Faculty of Science Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRAs)
Online Application Portal now open!
Application deadline: February 7, 2022
Please note that you MUST upload your WEB TRANSCRIPT which includes grades up to and including the Fall 2021 term along with your application. We acknowledge that some students may not have their final grades from deferred classes and if at all possible, we ask that students wait for their final grades from these classes before submitting their applications and uploading their web transcripts.
To view the USRA application, log in to UM JUMP and click the STUDENT tab. The link to the USRA application is located at the bottom right of the STUDENT JUMP webpage. Instructions for completing the USRA Application Form can also be found below.
PLEASE NOTE: The application deadline has been extended to February 7, 2022 in light of the enhanced exam schedule.
Each summer, students have the opportunity to work alongside professors in their research labs. These awards are intended to stimulate the interest of undergraduate students by providing them with a valuable experiential learning opportunity in a scientific research environment. Students holding one of these awards will participate in research activities during their work period.
If you’d like to apply for a NSERC or Faculty of Science USRA, you should complete these steps before end of the term:
- Review the list of eligibility requirements below to ensure that you can hold an award.
- Identify some potential supervisors, review their personal web pages, and email the researcher to arrange a talk about research opportunities. Faculty of Science researchers willing to supervise USRA students can be found through the following links:
If the researcher agrees to support your application, be prepared to submit the application form (see instructions below) in January, or later, depending on when fall term’s grades are available.
Submitting the USRA Application Form
- To access the USRA application portal, log in to UM JUMP and click the STUDENT tab. The link to the USRA application is located at the bottom right of the STUDENT JUMP webpage.
- Complete the short questionnaire to determine the awards you may qualify for. If you are eligible to apply for an award, you will be able to continue to the USRA Application Form.
- Instructions for completing the USRA Application Form:
- Fill in your name, contact information and program information
- Enter your Cumulative GPA
- Upload your web transcript
- Select the department you would like to apply to
- Type the name of the professor you wish to be supervised by
- Check the award(s) being applied for (from the Questionnaire)
- Fill in the Proposed Area of Study (1 or 2 Lines)
- Describe why an undergraduate student research award is important to you
(Approximately 200 words)
- Check the box to declare that all information entered is accurate.
- Click Submit
Visa students are not eligible for NSERC awards but are eligible for the Faculty of Science USRA and other awards on this page. You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada as of the deadline date for NSERC applications at the university.
- NSERC applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.
- NSERC Indigenous applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Supervisors for NSERC awards must be NSERC holders.
- Students from other universities are only eligible for the NSERC awards.
- Students must be registered as full-time students, unless they are in their final term before graduation, in which case, less than full-time registration is acceptable (provided that the penultimate term was fully registered).
- Students may apply to graduate studies but must not have started their graduate program.
- Students must be registered, as of the deadline date for applications at the university, in a bachelor’s degree program at an eligible university.
- Students 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.
- Students must be registered in at least one of the two terms immediately before holding the award in a bachelor’s degree program at an eligible university.
- Students must not have started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering at any time.
- Student must be engaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering during the tenure of the award.
- Students may hold only one university USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
- Students may hold a maximum of three (NSERC and/or Faculty of Science) USRA awards throughout their university career.
- Co-op or other students who complete their degree requirements in December rather than April are eligible to hold a Faculty of Science award in the summer following their final term.
- Students already in possession of a Bachelor’s degree who are studying towards a second Bachelor’s degree are eligible to hold NSERC or a Faculty of Science award, provided they do not hold a higher degree in the natural sciences.
- Students may undertake their research project through any department in the Faculty of Science.
- Students in a General Science degree is eligible for the FoS USRA.
Supervisors for Faculty of Science, H.D. Gesser or Jack Prior, Phil Hultin Pedagogy awards must hold an appointment in the Faculty of Science.
