** The following information is for the Summer 2019 competition **

NSERC requires that all applications be created using their online system (Form 202 - Parts I and II + single PDF file of student's official transcript). It is therefore important that students obtain their most up-to-date official transcript as soon as possible in order to complete Part I of the online application. If transfer credits were obtained at another university, an official transcript from the host university must also be included in the single PDF file.

For completing Part 1, NSERC now accepts McGill's new eTranscipt. When handing in the hard copy of application at McGill, students must include a clear print out of the eTranscipt (single sided pages only).

Please note that the pick up option for printed official transcripts is no longer available in Minerva however paper copies may still be obtained in person at Service Point. See Printed Transcripts for more details. If using a paper copy to scan and create the PDF transcript file, students will be permitted to submit their official transcript in an unsealed envelope when handing in the hard copy of their complete application at McGill.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada - Undergraduate Student Research Awards

The NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) are meant to stimulate your interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering. They are also meant to encourage you to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields. If you would like to gain research work experience in an academic setting, these awards can provide you with financial support during the Summer 2019 period. NSERC encourages qualified Aboriginal students to apply to this program.

Application deadline

The deadline for the Faculty of Medicine to receive a hard copy of the student's complete application is 3:00 PM on Friday, February 8, 2019. Late applications will not be considered. Please see below for the components of a complete application and where to submit the hard copy at McGill.

Applicants must apply through their proposed supervisor's primary department (e.g. a Physiology student applying with a Biochemistry supervisor must apply through the department of Biochemistry).

Please note that the departments of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics and Physiology are part of the Faculty of Medicine (not the Faculty of Science).

Duration of award

An award involves 16 consecutive weeks of full-time research work conducted between May and August 2019 (exact working schedule to be discussed/agreed upon by student and proposed supervisor).

Chosen start/end dates for the project can be May 1 to August 20 or May 6 to August 23.

The 16 weeks of research should not be interrupted (e.g. by vacation time and/or sick leave).

Value of award

For the Faculty of Medicine, each award will consist of $4,500 from NSERC + a minimum contribution of $1,500 from the proposed supervisor.

Travel allowance

Non-McGill award recipients may request an expense reimbursement for their travel to/from Montreal. For more details, please see the Travel Allowances section on NSERC's website as well as the For Non-McGill Students Only section on McGill's GPSO website.

Student eligibility

The competition is open to McGill as well as non-McGill students.

In order to apply, students must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. As well, they must be currently registered in a bachelor's degree program in the natural sciences or engineering (without holding higher degrees in these fields).

Undergraduate students currently enrolled in health professional programs such as Medicine (including Med-P), Nursing and Physical/Occupational Therapy are not eligible to apply.

Students may hold a maximum of 3 USRAs throughout their university career.

Students may not concurrently hold more than 1 USRA (e.g. NSERC USRA + FRSQ USRA).

For more details, please refer to the student eligibility information on NSERC's website.

Supervisor eligibility

At the time of application, the proposed supervisor's NSERC research grant must be active (not pending approval). The proposed supervisor may be the principal investigator or the co-investigator of the grant.

Faculty members who received an extension to use up funds from a research grant that terminated on March 31, 2018 (where the extension is active from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019), will be eligible to supervise a USRA student in the Summer 2019 term.

Supervisors must not be on leave during any part of the proposed 16 week project.

Students must apply through the primary department of their proposed supervisor. If the proposed supervisor holds a primary appointment at another university (e.g. Université de Montréal) and is an Adjunct Professor at McGill, the student must apply through the primary institution instead of McGill.

Here is a listing of the different types of eligible NSERC research grants: PDF icon NSERC Grants - Summer 2019

Here is a listing of eligible supervisors within the Faculty of Medicine: File NSERC Supervisors (Updated) - Summer 2019

Students are responsible for contacting researchers of interest directly:



Selection criteria for the Faculty of Medicine

Due to the limited number of awards allocated to the Faculty of Medicine, the following conditions will apply:

  • Only 1 application per student will be considered
  • Only 1 application per proposed supervisor will be considered
  • Applicant must have a CGPA of 3.60 or higher (using 4.00 scale)
  • Preference will be given to U2 and U3 applicants (i.e. students with at least 36 credits completed, excluding freshman year)
  • Personal statement from student will be considered

Hard copy of complete application

Once the proposed supervisor has made the required electronic submission to NSERC (i.e. Form 202 - Parts I and II + PDF file of student's official transcript), the Faculty of Medicine requires the student to submit 1 hard copy of the following documents to the appropriate NSERC USRA coordinator:

  • Form 202 - Part I (completed by student)
  • Form 202 - Part II (completed by proposed supervisor)
  • Up-to-date official transcript from home university (clearly printed single-sided copy of eTranscipt or official transcript submitted in an unsealed envelope will be accepted; Fall 2018 grades + listing of Winter 2019 courses must be included; in the case where courses were taken at another university, an official transcript from this host university must also be submitted)
  • Brief personal statement from student summarizing future academic goals as well as any prior research experience (not more than 10-15 lines in Word format; student name + McGill ID number should appear in top right hand corner of the page)
  • NSERC USRA Application Checklist (see Required Documents; only student and supervisor sections must be checked)
  • For non-McGill students only: Undergraduate Research Trainee Registration Form (to be completed in typed format)

Please see details below for where to submit the required hard copy.

