Undergraduate Summer Research Awards (USRA) - NSERC
Summer 2021 Undergraduate NSERC Awards
Objective: To stimulate student’s interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering, and to encourage students to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields.
Value and Duration: The award is $4500.00 plus a minimum supervisor top up to $14.00/hour plus required fringe benefits (vacation pay is included). USRA award recipients are expected to work full time (35 hours per week) for 16 consecutive weeks - $14.00 per hour x 35 hours x 16 weeks plus fringe). (Note that NSERC announced an increase to the award amount on December 8, 2020. FInal details will be updated here when available.)
• Students must work 16 consecutive weeks (35 hours per week)
• Students are not permitted to do thesis research while holding an award;
• Students are not permitted to take courses during working hours throughout the term of their award.
Process: The selection process normally involves a combination of cumulative GPA for completed courses and a research interest statement (responses to four career-oriented questions). The 2021 process is now open to receive applications. Part 1 of the Internal Application Form is to be submitted by 3:00 pm, January 15, 2021. In the meantime, you are welcome to discuss possible opportunities for supervision of summer research projects with Biology faculty members ahead of time and you should be aware that faculty members are under no obligation to make any promises to students until students have been nominated. Do not fill out the official NSERC application form until you are asked to complete it (you will only be asked if your application is successful - nominations will be made early to mid-February. You will find a listing of biology faculty and their research interests at https://biology.queensu.ca/people/department/professors/
Deadline: Completed Internal Application Forms (Part 1) must be submitted electronically to email@example.com by 3:00 pm, January 15, 2021. Successful candidates will be notified the first week of February 2021. At the February stage, successful candidates will need to secure a supervisor and complete Part 2 of the Internal Application Form (which will be sent out with nomination letters) and the official NSERC application form by 3:00 pm March 2, 2021.
Supervisor Eligibility: The holder of a USRA must be supervised by a biology faculty member. New since 2020, supervisors are no longer required to hold an active grant when applying to supervise a USRA student. There is no restriction on who can supervisor a USRA student, provided the university deems the faculty member eligible to supervise students and providing they can support their portion of the student award.
Eligibility for Applications:
• Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
• Must be registered in a honours degree program in BIOL at the time of application and must be in at least year 2 of study;
• Must have obtained at least a cumulative GPA of 3.3 for completed courses.
• If you are registered in health sciences (M.D., D.D.S., and B.Sc.N.) or have a higher degree in the natural sciences or engineering you are NOT eligible. Graduating BIOL students are eligible providing they have not started a program of graduate studies.
• Queen’s University and Queen’s Biology is committed to equity and diversity in all programs and activities and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ persons.
To Hold an Award:
• you must have been registered full-time/part-time in the term immediately before holding the award (Queen's and NSERC expects that most awards will be held by full-time students);
• you must have not started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering;
• be engaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering during the tenure of the award;
• holders of USRA’s are not permitted to take courses during working hours throughout the term of their award;
• are expected to work 16 consecutive weeks on a full-time basis;
• holders are not permitted to do thesis research during the term of the award.
Note: If you have been registered as a full-time student throughout your program but are now only registered as part-time in order to finish off the requirements of the degree you are still eligible to apply. The award will be held immediately after your final session/year. Students may hold one USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31). Although there is an endeavour to distribute awards widely, students may hold a maximum of three USRAs throughout their university career.