NSERC’s Experience Awards (previously Industrial Undergraduate Student Research Awards [IUSRA]) offer companies access to talented natural sciences and engineering undergraduate students for a work term. This cost-shared program allows students to address company-specific R&D challenges while gaining valuable industrial experience. Experience Awards also let companies identify potential future full-time employees.
|Value||$4,500 plus organization contribution|
|Application Deadline||Minimum of four weeks before start date of work term|
|How to Apply||See below|
|Application Forms||Form 183B – Application (new or renewal) for Eligibility of Organizations to Participate in NSERC's Industrial R&D Fellowships Program, Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships Program and Experience Awards (completed by the organization within the last three years)
Form 202, Parts I and II – Application for an Undergraduate Student Research Award or Experience Award
To create or access an application, select On-line System Login. To view instructions, select PDF Forms and Instructions.
|For More Information||Contact the NSERC regional office in your area.|
For more information on how to apply, consult the List for a Complete Application and the sections below.
Although this section is intended for potential applicants, it also provides important information for potential host organizations that want to nominate undergraduate students for Experience Awards.
Experience Awards are meant to stimulate your interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering. They are also meant to encourage you to undertake graduate studies and to pursue a research career in these fields. If you would like to gain research work experience in an industrial setting that complements your studies, these awards can provide you with financial support through your host organization. NSERC encourages qualified Aboriginal students to apply for an Experience Award.
Note: Experience Awards may be held during co-op placements. Your university co-op office may be able to assist you in finding a placement.
To be eligible to apply for an award, you must:
To hold an award, you must:
You are not considered eligible for an Experience Award if:
Eligible research projects include a wide array of activities; however, applications are not accepted for an Experience Award if they include:
This is not a comprehensive list, and other activities proposed or evidence that the research challenge is not sufficient may result in the project being declared ineligible. Refer to the Form 202 instructions for guidance on preparing an outline of the research project to be undertaken during the award.
NSERC will not reimburse the organization for any period during which you worked part-time. No payment will be approved for any holidays you take during tenure of the award.
Additional support for the student may be possible in partnership with provincial funding agencies. Contact your NSERC regional office for more details.
For the duration of the award, you will be an employee of the host organization. Your activities will be governed by the terms and conditions of employment of regular employees engaged in similar work.
Students must be supervised by full-time employees of the organization. Whenever possible, supervision should be done by research staff. The host organization must provide an adequate industrial environment, including support and supervision at a level suitable for the awardee as well as appropriate research facilities on the organization's premises. For further information, see the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in NSERC Industrial Training Programs.
Experience Awards can be held within the Canadian-based research facilities of any Canadian private-sector organization deemed suitable to host an Experience Award. These awards may not be held outside Canada. For further information, see the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in NSERC Industrial Training Programs, or contact your NSERC regional office for assistance.
Host organizations must have completed an Application (new or renewal) for Eligibility of Organizations to Participate in NSERC's Industrial R&D Fellowships Program, Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships Program and Experience Awards (Form 183B) within the past three years. A separate Form 183B must be completed for each individual subsidiary, branch, division or location of the organization wanting to host a student or fellow. This form can be completed and submitted through the On-line System.
You may apply for these awards at one or more organizations. Contact organizations at which you might like to work. If they are interested, you must complete and submit your application using NSERC’s On-line System. Refer to the instructions for completing Form 202. Paper copies are not accepted.
Organizations will select their candidates on the basis of information that may be available from interviews and other sources. A limited number of awards are available. NSERC will support up to 15 students per eligible organization, per location, and per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31). Awards will be given on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to fulfillment of the eligibility conditions and subject to availability. Organizations will inform applicants whose applications they did not forward to NSERC.
Experience Award applications may be submitted at any time. For administrative purposes, NSERC should receive applications from the organization at least four weeks before the scheduled start date of the work term. Applications received more than two months after the proposed start date of the work term will not be approved.
If you have already started your work term with an organization before NSERC has notified you of the decision, there is no guarantee that your application will be successful. NSERC may still reject your application based on eligibility criteria or availability of awards.
NSERC will inform students and companies of its decision generally within one month of the day it receives the application. If the application is not successful, any subsequent application for the same term will not be considered. An application for the student to work with the same host organization will only be accepted for a future term.
NSERC is committed to maintaining the strict confidentiality of information submitted in the application form and of organization information, especially as it relates to proprietary information.
However, the student's name, the name of the organization, and the general field of research are considered public information and may be released by NSERC.
The host organization will retain all titles and rights to the results of your work. The organization's patent policies will apply to any patentable inventions and developments resulting from your work.
NSERC’s Intellectual Property Policy does not apply to Experience Awards.
As a student, you will receive your award payments directly from your host organization. Organizations will issue payments to you for the total value of the award in accordance with their pay procedures. They will also issue a T4 or T4A slip (Statement of Income) to you at the end of the calendar year.
Near the end of tenure of the award, you will be contacted by NSERC to comment on your experience. A message with instructions for completing the report will be sent to the email address indicated in your application. Notify firstname.lastname@example.org if your contact information changes.
In order to be reimbursed by NSERC, organizations will be contacted by NSERC to confirm the payments made to the student and to obtain comments on the company’s experience. Near the end of the tenure of the award, a message with instructions for completing the report and requesting reimbursement will be sent to the email address of the company representative indicated in the application. Notify email@example.com if this contact information changes.
Organizations will not be reimbursed if the response described above is received more than two months after the end of the Experience Award.
NSERC may approve a travel allowance for the actual costs you incur to get to your host organization’s work location and back. The allowance is based on the economy air fare between the postsecondary institution at which you are registered and the organization. Note that travel allowances are taxable.
To apply for a travel allowance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the Travel Claim Form. The completed form must be sent, along with your original receipts, to the Finance and Awards Administration Division at NSERC.
Note: Frequent flyer points will not be reimbursed.