Students must be registered in a Science Major/Honours program as well enrolled in 24 credit hours for the H.D. Gesser or Jack Prior award. · NSERC website: https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/students-etudiants/ug-pc/usra-brpc_eng.asp
Value of Awards
NSERC and NSERC Indigenous
Minimum Value of $8,000. NSERC provides $6,000 and the remainder (at least $2,000*) will be provided by the Faculty of Science Dean’s office and the supervisor. $8000.00 ($500 [FoS] + $1500 [researcher] + $6000 [NSERC]).
Researchers can increase their contribution beyond the minimum, especially when supporting senior, experienced trainees.
*The supervisor’s portion can be from an NSERC grant or any of their other research grants. However, the supervisor of a student holding an NSERC award must hold an active NSERC research grant.
Faculty of Science
Minimum Value of $6,750. The Faculty of Science Dean’s office provides $4,500 and the remainder (at least $2,250*) will be provided by the Department and the supervisor. $6750.00 ($4500 [FoS] + $1750 [researcher] + $500 [department])
The Jack Prior Memorial Undergraduate Summer Research Prize
Minimum value of $7,900. The donor funds $6,150 and the supervisor $1,750 ($6,150 [donor] + $1,750 [researcher])
*This award is based largely on leadership/volunteer experience. You must explain your involvement in such activities when completing the application.
H.D. Gesser Undergraduate Summer Research Prize in Chemistry
Minimum value of $6,750. The donor funds $4,500. $6,750.00 ($4,500 [donor] + $1,750 [researcher] + $500 [department])
*Students registered in Biochemistry are eligible to apply for the H.D. Gesser
Philip Hultin Pedagogy Award
Minimum value of $6,750. The Faculty of Science Dean’s office provides $6750.00 ($4500 [FoS] + $1750 [researcher] + $500 [department])
*This is not a research award. It is focused on the development of pedagogy tools and curriculum development.
This fund will be used to support multiple Faculty of Science students to assist faculty members in developing any aspect of science pedagogy and curriculum development including but not limited to:
- New laboratory and lecture content.
- Teaching media including digital media and textbooks.
- Student performance evaluation tools.
- Self-learning and self-testing tools for students.
- Web sites and tools for student communication.
- Tools such as software that advances student learning in the Faculty of Science.
- *New this year, and in support of our newly launched Wawatay program and Indigenous Initiative in Science, we are also supporting curriculum development for incorporating the ‘two-eyed’ seeing approach in Science (i.e. incorporating both Indigenous ways of knowing and Western knowledge).
The funds are meant to encourage curriculum development and assist Faculty members but also should help enhance and broaden student interest in science education and develop their skills in this endeavor.
*The proposed supervisor will fill out an online application component explaining the Pedagogy project.
Duration of Support
The duration of the NSERC, NSERC Indigenous, Faculty of Science, H.D. Gesser, Jack Prior and Philip Hultin awards is 16 consecutive weeks. If a supervisor wishes to extend this period, the difference will have to be provided from the supervisor’s grant(s).
Location of Tenure
Students undertake their research project through any department in the Faculty of Science.
Selection of Students
Ranking will be based on Cumulative GPA for NSERC. Faculty of Science USRA, H.D. Gesser will be ranked by department. Jack Prior award is selected by the Prior family based on the student’s community involvement and/or leadership but students must also hold a minimum GPA of 3.5. The Philip Hultin award is selected by the selection committee.
Note: Award Recipients will be expected to participate in the Faculty of Science lunch hour professional workshops and poster competition.
Please contact faculty members about summer research in their laboratories.
Application deadline: February 7, 2022
To apply, please log in to UM JUMP. After logging into JUMP. Click the STUDENT tab and the link to the URSA application is located at the bottom right of the STUDENT JUMP webpage.
***Note: You must attach your web transcript which includes grades up to and including the Fall 2021 term***
If you have any questions or concerns please contact:
Faculty of Science – Dean’s Office
Confidential Assistant to the Associate Deans
248A Machray Hall