NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards

Awards Details

Value: $6,000 for 16 weeks + department top up

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Student Research Awards are intended to stimulate 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.

The majority of students hold their NSERC awards in the summer term (May to August), but these awards are also tenable for September to December or January to April terms. Students applying for the fall or winter terms should state that on their application. There is only one application deadline each year for the upcoming summer, fall or winter terms.  

Application Open: Applications are available online at the NSERC website in January

Closing Deadline (Student): consult your nominating department for their internal deadline

Closing Deadline (Faculty/Department): recommended applicants are to be forwarded to the Undergraduate Research Initiative by the deadline provided in the NSERC communication.


In order to be eligible as a student, you must:

  • Be enrolled in a bachelor degree program at the time of application, and have completed at least one year before holding the NSERC USRA (exception: no professional medical programs, including Nursing)
  • have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7
  • be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada
  • Have been enrolled full time in at least one of two terms prior to holding the NSERC USRA
  • Not be enrolled in classes while holding the NSERC USRA
  • Have/find your own supervisor Have/find your own research project
  • Note: a student can only hold 1 NSERC USRA in a fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) and can only hold 3 NSERC USRAs over their undergrad career.

View the NSERC Program Guide for USRA Program webpage for more detailed information.

How to Apply

The application consists of two parts: your application as a student, and that of your supervisor. As part of the online application, you will be required to upload current, official transcripts of all your post-secondary studies.

The application process is as follows:

  1. The student fills out Part 1 of Form 202 on the NSERC website.
  2. The supervisor fills out Part 2 of Form 202.
  3. The supervisor submits the application into the NSERC system.
  4. The supervisor provides the faculty/department with a hard copy of the application for internal review by the deadline set by the specific faculty/department. (Please contact your faculty or department for further details).
  5. Those students who are forwarded as recommended applicants (within the quota allowed to each department) will be contacted and offered the NSERC.

Applications must be completed electronically via the NSERC On-line System Login. View the NSERC USRA Application Information for details on procedures and required information to complete the application. If you experience any difficulties logging in, please contact NSERC at 1-613-947-0428.


Applicants will be notified within a month of the research start date. Please email usra@ualberta.ca if you have questions regarding the application process.