1. How are the nominees chosen?
NSERC USRA nominees are chosen based on academic standing, program of study and research supervisor. Applicants must meet the NSERC minimum standing requirement but the competitive average is often much higher. In addition, our goal is to ensure fair distribution among each of the programs for which we administer these awards: Electrical and Computer Engineering and Engineering Science, the year of study (second and third year) as well as among ECE Departmental supervisors.
Faculty Undergraduate Summer Research Award nominees are chosen based on academic standing and duties and responsibilities of the applicant in the research project. Financial need is also a major selection criterion. In addition, our goal is to ensure fair distribution among each of the programs for which we administer these awards: Electrical and Computer Engineering, the year of study (first, second and third year) as well as among ECE Departmental supervisors.
2. How do I find a research supervisor?
An excellent resource is to go to the top of this web page and look under “Research.” When you decide on a potential research topic and supervisor, please send them a brief email message asking them if they will meet with you to discuss your award application. Please make certain that your proposed supervisor is a member of this department (especially when considering Biomedical Engineering topics).
NSERC requires that all summer research supervisors hold NSERC grants.
Potential supervisors are notified of this requirement so they will not mind if you verify this with them.
3. I have never done research before. What type of project will I be expected to do?
Your research supervisor will help you to plan a research project that is compatible with your interests and appropriate to your level of experience.
4. If I have held a NSERC USRA or Faculty Undergraduate Summer Research award previously, may I apply again?
Yes. However, our awards are extremely competitive, and we want to give as many students as possible the experience and opportunity to undertake summer research work, so a consecutive award is not guaranteed.
5. Can I apply if I am currently on PEY Co-op?
Students cannot take up an award while on PEY Co-op; PEY Co-op placements must end before the award start date or begin after the award end date. Students are eligible to take up the USRA before going on a 12-month PEY Co-op, as long as there is no overlap.