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 2018, Fall 2018 and Spring 2019. Applications can be dropped off at the Office of Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Fellows from March 1- 30 2018.  

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 to this is students holding a USRA in the Fall 2016 term do not have to be registered in the preceding summer; however, a student graduating in the Spring term is NOT eligible to hold the award in the Fall 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 $1,856 + 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.  Note that after June 1, 2018 the faculty supplement for a full time USRA is valued at a minimum $2,584 + 8% (for statutory benefits). 

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 $928.00 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 that as of June 1, 2018 the faculty supplement for a part time USRA is valued at a mimimum $1,292 + 8% for statutory benefits (note that this calculation is 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 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 Office of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Fellows c/o SFU Graduate Awards. 
  • DGS 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 DGS within three weeks of the award offer.
  • Students who have accepted a USRA must complete the Personal Data Form and submit it to their department manager prior to their USRA start date.
  • 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. A copy of the department’s FPP4 must be sent to DGS at the same time. (See also: Guide to completing the PAF.)
  • The department and/or supervisor must contact DGS regarding any leave or interruption to the USRA. Once DGS receives the copy of the PAF, we will approve the file and process the VPR portion of the award via the student's SIMS account.
  • The department and/or supervisor must contact DGS regarding any leave or interruption to the USRA.

Deadlines and Award Notifications

  • Applicants must submit completed applications directly to DGS between March 4 - March 31, 2018.
  • 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. 

Here are some of the departmental contacts for these awards. Please note that there may be additional depts where a VPR USRA Arts can be held; contact dgsawards@sfu.ca for more information.

Dept Contact Email Address Dept USRA Process
ARCH Merrill Farmer arch-grad-secretary@sfu.ca PAF's by mfarmer@sfu.ca
CMNS Lucie Menkveld cmnsmgr@sfu.ca  
ECON Mike Perry mjp6@sfu.ca  
EDUC   edgpadmn@sfu.ca
ENGL     PAF's by Maureen Curtin (englmgr@sfu.ca)
HSCI Arlette Stewart fhs_advising@sfu.ca
HIST Judi Fraser histmngr@sfu.ca PAF's by Judi Fraser (histmngr@sfu.ca)
LING Rita Parmar parmar@sfu.ca  
MAIS   intst@sfu.ca  
POL   polgrad@sfu.ca  
PSYC Tara Smith or Dr. Ralph Mistlberger tds11@sfu.ca / mistlber@sfu.ca  
SIAT   siatgrad-office@sfu.ca  
STAT Jinko Graham stat-grad-chair@sfu.ca  

Page updated: December 2017