Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRAs)


Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRAs)

The Undergraduate Student Research Awards are available to UBC Engineering domestic and international undergraduate students. Students have the opportunity to complete a paid full-time 16 week work term by conducting research with faculty supervision.

Domestic students can qualify for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Awards (NSERC USRAs).

International students can qualify for the Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Awards (WLIURA).

COVID-19 UPDATE: In order to qualify for these awards, students must reside Canada for the entirety of the term due to regulations and restrictions set out by UBC.

Please ensure you read the entirety of the corresponding section to ensure you are eligible.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Awards (NSERC USRAs)

Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to do research at the undergraduate level. Review what students had to say about what they’ve learned through their placements in 2018 – 2019

The goals of the NSERC USRA program are to:

  • To stimulate interest in natural sciences and engineering
  • To provide career-related work experience for the award recipient/student
  • To provide students with financial support


Please familiarize yourself with the award and the Eligibility requirements through the information found on the UBC NSERC USRA webpage.

Work Terms

The Faculty of Applied Science is provided with a quota of NSERC USRA awards annually for the UBC Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

A USRA can be held during the following terms:

  • Summer (May 1 to August 31)
  • Fall (September 1 to December 31)
  • Winter (January 1 to April 31)

There is one application deadline per academic year.

How to Apply

Find a professor who is willing to hire and supervise you for a research project. Due to the recent changes made by NSERC, both eligible grant holders and non- grant holders can apply for the NSERC grant. Non-grant holders will require approval from their specific departments.

The NSERC USRA application process for the Faculty of Applied Science is two-fold.


1. Complete and submit Form 202 on the NSERC website

Please refer to this checklist NSERC USRA Form 202 Common Errors 20-21 and the resources provided under the ‘Additional Information’ section to ensure you have completed the form correctly:

  • Part II (to be filled by the supervisor) (NSERC USRA FORM 202 – Part II Example) This now includes a section on ‘Quality of Training’ where faculty members must include a brief description of the expected quality of training for the student under “Outline of Student’s Role”

2. Follow the department-specific instructions to apply:

Please note that these are the instructions to work with professors from the Faculty of Applied Science. If you are interested in working with a professor from another faculty, please refer to the corresponding faculty/school contacts.


Each department has their own deadlines for the Summer/Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 research awards, please check with the department you are applying to work with.

All departments must submit their final lists to the Professional Development office by Thursday, March 18, 2021.

Additional Information

Here are some important reference tools and required documents for students, supervisors and coordinators that will help to explain application procedure, ensure the applicants are eligible and they complete the application correctly.

For more questions, please email: apsc.pd@ubc.ca

 Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Award (WLIURA)

The goals of the Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Award:

  • To provide undergraduate international students with career-related work experience through research opportunities
  • To stimulate interest in natural sciences and engineering


  • Awards will be allocated to the Faculty of Applied Science UBC Vancouver Campus based on the current enrollment number of undergraduate international students
  • Students must have a B- 68% cumulative GPA and have completed a minimum of first year or two terms
  • Have a valid study permit
  • Be on a “scheduled break”, or
  • Be “full time for immigration purposes
  • Have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN), (in some cases can take weeks to obtain; be sure to plan ahead

Value and Payment

Students will hold the awards preferably during the summer term for roughly full-time work.

These awards have a value of $6,000. This amount will be reimbursed to your project supervisor’s account. Supervisors are required to pay a minimum wage over 16 weeks (inclusive of 4% vacation pay), as well as benefits (CPP, EI, WCB) amounting to approximately 7.48%.


  • When submitting a research project proposal for funding with a faculty member – Wednesday, February 10, 2021
  • When applying for posted opportunities on UBC CareersOnline – Jobs will be posted from March 8 -28, 2021

How to Apply

Option 1: (Deadline – Wednesday, February 10)

  1. Reach out to a faculty member who is willing to hire you to work on a research project. (Use this Resource Document to find a faculty member)
  2. Submit a research project proposal together with the faculty member
  3. The faculty member will hear back about the funding approval for the proposal by March 1, 2021

Option 2:

  1. Browse through WLIURA postings on UBC CareersOnline (login with your CWL, –> Opportunities –> Search) from March 8-28, 2021
  2. Apply on UBC CareersOnline by submitting an application


Other Information

Any Faculty of Applied Science, Engineering faculty member with funding can agree to be the research supervisor


For more questions, please email: apsc.pd@ubc.ca