Student Application

How to apply for a USRA

  • Confirm you are eligible to apply for a USRA in the Student Eligibility section and read the NSERC USRA guidelines.
  • University of Guelph students can view the available USRA positions on Experience Guelph by:
    1. Logging into the Student section of the Experience Guelph website.
    2. Selecting “On Campus Jobs and Opportunities” from the left-hand menu.
    3. Selecting “Summer Research Assistantships” from Quick Search menu in the main window.
    4. Choosing to sort the list by title, division, or type (URA, USRA, General).
    5. Clicking the title of a position to view details.
  • University of Guelph students should submit the documents below through the job posting on Experience Guelph.
  • Applicants from other universities should forward the documents below as a single PDF directly to the department/unit contact person listed on the USRA job posting.
    • A cover letter addressed to the project supervisor and a resume or CV that indicates:
      - Your full name, telephone number, email address and student ID.
      - Your USRA Reference number, if known (obtained from the NSERC portal if previously registered).
      - A brief description of your background including any previous training, awards and scholarships received, and your interest in the particular project.
    • A copy of your official transcript (an unofficial transcript can be used as a placeholder until an official transcript is received).
    • Any additional documents you feel may be relevant to your application (e.g., immunization or health and safety certificates). It is encouraged to check in with departments to see if any other documents are requested.

Free official transcripts are available for USRA applicants. To obtain a free transcript from the University's Office of Registrarial Services, students must email and indicate that the official transcript is to be used for an "NSERC Scholarship Application". This will indicate that the official transcript is to be free of charge. Please include the name of the scholarship you are applying to in the Subject line of the email. Students must also include their name and student ID number. If they’re requesting that the transcript be mailed, the student must provide the full mailing address including recipient name. Students may request a digital transcript, but it can only be sent to their University of Guelph email account.

Note: There is a five-day turn-around time from the initial ordering of the transcript, so please order your transcript well in advance of the application deadline. If you require the transcript prior to the standard five days, you will need to pay the $15 transcript fee plus the $10 rush fee. RUSH orders will not be accepted by email. Please request a RUSH copy through the online transcript request form.

If you are offered a USRA

Follow these steps:

  1. Confirm you are eligible to hold a USRA award. See Student Eligibility.
  2. Visit the NSERC On-line Services page to register or log in (if previously registered).
    • To register: If you are new to this online system, click ‘First-time user? Please Register’. Complete screen and create an account.
    • To log in: Click on ‘On-line System Login’ button.
    • Click on ‘Forms- Student’.
    • Select Form 202 - Part 1, ‘Create’. Enter and save your data. Please Note: If you have never applied for an NSERC USRA before, you will not have a PIN. You will be assigned a PIN when you are awarded a USRA. Please contact the department offering the position if you have questions.
    • Upload an up-to-date official transcript to the NSERC site and then ‘verify’ your USRA application. Students from other Canadian universities must upload an up-to-date, complete official transcript including the legend.
  3. Forward the reference number of your NSERC application to your research supervisor. Please note: USRA applicants who have applied before will use the same reference number and access will be provided to past applications. NSERC will change the status of the past application to 'in progress' for the past year’s competition.
  4. Your part of the USRA application is now complete. Please notify your research supervisor.

On-line Services Helpdesk (For Technical Assistance & Inquiries)

Phone: 613-995-4273