Research Assistantships

2016 USRA recipients presenting their research

A research assistantship is a paid position offered by professors who could use the support of an undergraduate student to further their research. Professors add a dedicated member to their research team and students gain authentic exposure to research in an area of interest.

These term positions often take place during the spring and summer months. In addition to being involved in research directly, some students may also go on to co-author a manuscript or paper, create a poster and showcase it in a symposium, or give presentations. Some student research positions are listed through University of Saskatchewan's CareerLink.

What have undergraduate students thought about their experience in research assistantships? Check out these student stories!

Find Undergraduate Research Funding

Internal Funding

Open to all students:

  • Undergraduate Student Research Assistantships (USRAs): matching awards provided to faculty researchers interested in hiring undergraduate students as research assistants over the summer. The application website is typically active in March of each year. See rubric for how quality applications are evaluated.
  • Student Travel Award: provide financial assistance to students to participate in academic-related conference, competitions and other university activities

College/Department specific:

Canadian Funding

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

  • Undergraduate Summer Student Health Research Awardfor undergraduate students in mathematics, physics, computer science, life sciences or a related field with minimum of 1 year post-secondary experience.  The trainee will work under the supervision of one faculty member who holds a CIHR and/or CIHR-NSERC partnered program research grant.

  • Canadian Blood Services Summer Research Scholarship Program: provides support to undergraduate students enrolled in a Canadian post-secondary institution to gain experience by contributing to biomedical research projects within Canadian Blood Services, for up to 16 weeks.

National Research Council (NRC)

  • NRC Co-op Program: provides practical career-related experience work terms to promising students in science, engineering, and technology. Work terms are also offered in the business, public relations, communications, library sciences, marketing and administration fields. Jobs are posted through the Student Employment and Career Centre.
  • NRC Student Employment Program: for students interested in gaining practical, industry experience in a range of disciplines. Applications are accepted throughout the year and placements are for 16 weeks; full-time in the summer, or part-time during the academic year.
  • Industrial Research Assistantship Program: for students from a range of disciplines to gain 16 weeks of work experience. Applications are accepted year-round.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)


  • Baycrest Research Training Centre in Toronto (RTC): for undergraduate students to conduct research in a laboratory/clinical setting at Baycrest under the supervision of a practicing Scientist from the Research Division. The program is 12 weeks in length.
  • Summer Studentships in Inherited Bleeding Disorders Research: for Canadian medical and science students.
  • Grand Challenges Canada Summer Student Program: Each summer, Grand Challenges Canada welcomes passionate and driven students from a variety of disciplines to work as part of their team.
  • BC Children's Hospital Research Institute - Summer Student Program: includes studentship opportunities for top-ranked students and an education program for funded and non-funded students. From May-August, students work closely with a supervisor on a specific program. Along with the elements inherent to each students specific research project, students have the opportunity to participate in the research education program in June-July.
  • Women Techmakers Scholars Program: Google is furthering Dr. Anita Borg’s vision of creating gender equality in the field of computer science by encouraging women to excel in computing and technology and become active leaders and role models in the field. Recipients will receive $10 000, be invited to Google Scholars' Retreat, and connect with others in the research community.
  • ICAN-WISE Scholarship: The Integrated Collaborative Academic Network for Women in Science and Engineering; the purpose of the scholarship is to facilitate women mentee-mentor academic research collaborations in natural sciences and engineering fields.
  • SickKids Summer Research Program: provides opportunities for university students to conduct research in a laboratory or clinical setting at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) under the supervision of a Research Institute scientist. The program runs for 15 weeks from early May to mid-August.
  • Canadian Foundation for Infectious Diseases (CFID) Undergraduate Summer Research Awards: for undergraduate students who plan to conduct summer research in the form of a research project, research elective, or co-op work-term opportunity. 

International Funding


  • Mitacs Globalink Research Award: supports research collaborations between Canada and international partner countries. Select destinations are open to senior undergraduates in all disciplines to apply.
  • RISE - Globalink Research Internship: provides summer research internships to North American and British students, and aims to promote student exchange to Germany in the fields of natural science, engineering, and life sciences, and to motivate undergraduate students to learn more about Germany’s research landscape and study opportunities.


  • Shastri Research Fellowship for Students (SRSF): Open to students enrolled in at least 2 years of any Bachelor's degree in Indian and Canadian universities to undertake research experience in India/Canada. Deadline to apply is December 31, 2017. 
  • EuroScholars - European Undergraduate Research Opportunities: a research abroad program designed for advanced and talented undergraduate students from US and Canadian institutions looking for an international research experience. Offers these students to conduct research in almosty any discipline at one of the 9 internationally renowned European Research Universities.
  • The Kupcinet-Getz International Summer School: for undergraduate students in mathematics, physics, chemistry or the life sciences. Students participate in 8-weeks of research.
  • Society for Vascular Surgery Student Research Fellowship: for students to spend from 2 to 12 months on a project at an educational facility under the supervision of an Active Member of SVS.
  • CUR Biology Student Travel Award: Travel fund provided by the Biology Divison of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) for biology students presenting original research results at a regional or national discipline-specific meeting.
  • APA Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Grants: For psychology students. Will provide undergraduates who have little or no prior laboratory experience with the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of how scientific research is conducted. The grants are designed to enable psychology departments to hire undergraduates to work as research assistants in faculty members’ labs over the summer.
  • Summer Research Program for Undergraduate Life Science Students:This program is offered by the School of Life Sciences in Lausanne, Switzerland, and is open to all undergraduate university students from anywhere in the world.
  • Research in Industrial Projects for Students (RIPS): A nine-week program emphasizes research and group work. It offers each undergraduate student with a travel allowance and a stipend of US $3,500 to work on research projects. This program is available in LA and Hong Kong.
  • Dobbin Atlantic Scholarship Programme: to support the development of links between Ireland and Canada. For research visits of 3 to 5 weeks.
  • German Studies Research Grant: Undergraduates with at least junior (third-year) standing pursuing a German Studies track or minor may be nominated for the grant by their department and/or program chair. Applicants are expected to have completed two years of college German and a minimum of three courses in German Studies (literature, history, politics or other fields) at the time of nomination. The grant may be used for short-term research (one to two months) in Germany.
  • Microscopy Society of America (MSA): Undergraduates with an interest in conducting a research project involving the use of any microscopy technique and who are sponsored by an MSA member may submit a project proposal for a chance to recieve up to $3 000 in funding.