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Research and Graduate Studies

NSERC USRA Program


NSERC UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH AWARDS (USRA) PROGRAM
2018-19 Competition – Internal Deadline and Application Procedures
Administered by Faculty of Medicine – Research & Graduate Studies (RGS) Office


Deadline for submission to Medicine RGS Office: 12:00 p.m. (Noon), February 1st, 2018
 
Applications must be completed using the web-based NSERC Application. 
Printed and signed hardcopy of the application, official transcript, the Approval Form for Release of Student Information and the Application Drop-off Checklist must also be delivered to Medicine RGS Office (Medical Education Centre – Room 2M409) by the above-noted submission deadline.


Undergraduate Students, who meet the eligibility requirements and are interested in carrying out a 16 week (35 hours per week) research/development work term in Natural Sciences and Engineering, under the supervision of a faculty NSERC research grant holder, are invited to submit an application to the 2018-19 NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards Program at Memorial. 
 
Students are limited to applying to only one department/academic unit at Memorial, but may also apply directly to competitions at other Canadian Universities.  Research awards resulting from Memorial’s annual internal competition may be held in the Summer 2018, Fall 2018 or Winter 2019 semester.
 
NSERC USRA Program Information - http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/UG-PC/USRA-BRPC_eng.asp
 
FULL NSERC USRA APPLICATION PACKAGE INCLUDES:

 
NOTE: A signed hard copy of the above-noted complete application package must be delivered to Medicine – RGS Office by the submission deadline (February 1st, 2018, by 12:00 noon).  
 
VALUE OF THE AWARD

$4,500 (from NSERC) plus the supervisors’ minimum mandatory top-up of $2,150 – for minimum award of $6,650. A travel allowance may also be granted if you take up the award at a university other than the one at which you are currently registered.
 
DURATION OF THE AWARD

Mandatory 16 consecutive weeks (35 hour work week) – Note that there is one competition at Memorial, but the research project work term can commence in the Summer 2018, Fall 2018, or Winter 2019 semester.
 
MEDICINE – RGS OFFICE CONTACT

Amy Carroll (709) 864-6338 or 6337; e-mail rgs.funding@med.mun.ca
 
AM I ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

To be eligible to apply for a NSERC USRA award, the undergraduate student must:
  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  • be registered (at the time of application – January 2018) in a bachelor’s degree program in the natural sciences or engineering at an eligible university; or be registered in a bachelor’s degree program in fields other than the natural sciences or engineering, but be eligible to be engaged in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering fields for the 16 week work term;
  • have obtained, over the previous years of study, a cumulative average of at least second class (a grade of “B”) as defined by the university, as of the end of the Fall 2017 semester (i.e. students would be in the 2nd year of their academic program at the time of application);

NOTE: Undergraduate students holding aboriginal status are encouraged to apply. Awards to aboriginal students are in addition to the university quota from NSERC. Students must meet all the program’s eligibility criteria.
 
In addition:
  • if the student already holds a bachelor’s degree and is studying towards a second bachelor’s degree in the natural sciences or engineering, he/she may still apply;
  • a student may hold only one USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31);
  • a student may hold a maximum of three USRAs throughout his/her university career;
  • a student may hold a USRA at any Canadian university, not only the one at which they are registered, but they must apply to the other institution where they would like to hold an award.
 
To hold an award, a student must:
  • have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) of his/her bachelor’s degree;
  • have been registered in the term immediately before holding the award in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible university;
  • not have started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering; and
  • be engaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering during tenure of the award (mandatory 16 consecutive weeks).
 
A student is not considered eligible for an undergraduate student research award if he/she is currently enrolled in an undergraduate professional degree program in the health sciences (e.g., M.D., D.D.S., B.Sc.N.); or holds higher degrees in the natural sciences or engineering.  Although applicants may be ‘eligible’ to apply to the USRA program, the university selection Committee reserves the right to recommend awards.
 
HOW DO I APPLY?

