Undergraduate Student Research Awards

VPR Social Sciences & Humanities Undergraduate Student Research Awards

SFU's Vice-President Research has provided  funding for an award program entitled “Vice-President, Research Undergraduate Student Research Awards” (VPR USRA) for the social sciences and humanities departments at Simon Fraser University.

Eligible applicants must work a minimum of 16 weeks under the supervision of a faculty supervisor who currently holds a Research Grant. Awards can be held on a full-time or part-time basis and are offered on a first come, first serve basis. Students receiving a full-time award cannot be registered in courses during the term when they are receiving the funds.  Students holding this award on a part-time basis may take up to 3 courses, with the approval of their USRA supervisor. 

We will be accepting applications for full-time or part-time VPR USRA Humanities awards to be held in the Summer 2019, Fall 2019 and Spring 2020. Applications can be dropped off at the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office from March 4- 29 2019.  

Eligibility Criteria
VPR USRA awards are available to students who wish to work with a faculty member who holds a major grant, but not necessarily from SSHRC or CIHR. Current SFU International students may also apply.

Note that VPR USRA Social Sciences and Humanities applicants must:

  • have been registered and enrolled in courses in the term immediately before holding the award in a bachelor's degree program at SFU (the only exception is a student holding a USRA in the Fall term does not have to be registered in the preceding summer; however, a student graduating in one term is NOT eligible to hold the award in the following term);
  • have obtained, over the previous years of study, a CGPA of at least 2.67;
  • have held 2 or less USRAs (including NSERC) previously;
  • hold the award for a minimum 16 week duration; and,
  • not have started a program of graduate studies.

Value and Duration
Full-time awards
 are available to undergraduate students not enrolled in any courses during the academic term in which the award will be held. The value of a full-time VPR USRA is $4,500, paid over the minimum 16-week period. Simon Fraser University requires that all students holding USRAs receive an additional minimum supplement at the departmental level of at least $2584 + 8% benefits (over the 16-week period). We emphasize that this mandatory supplement is a minimum value; any supplement above this level may be set at the department’s discretion.   

Part-time awards are available to undergraduate students enrolled in no more than three courses during the academic term(s) in which the award will be held. The value of a part-time VPR USRA is $2,250 paid over the minimum 16-week period. Part-time VPR USRA recipients must receive an additional minimum supplement at the departmental level of $1,292 + 8% for statuatory benefits from the faculty supervisor’s research grant. Again, this is the minimum supplement required; any supplement above this level may be set at the faculty supervisor’s discretion. 

Note - these calculations are based on a P/T USRA working 17.5 hours per week over a 16 week duration.

VPR USRA Process (for Students, Supervisors and Departments)

  • Departments and students should review the eligibility criteria as outlined above.
  • Interested students should contact the proposed supervisor or department at Simon Fraser University in which they would like to hold the award.
  • Students complete the VPR USRA application form, print it and attach copies of current unofficial transcripts (not advising transcripts).
  • Students must email or meet with their proposed supervisor to complete the second section of the application form.  
  • The applicant checks over the application for completeness and submits it, in paper copy only, directly to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office c/o SFU Graduate Awards. 
  • GPS will review the eligibility of all applicants and send the applications to the VPR Office for approval before offering the awards.  
  • Students must complete the Award Acceptance Form and return it to GPS within three weeks of the award offer.
  • Students who have accepted a USRA must complete the Personal Data Form and submit it to their USRA department manager.
  • The department manager must send the personal data form (from Human Resources/Payroll) and completed payroll appointment form (PAF), for the faculty portion of the award, to Payroll approximately one month before the USRA start date.
  • The department and/or supervisor must contact GPS regarding any leave or interruption to the USRA. 
  • GPS will process the VPR portion of the award via the student's SIMS account.
  • The department and/or supervisor must contact GPS regarding any leave or interruption to the USRA.

Deadlines and Award Notifications

  • Applicants must submit completed applications directly to GPS between March 4 - March 29, 2019.
  • Students will be notified of the results of the current competition as soon as funding has been confirmed throughout March and April.
  • Student who are interested in this funding opportunity may still be able to apply after the deadline. Please review the eligibility criteria to ensure you are eligible before contacting our office. 

Page updated: December 2018