- Our Department
- About Us
- People Directory
- For Dept Members
- IT Service Catalogue
- Contact Us
- News & Events
- Undergrad Students
- Grad Students
- Contacts & Advising
Undergraduate NSERC USRA
The NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) enable undergraduate students to spend the summer months working with an active research group. The normal duration of the award is 16 consecutive weeks on a full-time basis. The students acquire valuable research experience while interacting with professors, postdoctoral fellows and other graduate and undergraduate students. Click here to see comments from some of the undergraduate students who did summer research at UBC in previous years.
General information on the Physics and Astronomy research being carried out at UBC can be found on the departmental Website, www.phas.ubc.ca.
Before submitting your formal USRA application (see below), we ask that you write a brief letter to each of the faculty members with whom you might like to work, explaining which aspects of their research interest you and what you believe you have to offer their projects. (This is excellent practice for future job searches!) If people with whom you are especially interested in working do not have any jobs posted, feel free to contact them (Email is usually best) to find out if they do have possible summer research projects.
Click here to see some of the USRA projects available in 2013.
Click here to see a list of projects available in the previous years.
Departmental Application Procedures
1. Submit application online to NSERC by filling out NSERC Form 202 Part I online at NSERC website, including uploading copies of your official transcripts. To access to the online application, please see here http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/UG-PC/USRA-BRPC_eng.asp.
2. Submit a copy of Form 202 Part I to UBC Physics and Astronomy Department by Thur., Jan 31, 2013. Besides this form, your application should also include:
- official transcripts (we will accept the opened official transcripts if you are using them to upload the copies to NSERC)
- a curriculum vitae (CV)
- a personal statement indicating your research interests and the names of three UBC faculty you would be most interested in working with during the summer (please indicate clearly your first, second, and third choice).
- at least one letter of reference from a faculty member of your home institution or supervisor in a previous job (or volunteer activity). This letter may be sent directly to us by Email, mail or fax, or in a sealed envelope accompanying the application.
Please make sure to include your NSERC reference number (obtained through the online application to NSERC) with your application materials submitted to the department.
Applications should be sent to:
Undergraduate Office c/o Salena Li
UBC, Department of Physics and Astronomy
6224 Agricultural Road
Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel: (604) 822-3026
Dates: The UBC Faculty of Science usually notifies us of our USRA allotment by about early February. We will try to have all decisions made and positions offered within a week after we know how many we have to offer. Because this part of the process must be completed expeditiously, please make sure we have your correct Email address!
Eligibility: To apply you should be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident completing the 2nd or higher year of an undergraduate Physics/Astronomy/Engineering Physics program. You should have obtained a cumulative average of at least B+ over the previous years of university study.
Selection criteria: Marks, recommendations and previous acknowledgements of distinction are important, of course; so are the aesthetics of presentation and content of the CV and personal statement. However, attention is also paid to the mutual enthusiasm of the student and the prospective supervisor for working together. Supervisors will be asked to "rank" students for this purpose. Because one of the primary benefits of USRA subsidies is to introduce new students to supervisors at a reduced financial risk, we rarely offer an award to the same student twice in this Department. It is also rare to offer two USRA subsidies to the same supervisor at any given time.
- $2,200 per month upon completion of 4thor 5th year
- $2,100 per month upon completion of 3rd year
- $2,000 per month upon completion of 2nd year.
NSERC generally also covers travel expenses for the two-way trip to and from your home university.
A note to UBC students: The competition for these fellowships is usually very keen (we are typically able to accommodate about 20% of applicants). To increase your chances you may wish to apply to other universities as well; all major Canadian universities participate in this program.
|NSERC Program Guide||UBC: Information for Students|
|Frequently Asked Questions||UBC: Information for Supervisors|
|NSERC Policies & Guidelines||List of Research Subject Codes|
|How to Complete Form 202||Checklist for Common Errors|