Operational Principles

General Procedure:

  1. Each eligible department/unit receives an allocation for URAs made by the Associate Vice President (Academic) in consultation with the Student Awards & Financial Aid Manager, Student Financial Services.
  2. Deans will allocate Undergraduate Research Assistantships (URA) among their departments and schools from the total allocation provided to them by the AVPA. Chairs and Directors will be responsible for selecting faculty projects to be funded, transmitting those projects to Student Financial Services, coordinating competitions within their units, and issuing letters of appointment to the URAs selected.
  3. Only one job submission per allocation will be allowed. Departments will submit the jobs using Form 1 provided by Student Financial Services in MS Word format. Departments must also post the URA positions on Experience Guelph (see Form 1 for instructions).
  4. Substitution of job submissions will be allowed, i.e. if a department removes one for lack of student interest, the position could be replaced with another on the approval of the chair as long as the change occurs within the published deadline dates.
  5. The selection of candidates will be made by departments/units. An individual faculty member may have students in the USRA and URA programs. There is no limit on the number of students that a particular faculty member can supervise, however, it is expected that there is sufficient time available for faculty to provide adequate levels of supervision and guidance of students.
  6. Students who wish to apply for URAs will have to complete a URA Financial Need Assessment Form.
  7. Student Financial Services will assess student eligibility for financial need and will send an email to the student with a decision.
  8. Student Financial Services advertises and posts the approved research proposals for URA summer positions in conjunction with the Experiential Learning team. Departments/faculty/staff are encouraged to advertise their positions internally as well.

Supervisor's Eligibility and Responsibility:

  1. Faculty members, postdoctoral fellows and senior professional staff may supervise students on URAs.
  2. Faculty must submit Form 1 (Project Proposal) to the Chair/Director of the department for approval. The approved Form 1 must be sent to Student Financial Services and the job description must be submitted to Experience Guelph (see Form 1 for instructions) by the posted deadline date. See the Schedule of Dates for the submission deadline.
  3. Departments should forward Form 3 (URA Confirmation of Employment) to Student Financial Services no later than the deadline posted on the Schedule of Dates. Job offers cannot be made until the date posted on the Schedule of Dates.
  4. Departments pay the students during their employment through the University's payroll process. URAs are paid employment and should be treated as such.
  5. In September, departments must submit Form 4 (URA Reimbursement and Student Feedback) to Student Financial Services. Reimbursements will not be made without this form.

Value of an URA Award:

The minimum salary paid to the students is $9,640, however, it can be supplemented by the supervisor/department. The University, through the tuition set-aside program, will provide the total costs for the URA program including benefits (11%) to a maximum of $10,700. Students should be guaranteed a full-time research position at $16.55/hour for 35 hours each week for 16 weeks. Students can begin their URA any time after the completion of winter exams, however, most positions begin May 1. As long as the student works 35 hours/week for 16 weeks, the start and end dates of the employment contract can be negotiated between supervisor and student.

Completion of forms

All applications, decision forms, requests for funding and reports must be submitted on the forms provided. Approved forms and documents from departments must be submitted electronically, in MS Word format, to awards@uoguelph.ca.  It is not necessary to forward the original form to Student Financial Services.