NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards Program

If you are an undergraduate student with an interest in working on research and development projects at a university, you may be eligible to apply for a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada-Undergraduate Student Research Award (NSERC-USRA). NSERC subsidizes eligible faculty members to hire students to work on their research projects. Through these awards, eligible faculty members can receive a wage subsidy of $6,000 to hire an eligible student to work on research-related jobs and projects. These awards can be held in the summer (May – Aug 2021).

Deadline for Applications to the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences: 2021 Competition Is Now Closed

Who is eligible?


  • Detailed student eligibility can be found here
  • Students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate professional degree program in the health sciences (e.g., MD, DDS, BScN, PharmD), or hold higher degrees in the natural sciences or engineering, are not eligible to apply.
  • COVID-19 UPDATE: In order to qualify for these awards, students must reside in Canada for the entirety of the term due to regulations and restrictions set out by UBC.


  • Please note that eligible USRA supervisors in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences are no longer required to hold an eligible and active NSERC grant.
  • Detailed information for potential project supervisors can be found here.
  • Potential supervisors must ensure that their proposed project is eligible for NSERC funding by referring to NSERC’s eligibility guidelines.
  • For faculty members who intend to apply to the NSERC USRA, please ensure that COVID-19 safety measures and considerations, as well as contingency plans, are included when submitting your application. Questions for consideration: Will the USRA be feasible given the COVID-19 safety plans as per our Faculty? Can the USRA be done safely?

How to apply?

Step 1 - Find a supervisor: Students are responsible for seeking out and identifying faculty supervisors by reaching out to them directly before filling in an application.

Step 2 - Complete your application package: Once you and your potential supervisor have agreed to apply for the program as a team, the two of you will need to work together to complete and submit one application. Both faculty supervisors and students must complete and submit an online NSERC USRA application Form 202 part I (student) and Part II (supervisor) by clicking on “System Login” or, if you are a first time user, “Register”.  Forward your reference number to the supervisor so they can include it in their part of the application.

Step 3 - Download a PDF copy of your complete application from the NSERC portal (signatures not required): Applications for this program must be made online through NSERC, but PDF copies of the completed forms (Form 202 Part I and part II, as well as the student’s transcripts) must be emailed to Litsa Blanis at pharmsci.ssrp@ubc.ca, by March 5, 2021, 12:00 pm PST (competition is now closed). Name this file Student Last Name, First Name – NSERC USRA application files