Finding funding for undergraduate research

Navigating with a compass

Are you looking for funding for undergraduate research?

This tool asks you some questions to help identify programs and funding sources that may be relevant to you.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office for Undergraduate Research in Science.

If you do not see an interactive tool below the next line, please log out (link at top right).

Interactive tool for finding funding for undergraduate research

Are you an undergraduate student
Are you a McGill student
Are you a Canadian citizen
Are you a permanent resident of Canada
Are you also a citizen or resident of another country
Is your home university located within the province of Quebec
Are you a B.Sc. student
Is your B.Sc. degree offered by the Faculty of Science (YES) or by a different Faculty (NO - some examples: Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, Architecture, Kinesiology, Nursing, Rehabilitation Science...)
Are you a B.A. & Sc. student
Are you a B.A. student
Are you registered in another undergraduate degree (B.Eng., B.S.E., etc.)
Do you meet the requirements of financial need described on
Are you looking for funding for academic conferences and competitions
Do you want to do research outside McGill
Do you want to do research outside of Canada
Do you want to turn a creative idea or discovery into a marketable technology or service
Are you looking for funding for opportunities that take place outside of the classroom
Do you want to do research in the Summer term (May to August)
Can your area of research interest be considered as natural sciences and engineering
Are you interested in research opportunities with a professor from ANY OR ALL of the following SELECTED Faculty of Medicine Departments: Anatomy and Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, or Physiology (There are also many other departments in the Faculty of Medicine.)
Other Faculties

Sorry; this tool was built for undergraduate students.

If you are a graduate student or a postdoctoral fellow, or if you are interested to become one, the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office's Funding webpage may be of interest to you.

Suggested funding options

Based on your answers above, here are some funding options that may be helpful to you. This information is provided without guarantee. Please check the respective webpages or sources of information for more information about eligibility, availability, requirements, deadlines, and application procedures. If you did not answer all of the questions above, the following suggestions may be incomplete or inaccurate.

This tool is optimized for McGill Science students (B.Sc., B.A. & Sc.), for Science research.

For Arts research, B.A. & Sc. students may also wish to ask the Faculty of Arts, your supervisor, or your home department's office for advice about other funding options available to you.

This tool is optimized for McGill Science students (B.Sc., B.A. & Sc.).

If you are from another faculty (or university), you may wish to ask your own faculty's (or university's) office for advice about funding options available to you.

NSERC USRA, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) in Universities program

  • Purpose: to stimulate interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering, and the pursuit of research careers in these fields.
  • Description: Recipients engage in a research and development activity under the supervision of a professor holding an NSERC grant, in an academic setting, while receiving financial support.
  • Location: This program is offered at McGill as well as other universities across Canada. A travel allowance may be granted if you take up the award at a university other than the one at which you are currently registered.
  • One key eligibility requirement: for Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada
  • Where and when you apply depends on your proposed supervisor's faculty (and department).
  • Duration: 16 consecutive weeks on a full-time basis. The Faculty of Science generally offers its NSERC USRAs in the Summer term (May through August).
  • Webpage for NSERC USRAs with supervisors in the Faculty of Science

NSERC USRA, with Faculty of Engineering supervisors

NSERC USRA, with Faculty of Medicine supervisors

NSERC USRA, at other Canadian universities

  • If your proposed supervisor is not from McGill, apply through his/her university, not McGill.
  • If your proposed supervisor is appointed as a professor at multiple universities, apply through the university where she/he has her/his primary academic appointment.

NSERC USRA, with supervisors from other McGill Faculties

FRQNT supplements of the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards

  • Since 2016, the FRQNT has offered an extra $2000 to NSERC USRA holders enrolled at an eligible university in Quebec.
  • Before you can apply for this supplement, you must first apply to and receive an NSERC USRA. When you receive your letter from NSERC (typically in July, for summer awards), verify if it indicates that you are eligible for the FRQNT supplement. If it does, then you can complete the FRQNT online application.
  • Webpage: The link changes regularly, so for the latest information, please look for "Supplements of the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (BPCA)" on
    • Be sure to look for the webpage for the right competition year and term, not for a previous round. Applications are typically due at the end of your term (e.g. December, for NSERC USRAs in the fall) or the start of the following term (e.g., September, for NSERC USRAs in the summer).

SURA, Science Undergraduate Research Awards

  • Science Undergraduate Research Awards (SURAs) are for both Canadian and international McGill students registered in a science undergraduate program.
  • Two differences from the NSERC USRA program are, on the student side, that international students may also apply, and on the supervisor side, it is not restricted to professors who hold research grants from NSERC.
  • Students must be registered in an undergraduate B.Sc. or B.A. & Sc. science program.
  • Supervisors must be professors from one of the departments listed on the SURA webpage (i.e. from the Faculty of Science, or from certain Faculty of Medicine departments).
  • Duration: 16 consecutive weeks on a full-time basis. The Faculty of Science offers SURAs in the Summer term (May through August).
  • Webpage for SURAs

SURE, Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering

  • The Faculty of Engineering's SURE program includes NSERC USRAs as well as other awards.
  • Engineering does not have a separate program equivalent to Science's SURAs; the equivalent awards are also part of SURE.

