Undergraduate Student Research Awards Program (USRA) – Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)


The Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) program aims to stimulate student interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering and to encourage students to pursue graduate studies or careers in these areas. If you would like to gain research experience that complements your studies at the University of Ottawa, the USRA can provide the financial support to do so.

Qualified Indigenous and Black students are highly encouraged to apply for this program. Additional USRAs from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) are available to self-identified Black students interested in conducting research in health care, social sciences or the humanities. The University of Ottawa has been is allocated a separate number of awards from each agency for this special initiative.

Reminder: All interested students are encouraged to refer to the following link: Selecting the appropriate federal granting agency to ensure that their research fits within the mandate of their selected agency.

information icon

Important dates

Application deadline: March 8, 2024, 5 p.m. Eastern Time
Announcement of award recipients: March 27, 2024
Project start: No earlier than May 1, 2024, and no later than June 1, 2024.



The research project must take place over at least 14 consecutive weeks and no more than 16 consecutive weeks. The project must not start earlier than May 1, 2024, and must not start later than June 1, 2024.

Award value

USRAs have a minimum value of $7,500, where $6,000 comes from NSERC (or CIHR or SSHRC) and $1,500 comes from the host supervisor. Host supervisors are highly encouraged to contribute beyond this minimum amount.*

Host supervisors must make the entire amount of funding available to students; the portion provided by NSERC (or CIHR or SSHRC) is transferred to the University of Ottawa following the conclusion of the USRA summer period and then reimbursed into the supervisor’s designated research accounts.

*Supervisors are required to supplement the amount of the award by at least 25% of the grant value (a minimum of $1,500 for the full period, or $93.75 per week) from other research funds. Together, this results in a minimum total award value of $7,500.



Contact us

If you experience technical difficulties with the NSERC-USRA portal, email [email protected].

If you have questions regarding the uOttawa NSERC-USRA application process, email [email protected].