Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA)

The Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) are sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. Over 50 awards are available in Engineering at Waterloo for a minimum of $8,736.

This award allows you to conduct engineering research in a university environment full-time, for a term. The goal is to stimulate your interest in engineering research and to encourage you to pursue a graduate studies degree. If you would like to gain research work experience that complements your studies in an academic setting, this award provides you with financial support.

The Dean of Engineering is offering an additional, one-time $4,500 for up to 15 exceptional USRA recipients. Undergraduates from the University of Waterloo must be enrolled in the Accelerated Master's program and external students must have a minimum of 80% average.

Eligibility criteria

  • Registered engineering undergraduate student at a Canadian university and completed at least two academic terms as of the deadline date for applications
  • Cumulative average of 75% or above
  • Canadian or Permanent Resident as of the deadline date for applications
  • Significant interest in pursuing graduate studies

See the NSERC USRA website for more details.

Find a Supervisor

You will work with a faculty supervisor while conducting a research project. Finding a faculty member to work with is part of the USRA application process. 

Please see the USRA Placement List to identify faculty members and projects which interest you. You will need to contact the faculty member directly and make your own arrangements to discuss his or her project. Note that this list is not exhaustive and faculty members not featured on this list are also eligible to supervise NSERC USRA students.

Application forms & deadline

Please contact the undergraduate coordinator in your department for specific term application deadlines.

Students are advised to contact potential supervisors and departmental staff as soon as possible to ensure awards are still available for this year. Wait lists will be generated once all of the initial awards have been allocated. It is common for additional awards to become available in August.

  • Part I of Form 202: Completed by the student
  • Part II of Form 202: Completed by the supervisor

To create or access an application, select On-line System Login on the NSERC website. To view forms and instructions, select PDF Forms and Instructions on the NSERC website.

Each USRA application will automatically be considered for the Dean's $4,500 additional funding; there is not a separate application. University of Waterloo students must be enrolled in the Accelerated Master's program to be considered and not have previous received the top-up.

See the NSERC USRA website for more details.