Applying for an NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) Undergraduate Research Award

You may apply for NSERC Undergraduate Research Award for the fall, winter, or spring term. Most students apply for spring term. If you are interested in working as an undergraduate Research Assistant in the Department of Applied Mathematics please submit the application no later than the following date:

Spring 2023 term application deadline:

January 18th, 2023 [Only applies to co-op applicants who wish to be taken off WaterlooWorks right from the start and directly use the USRA as their co-op term.]

April 12th, 2023 [Applies to all other applicants, including co-op students.]


** The duration of the award is 16 consecutive weeks on a full-time basis.

  • The first step is to visit the AMATH research web page where you will find information about the research activity in Applied Mathematics. The specific research areas, required background and potential supervisors are available here. You can also contact the appropriate professors to find out more about potential research topics.
  • The second step is to contact the prospective supervisor with the following information :
    • list of 3rd and 4th year applied mathematics courses that you will have completed, and any relevant upper year physics or computer science courses.
    • list of several research topics of interest, ranked in order of preference
    • any previous research experience
  • Once the supervisor agrees to work with you, the third step is to fill our Form 202 - Part I using the NSERC website

The number of awards is limited, and so it is important that you express your interest as early as possible. It is of course essential that you have taken the appropriate courses (or equivalent).

The purpose of the research awards is to introduce you to an area of research that you might choose to pursue in graduate school, and to give you some experience doing research. Sometimes, a summer research project leads to a Master’s project. At the end of the summer we will organize a mini-conference at which all the participants will give a short talk on their research project.

Are you aware that even as undergraduates, you have the opportunity to join the Waterloo's top research groups and participate in a research project for a term? 


Why should you consider research as an undergraduate?

  • Work one-on-one with faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers
  • Contribute to the creation of new knowledge
  • Sharpen your critical and analytical thinking skills
  • Complement and extend your classroom learning
  • Enhance your confidence in your abilities
  • Prepare for graduate-level study
  • Explore your interests and clarify your career goals
  • What's more, you may be able to compete in one of the undergraduate research awards: NSERC USRA or MURA

How do you participate?

  1. These are full-time positions. If you are in a co-op program, you can do this during one of your co-op terms. Otherwise, you can do it in the spring. You are typically paid a stipend, like a co-op job.
  2. To do this, first find a professor who has a potential project for you to work on:
    • You can fill out your information in this supervisor-student matching platform. We will reach out to relevant faculty members to see if there is interest. A match is not guaranteed.
    • You can also reach out to individual professors (like someone you had a class with) on your own.
    • Individual departments may offer additional opportunities (see below).
  1. Then, apply for either an USRA or MURA. Discuss this with your supervisor. This is a competitive process.

Additional information for undergraduate research opportunities can be found at Internal Awards and opportunities for Undergraduate Students – Undergraduate Student Research Awards.


Please contact at for any questions about Applied Mathematics USRA and MURA Competition.


For further information please contact:

Undergraduate Coordinator
Undergraduate Office: MC 6036
Email: amug (at) uwaterloo (dot) ca
Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext. 32700