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NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA)

This page contains information for Students for Summer 2021.

The NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) in Universities program is meant to stimulate interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering, and the pursuit of research careers in these fields. Recipients engage in a research and development activity under the supervision of a professor holding an NSERC grant. It is an opportunity to gain research experience in an academic setting, while receiving financial support to do so.

Value and tenure

Duration: 16 consecutive weeks on a full-time basis

Value: $6,000 from NSERC + minimum of $1,500 from the supervisor.

Student eligibility

  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • You must be registered at the time you apply in a Bachelor's degree program.
  • You must have completed all course requirements for at least two full academic terms, and have a minimum CGPA of 3.0
  • NSERC reminds you that the USRA program actively encourages women applicants in their pursuit of graduate studies and careers in science and engineering.
  • NSERC also encourages eligible Canadian Indigenous students to apply.
    • Please make sure that you self-identify on the NSERC application form
    • Please let the research.macdonald [at] (Macdonald Research Office) know that you have done so
  • You may hold a maximum of three USRAs throughout your university career.
  • There are other requirements too: please consult the USRA information on NSERC's website. Individual departments may set higher application cutoffs than NSERC's minimum requirements; this award application process is competitive.

Please note: You may take a maximum of one course during the tenure of the award, and only if you have your research supervisor’s and NSERC’s approval and arrange to make up any missing time.  

How to apply; forms; student deadlines

The checklist (required), forms, and instructions are available via the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies webpage for NSERC USRA.

To submit a complete application, you need to identify and meet with an eligible researcher (download list) who will serve as your proposed supervisor and will submit a project proposal with you.

Supervisors: Form 202 has been updated to include a section titled “Expected Quality of the Training to be Received”. Instructions are yet to be updated on the agency webpage but please inform your supervisors to look for and verify instructions.

Each Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences unit has a quota of available awards, and has its own selection process and deadlines. Apply through the academic unit where you wish to hold your award (i.e., your proposed supervisor's school or department, not necessarily your own unit). Students from other universities may also apply.

Below is the NSERC USRA submission contact information.

DEADLINES FOR Summer 2021:

Department or School

Contact person

Please submit
directly to the Contact Person
for your Department

Animal Science

roger.cue [at] (Prof. R. Cue) February 26, 2021

Bioresource Engineering

viacheslav.adamchuk [at] (Prof. V. Adamchuk)

February 26, 2021

Human Nutrition (School of)

daiva.nielsen [at] (Prof. D. Nielsen)

February 26, 2021

Food Science & Agricultural Chemistry         

varoujan.yaylayan [at] (Prof. V. Yaylayan) 

February 26, 2021

Natural Resource Sciences

sebastien.faucher2 [at] (Prof. S. Faucher)

February 26, 2021


robin.beech [at] (Prof. R. Beech) February 26, 2021

Plant Science

valerie.gravel [at] (Prof. V. Gravel) February 26, 2021

FRQNT supplement: $1500

The FRQNT offers a supplement to the USRA scholarship by awarding an extra $ 1,500 to the USRA scholarship holders enrolled at an eligible university in Quebec. To receive the FRQNT supplement, the USRA award holder must complete the FRQNT online form after having received his or her NSERC letter indicating that he or she is eligible to the supplement.

Canadian Forest Sector Workforce Diversity undergraduate supplements: $5000

The Canadian Forest Sector Workforce Diversity undergraduate supplements provides financial support to high-calibre students working towards degrees in forestry sciences and related fields relevant to Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service. Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service offers up to a maximum of 30 supplements

Other Faculties

Where you apply depends on your supervisor's department, not your own department.

Deadlines and procedures may vary. If you are interested in an NSERC USRA with a supervisor from another faculty, i.e., the Faculties of Science, Arts, Dentistry, Education [includes the Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education], Engineering, Management, Medicine, Music, please check their USRA webpage. You can find their websites via the University-wide NSERC USRA webpage.

Further information

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, "NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award" - for students

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, "USRA" - for administrative staff


Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, research.macdonald [at]

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