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

Meet Eva

Eva is an MURA and URF award recipient and spent the Fall 2020 term under the supervision of Professor David Toman on the Interpolation Test Bed (ITB) project. The ITB is a logic-based optimizer for relational database queries. Eva’s role was to assist in developing methods to improve the performance of the ITB query optimizer or, in Eva’s own words, optimizing the optimizer! Eva shared with us her experience working with a supervisor on a research project for the first time.

Image of Evan Feng

"Research allowed me to study a fascinating subject area with high degrees of focus and freedom. As an inexperienced undergraduate student, I had guidance from my supervisor to prevent me from drowning in the sea of literature and straying into dead ends. This allowed me to learn and apply a diverse range of theories and techniques to develop new solutions for interesting and impactful problems.” Eva Feng, BMath CS +Co candidate 

    Application Deadlines

    Competitions for MURA are held three times each year. Deadlines are as follows:

    Term Due Date
    Fall 2021 Closed
    Winter 2022 October 15, 2021
    Spring 2022 TBD

    Length of Project

    Full-time (35 hours per week) for 16 consecutive weeks (80 working days). Can be used as a co-op work term if a co-op student. Regular students are also eligible for this award.

    Note: An MURA is a full-time position. Students cannot be full-time or working on another project/job while holding an MURA.


    Student Eligibility:
    • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada or an International Student on study permit, as of the application deadline.
    • Be registered in a bachelor's degree program in the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, as of the application deadline.
    • Cumulative average of equal to or above 80%.
    • Have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) of a bachelor's degree.
    • Must secure a faculty supervisor before applying.
    • Not have started a program of graduate studies in a field of mathematics at any time.
    Supervisor Eligibility
    • Must be eligible to administer NSERC funds.
    • Must be authorized to independently supervise students.


    The award has a value of $6,000 per academic term (commencing the Spring 2021 term). Research supervisors are required to supplement the amount of the award by at least 25% of its value (or $1,500) using other sources. The number of awards available for each fiscal year is limited and will be communicated by the Mathematics Research Office in advance.

    How to apply

    After finding an eligible supervisor that has agreed to work with you and deciding on a research project that clearly defines your role and responsibilities with the supervisor, you must:

    1. Name of supervisor
    2. Unofficial transcripts
    3. Date you expect to complete your degree (year/month)
    4. Have you held an NSERC USRA/MURA in the past? Yes/No