NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA)

ECE has 37 awards available for 2022 Summer

2022 Application Period: February 15, 2022 – March 21, 2022
Deadline: March 21, 2022 (9 a.m., extended deadline)

General eligibility requirements

  • Students must be Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents.
  • Our awards are open to currently registered second- and third-year students in the first instance.
  • Fourth-year students who will graduate at the end of the term before the USRA begins (that is, who will graduate after the term in which they apply) are eligible, as long as they do not begin graduate studies while holding the USRA and meet the other eligibility requirements. They will be considered after second- and third-year applicants.
  • PEY Co-op students can also apply for the award if they can start doing full-time USRA research by May 2, 2022.
  • As a minimum, two academic terms must be completed at the time of applying (in Feb-March 2022). First-year students are not eligible to apply.
  • Must have obtained a cumulative average of at least second class (B or 73-76%) in their previous year(s) of undergraduate studies.
  • Students must be able to commit to work the full 16 consecutive weeks (May 2, 2022 to August 19, 2022 inclusive). It is considered to be full-time work by NSERC with no provision for vacation time or other interruptions of awards.

Please remember

  • The USRA program is intended to be over and above the academic credits needed for a degree. Award holders should not receive academic credits for work done during the USRA work term.
  • Awardees are permitted to take up to a maximum of 2 courses during the award term (i.e., 0.5 FCE in each "term" during the summer), but should ask their supervisors for permission first. If class times are during USRA working hours, arrangements will need to be made in order to make up time for the USRA project. If an awardee has signed up for a course but realizes that it has become unmanageable, they should then drop the course as the awardee’s obligation for the duration of the award is to their supervisor and the USRA project.
  • A student may hold only one USRA per fiscal year.
  • A student may hold a maximum of three (3) USRAs throughout their university career.
  • A student should not submit multiple applications to ECE; only one application per student will be accepted.
  • Your supervisor must be from (i.e., hold their primary appointment and/or have their grants held at) The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. Postdoctoral fellows, graduate or PhD students are not eligible supervisors. (For more details on faculty eligibility, please visit the NSERC website.)
    • Applicants must find their own ECE Research Supervisor. The best place to start is to review what our faculty members are working on via the ECE Research website. Please contact the Research Supervisors directly to determine whether they can sponsor your application and send them your CV and academic record.

The total value of this award is $7,500 ($6,000 from NSERC and a supervisory top-up of $1,500).

Application procedure

U of T students should use their UTORid to log in to ECE’s Student Award Application System (SAAS) to apply for the NSERC USRA before the deadline in order to be considered for the award. The online application system has two steps: completing a questionnaire and uploading the four required documents. The application will only be considered once the second part of the application has been completed and all four required documents have been submitted.

Students applying from outside of U of T will need to email their application to ugta.ece@utoronto.ca before the deadline in order to be considered for the award. The package must be organized in the arrangement as listed below.

Required forms

  1. The 2022 Student Supervisor Certification (PDF) signed by both student and supervisor. Make sure to date the form.
  2. Form 202- Part I (Student’s part) (please see details below).
  3. Form 202- Part II (Supervisor’s part) (please see details below).
  4. Transcript. Students can provide an e-transcript or academic history report generated directly from ACORN; an official transcript is not required.

No other extra information will be accepted (e.g., reference letters).

The application form (Form 202 Parts I and II) is to be completed online on the NSERC web page

  1. Student applicants are to complete the latest version of the application form (Form 202, Part I) on the NSERC website. Follow the instructions and adhere to NSERC’s General Presentation Guideline. Handwritten applications will not be accepted. Please use the following information to complete Part I:
      • Name of discipline: this is the name of your program (e.g. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, etc.).
      • Institution: Students from U of T should indicate “Toronto.
      • Department: if you are from ECE at U of T, please indicate “Electrical & Computer Engineering, Edward S. Rogers Department of.” Engineering Science students should indicate “Engineering Science, Division of.”
      • For expected degree completion, please follow the YYYY/MM format. The month should either be June (06) or November (11).
      • Please use your U of T email address.
  1. Attach a PDF copy of your transcripts (or the university e-transcripts or the most recent academic history report from ACORN) to the application form (Part I). Please note that the Undergraduate Office will verify your grades.
  2. Once Form 202 – Part I has been completed, provide your prospective supervisor with the reference number generated by the system so that they may complete Part II of the form.
    • Please note that the research grant application number — which is the RGPIN number — is no longer used by NSERC. Please enter 999999 or any six-digit number.

For more guidelines for both students and research supervisors (Form 202 Part I and Part II), please follow the 2022 USRA Application Checklist (PDF).

Other resources you may find useful

Department Application Deadline: Monday, March 21, 2022 (9 a.m.)

NSERC USRA Nominees will be contacted by April 8, 2022. A wait-list will be created of those applicants who were not originally nominated should any award become available.

If you have questions about ECE’s USRA, please contact ugta.ece@utoronto.ca or call 416-978-3145.

©2022 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering