Department of Psychology

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NSERC USRA Information

The NSERC USRA Program provides undergraduate students the opportunity to work in a research lab during the summer.  Details of the program can be found at:

The Department of Psychology will be accepting 5 students in the 2018 Summer NSERC USRA Program, with awards to Aboriginal students in addition to this quota.

The following Faculty members in Psychology are accepting applications for Summer NSERC USRA students: Please follow up with them directly via email with your unofficial transcript (includes ALL courses, in PDF format) to apply.

Faculty Member:



Monica Castelhano           

Meredith Chivers  

Randy Flanagan            

Jason Gallivan                                        

Tom Hollenstein                    

Valerie Kuhlmeier              

Jordan Poppenk                   

Niko Troje              



After securing support for supervision from one of the above Faculty members, please send an email to myself, Katherine Rudder, at In your e-mail, please attach your unofficial transcript (PDF), and indicate the Faculty member that you intend to work with, if approved for an award. I will then confirm support directly from the supervisor. The deadline to send this email is  Tuesday, February 20th, at noon.

A Summer NSERC USRA sub-committee will then meet to rank the applicants. We will give out 5 offers, and determine 2 “alternates,” should an award be declined, or if our Department is offered an additional award. Applicants will be contacted the week of February 26th, to receive an offer, or to be notified if they are not successful in the competition. Therefore, ALL applicants will be contacted.

If an applicant is successful, the student must order an OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT from the Registrar’s office, and complete Form 202 Part 1 online through the NSERC portal. Further information (and link) will be sent to the student upon acceptance. The FINAL online submission deadline for Awards offered is Tuesday, March 6th, 2018.

NOTE: The Summer NSERC USRA is a competitive award. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above, to apply.

NSERC requires that all students holding USRAs receive a minimum supplement from the supervisor and/or department of at least 25% of the value of the award, however this minimum top up requirement does not adhere to the provincial minimum wage.  USRA award recipients are expected to work full time (35 hours per week) for 16 consecutive weeks.  Effective January 1, 2018, the Ontario minimum wage will increase from $11.60 per hour to $14.00 per hour.  Therefore in order to meet the provincial minimum wage requirement, the student must be paid $14.00 per hour x 35 hours x 16 weeks, for a total of $7,840.00.  Therefore, the department is responsible for covering $3,334.00 ($7,840.00 less the NSERC portion of $4,500.00), plus all required fringe benefits. Please note that vacation pay is included in the calculation of $7,840.00. Research Accounting, Financial Services

Students have to hold the awards for 16 consecutive weeks, full-time, usually this is May 1 to August 31.  The USRA program makes no provision for sick leave or other interruptions of awardsShould a work term be interrupted or terminated early for any reason, URS must inform NSERC immediately.  Awards may not be deferred.

General NSERC USRA Information
Familiarize yourself with the following NSERC’s websites:


Students may hold a maximum of 3 USRA’s over the course of their undergraduate career and they may not hold 2 USRA’s at the same time.

Students are not permitted to take courses during working hours throughout the term of their award unless special arrangements to make-up the time have been made with the supervisor.  In particular, they are not permitted to do thesis research during the term of the award.

There is no requirement that students applying for USRA’s must be enrolled full-time in their program to be eligible to apply, however, NSERC and Queen’s expects that most awards will be held by full-time students.

Please follow up with Katherine Rudder at if you have any questions concerning the application process.