Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)

Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)
Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)

FAQ for the USRA Program

March 26, 2020

1. Is the program cancelled?

No, the USRA program for summer 2020 will go forward, even in the event of a shortened or canceled work term.

2. What happens if the university isn’t open in May?/Will shortened work terms (<12 weeks) be possible?

In the event that a university remains closed in May, USRA work terms can begin when the university re-opens later in the summer. NSERC will honour the full value of the award, and encourages universities to do the same. The minimum university top-up of 25% will still be in effect. Work terms will not have to be 12 weeks long if the university re-opening does not allow it.

3. What happens if the university remains closed all summer?

NSERC is exploring various options such as allowing for working remotely and/or the possibility of funding.

4. Are virtual work projects a possibility?

Yes, if the student and supervisor want to pursue a remote work project, NSERC will support this.  Supervision is expected to occur via video chats, telecons, and e-mail. NSERC should be informed before the start of the project.

5. Will projects be allowed to continue part-time into the Fall?

No. NSERC will be honouring the full value of the award regardless of the length of the term. If students and supervisors wish to continue the project full time once courses have resumed this will have to be outside of the USRA program.

6.  Can USRA 2020 awards be deferred until 2021?

Universities may choose to postpone research projects until Summer 2021, but the award will have to come from the 2021 quota. It is not possible to transfer an award from one fiscal year to another.

7.  Can a USRA holder choose to postpone their award to the Fall or Winter term?

Yes, students may postpone their award from the Summer to the Fall or Winter term (provided they will meet the eligibility requirements at that time).  NSERC should be informed if the student appears on a submitted Recommended List of Applicants form.