FoM NSERC USRA 2023 Info Session

Tuesday, February 7th, 4:30-5:30pm (Register Here)

Watch the 2022 info session here

Deadline: March 2, 2023 [8:00 am]

Would you like to get some research experience in an academic setting?

If you are an undergraduate student enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program with an interest in working on research and development projects at a University, you may be eligible to apply for an Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA). The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) subsidizes eligible professors to hire students on their research projects, thereby creating interesting research-related jobs and giving you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.

How do you find USRA positions in the Faculty of Medicine?

Try to create your own research opportunity by contacting eligible professors you would like to work with and tell them about this program. Many professors will be happy to talk to you about the opportunity to hire you at a subsidized wage. See our Student Research website for tips on how to contact a supervisor.

UBC and the Faculty of Medicine believe that sustained excellence in research, education and engagement depends on the integration of diverse perspectives and approaches and the inclusion of those who have been historically, persistently or systemically marginalized. We are committed to ensuring equitable consideration is given to all applicants.

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 the UBC website and NSERC website for more information.

Who is eligible to be an NSERC USRA supervisor?

Current holders of active NSERC grants on this list, both PI’s and co-PI’s, are eligible to act as NSERC USRA supervisors. Here is the list of eligible FoM supervisors for 2023. A supervisor may submit only one NSERC USRA application to the Faculty of Medicine competition each year.

Potential supervisors must ensure that their proposed project is eligible for NSERC funding by referring to NSERC’s eligibility guidelines.

Program Guidelines

Complete Information about the NSERC-USRA is available at:

UBC Student Services Website
NSERC Website
Information for students (PDF)
Information for supervisors (PDF)
List of subject codes: NSERC – Research Subject Codes for Scholarships and Fellowships (PDF)
List of eligible FoM supervisors for 2023
List of eligible research grants for 2023
Common Errors checklist (PDF)
Application Instructions for 2023 (PDF)

Application Process

Deadline for Applications to the Faculty of Medicine: March 2, 2023 [8:00am]

We use an electronic submission process for the internal ranking of the applications submitted through our Faculty. Please follow the instructions below:

  1. Find a student/supervisor partner. Applications are submitted by student-supervisor teams.
  2. Student-supervisor teams work together to complete NSERC’s application on the NSERC portal.
    • DO NOT “submit to LO”. Successful applicants will be directed to complete this step after their application has been checked for errors by the FoM Faculty Coordinator.
    • The review process will be blind so do not use names or gender specific pronouns in the Outline of proposed research or Expected quality of training sections.
  3. Download a PDF copy of your application from the NSERC portal (includes form 202-I, 202-II and student transcripts). Name this file Student Last Name, First Name – NSERC application files. Signatures are not required as part of your FoM application.
  4. Complete the Excel GPA_template to calculate the student’s GPA for all post-secondary courses. Name this file as Student Last Name, First Name – NSERC GPA. To convert letter grades to percentage grades use this template.
  5. Download a copy of the one-page CV template and fill it out with the details of your previous publications, conference presentations, research positions, and academic awards (include a url for any award that is not listed on your transcripts). Name this file as Student Last Name, First Name – NSERC CV.
  6. Review the Common Errors checklist – marks are subtracted for errors.
  7. Complete the FoM NSERC USRA application on the FoM NSERC USRA submission portal.
    • The additional information requested is required for processing of your application.
    • Upload all files when requested. Ensure you use the naming conventions requested above.
  8. You will receive an automatic email confirming your submission.
  9. If you have read all of the above material, and you still have questions, please contact your Faculty Coordinator (Dr. Deborah Giaschi) or the FoM NSERC USRA support team at fom.nserc.usra@ubc.ca.

Faculty of Medicine NSERC USRA FAQ’s

Q: How much is the student stipend for 2023?

A: $9,000.63 for 16-weeks of full-time work.

Q: Can I submit more than one application?

A: No. Supervisors are only permitted to submit one application with one student and students are only permitted to submit one application with one supervisor.

Q: Can I apply for a research project that is less than 16-weeks?

A: We strongly encourage supervisors to apply with 16-week research proposals. That said, we understand that some flexibility is required due to the uncertainty of pandemic rules, and NSERC will accept shorter projects.

Q: Can I apply if I’m not on the eligible supervisors list for 2023?

A: No. Unfortunately, we have few awards for a large pool of candidates and as such will not be taking applications from supervisors who are not on the eligible list.

Q: How do I know if my project is eligible for NSERC USRA funding?

A: Please consult NSERC’s eligibility guidelines. Attend our information session on Feb 7 if you are still unsure.

Q: As a supervisor, how much am I required to top-up funding for 2023?

A: To meet minimum wage standards in BC, the minimum full funding amount for 16-weeks of full-time work is $9,000.63 + ~7.48% benefits. NSERC provides $6,000, so supervisors will need to provide at least $3,674 in top-up funding.

Q: Can I apply if I’m a first-year student?

A: Technically you are eligible to apply if you are currently registered in your second term of university studies, but we don’t encourage applications. This is because an important adjudication criterion is research experience and first-year students are usually just beginning to acquire this. In addition, your final eligibility cannot be confirmed until your term 2 grades are available, which happens after the start of most summer projects. For these reasons, applications from first-year students are typically ranked at the bottom and are unlikely to be funded. If you would like additional information, please email the coordinator at fom.nserc.usra@ubc.ca