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Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA)

The McMaster USRAs* are intended to cultivate and support research partnerships between undergraduate students and faculty members.

The Awards provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to receive funds to cover research-based activity. The intent is that the proposed research activity deepens a student's learning about a substantive area and enhances the student's research skills. 

*The McMaster USRA is separate and distinct from the external program NSERC-USRA.

Two Options: Fall/Winter (Part-Time) or Summer (Full-Time)

Fall USRA:

There are 3 awards of $3500 available to cover part-time, research-based activity over the Fall/Winter Terms (November - March). The Fall USRA will take place over 20 weeks where students will complete 12 hours per week.

Application deadline: October 5, 2018 before 4:00pm

Fall USRA Application Form

Summer USRA:

There are 12 awards of $7500 available to cover full-time, research-based activity over the Summer Term (May - August). The Summer USRA will take place over 15 weeks where students will complete 35 hours per week.

Application deadline: January 30, 2019 before 4:00pm

Summer USRA Application Form

Role of Faculty

Faculty members can support an applicant by agreeing to supervise his/her research. The project could be the student's idea or part of the faculty member's own project, but a substantial component of the research must be completed independently by the student.

As a Faculty member, you can assist students by:

  • identifying potential applicants and supporting the applicant's proposed research; and,
  • proposing opportunities related to your own research to a potential applicant.

Please note, by co-signing the application, supervisors agree that:

  • They have discussed the proposed project with the student including ethical implications;
  • They are supportive of the project plan;
  • and they agree to supervise the student in completing the proposed research activities during the proposed period.

Success through Collaboration

Past competitions have shown that students who worked closely with their faculty supervisor in developing their research project have had a higher success rate in securing an award.

Faculty members are encouraged to attend the USRA Poster Session on November 1, 2018 from 2:00-4:00 PM in MUSC, CIBC Hall (3rd floor) where last year's recipients will showcase their projects. (This is a drop-in event).

Further Information

For specific information pertaining to the award, please view the USRA Faculty Information Document.

Applications are to be submitted electronically by the student as per the instructions on the form.

photo of Mark Busser

Mark Busser

Ph.D International Relations, McMaster University2014

Academic and Experiential Learning Coordinator