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Undergraduate Student Research Awards

Supporting undergraduate research opportunities

The McMaster Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) are intended to cultivate and support research partnerships between undergraduate students and faculty members. The award provides you with an opportunity to receive funds to cover research-based activity during the Fall/Winter or Summer Term.

There are now two USRA competitions!

Fall USRA (part-time):
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

Summer USRA (full-time):
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


*USRAs are distributed to students in bi-weekly installments over the duration of the award.

How to Apply

Ensure you meet all eligibility criteria

 It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that they meet ALL EE eligibility criteria, including all additional USRA eligibility criteria before applying.

All USRA applications must be submitted electronically.  Please see the Student Information Document and/or the Application Form (Fall Application or Summer Application) for further details.You can propose a research project which:

  • conducts your own independent research under the supervision of a faculty member; or
  • takes on a defined and specific role within a research project currently being conducted by a faculty member.

For tips on ensuring that your project learning outcomes, please see the EE Guide to Learning Plans and Objectives.

Please note:
The McMaster USRA is separate and distinct from the external program NSERC-USRA.

(Future applicants are encouraged to watch for the Poster Session where the 2018 award recipients will be showcasing their projects, in Fall 2019.  Award recipients will be on hand to answer questions. This is a good way for you to get started in planning your own research proposal. The next USRA Poster Session will be held in Fall 2019.  This is a drop-in event for guests and visitors.)

photo of Grace Martin

Grace Martin

Health, Aging and Society

“Prior to undertaking my USRA project, the research process seemed inaccessible and intimidating. This USRA gave me the opportunity to experience the research process for the first time in the most supportive environment possible. Now, I have confidence in my ability and I am eager to conduct more research in the future.”

USRA Travel

USRA project proposals may involve travel.  However, McMaster University cannot fund an activity if travel warnings issued by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada advise Canadians to avoid travel to the location of the student experience for any reason including civil unrest.  It is also the responsibility of the student to determine if any inoculation/medical intervention or insurance is required for travel related to their experience and to ensure that these requirements are completed appropriately before departure.

Complete information about the USRA, including application information:

For more information about USRA, please contact:

photo of Mark Busser

Mark Busser

Ph.D International Relations, McMaster University2014

Academic and Experiential Learning Coordinator