Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) Program

The Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) Program provides students with the opportunity to gain invaluable research experience in the natural sciences and engineering working under the direction of U of G faculty or staff to expand their knowledge and understanding of their current field of study and cultivate the potential for a graduate degree or research career while developing transferable knowledge, skills, and attitudes through full-time, paid summer research experiences on campus.

Summer 2024 USRA Timeline for Departments

  1. Log into the Employer & Community Partner section of Experience Guelph. If you don't have one, please register for an Experience Guelph Employer account.
    • Use your full e-mail address to log in and the password you set up with your account. The system does not currently use single sign-on for staff and faculty.
    • If you have forgotten your password, use the forgot password link to reset it.
  2. Select “On Campus Employment” from the menu on the left.
  3. Select “Post a Job” at the top of the main window.
  4. Select a previously posted job to use as a template or choose "Post a New Job"
  5. Complete the job posting information. To ensure your posting is approved without undue delay, please pay close attention to the following job posting fields.

    If you are an administrator posting on behalf of someone else, you can edit this information to reflect the actual supervisor. However, the job posting will still be attached to your Experience Guelph account.

    • Select Summer (4 months) 
    • Select one of the following: USRA (NSERC), USRA+ (Black and Indigenous Students), USRA+ (Black Students), or USRA+ (Indigenous Students) 
    • These fields do not currently allow for a range. If you wish to include a range, you can provide it in the Job Description.
    • If you do not wish to post a salary, please select “Salary Not Available”.

    Reimbursements will only occur for days worked after the last day of Winter exams and before the first day of Fall classes. Typically, students will begin the first or second week of May and must be employed for 16 weeks.

    This information can be copied from your Form 1.

    Please ensure your job description clearly describes what a student will be doing in the role. We strongly recommend also including information about preferred or required qualifications, and scheduling details.

    This is manadatory for all co-curricular activities included on the Professional and Career Development Record (PCDR); including all USRA and USRA+ positions. 

    Please include at least two (2) to a maximum of five (5) specific employability competencies you believe a student will be able to demonstrate as result of holding this position. There should be a clear relationship between these learning opportunities and the job description.

    Please see our Articulating Anticipated Student Learning in Student Employment page for help.

    This is manadatory for all co-curricular activities included on the Professional and Career Development Record (PCDR); including all USRA and USRA+ positions. 

    Please provide a brief overview of the following:

    • Pre-service and on-going training provided to the student
    • Frequency and nature of any guidance, mentorship, and/or coaching provided throughout the experience (i.e. individual meetings, team meetings, etc)
    • How, when, and with whom the student has an opportunity to reflect on their experience and dedvelopment
    • How, when, and with whom the student has an opportunity to receive informal and formal feedback on their performance and development

    Learn more about integrating reflection and feedback intro student employment

    Choose what you would like students to include as part of their application. All students must at least submit a copy of their cover letter, resume, and official transcript.

    Choose from one of three options on how to receive your applications.

    • Receive one e-mail after the deadline with all applications attached. The applications will be sent as a single PDF after the deadline has passed to the e-mail address listed in the “Company Info” section at the beginning of the posting.
    • E-mail each application as they come in. With this option you can specify one or more e-mail addresses to receive applications as they are submitted. This is a great option if more than one person would like to receive applications.
    • None. No e-mails will be sent. It is up to you to log in and view applications.

    The application deadline is Monday, February 26, 2024.

    • If you have requested an additional application document in the "Other" category, please specify here.
    • The Experiential Learning Hub will add text about the USRA application process.
  6. Click “Submit Posting for Approval”.

Proposal approval process

Once submitted your job posting will have a “Pending” status until it is reviewed and approved by the Experiential Learning Hub. Positions will begin to be reviewed as they are submitted; if you receive an e-mail from Experience Guelph stating that your USRA job is approved, that means it has been reviewed by the EL Hub and is ready to go live at the end of January. We process positions early to proactively catch any issues before the go-live date.

To avoid delays please ensure your job posting contains clear and accurate information that follows the guidelines provided above.

Interviewing candidates is an important step in ensuring the right fit between student and USRA experience.


USRA interviews can be scheduled at any time during the recruitment process, even before the job posting closes. All USRA approved students are notified of this.


There are two ways to schedule interviews with USRA candidates:

  1. E-mail the students directly.
  2. Use the Experience Guelph interview scheduler tool from your job posting.
    • The built-in interview module can only be used once a job posting is closed.
    • Interview schedule requests must be submitted a minimum of 3 business days before the first interview date for in-person interviews and at least 4 business days before the first interview date for virtual interviews. This is to allow our team to review, approve, and open your schedule and students to sign-up for an interview slot.
    • Step-by-step instructions on how to set up an interview schedule in Experience Guelph
    • If you are conducting virtual interviews: after the Experience Guelph interview scheduler closes you receive a final copy of your schedule and you will need to send students a meeting invitation to their scheduled time. 

  1. All offers must be made through the Experience Guelph system.
    • Offers can be made between March -  .
    • Log into the Employer and Community Partner section of Experience Guelph
    • Click on the Job Postings tab on your dashboard and press the "view app(s)" button beside your current USRA job
    • To make an offer, click the "Send Offer" button next to a student's application in Experience Guelph. The student will have 48 hours to respond to your offer.
  2. Complete NSERC Form 202 Part II
  3. Department Administrators submit USRA faculty supervisors and their USRA students as the applications are verified by the supervisors on the NSERC portal.
  4. Complete departmental and Human Resources payroll paperwork.

Sample USRA Job Posting

Questions and Support

Experiential Learning Development and Recognition Team

  • Posting jobs
  • Integrating experiential learning
  • Experience Guelph system

Research Support Services

  • Policies and procedures
  • Timeline and deadlines
  • Student eligibility
  • NSERC Form 202 Parts I and II

Experience Profiles

  • Andrew was a highly engaged student at the University of Guelph. He worked as student staff on campus in Athletics, Admissions and Student Experience. In addition to this, he was a student leader, engaging in the Board of Governors, Student Senate, the Central Students Association, College of Arts Student Union and other organizations.