Undergraduate Research Awards

Research awards allow undergraduate students to spend the summer working on a project with one of our research groups. These awards are given for 16 consecutive weeks (4 months), and students usually start work at the beginning of May. Students gain valuable experience in a research setting, and interact with professors, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and other undergraduate students in the department.

Natural Science and Engineering Research Council: Undergraduate Student Research Awards (NSERC USRA)

  • Ensure that you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
  • Complete the application as detailed on this webpage.
  • Submit your application electronically by Friday, January 24, 2020.

Research Projects

Before submitting your formal application (see below), we ask that you arrange for a project by either (1) checking out the list of possible USRA summer projects, contacting the faculty member(s) with whom you might like to work and asking if he/she would be willing to have you as a summer student, or (2) checking out the research in the department and who is working in those areas. If people with whom you are especially interested in working do not have any projects posted, please contact them directly (email is usually best) to find out if they do have possible summer research projects.

How to Apply

NSERC USRA (for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada)

  1. Review the detailed information about eligibility and instructions about completing the USRA application Form 202 are available on the NSERC website. PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW THOSE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY.
  2. Submit your application online to NSERC by filling out and submitting NSERC Form 202 Part I on the NSERC website. You must also upload copies of your official transcripts which include your fall term 2019 grades. You may access the online application here. Please note that NSERC will not accept paper copies of the form. Your official application to NSERC must be completed and submitted electronically by Friday, January 24, 2020.
  3. Additionally, submit your application to the Department of Physics by Friday,January 24, 2020. (Alternatively, you may submit the material electronically in PDF format, to the email below.
    • a copy of Form 202 Part I. Arrange for your proposed supervisor to submit a copy of Part II of your Form 202. (To submit electronically, please follow the protocol: "lastname_firstname_ 202 part I.pdf" and "lastname_firstname_202 part II.pdf" to name these PDF files.)
    • official transcripts which include your fall term 2019 grades. (To submit electronically, please follow the protocol: "lastname_firstname_ transcript.pdf" to name your PDF file.) NOTE: University of Alberta students may submit their unofficial transcripts if their Fall 2019 grades are not yet available on their official transcripts.
    • a personal statement indicating your research interests, your academic and career plans, and what you hope to gain and contribute by participating in this program. (To submit electronically, please follow the protocol: "lastname_firstname_ statement.pdf" to name your PDF file.)
    • one letter of reference from a professor familiar with your academic and/or research work. (If the professor wishes to submit this electronically, please ask him/her follow the protocol: "studentlastname_studentfirstname_reference.pdf" to name the PDF file.)
    • Please include your NSERC reference number (if applicable) with your application materials submitted to the department.

    • By mail:

      Undergraduate Advisor
      Department of Physics
      CCIS 4-185
      University of Alberta
      Edmonton AB T6G 2E1

    • By email: