NSERC USRAs 2024-25

Department of Biology, University of Victoria




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The NSERC UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH AWARDS (USRA) are intended to stimulate students’ interest in research and to encourage them to consider graduate studies and pursue a career in research.

The USRA has a value of $6000 plus supervisor’s contribution (minimum approximately $3260). Students must complete a 16-week consecutive term. The start dates are May 1, September 1 or January 1. The USRA can count as a co-op work term.


Part I of Form 202: Completed by the student. Students can only create one Part 1 of Form 202. If they applied last year, they must update the form for use this year.  A student may only apply for one USRA position.

  • Students must register or log onto the NSERC on-line system and select Form 202 Part 1 under 'For Students and Fellows'.
  • Students must complete all the modules shown on the left hand side of the screen, and then verify the form on the My Portfolio screen until the report shows it is complete.
  • Students then forward the reference number provided by the system to their potential supervisor(s).
  • Students must attach their current transcripts. Unofficial UVic transcripts are acceptable, but must be verified. Students can send their unofficial UVic transcripts to Jennie (biology@uvic.ca) to be verified; all other transcripts must be official.

This form is available for update any time. If a student makes a change to the Form 202 Part I after the supervisor has pressed submit on the application, the data will not be reflected in the application. The student will need to request the supervisor contact  to release the application. The supervisor will then need to verify again and resubmit the application. 

Part II of Form 202: Completed by the supervisor.  A supervisor may sponsor only one USRA application in a given competition.  A supervisor must normally be a regular Faculty member in the Department of Biology.

  • Supervisor must log onto the on-line site with the same password and username they used to apply for their NSERC grant. If they cannot remember their access information, supervisors must contact the On-line Services Helpdesk at 613-995-4273.
  • Enter the reference number for the student with whom they wish to work, and complete all the modules necessary to create a Part II for that student.
  • Verify the form using the button the My Portfolio screen until the report states it is complete.
  • The supervisor presses the Submit to LO button to make the application available to the Office of Research Services.
  • If the supervisor does not verify the application, the “Submit to LO” button does not appear.
  • If the supervisor wants to make changes after submitting the application, they need to contact and request the application be released.
  • The final step is to email a copy of the application to the  by FEBRUARY 15, 2024.


E-mail  if you don’t see your question listed here. 

How can I find out about NSERC USRA job opportunities?

Please contact faculty individually.

How are the awards distributed?

The evaluation criteria will include the student’s academic qualifications and the potential for the proposed training program to expand the student’s research experience.

What is the minimum GPA?

The minimum GPA is usually 7.0 but it can vary from year to year depending on the pool of applicants.

When can I start and how long do I work?

May 1, September 1, or January 1. The USRA is a 16-week term.

Can I take a course at the same time?

You must submit a request in writing to the Office of Research Services along with a supporting memo from your supervisor before you start your USRA.

Can I apply for a USRA if I held one last year?

Yes, you can apply 2 years in a row; however preference will be given to students who have not previously held a USRA. Your chances are better if you have a different supervisor for your second application.

Can I apply for a USRA if I’m in my last year of studies?

Yes, students finishing their degrees can hold a USRA in the term immediately following.

Do I need to be a Biology student to work with a Biology supervisor?

A degree of preference will be given to 3rd and 4th year students who have declared a Majors or Honours program in Biology; however, all eligible students are encouraged to apply.

Do I need to be a UVIC student to work with a Biology supervisor?

Students from other institutions will be considered equally to UVIC students.