Mathematics Undergraduate Research Award (MURA)

The Mathematics Undergraduate Research Award (MURA) is a research award sponsored by the Faculty of Mathematics. It is an opportunity for undergraduate students to:

  • Nurture interest and develop potential for a research career in mathematics, computer science or statistics;
  • Gain research experience that complements their studies in an academic setting and receive financial support from the Faculty of Mathematics; and
  • Potentially gain interest in pursuing graduate studies.

Students who are looking for a potential supervisor may express their interest by filling out the matching application form for USRA/MURA Supervisor or Project.

Award applications

Please refer to the individual application forms and complete the appropriate form based on the unit you are currently enrolled in:

Additional information for award applications

MURA is competitive and the number of awards are limited.

If you are a permanent resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen, you might want to also consider applying for NSERC USRA:

  • Eligibility requirements are virtually identical to the MURA's.
  • NSERC USRAs are also awarded through a competitive process.
  • If awarded an NSERC USRA, you will be working with the same supervisor and on the same proposed research project, which will be funded at the same level.

Special note for Black and Indigenous students:

As noted on the NSERC USRA webpage, there is currently a special program in place to support students who self-identify as Black or Indigenous who are guaranteed an award provided they meet eligibility requirements.

Application deadlines*

Description Spring Term Fall Term Winter Term
Co-op deadline January 10, 2024 May 10, 2024 September 13, 2024
Final deadline April 10, 2024 August 9, 2024 November 8, 2024

*The above dates are the deadlines for the applications to reach the Math Research Office. Students should contact their department undergraduate coordinators to determine their respective department deadlines. These will be much earlier than the above dates.

Eligibility criteria

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, as of the application deadline.
  • Cannot have completed all your degree requirements as of the application deadline.
  • Must have obtained, over the previous years of study, a cumulative average of equal to or above 80%.
  • Must 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 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.

In addition, you may:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree and studying toward a second bachelor's degree.
  • Take a maximum of one course (not including PD courses) during the tenure of the MURA if special arrangements to make up the time have been made with your supervisor.
  • Hold only one MURA award per fiscal year (May 1 to April 30).
  • Hold a maximum of three MURA awards throughout the undergraduate career in the Faculty of Mathematics.
  • Not hold both USRA and MURA awards in the same academic term.

Value of the award

The award has a value of $6,000 per academic term. Research supervisors are required to supplement the amount of the award by at least $4018 using other sources (commencing Fall 2024 term, so as to ensure student salaries meet or exceed the current minimum wage rate). The number of awards available for each fiscal year is limited and will be communicated by the Mathematics Research Office in advance.

Selection for the award

Students must submit applications in the prescribed form to their home department and secure approval of a research supervisor. Departments may choose suitable applicants for ranking and/or nomination that should be submitted to Mathematics Research Office. Selections will be made by the Associate Dean Research & International in the Faculty of Mathematics based on the nominations submitted by the specified closing date for each academic term.