Please note that the personal statement, NSERC USRA Application Checklist and Undergraduate Research Trainee Registration Form are required by McGill however they are not part of the electronic submission to NSERC.

NSERC's online system

NSERC's online system must be used to make the required electronic submission of Form 202 - Parts I and II + a single PDF file of the student's official transcript.

NSERC's Form 202 consists of Parts I and II. Part I must be completed by the student and Part II must be completed by the proposed supervisor.

Before creating an application using NSERC's online system, students and proposed supervisors should review the application instructions on NSERC's website as well as the Important Application Details available directly below.

Students and proposed supervisors will need to access NSERC's Online System Login (first-time users must register beforehand).

A reference number will be generated when the student completes Part I of the application. The proposed supervisor will need this number in order to complete Part II of the application.

For questions about NSERC's online system, please refer to NSERC's Frequently Asked Questions. For online assistance, you may contact NSERC's Online Services Helpdesk at 613-995-4273 or webapp [at] nserc-crsng.gc.ca. Be sure to include your e-mail address and telephone number in your message.

Important application details

The following is a list of important points to consider when completing an application:

  • On Form 202 - Part I, Degree = Bachelor's + Name of discipline = Science or Engineering
  • McGill students must indicate their McGill email address at the bottom of Form 202 - Part I
  • Applications should be kept together with a paper clip only, not stapled
  • Up-to-date official transcript from home university must show all courses in which the student is currently registered (e.g. Winter 2019); if not, an official attestation from the registrar's office must be included with the application
  • Official transcripts from host universities (for any transferred credits) must also be included with the application
  • For Form 202 - Part I, students must upload all of their own official transcripts as a single PDF file, with only 1 copy of each marking legend included
  • If using a paper copy of a protected official transcript to create a PDF file, it is normal for the word COPY to appear on the scan; unsealed official transcripts will be accepted when handing in hard copy of application
  • Reference number will be generated when student completes Form 202 - Part I; this number must then be forwarded to the proposed supervisor so that Form 202 - Part II can be completed
  • Proposed start date on Form 202 - Part II is either Wednesday, May 1 or Monday, May 6
  • Space provided for proposed project title is limited therefore title should be as concise as possible (check to make sure no words are cut off on print out of Form 202 - Part II)
  • 4-digit research subject code must be chosen from the listing on NSERC's website and included on Form 202 - Part II (next to project title); it should best describe the proposed area of research
  • Address at location of tenure on Form 202 - Part II is the complete mailing address of the proposed supervisor's primary department
  • Outline of proposed research project on Form 202 - Part II must describe the research and show that is related to a field in the natural sciences and/or engineering; supervisor should emphasize that supervision of the project will be given by the NSERC grant holder (rather than other members of the lab)
  • Outline of the student's role on Form 202 - Part II must include a clear description of the student's participation and activities (beyond the role of lab assistant or technician)
  • Online part of application (Form 202 - Parts I and II + PDF file of student's official transcript) is not truly submitted to NSERC until the proposed supervisor selects the Verify button followed by the Submit button; once the application has been verified + submitted, online edits can no longer be made
  • Unit on NSERC USRA Application Checklist = primary department of the proposed supervisor
  • Personal statement from student and NSERC USRA Application Checklist are only required for the hard copy of application handed in at McGill (not for the electronic submission to NSERC)

For non-McGill students only:

  • If student has never applied to or attended McGill before, ID fields on the Undergraduate Research Trainee Registration Form and NSERC USRA Application Checklist should be left blank
  • 3 signatures are required on the Undergraduate Research Trainee Registration Form: 1) student, 2) supervisor and 3) department chair/director or delegate (stamped signature from Chair will be accepted); Faculty Approval section on page 3 of the form should be left blank
  • Undergraduate Research Trainee Registration Form is only required for the hard copy of application handed in at McGill (not for the electronic submission to NSERC); this form must be completed in typed format, not handwritten

Where to submit hard copy of application

In order for a student to be considered for this competition, a hard copy of the complete application must be handed in at McGill by the above deadline. If your proposed supervisor is from one of the following 5 departments, please submit your application to the department's NSERC USRA coordinator:

  • Anatomy & Cell Biology:
    Penny Kaill-Vinish, Strathcona Anatomy & Dentistry Building, Rm M-30
  • Biochemistry:
    Carmen Aimée Paez, McIntyre Building, Rm 905A
  • Microbiology & Immunology:
    Jennifer DiMassimo, Duff Building, Rm 511
  • Pharmacology & Therapeutics:
    Chantal Grignon, McIntyre Building, Rm 1325
  • Physiology:
    Sonia Viselli, McIntyre Building, Rm 1022 or 1021

If your proposed supervisor is from a Faculty of Medicine department not listed above (e.g. Biomedical Engineering, Neurology, Psychiatry), please hand in your application to Jennifer Nemes at the Faculty's Research Office (McIntyre Building, Rm 637).

Award decisions

Each year, the Faculty of Medicine usually receives about 60 applications. Although the number of awards allocated to the Faculty of Medicine varies from year to year, the Faculty is usually able to support about 30 students.

By Friday, March 22, applicants of the Summer 2019 competition will receive an email notification regarding the status of their application.


If you require clarification regarding the Faculty of Medicine's Summer 2019 NSERC USRA competition, please contact Jennifer Nemes at rbursary.med [at] mcgill.ca or (514) 398-1603.