Undergraduate research opportunities

Each spring term (May-August) the Department of Applied Mathematics organizes a very active undergraduate research program involving about twelve students, supported by NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) Undergraduate Research Awards. Participants work on a research project under the supervision of a faculty member, and have the opportunity to interact with other participants and with graduate students. At the end of the summer we organize a mini-conference at which time all participants give a short talk on their research project.

NSERC Undergraduate Research Awards (USRA)

  • The awards are intended to give undergraduates an opportunity to gain experience in doing research, with a view to subsequent enrolment in a graduate program.
  • The value of an award, including the University supplement, is $2,250.00 per month, for a maximum of four months.
  • Only a limited number of awards are available. Students should have an average of at least 80% in order to apply.
  • The research topics depend on the availability of supervisors, and typically involve differential equations and dynamical systems, computational math, control theory, fluid dynamics, cosmology and quantum mechanics. For most research areas it is necessary that students have completed at least their 3A term.
  • Students with an interest in Physics may pursue the possibility of working with members of the department who are affiliated with the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Perimeter Institute.
  • Co-op students may apply for an award to be held during a work term. Regular students may apply for an award to be held during the spring term. Most awards are held during the spring term (May-August).
  • Students from other universities are encouraged to apply and to take part in our Undergraduate research opportunities.

Mathematics Undergraduate Research Award (MURA) Program

The Mathematics Undergraduate Research Award (MURA) Program is an undergraduate research award program sponsored by the Faculty of Mathematics.

This award provides research experience that nurtures an interest in research careers and mathematics experience for undergraduate students with financial support during a full-time, on-campus or remote position for 16 weeks.

Students should apply online using the MURA Program application form

Supervisor Eligibility:

  • Must hold a faculty appointment in the Faculty of Mathematics.
  • Must be eligible to administer NSERC funds
  • Must be authorized to independently supervise students

Subject Matter Eligibility:

  • MURA supervisors must propose a research project that falls under NSERC's mandate.
  • The application will be rejected if it is determined, at any time during the review cycle that the subject matter is outside of NSERC mandate.

Student Eligibility:

  • Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada or an International Student on study permit, as of the application deadline.
  • Must be registered in a bachelor's degree program in the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo
  • Must have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of your bachelor’s degree by the time you hold the award
  • Cannot have completed all your degree requirements as of the application deadline.
  • Hold a cumulative average of at least 80%
  • May not hold more than 3 NSERC USRA or MURA throughout your university career
  • Must have secured the agreement of a research faculty member (research supervisor) in the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo to supervise the proposed research project.
  • Must be employed full time in eligible research and development activities during tenure of the award.
  • Must not have started a program of graduate studies in a field of mathematics at any time.

See also