Undergraduate Student Research Award


To nurture and develop the potential of the next generation of aspiring biomedical engineers for a research career in the natural sciences and engineering, the NSERC undergraduate summer research awards (USRA) provide financial support to undergraduate students conducting summer research under the supervision of a faculty member at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). Selection criteria include academic record, research aptitude, and expected quality of the training to be received.


NB. The University of Toronto Excellence Award (UTEA) program is offered through Engineering Science.

Value and duration

The USRA award is valued at $7,500 in total, of which $6,000 will be provided by NSERC and $1,500 by the hosting research supervisor at BME. The duration of the award is 16 consecutive weeks on a full-time basis, which may begin in the first week of May. The exact start and end dates may be decided by negotiation between the award recipient and research supervisor after the award results announcement and confirmation of supervisor funding commitment. The start date must not take place before May 1 and end no later than August 31 of each year.

Applicant eligibility

Terms and conditions

  • You may hold only one USRA per fiscal year (e.g., April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024)
  • You may hold up to three USRAs throughout your undergraduate career
  • If your intended work term is shorter than 16 weeks, you must submit an additional letter of substantive rationale to explain the extenuating circumstances. Send the letter to undergrad.bme@utoronto.ca and copy your supervisor in the email. Note that shortened work terms are non-standard, and require explicit approval from NSERC, if awarded
  • You must have completed all course requirements of at least the first year of your bachelor’s degree
  • You must have been registered at the time of application and in at least one of the two terms immediately before holding the award in a bachelor’s program at an eligible institution
  • You must not have started graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering
  • You must be engaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering during the tenure of the award


March 18, 2024 @ 11:59 PM

Applicants must send all documents (in a single pdf file) to the Undergraduate Office, Biomedical Engineering by the application deadline above. Late applications will not be considered. Applications with missing and/or incomplete documents will be disqualified.


Applicants will receive results by the end of April. Those who have been nominated will receive a confirmation letter from the Department of Research and Innovations in June or July.

Application instructions

Follow both Step A and Step B to complete the USRA application. Read the instructions carefully. Incomplete or late applications will be disqualified.

STEP A) Preparing your document package

  1. Complete Form 202 (both Parts I & II are required) via the NSERC On-Line System
    • Part I is completed by the student
    • Part II is completed by the research supervisor
  2. Download a copy of the completed Form 202
  3. Obtain a copy of your most recent academic transcript
  4. Merge the completed full USRA application form 202 with both parts I & II, official university transcript(s), and curriculum vitae combined into a single PDF application file, and send the file  to undergrad.bme@utoronto.ca
    • Title the subject of your email as “SURNAME, First name – competition year, USRA application”

STEP B) Complete the BME online application

Got questions about specifics?