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).   Students may hold a maximum of three USRAs throughout their university career.  

Industrial USRA: Students applying to industry should do so directly rather than through the Biology Undergraduate Office.   These application forms can be accessed through the NSERC web site ( ).

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000