NSERC USRA Program (Medicine)

NSERC UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH AWARDS (USRA) PROGRAM
2022-23 Competition – Internal Deadline and Application Procedures
Administered by Faculty of Medicine – Research & Graduate Studies (RGS) Office

Deadline for submission: February 9, 2022
 
Applications must be completed using the web-based NSERC Application. 

Undergraduate Students, who meet the eligibility requirements and are interested in carrying out a 16 week (35 hours per week) research/development work term in Natural Sciences and Engineering, under the supervision of a faculty NSERC research grant holder, are invited to submit an application to the 2022-23 NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards Program at Memorial. Research awards resulting from Memorial’s annual internal competition may be held in the Summer 2022, Fall 2022 or Winter 2023 semester.

NSERC USRA Program Information - http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/UG-PC/USRA-BRPC_eng.asp


FULL NSERC USRA APPLICATION PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • NSERC Form 202 Part I – Completed using NSERC’s online system
  • Official Transcript(s) including Fall 2020 grades. Applicants are advised to submit an advance request to the Registrar’s Office to ensure that their official transcript includes grades from the noted period.  
  • If applicable, copy of documentation verifying Aboriginal Status
  • Faculty of Science NSERC USRA Application - Cover Sheet

 
Please forward your completed Faculty of Science NSERC USRA Application - Cover Sheet to science@mun.ca by February 9, 2022.


VALUE OF THE AWARD

$6,000 (from NSERC) plus the supervisors’ minimum mandatory top-up of $2,150 – for minimum award of $8,150.  Travel allowances are no longer granted.
 


DURATION OF THE AWARD

Mandatory 16 consecutive weeks (35 hour work week) – Note that there is one competition at Memorial, but the research project work term can commence in the Summer 2022, Fall 2022, or Winter 2023 semester.
 


MEDICINE – RGS OFFICE CONTACT

Amy Carroll (709) 864-6338 or 6337; e-mail rgs.funding@med.mun.ca
 


AM I ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

To be eligible to apply for a NSERC USRA award, the undergraduate student must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  • be registered (at the time of application – February 2022) in a bachelor’s degree program in the natural sciences or engineering at an eligible university; or be registered in a bachelor’s degree program in fields other than the natural sciences or engineering, but be eligible to be engaged in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering fields for the 16 week work term;
  • have obtained, over the previous years of study, a cumulative average of at least second class (a grade of “B”) as defined by the university, as of the end of the Fall 2021 semester (i.e. students would be in the 2nd year of their academic program at the time of application)

NOTE: Undergraduate students holding aboriginal status are encouraged to apply. Awards to aboriginal students are in addition to the university quota from NSERC. Students must meet all the program’s eligibility criteria.
 
In addition:

  • if the student already holds a bachelor’s degree and is studying towards a second bachelor’s degree in the natural sciences or engineering, he/she may still apply;
  • a student may hold only one USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31);
  • a student may hold a maximum of three USRAs throughout his/her university career;
  • a student may hold a USRA at any Canadian university, not only the one at which they are registered, but they must apply to the other institution where they would like to hold an award.

To hold an award, a student must:

  • have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) of his/her bachelor’s degree;
  • have been registered in the term immediately before holding the award in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible university;
  • not have started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering; and
  • be engaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering during tenure of the award (mandatory 16 consecutive weeks).

A student is not considered eligible for an undergraduate student research award if he/she is currently enrolled in an undergraduate professional degree program in the health sciences (e.g., M.D., D.D.S., B.Sc.N.); or holds higher degrees in the natural sciences or engineering.  Although applicants may be ‘eligible’ to apply to the USRA program, the university selection Committee reserves the right to recommend awards.
 


HOW DO I APPLY?

At the initial application stage, students must:

  1. Log on to NSERC’s On-Line system (new applicants must register as a first-time user) - http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/OnlineServices-ServicesEnLigne/Index_eng.asp
  2. Complete the web-based NSERC Application for an Undergraduate Student Research Award - Form 202 - Part 1 (Student Personal Data). Forms that are hand-written or typed from the PDF template form will not be accepted;
  3. Upload a PDF copy of your Official University Transcript(s) (including one copy of the legend located on the back side of the transcript) and attach it to the Form 202 Part I. For multiple transcripts, they must be uploaded as one PDF. Applicants are advised to submit an advance request to the Registrar’s Office to ensure that their official transcript includes grades from the noted period.  
  4. Once all modules have been completed, go to the My Portfolio page and select Verify. If the Verification Report indicates the verification was successful, please proceed to the next step. If the Verification Report indicates the verification was unsuccessful, follow the instructions to complete the application and select Verify again to check for completeness. Repeat until verification is successful;
  5. Print the completed web-based form (Form 202 – Part 1);
  6. Complete the ‘Faculty of Science NSERC USRA Application - Cover Sheet’ and forward to science@mun.ca.

[Note: Students are not required to identify a supervisor at this point in the application process. Once awardees have been selected, the Faculty of Medicine will forward a list with contact information of faculty members who are eligilble to supervise students and their research area(s).  However, students applying to the Faculty of Medicine are encouraged to meet with department/academic unit heads and/or faculty where possible to discuss the types of research programs that can be supported.]
 


WHAT HAPPENS TO MY APPLICATION ONCE SUBMITTED?

Once all applications are collected, the Faculty of Medicine will work with the Faculty of Science to rank the applications and students will be notified if they are successful.  In past years, competitive awards have been based on: student merit; departmental/unit ranking; year of program; and Committee consensus.  NSERC is continuing with its intiative to encourage Aboriginal students to pursue university studies in natural sciences and engineering.  Any Aboriginal student that meets all of the program's eligibility criteria is strongly encouraged to apply.  Eligible students opting to apply under the Aboriginal status criteria must provide reasonable proof of Aboriginal status.  Awards to Aboriginal students are in addition to the university quota from NSERC. 

For those students offered an award, the Medicine – RGS Office will assist with identifying an eligible research supervisor (current NSERC holder) for each student, who will meet with the awardees to discuss a suitable research project, and determine the term period and potential start date.  Eligible supervisors will be asked to complete the on-line NSERC Form 202 - Part II (inputting the student’s reference number), provide their NSERC’s grant award application number (from their award notification), and confirm the student supplement amount from their research grant account,
 
Subsequently, each student recommended by the Committee to receive an award will be sent an award letter and will be asked to confirm their acceptance in writing by a specified date.  In the event that a student declines an award offer, the next student on Memorial’s alternate ranking waitlist will be offered an award.  When all awards from Memorial’s quota have been offered and confirmed, the remaining students will be notified in writing of the final competition results.  For those students who wish to apply for a Science SURA, your NSERC USRA applicaiton will be used for that program as well.  For those students who wish to apply for a Medicine SURA, you must apply separately to the Faculty of Medicine SURA program.  The deadline for student applications for the Medicine SURA program is March 9, 2022
 


CAN I APPLY TO OTHER UNIVERSITIES BESIDES MEMORIAL?

Eligible students enrolled at Memorial may also apply to and, if offered an award, hold an award at any Canadian University but they must apply separately to another university within that university’s deadline date and comply with that university’s internal policies for the USRA Program.  Students registered at Memorial who successfully apply for a USRA at another Canadian university, are eligible to receive a travel allowance to have their economy return air fare expense reimbursed.  Students interested in applying to other universities should contact the other universities directly to inquire about competition closing dates, and information about the internal process for applying to the USRA program at that university. 
 


CAN I APPLY TO MEMORIAL EVEN THOUGH I ATTEND ANOTHER UNIVERSITY?


Yes, the same application process would be followed as described above in “How Do I Apply?”