NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards

The annual competition for the NSERC - USRA opens each December with a mid-January deadline for applications and research which will occur during the summer session. The exact number of NSERC - USRAs offered each year varies but has been in the range of 10 - 14 over the past several years. An additional allotment of NSERC - USRAs are available to eligible Indigenous students (Status, Non-Status, Metis, Inuit) who wish to self-declare their ancestry on their application.

Successful applicants are notified by the Faculty towards the end of January and are required to accept/decline the award by the date indicated in the letter of offer. If a candidate declines the award offer the next alternate will be given the opportunity.

The value of each award is $4,500 plus the Faculty/Department’s contribution for 16 weeks of full time research completed May - August.

SUMMER 2019 NSERC - USRA DEADLINE:     January 15, 2019


These awards are intended to stimulate the interest of undergraduate students in research by providing them with valuable experience in a scientific research environment, and to encourage them to undertake graduate studies. Students holding one of these awards will be exposed to research activities during their work period working alongside professors in their research labs.

The Indigenous NSERC USRA award is a parallel program of undergraduate student research awards for Indigenous students.  This award is non-competitive and any student applying for the award who meets the eligibility criteria will be awarded a NSERC USRA.


  • Visa students are not eligible for NSERC awards. You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada as of the deadline date for NSERC applications at the university;
  • Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. (3.5+ GPA is recommended, to be competitive);
  • Students must have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study of your bachelor's degree;
  • Students must be registered, at the time you apply, in a bachelor’s degree program offered by an eligible university;
  • Students must have been 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 already in possession of a Bachelor’s degree who are studying towards a second Bachelor’s degree are eligible to hold this award, provided they do not hold a higher degree in the natural sciences;
  • Students may apply to graduate studies but must not have started their graduate program;
  • Students may hold a maximum of THREE of these awards throughout their university career;
  • Supervisors for NSERC awards must be NSERC holders.

Value of NSERC USRA Awards

NSERC provides $4,500 of the total stipend and the remainder will be provided by the faculty member.

Duration of Support

The student should be employed full-time for 16 consecutive weeks.

Location of Tenure

Students may undertake their research project through any department in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. Once NSERC has approved your USRA for tenure at one particular institution, you may not transfer it to another institution.

You must work under the supervision of a faculty member who holds an active NSERC research grant (e.g., Discovery, CREATE, Strategic, Research Partnerships), either at the time you submit the application or when you hold the award. Please consult the USRA Liaison Officer of the university at which you would like to hold the award to find out about eligible supervisors.

Selection of Students

Applications will be ranked by members of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Awards Committee. The overall quality of the research project and the expected level of the student’s involvement in the project are the primary determinants of overall rankings. Applications should be specific to the student and provide details explaining how this opportunity would deliver the best training experience for that student.


  • Students must have been registered in at least one of the two terms of a bachelor degree program at an eligible university immediately prior to holding the award.
  • Students in their final year who intend to pursue graduate studies at the University of Manitoba will be given preference for the NSERC - USRA. This is intended to give these students an early start to their graduate program.


  • Candidates are ranked by the Faculty Awards Committee according to the number of NSERC - USRAs allocated to Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. There is an additional allotment of NSERC - USRAs for Indigenous students in FAFS.
  • Successful candidates will be notified once the Awards Committee has selected winners. They will be required to confirm acceptance of the NSERC - USRA by the deadline stated in the offer and at which point instructions for completing the online USRA application form will be provided.
  • Unsuccessful candidates are not going to be notified. If you do not hear from the Awards Coordinator by the beginning of February you have not been selected but encouraged to apply again in the next award cycle.

For a complete listing of NSERC USRA eligibility criteria, please see: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/UG-PC/USRA-BRPC_eng.asp

Applications are due
Wednesday, January 15, 2019

application form


For a complete listing of NSERC USRA eligibility criteria, please see: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/UG-PC/USRA-BRPC_eng.asp

NSERC Researchers