Undergraduate Research Awards
As a research-intensive university, UM provides a multitude of unique learning opportunities for undergraduate students to interact with the best minds and research leaders in their fields. This experience opens them up to new possibilities for a research career in either government, academic or industry sectors.
Henry McKay, undergraduate student in social work, with mentor Marleney Bonnycastle, says the award helped him to connect to Indigenous-based research.
About the URA
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. All completed applications will now move forward to the selection process. Results will be shared in March.
Share the excitement of discovery
UM is the first Canadian university to offer an Undergraduate Research Award open to undergraduate students in all fields and ranges of research, scholarly works or creative activities.
The URA, which is made possible through funding from the Office of the Vice-President (Research & International) and the University of Manitoba Students' Union (UMSU), along with support from faculties, provides undergraduates students with access to exciting research opportunities.
The awards are competitive. Students apply to be mentored for 16 weeks (full-time from May through August) by a professor of their choice. URAs:
- are available across all disciplines at UM
- 10 per cent of awards are available for self-declared Indigenous students
- 2 additional awards for community-based projects (supported by SSHRC)
- carry a monetary value of $7,000 (through the support of the VPRI, UMSU, and various UM faculties)
- are a recognized UM Co-Curricular Record activity
Jan. 11, 2024 -
Feb. 13, 2024Application Period
Notification of Award Results (Approx.)
May. 6, 2024 -
Aug. 23, 2024Duration of Research Experience (approx.)
URA and USRA applicants will will be given notifications of their results starting mid-late Winter 2024.
Below are the current Application Criteria for the URA and the NSERC USRA. Those interested in applying for the NSERC USRA must reach out to the Faculty Contacts. Please note that each Faculty has a unique application process and may also have unique deadlines. Most Faculty NSERC USRA deadlines close late January - mid February.
Faculties lead the application and selection process of the NSERC USRA, which the VPRI team supports and assists. As such, students who are looking for information regarding applications, criteria, and deadlines are advised to check out the Faculty NSERC USRA webpages, or contact the Faculties.
The Form on this page is strictly for the URA.
Application Criteria (URA)
- Must be enrolled in at least 24 credit hours at the time of the Voluntary Withdrawal deadline (Fall term 2023 and Winter term 2024)
- Minimum GPA of 3.0, based on all credits completed at the time of application
- Cannot be held in conjunction with other competitive summer research awards such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Undergraduate Research Summer Award
- Students who will be graduating in the Spring of 2024 (May/June convocation) are not eligible for this award
- This award cannot be held more than twice by any recipient during their undergraduate program(s) at UM
- Students who hold a master’s degree are not eligible for this award
- Co-op students are eligible to apply, however, the student must be enrolled in 12 credits of course work for one of the terms. Co-op students may need to provide a statement from their program coordinator stating that it is a full-time co-op program. The URA work term cannot also be used as a co-op summer work term.
Application Criteria (NSERC USRA)
To be eligible to apply for an award:
- you must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or a Protected Person under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada), as of the deadline date for applications at the institution
- you must be registered, as of the deadline date for applications at the institution, in a bachelor’s degree program
- you must have obtained, over the previous years of study, a satisfactory cumulative average (minimum 3.0 GPA)
- you cannot be currently enrolled in an undergraduate professional degree program in the health sciences (e.g., MD, DDS, BScN) (does not apply for CIHR USRAs)
- you cannot be currently registered or have been previously registered, at any time, in a graduate program in the same field of study
- you cannot have completed all your degree requirements
Note: CIHR and SSHRC USRAs are, at the present time, exclusively for Black student researchers. To be considered, you must self-identify as Black (see the Black student researchers section for more details).
- if you already hold a bachelor’s degree and are studying toward a second bachelor’s degree, you may still apply for this award
- you may hold only one USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31)
- you may hold a maximum of three USRAs throughout your undergraduate career (regardless of the granting agency)
To hold an award:
- you must have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of study (or two academic terms) of your bachelor’s degree
- you must have been registered in a bachelor’s degree program at the time of application and in at least one of the two terms immediately before holding the award
- you must be employed full time in eligible research and development activities in your proposed field of research during tenure of the award
- you cannot be registered in a graduate program
Note: tenure may start on a date acceptable to both you and your host institution.
