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.
  • View the available USRA positions on Experience Guelph by:
    1. Logging into the Student section of the Experience Guelph website.
    2. Selecting “On Campus Employment” 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 or USRA).
    5. Clicking the title of a position to view details.
  • Visit the NSERC On-line Services page to register or log in.
    1. To register: If you are new to this on-line system, click ‘First-time user? Please Register’. Complete screen and create an account.
    2. To log in: Click on ‘On-line System Login’ button.
    3. Click on ‘Forms- Student’.
    4. 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 number. You can leave the section blank on the form. If you are awarded a USRA, you will be assigned a PIN number at that time. Please contact the department offering the position if you have questions.
    5. 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. Free official transcripts are now available for USRA applicants from the Office of Registrarial Services (see below for more details).

      To be considered official, transcripts must meet the following criteria:
      - show the name of the institution, the program in which you are enrolled in, your complete course of study, your marks and the legend explaining acronyms, etc.
      - if obtained from the department (‘Colleague’ system): be signed or stamped. Contact your department’s Administrative Officer/Assistant for assistance.
      - if obtained from the Office of Registrarial Services: must include the legend. Note that the legend is located on the back side of each transcript; please do not scan the legend multiple times.
      - show enrolment in undergraduate courses for the upcoming semester.
      - show at least two terms of study immediately before holding the award in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible university.
      - specifically, show completion of all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study of your bachelor's degree. Grade summaries that show only one term’s marks are not acceptable.
      - to be up‐to‐date, transcripts must show the term before the application was prepared. For example, if you applied to your university's USRA competition in February, the transcript must show the previous September to December term’s marks.
      - transcripts should be scanned (black and white recommended), and whenever possible, in portrait style, then uploaded and saved into a single Portable Document Format (PDF) file.
      NEW for 2018: Free 'official' transcripts are available for USRA applicants. To obtain a free transcript from the University's Office of Registrarial Services, students must specifically note on the Transcript Request Form 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. Note: There is a five-day turn-around time from the initial ordering of the transcript. If you require the transcript prior to the standard five days, then a $25 rush fee will apply.
  • Forward the following documents directly to the department/unit contact person listed on the posting:
    • A cover letter addressed to the project supervisor and a resume or CV that indicates:
      - Your full name, telephone number, e-mail address, and student ID.
      - Your USRA Reference number (obtained from the NSERC portal once you have verified your USRA application).
      - 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.
    • A copy of NSERC Form 202 part 1 from the NSERC website if applying to a USRA position.
    • 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.

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

Phone: 613-995-4273

If you are offered a USRA

Follow these steps:

  1. Confirm you are eligible to hold a USRA award. See Student Eligibility.
  2. Upload an up-to-date, complete ‘official’ transcript from the Office of Registrarial Services or the department ('Colleague' system) if have not already completed.
  3. ‘Verify’ your NSERC application on the online system and forward the reference number 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.