Graduate Scholarships & Awards

NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) - Tri Council


Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) are meant to stimulate your interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering. They are also meant to encourage you to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields. If you would like to gain research work experience that complements your studies in an academic setting, these awards can provide you with financial support through your host university.  NSERC encourages qualified Indigneous students to apply to this program.

Area(s) of Study: Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics and Statistics, Physics, Psychology
Value: 2nd/3rd year students $9,296.86 and 4th/5th year students $11,349.97, based on CUPE 2419 rates

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

  • be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident or Protected Person
  • be registered at the time you apply in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible university; and
  • have obtained, over the previous years of study, a cumulative average of at least second class (a grade of "B" or "B-," if applicable) as defined by your university.
  • If you already hold a bachelor's degree and are studying towards a second bachelor's degree, you may still apply to this program
  • You may hold only one USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
  • You may hold a maximum of 3 USRAs throughout your university career.

To hold an award, you must:

  • have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) of your bachelor's degree;
  • have been registered in the term immediately before holding the award in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible university;
  • not have started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering; and
  • be engaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering during the tenure of the award.

Indigenous students are strongly encouraged to self declare on their application.

Student Status: Both
Citizenship: Canadian citizen, permanent residents or Protected Person

A complete application for a USRA includes Part I and Part II of an Application for an Undergraduate Student Research Award (Form 202).  Form 202 and its instructions are available as a PDF Document.

NSERC requires that students and their proposed supervisors fill out the electronic form directly from its web-site by selecting Login to the system or Register as a New User.

Once completed, Part I and Part II of Form 202 must be submitted electronically through the NSERC website.

Indigenous students are strongly encouraged to self declare on their NSERC USRA application.

Transcripts: VERY IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ as this is the most common reason students can be eliminated.
For the USRA competition, NSERC will allow students to use transcripts ‘Issued to Student’, provided that they are UP TO DATE (transcripts MUST show all FALL 2022 semester’s marks). Transcripts should be ORDERED in January 2023, as soon as your Fall 2022 grades are finalized, as it takes time to receive them. Students must upload ALL POST SECONDARY OFFICIAL transcripts to the NSERC website before an application can be considered complete. Even if you only took one class at a post?secondary institution, you must include that transcript. Please ensure you include a legend for each institution. If you do not, you can be deemed ineligible for this competition. Web transcripts CANNOT be accepted. Please know you DO NOT need to submit transcripts from any university courses taken in high school.

You do NOT have to provide IB transcripts from high school in your application.

We will be hosting two How to Apply NSERC USRA Student Sessions for Best Practices on applying on:

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 from 1:30-2:30 via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting


Wednesday, December 7, 2022 from 10:30-11:30 via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting


Please see the Memorandum for full details on this competition.




Deadline: online by NOON on Friday, January 13, 2023 (varies slightly each year)