Up to two additional awards will be dedicated to students working on community-based research projects with UM professors.
To be considered eligible for this opportunity, applicants must verify with their professor that their project qualifies as community-based research and indicate this by checking the appropriate box on the application form.
All community-based research projects must fit within disciplines supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
Additional community-based research projects may be supported through the main competition, subject to final selection of successful applicants.
How to apply
Application Guide (URA)
Please note that the URA is a two-part process, which includes a Part 1 (Student) Form and a Part 2 (Researcher) Form. The instructions below are for the Student Form; the Researcher Form is only generated for the Proposed Supervisor once the Student Form is successfully submitted into our system.
Students (and Proposed Supervisors) are expected to communicate with each other throughout the application process to ensure that both Part 1 and Part 2 are completed by the respective parties.
- Interview a professor that you hope to be supervised by, to learn about the research, scholarly work or creative activity they are undertaking, and how you may both possibly benefit from a research experience. Be sure to discuss possible hours/commitment requirements should you receive an award placement.
- Students (and professors) are to use these opportunities to build networks with each other and explore the ways they may both benefit from the URA.
- Proposed Supervisors must be full-time UM faculty members (instructors and adjunct professors are not eligible)
- Students may interview a professor from any faculty, as long as they meet our criteria
- Complete the online application form and submit by the date and time listed above. Further steps, for the Student and the Proposed Supervisor, will be provided to applicants upon completion of the form.
- The online application form includes sections for:
- student-related information + transcripts
- researcher-related information
- a 150-word brief of your interview and proposed research
- 250-word rationale for your choice, indicating how this research, scholarly work or creative activity fits with your own long-term career aspirations, and why you are interested in holding the URA.
- The online application form includes sections for:
- If you are a successful recipient of the award, you are encouraged to present the results of your research, scholarly work or creative activity at the annual Undergraduate Research Showcase.
Application Guide (NSERC USRA)
Please note that Faculties are currently in charge of NSERC USRA applications within their respective fields.
For those interested in the NSERC USRA:
- Apply for the NSERC USRA by following the instructions on the webpage of the Faculty you're interested in.
- Ensure that you and your intended NSERC USRA supervisor fit all the criteria listed by the Faculty and by NSERC
- Each faculty that runs their own NSERC USRA process will have instructions on how to properly prepare for and submit NSERC USRA applications
- Please note that the NSERC USRA application process takes place through both the Faculties and through NSERCs web-portal. Each faculty will have further instructions on how to properly submit applications on NSERCs portal. Supervisors are required by NSERC to also submit a form as part of their process.
After being accepted for an award
After receiving notification of your award via email, each award recipient should contact their chosen professor to further discuss the details of their award, including expected duties, the scope and scale of your work or research, and additional expectations from both parties.
In cases where a student’s work is not directly linked to the professor’s research, scholarly work or creative activity, the professor must indicate how they will ensure that the student is being mentored in the area and discipline as an undergraduate researcher.
Eligible researchers willing to supervise URA students
Please note that these lists are not exhaustive or exclusive. Students are highly encouraged to be proactive when reaching out to professors and learning about the diverse range of research done by UM scholars. Likewise, professors and researchers that are open to accepting URA students are welcome to promote their work through their own avenues.
Information for URA Supervisors
- Supervisors must be full-time University of Manitoba faculty (adjunct professors and instructors are not eligible)
- Maximum of 2 students will be awarded to work with 1 professor
- Professor must be available to supervise the student for the duration of the URA work term, 16 weeks from May – August 2024
- Supervisors are required to provide the necessities for the student to conduct the research, such as:
- a workstation or similar, adequate space
- necessary supplies and any other resources they may need to carry out their tasks or research
- Professors should only agree to meet with and be interviewed by students they may be willing to supervise OR be very clear that they are agreeing to be interviewed, as there is no guarantee that each student applicant will receive the URA/USRA under the proposed supervisor, or vice-versa. Interviews do not guarantee specific placements, as each application is reviewed by a selection committee. Both students and professors should have a clear agreement on whether they will be working together over the summer should the student be successful in their application or not.