At the initial application stage, students must:
  1. Log on to NSERC’s On-Line system (new applicants must register as a first-time user) - http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/OnlineServices-ServicesEnLigne/Index_eng.asp
  2. Complete the web-based NSERC Application for an Undergraduate Student Research Award - Form 202 - Part 1 (Student Personal Data). Forms that are hand-written or typed from the PDF template form will not be accepted;
  3. Upload a PDF copy of your Official University Transcript(s) (including one copy of the legend located on the back side of the transcript) and attach it to the Form 202 Part I. For multiple transcripts, they must be uploaded as one PDF. Applicants are advised to submit an advance request to the Registrar’s Office to ensure that their official transcript includes grades from the noted period.  Official Transcripts must be received by Medicine – RGS Office by the submission deadline on February 1st, 2018;
  4. Once all modules have been completed, go to the My Portfolio page and select Verify. If the Verification Report indicates the verification was successful, please proceed to the next step. If the Verification Report indicates the verification was unsuccessful, follow the instructions to complete the application and select Verify again to check for completeness. Repeat until verification is successful;
  5. Print the completed web-based form (Form 202 – Part 1);
  6. Complete the ‘Approval Form for Release of Student Information’ (available at departments and online here);
  7. Complete the ‘Application Drop-off Checklist’ available at departments and online here);
  8. A hard copy of all required information noted-above (1-7) is to be received by Medicine – RGS Office, Medical Education Centre, 2M409, by the competition deadline of 12:00 p.m. (noon) on February 1st, 2018.  A complete application package includes:
[Note: Students are not required to identify a supervisor at this point in the application process. Once awardees have been selected, the Faculty of Medicine will assist in selecting supervisors based on research interests identified on the ‘Approval Form for Release of Student Information’.  However, students applying to the Faculty of Medicine are encouraged to meet with department/academic unit heads and/or faculty where possible to discuss the types of research programs that can be supported.]
 
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY APPLICATION ONCE SUBMITTED?

Once verified for completeness and eligibility by the Medicine – RGS Office, applications will be ranked and decisions will be forwarded to Research Grant and Contract Services to be compiled into a global university listing spreadsheet and forwarded to Memorial’s Internal USRA Selection Committee (with copies of the applications and transcripts for review and assessment).  It is anticipated that the Committee will meet in March to adjudicate the applications.  At this time, Memorial’s 2018-19 NSERC quota is not known.  Last year the quota was 45 awards. In past years, competitive awards have been based on: student merit; departmental/unit ranking; year of program; and Committee consensus.  NSERC is continuing with its initiative to encourage Aboriginal students to pursue university studies in the natural sciences and engineering.  Any Aboriginal student that meets all of the program’s eligibility criteria is strongly encouraged to apply.  Eligible students opting to apply under the Aboriginal status criteria must provide reasonable proof of Aboriginal status. Awards to aboriginal students are in addition to the university quota from NSERC.
 
When awardees are selected, Research Grant and Contract Services will notify the Medicine – RGS Office of the results of the applications. For those students offered an award, the Medicine – RGS Office will assist with identifying an eligible research supervisor (current NSERC holder) for each student, who will meet with the awardees to discuss a suitable research project, and determine the term period and potential start date.  Eligible supervisors will be asked to complete the on-line NSERC Form 202 - Part II (inputting the student’s reference number), provide their NSERC’s grant award application number (from their award notification), and confirm the student supplement amount from their research grant account,
 
Subsequently, each student recommended by the Committee to receive an award will be sent an award letter from Research Grant and Contract Services and will be asked to confirm their acceptance in writing by a specified date.  In the event that a student declines an award offer, the next student on Memorial’s alternate global ranking waitlist will be offered an award.  When all awards from Memorial’s quota have been offered and confirmed, the remaining students will be notified in writing of the final competition results.
 
Applicants will be notified of competition results by March 31st, 2018.
 
CAN I APPLY TO OTHER UNIVERSITIES BESIDES MEMORIAL?

Eligible students enrolled at Memorial may also apply to and, if offered an award, hold an award at any Canadian University but they must apply separately to another university within that university’s deadline date and comply with that university’s internal policies for the USRA Program.  Students registered at Memorial who successfully apply for a USRA at another Canadian university, are eligible to receive a travel allowance to have their economy return air fare expense reimbursed.  Students interested in applying to other universities should contact the other universities directly to inquire about competition closing dates, and information about the internal process for applying to the USRA program at that university. 

 
CAN I APPLY TO MEMORIAL EVEN THOUGH I ATTEND ANOTHER UNIVERSITY?
Yes, the same application process would be followed as described above in “How Do I Apply?”
 
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