NSERC/SSHRC/CIHR Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA)

The Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) program is administered jointly by Canada’s three research granting agencies: the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Through these awards, professors can receive a wage subsidy of $6,000 to hire an eligible student to work on research and development in your lab. You gain valuable help in furthering students’ research while supporting them in their learning.

The LFS quota for the NSERC USRA has been announced by the UBC Career Centre. The Faculty of Land and Food Systems has 5 NSERC USRA 2024-25 awards. These awards can be held in the summer (May – August 2024), fall (September – December 2024) or winter (January – April 2025) terms.

NSERC encourages qualified Black and Indigenous students to apply for this award. Specific award pathways have been established for Black and Indigenous students.  Please visit UBC Student Services website and NSERC website for more information.

The LFS internal deadline for the USRA program is Friday February 16, 2024; the LFS evaluation criteria and process are available on the LFS Research Support website.

Program requirements

  • Similar to last year, UBC will continue to have non-NSERC grant holders receive approval from their Associate Dean or appropriate designate as part of the application process.
  • Work terms are required to be 14 – 16 weeks long. Shortened award term (less than 14 weeks) will have to obtain exception pre-approval from NSERC prior to submission.
  • Remote supervision of projects will be permitted. Supervisors must hold regular meetings with USRA holders via phone or video calls.
  • Full value ($6,000) of the award will be honored once application is approved by NSERC.
  • For the student’s salary, BC’s minimum wage requirements must be met. In addition, supervisors are required to fund benefits (CPP, EI, WCB) amounting to approximately 7.48% of the monthly wage.
  • The USRA research is a full time activity (35 hours paid hours/week). Students are allowed to take a maximum of two (2) courses during the tenure of award.
  • CIHR USRA and SSHRC USRA are exclusively for Black student researchers.

Additional information about the program can be found on the Faculty and Staff webpage. Student eligibility information is available on Student Services website.

Please contact LFS Undergraduate Student Research Awards lfs.nserc-usra@ubc.ca if you have any questions.