How to Apply for USRA and SURA Awards

The Faculty of Science 2024 USRA/SURA competition application period runs from January 4 to January 29, 2024. To apply, click here!

On January 10, 2024, from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m., we will be having an information session via WebEx for students and faculty that would like to learn more about these programs (click here to join the WebEx meeting).

Memorial’s Faculty of Science (FoS) has two competitive programs of paid employment for undergraduate students interested in conducting research projects with faculty members in the FoS:

  • the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) in the FoS, which is a national award open to eligible internal and external applicants; and
  • the FoS Science Undergraduate Research Award (SURA), which is an internal award only available to FoS undergraduate students.

Student Eligibility


  • Students must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, or Protected Persons under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada)
  • Applicants must be registered in an eligible undergraduate bachelor's degree program
  • Award employment must be done in the FoS (St. John's campus) with the exception of Faculty of Medicine or School of Pharmacy NSERC USRA awards (see below)
  • Applicants who self-identify as Indigenous or Black will be automatically granted a NSERC USRA award given they meet the minimum program requirements
  • Students must have a cumulative average of at least second class (a grade of "B" or "B-,") as defined by Memorial
  • Students may hold no more than three (3) USRAs during their undergraduate degree
  • Students may not be working on an honours thesis during the semester for which they hold an NSERC USRA, and the research must be distinct from their honours thesis
  • Students may not be enrolled in, or have completed, a graduate degree in the natural sciences or engineering

Faculty of Science SURAs:

  • All FoS students (Canadian and International) are eligible
  • SURA recipients must be registered in a B.Sc. program at Memorial University (St. John’s campus)
  • Award employment must be done in the Faculty of Science (St. John's campus)
  • Students must have a cumulative average of at least second class (a grade of "B" or "B-,") as defined by Memorial

Note: Students must have been registered in at least one of the two terms immediately before holding the award in a bachelor's degree program.

Faculty of Medicine and School of Pharmacy NSERC USRA Awards

  • There are a limited number of awards available for students to take with supervisors in the Faculty of Medicine (FoM) or School of Pharmacy (SoP)
  • Students interested in taking one of these awards must apply through the FoS NSERC USRA competition (same deadlines apply)
  • Applicants must select on their application that they are applying for a FoM or SoP NSERC USRA
  • Applicants will not be eligible to work with FoM or SoP supervisors unless they apply for a FoM or SoP NSERC USRA
  • Students applying for a FoM or SoP NSERC USRA must also indicate which Department within the FoS they would consider taking their award, should FoM or SoP award be unavailable

Supervisor’s Eligibility

  • Supervisors must contribute a minimum of $2,900 for each award
  • For FoS SURA awards, supervisors must be a faculty member with the FoS (the supervisor portion of the award can be paid from any grant).
  • For NSERC USRA awards, faculty members are not required to hold an active tri-agency research grant (the supervisor portion of the award can be paid from any grant).

Application Procedures

All applicants must apply through our online Qualtrics submission process (we no longer accept applications via email). The Qualtrics link will be shared here once the application window opens.

Application window opens January 4, 2024 and closes January 29, 2024

Students applying for a Memorial FoS, FoM, or SoP NSERC USRA must complete the NSERC USRA questionnaire and upload a copy of their completed Form 202, Part I (this includes academic transcripts, which must list Fall 2023 grades and the courses enrolled in for the Winter 2024 semester). Memorial FoS students that are either a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or a Protected Person under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada), must apply for a NSERC USRA via this process to be also automatically considered for a FoS SURA.

For instructions on how to complete Form 202, Part I, students should refer to the NSERC website or contact If you have not previously used the NSERC portal, you can create an account here. Although the NSERC On-line system instructs you to use official transcripts, we advise Memorial applicants to use up-to-date unofficial copies at the time of submission to our competition.  

International students in the FoS at Memorial (external applicants are NOT eligible) must apply to the FoS SURA program using the same submission process (when you start the questionnaire, answer No to the first question). Applicants must complete the FoS SURA questionnaire and upload a copy of their transcripts (which must include Fall 2023 grades and the courses enrolled in for the Winter 2024 semester). Form 202, Part I is not required for international students applying for a FoS SURA.

NEW FOR 2024: Both the USRA and SURA questionnaires ask applicants to describe, in no more than 200 words, their interest in scientific research, including (as appropriate) relevant experience in volunteering, MUCEPs, Co-op or other research activities. You may include particular circumstances or barriers that have limited your ability to engage in such activities.

Application Checklist

□ I have filled out and completed the appropriate questionnaire (NSERC USRA or FoS SURA)

□ I have completed and attached Form 202, Part I at the end of the questionnaire (NSERC USRA applications only)

□ I have attached my unofficial university transcripts (which includes Fall 2023 grades plus Winter 2024 registered courses) at the end of the questionnaire (for USRA applicants, transcripts will be a part of Form 202, Part I)

Frequently Asked Questions

Employment conditions for the SURA are exactly the same as for an NSERC USRA. The USRA is only available for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, while the SURA is open to both Canadian and International students currently in the FoS at Memorial.

The tenure of the award is 16 weeks on a full-time basis (35 hours/week), and the awards are usually taken in the spring/summer semester.

NSERC USRA awards can be deferred to another semester as long as the student stills meets the eligibility requirements; however, SURA awards cannot be deferred.

A supervisor is not required for application submission, but students may identify a supervisor they wish to work with on the application form cover sheet. If you are awarded a USRA/SURA will we help you identify a supervisor that corresponds with your research interests.

These positions are intended to be full-time (35 hours/week), and it is the responsibility of the supervisor and the student to establish normal working hours. Recipients are not permitted to hold a second position at Memorial while holding a USRA/SURA.

USRA and SURA can be taken remotely or on campus depending on the nature of the work. It is the responsibility of the student and supervisor to establish the expectations of the award work. Regardless, the work must be conducted in Canada.

This award is intended to be a full-time research position, therefore students are only permitted to take two course (with permission from their supervisor) while completing their USRA/SURA.

USRA/SURA recipients are not permitted to take an honors thesis course while completing their award. They may take an honors thesis course in the term before or after they complete their award but not during, as these awards are full-time research positions.

All students registered in an eligible undergraduate program can apply to hold an NSERC USRA at Memorial, even if they are currently enrolled at a different institution. Similarly, if a Memorial student wishes to take a USRA at another institution they must apply directly to that institution to receive one of their award allocations. The Faculty of Science SURAs are only available to current FoS Memorial students.

Allocation of vacation for students during the award is to be determined between the supervisor and the student, but award recipients may be required to make up this time.

Once you have complete all sections of Form 202 save your application and click on the Portfolio tab. In your Portfolio, click the Verify button to confirm the completeness of your Form 202. If your information is incomplete, click the Edit button, make the required changes, and re-save your Form 202. Once your application is verified, click Preview. Now you will be able to obtain a savable PDF version of your Form 202. Submit this PDF of your Form 202, along with your Cover Sheet and Transcripts (which should be attached to your Form 202), to

Although Form 202 - Part 1 requests official transcripts, we instead encourage Memorial University students applying for a 2024 NSERC USRA in the Faculty of Science to use the most up-to-date copy of their unofficial transcript.

Your transcript must include grades from the preceding semester of the application deadline (e.g. Winter 2024 deadline must include Fall 2023 grades). Unofficial transcripts are obtained through your Memorial Self-Service account. If official transcripts are required at a later date, we will notify applicants. Non-Memorial University students who want to apply for a Memorial University Faculty of Science USRA must contact to discuss which transcripts to use.