ARIA, Arts Undergraduate Research Internship Awards

  • ARIA supports undergraduate students (B.A., B.A. & Sc., B.S.W) conducting research under the supervision of a faculty member, contributing to the professor’s research agenda while gaining useful academic research skills.
  • Students must have a minimum CGPA of 3.0, have completed 60 credits by the start of the ARIA, and be returning to undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Arts in the fall.
  • Students may not apply if they have received an ARIA award in a previous year.
  • Duration: 11 weeks in the Summer term.
  • Webpage for ARIAs

Work-Study program

  • McGill's Scholarships and Student Aid Office runs a Work Study program that provides on-campus part-time employment to qualified students.
  • Acceptance to the program is based primarily on financial need.
  • Some Work Study positions are research positions. (There are also clerical, library, technical, and general positions.)
  • Webpage for Work-Study

Schull Yang International Experience Awards

  • In the Faculty of Science, Schull Yang International Experience Awards are available to support summer undergraduate research experiences abroad for Science students (B.Sc. or B.A. & Sc.) who will be returning to study at McGill in the following Fall term, preferably in their undergraduate program which is still underway.

Science Undergraduate Society's Science 21st Century Ambassador Fund (SCAF), to attend or host academic conferences or competitions

  • The Science Undergraduate Society's Science 21st Century Ambassador Fund (SCAF) offers financial assistance to undergraduate students in the Faculty of Science, and Arts and Science (B.A. & Sc.), to attend or host academic conferences or competitions.
  • The fund's purpose is to support students who will represent McGill Science in such a way as to continue building its reputation for excellence on a national and international scale.

Funding from your supervisor (professor)

  • Some professors can pay you from their own research grants or similar sources of funding.

Departmental funding

  • Some departments have their own awards or funding.
  • These may be restricted to students majoring in that department, or to projects with supervisors from that department. Ask!

Enriched Educational Opportunities

  • EEOs are a need-based bursary for high quality mobility or work experience opportunities that take place outside of the classroom.
  • These bursaries are non-repayable forms of financial assistance based on demonstrated financial need.
  • Eligible EEOs may include: Field Study Courses and Semesters; Unpaid Internships and Research Experiences; Research Abroad
  • Please refer to the Faculty of Science's Enriched Educational Opportunities webpage for more information

External funding

  • ...may be available from a scholarly association to which your supervisor might belong (ask him or her). For example, the American Physiological Society, the Endocrine Society, and the Canadian Hemophilia Society offer summer funding.
  • ...may be available from a foundation. Often these are health- or disease-related (cystic fibrosis, MS, kidney, lung, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc) but perhaps you might find a foundation supporting environmental research or some other element relevant to your and your supervisor's research.
  • Please refer to the Other opportunities webpage for some examples of these, with links.

Fessenden Innovation Prize

  • This prize seeks to help recipients achieve two objectives:
  • First, to explore, create, refine, and validate a minimum viable product or a prototype based on an idea.
  • Second, to leverage a minimum viable product or prototype in other funding competitions and/or in applications to accelerator programs that operate outside the university sector to facilitate conversion of their technology into a viable business model.
  • More information

Funding from your country

  • If you are a citizen of another country, that country may offer funding, and you may be eligible!
  • For example, the Research Experience for Undergraduates program of the (American) National Science Foundation (NSF REU) is restricted to American citizens or permanent residents, although an REU Site need not be located within the US.

Undergraduate Research Trainee status

  • Undergraduate Research Trainee is our status for an undergraduate student currently enrolled at an external university, who is accepted to conduct a short-term research project at McGill University.
  • Undergraduate Research Trainee status does not, in itself, mean that you will be paid.
  • However, if you are going to be paid, you will almost certainly have to register as an Undergraduate Research Trainee.
  • There are no application or registration fees for Undergraduate Research Trainee status.
  • More information about Undergraduate Research Trainee status.

What funding options does this tool cover?

Eligibility varies by program. Please use the tool above to discover which might be applicable to you, and for links.

  • NSERC USRA (Undergraduate Student Research Awards)
    • in the Faculty of Science and in other McGill Faculties
    • at McGill and at other Canadian universities
    • FRQNT Supplements of the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards
  • SURA (Science Undergraduate Resarch Awards)
  • SURE (Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering)
  • ARIA (Arts Undergraduate Research Internship Awards)
  • Work-Study Program
  • Schull Yang International Experience Awards
  • SUS 21st Century Ambassador Fund (SCAF) (to attend or host academic conferences or competitions)
  • Funding from your supervisor (professor)
  • Departmental funding
  • External funding
    • Funding from your country (if you are a citizen or resident of a country other than Canada)
    • Other Canadian and international programs: MITACS Globalink (various countries), DAAD RISE (Germany), etc.
  • Undergraduate Research Trainee status (for non-McGill students)