NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA)


Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) are meant to nurture your interest and fully develop your potential for a research career in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE). They are also meant to encourage you to undertake graduate studies in these fields by providing research work experience that complements your studies in an academic setting. NSERC encourages qualified Indigenous students to apply for this award. See the Indigenous applicants  section of the NSERC USRA website.

Incorporating diversity considerations, including but not limited to sex (biological), gender (socio-cultural), race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, geographic location, among other factors in your research design can make it more ethically sound, rigorous and useful.

NSERC is acting on the evidence that achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to advance knowledge and understanding, and to respond to local, national and global challenges. This principle informs the commitments described in the Tri-agency statement on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) . For more information consult the document: Equity, diversity and inclusion considerations at each stage of the research process .

Adjudication of these awards occur within individual departments. Departments are provided with an allocation of USRA scholarships and selected applications are submitted to NSERC by Research Services. 

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

  • be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or a Protected Person under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada), as of the deadline date for applications at the institution
  • be registered, as of the deadline date for applications at the institution, in a bachelor’s degree program at an eligible institution;
  • have obtained, over the previous years of study, a second class cumulative average (normally a B-; check with your institution).

USRA award recipients are expected to work full time (35 hours per week) for 16 consecutive weeks (May 1-August 31).

Should local public health recommendations allow, the preference is for USRAs to be held in person, but remote supervision will be allowed without additional justification to NSERC. Should the project allow, students who prefer to work remotely should not be penalized.


Internal departmental deadlines are set by each department then forwarded to Research Services by Monday, March 7, 2022

Undergraduate Student Research Awards Website

View NSERC USRA Website



Research Services USRA FAQs

View Research Services USRA FAQs


Please contact your home department and/or the department of the faculty member you wish to work with for information regarding the process and internal application dates.

Traci Allen
Research Program Coordinator
​Research Services

Email:  allent@queensu.ca