How to apply for USRA and SURA Awards

There are two competitive programs of paid employment for science undergraduate students interested in conducting research projects with faculty members in the Faculty of Science:

• the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA), which is a national award; and

• the Faculty of Science Undergraduate Research Award (SURA)

Student Eligibility

NSERC USRAs:

• Students must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada

• Applicants must be registered in an eligible undergraduate bachelor's degree program

• Award employment must be done in the Faculty of Science (St. John's campus) with the exception of Faculty of Medicine NSERC USRA awards (see below)

• Applicants with Indigenous status will be automatically granted a NSERC USRA award given they meet the minimum program requirements

• You must have a cumulative average of at least second class (a grade of "B" or "B-,") as defined by Memorial

Faculty of Science SURAs:

• All students (Canadian and International) are eligible

• SURA recipients must be registered in a B.Sc. program at Memorial University (St. John’s campus)

• Award employment must be done in the Faculty of Science (St. John's campus)

• You must have a cumulative average of at least second class (a grade of "B" or "B-,") as defined by Memorial

Note: Students must have been registered in at least one of the two terms immediately before holding the award in a bachelor's degree program. 

Faculty of Medicine NSERC USRA Awards

• There are a limited number of awards available for students to take with supervisors in the Faculty of Medicine

• Students interested in taking one of these awards should apply through the Faculty of Science NSERC USRA/SURA competition (same deadlines apply)

• Applicants must clearly indicate on their cover sheet that they are applying for a Faculty of Medicine NSERC USRA

• Applicants will not be eligible to work with Faculty of Medicine supervisor unless they apply for Faculty of Medicine NSERC USRA

• Students applying for a Faculty of Medicine NSERC USRA must also indicate which Department within the Faculty of Science they would consider taking their award, should Faculty of Medicine awards be unavailable

Supervisor’s Eligibility

• Supervisors must contribute a minimum of $2,150 for each award

• For SURA awards, supervisors must be a faculty member with the Faculty of Science (the supervisor portion of the award can be paid from any grant).

• For NSERC USRA awards, faculty members are not required to hold an active tri-agency research grant (the supervisor portion of the award can be paid from any grant).

Deadline:
Monday, Feb. 8th, 2021 at 9 a.m.

Application procedures for NSERC USRA and Faculty of Science SURA programs

All Science students applying for either the NSERC USRA or the Faculty of Science SURA must complete the cover sheet, include their most recent transcript (including fall 2020 semester) and Form 202 (Part 1) by email to sciencegrants@mun.ca.

For instructions on how to complete Form 202 (Part I), students should refer to the NSERC website or contact Nicole Babichuk (nbabichuk@mun.ca). If you have not previously used the NSERC protal, you can create an account here

Application Checklist

Form 202, Part I (to be completed by the applicant)

□ Official or unofficial university transcripts including Fall 2020 grades

Cover Sheet

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for the USRA/SURA?

Applicants must send the cover sheet, including their most recent transcript and Form 202 (Part I) by email to sciencegrants@mun.ca. Applicants for the Faculty of Science SURA must apply using the same procedure as the NSERC USRA. Students who meet eligibility criteria for both the USRA and SURA programs will be considered for both awards. 

Are there any differences between the NSERC USRA and the Faculty of Science SURA? 

Employment conditions for the SURA are exactly the same as for an NSERC USRA. The USRA is only available for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, while the SURA is open to both Canadian and International students.

What is the length of the USRA/SURA? 

The tenure of the award is 16 weeks on a full-time basis (35 hours/week), and the awards are usually taken in the spring/summer semester.

Can I defer my award to another semster? 

NSERC USRA awards can be deferred to another semster given the student will still meet the eligibility requirements; however, SURA awards cannot be deferred.

Do I need to have a supervisor to apply for a USRA/SURA? 

A supervisor is not required for application submission, but students may identify a supervisor they wish to work with on the application form cover sheet. If you are awarded a USRA/SURA will we help you identify a supervisor that corresponds with your research interests.

Can I hold a job while I am completing my USRA/SURA?

These positions are intended to be full-time (35 hours/week), and it is the responsibility of the supervisor and the student to establish normal working hours. Recipients are not permitted to hold a second position at MUN while holding a USRA/SURA.

Can I complete my award remotely? 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both the USRA and SURA can be taken remotely or on campus depending on the nature of the work. It is the responsibility of the student and supervisor to establish the expectations of the award work. Note: This may change as the university updates its policies for students on campus.

Can I take courses while I have a USRA/SURA? 

This award is intended to be a full-time research position, therefore students are only permitted to take one course (with permission from their supervisor) while completing their USRA/SURA.

Can I do my honors thesis while I hold a USRA/SURA? 

USRA/SURA recipients are not permitted to take an honors thesis course while completing their award. They may take an honors thesis course in the term before or after they complete their award but not during, as these awards are full-time resarch positions.

Can I apply to a USRA/SURA if I am not currently a Memorial student? 

All students registered in an eligible undergraduate program can apply to hold an NSERC USRA at Memorial, even if they are currently enrolled at a different institution. Similarily, if a Memorial student wishes to take a USRA at another institution they must apply directly to that institution to receive one of their award allocations. The Faculty of Science SURAs are only available to current Memorial BSc. students. 

Can I take a vacation during my USRA/SURA?

Allocation of vacation for students during the award is to be determined between the supervisor and the student, but award recipients may be required to make up this time. 

Can complete my USRA/SURA project remotely?

Yes, project work can be completed remotely for the spring/summer term. However, please make sure you establish on-campus or remote work with your supervisor prior to starting the award. 

What is the award amount?

The total award amount is the same for the NSERC USRA and the Faculty of Science SURA. Supervisor contribution is (minimum) $2,150. NSERC/Faculty of Science contribution is $6,000.

I am having trouble attaching my unofficial transcript to the Form 202, Part I. What should I do? 

Try printing to Adobe PDF as a way to resave the file. If you are still unable to attach the unofficial transcript to the Form 202 - Part I, please send it as a separate PDF to sciencegrants@mun.ca.

Contact

Faculty of Science

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000