Funding and awards

Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA)

Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) assist students with government funding, awards, bursaries, and scholarships.

Government Funding

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a mix of grants and loans for students. Through your OSAP application, you may have access to a mix of different financial aid programs, depending on your circumstances. Visit how to apply for OSAP for more details.

If you are an out of province student, you are required to apply for government aid through your home province. Visit out of province student aid for more details.  

Awards and Scholarships

There are a variety of awards and scholarships available to students at the University of Waterloo. Some of these awards are specific to the students in the Faculty of Science. There are two databases created by SAFA to help students find awards they qualify for.


Bursaries are non-repayable awards issued to students who demonstrate financial need. There is a range of bursaries offered by SAFA, please check their website to determine which bursaries you may be eligible for. 

Work programs

In addition to awards, scholarships and bursaries, SAFA funds various work programs to provide full-time and part-time on-campus positions. Students looking for full-time positions (both co-op and non co-op) should visit the work placement program, while students looking for part-time jobs while in classes should visit the work-study program or international work-study program.

President's Upper Year awards

*New application procedure: here is how to apply

  • Look for undergraduate research opportunities.
  • Once you have found a research position and connected with the research supervisor, complete the President’s Research Award online form.
  • Full eligibility details and application instructions can be found on the application/claim form.

Other funding opportunities

Waterloo Science Endowment Fund (WatSEF)

Waterloo Science Endowment Fund (WatSEF) aims to enhance the learning environment of Waterloo Science by ensuring the most recent and advanced laboratory equipment are available in Science, Optometry, and Pharmacy labs. For more information about WatSEF and how you can get involved, please visit the WatSEF website.

Faculty of Science Foundation (FSF)

The Faculty of Science Foundation's (FSF) mission is to enhance the scholarly life of Science students at the University of Waterloo through a variety of means. FSF provides funding opportunities for events and awards to benefit Science students. For more information about FSF and how to receive funding or get involved, please visit the FSF website.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

Students who are interested in conducting research, may want to consider applying to for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Undergraduate Student Research Award. The award program is designed for undergraduate students to nurture their interest and fully develop their potential for research, in addition to encouraging students to peruse graduate studies. For more information about the award, please visit the NSERC website. Additional details can be found on the Waterloo Research site.

Each department has its own process when applying for NSERC. Biology, Chemistry, and Physics all have their own website outlining the process. For Earth and Environmental Science, please contact Sue Fisher.