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


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

This year, additional USRAs from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) will be made available to Black students interested in research in health care, social sciences or the humanities.

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Important dates

Application deadline: March 17, 2023, 5 p.m. Eastern Time
Announcement date of award recipients: April 14, 2023
Project start: May 1, 2023


16 consecutive weeks, starting between May 1, 2023, and June 1, 2023

Minimum $7,500 ($6,000 from NSERC + minimum $1,500 from the supervisor)

According to the program guidelines, the USRA represents a value of $6,000 for a full 16-week period ($375 per week). 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 sources, such as any funds from the University of Ottawa, NSERC grants or other research funds. Together, this results in a minimum total award value of $7,500.

USRAs offered by CIHR and SSHRC are currently reserved for self-identified Black students. Institutions are allocated a separate number of awards from each agency.



Still haven't found what you are looking for?

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].