Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA)

NSERC | VPR

The Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) give students hands-on research experience while working on actual projects. These awards prepare students to pursue graduate studies and encourage interest in research careers. 

The awards are supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and SFU's Vice-President, Research (VPR).

Visit SFU GPS - Choose a USRA for the value and duration of Full-Time USRAs. These awards are provided to encourage undergraduate student interest in research and graduate studies. 

Working on a USRA project can potentially be counted towards a co-op work term. Please contact the Science Co-op Office to learn more.

Eligibility for USRA's

SFU Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies USRA guidelines can be found here:

NSERC USRA guidelines can be found here:

Procedures for applying for Math USRA's...

Please be sure to review full eligibility criteria, guidelines, and application forms on the NSERC USRA and Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies: USRA websites listed above, BEFORE beginning the application process.

We encourage applications from women and men, including visible minorities, aboriginal people and persons with disabilities.

NOTE: While we do our best to match students up with their preferred projects/supervisors, we cannot guarantee a preferred match due to the competitive nature of the awards. Additionally, we cannot guarantee that every applicant will be matched with a project/supervisor or receive a USRA. 

NSERC Application - Step One

Due by: TBD

  • Interested and eligible students should contact the supervisor with regards to the project they would like to work on.
  • Students must create an NSERC Online Account, complete the application for an Undergraduate Student Research Award Form 202: Part I, and upload scanned copies of their official or unofficial transcripts. Advising transcripts are not acceptable.        
  • Students must email the following documents to the Math Chair's Assistant (mcs@sfu.ca):  
    • Cover letter with a ranked list of at least three choices of projects
    • A curriculum vitae (CV)
    • A PDF of Form 202: Part I
    • Copies of transcripts
    • Their NSERC Online Reference number
    • Two reference letters
      • NOTE: Your references should directly email their reference letters to the Math Chair's Assistant (mcs@sfu.ca) by the deadline above. We do not accept reference letters submitted by applicants. 

NSERC Application - Step Two

Due by: TBD

If you are nominated for an NSERC USRA:

  • Email your applicant’s reference number to your selected supervisor and have them complete Form 202: Part II.
  • Your supervisor should send a PDF of the form for you to review and confirm that the information is correct.
  • Once you have confirmed the information is correct, your supervisor should send a PDF of the form to the Math Chair's Assistant (mcs@sfu.ca).
  • Lastly, your supervisor should “submit” the form online via the NSERC site and notify the Math Chair's Assistant afterwards.
  • NOTE: The SFU Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) Office makes the final decision for awarding all USRAs. An award is not guaranteed until GPS sends out an award letter. 

VPR Application - Step One

Due by: TBD

  • Interested and eligible students should contact the supervisor with regards to the project they would like to work on.
    • NOTE: If you are an international student who is interested in applying for a VPR USRA, please consult International Student Services (intl_advising@sfu.ca) to ensure you do not violate the terms of your study permit.
  • Complete the student portion of the VPR USRA Application Form (located on SFU GPS: Deadlines + Application Procedures website).
  • Email the following documents to the Math Chair's Assistant (mcs@sfu.ca):
    • A cover letter indicating a ranked list of at least three choices of projects
    • A curriculum vitae (CV)
    • A PDF of your VPR USRA Application Form
    • A copy of your unofficial transcript
    • Two letters of reference
      • NOTE: Your references should directly email their reference letters to the Math Chair's Assistant (mcs@sfu.ca) by the deadline above. We do not accept reference letters submitted by applicants. 

VPR Application - Step Two

Due by: TBD

If you are nominated for a VPR USRA:

  • Email your selected supervisor and ask them to complete Page 2 of your VPR USRA Application Form.
  • Your supervisor must email the completed form as a PDF to the Math Chair’s Assistant (mcs@sfu.ca)
  • NOTE: The SFU Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) Office makes the final decision for awarding all USRAs. An award isn’t guaranteed until GPS sends out an award letter. 

Current Research Projects

Below are the available research projects in mathematics from faculty members who are taking on qualified undergraduate students. Unless otherwise specified, each project is available to one student only.

The Summer 2022 USRA competition is closed

For the Summer 2023 Competition: Please check this page in December 2022 / January 2023

For questions, please contact: 

Rachel Tong, Secretary to the Chair