NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Awards (USRA), and Work Learn Undergraduate Research Awards (WLURA) give promising undergraduate students the opportunity to spend a summer working on a project with a Statistics professor. These awards represent a chance to gain valuable experience in many aspects of research, including data analysis and coding. You can enhance your resume for employment or for graduate school application, and find out what sort of career in statistics you want to pursue.
Summer Undergraduate Research positions for summer 2021 will open soon.
Please watch this space for further information.
Value of Award:
Aboriginal USRA Positions:
NSERC USRAs are available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents only.
WLURAs are available to international students only.
To be eligible for either of these awards you must:
- be registered (at the time of application) in a bachelor’s degree in the term immediately before holding the award
- International students MUST hold a valid study permit, and be registered as a UBC student. This means that International Students who graduate in May are NOT eligible for this award. If you are unsure of your eligibility, please contact the USRA coordinator AND an International Student Advisor BEFORE you apply
- Have a cumulative GPA of B- (68%) or greater
- At the time of the award, have completed all course requirement of at least the first year of university
- NOT have started a graduate program in science or engineering
- You may still apply for the program if you already hold a bachelor’s degree, and are enrolled in a second bachelor’s degree
- You may only hold one USRA per fiscal year (April 1-March 31)
- You may hold a maximum of three USRAs during your university career
- If you are a graduating student, you may hold the award in the term immediately following the completion of your degree requirements, regardless of your graduation date. The exception to this is International Students who do not hold a Post-Graduate Work Permit (see above)
- You do NOT have to be a Statistics major to apply, but please note that the positions are competitive, and priority will be given to students with a background in Statistics
- Individual supervisors may require you to have taken certain courses, or have a specific skill set
You are NOT eligible if:
- You are enrolled in an undergraduate professional degree program in the health sciences (e.g., MD, DDS, BScN, BScPharm)
- You hold higher degrees in sciences or engineering
- You are an international student who has graduated (or will graduate in May), and you do not hold a Post-Graduate Work Permit
Detailed information on awards and eligibility can be found on the Faculty of Science USRA webpage.
- Check out this years list of projects, and decide which projects you are interested in, making sure that you meet the required skill set/prerequisites that are mentioned. Competition for these positions is very keen, so it’s a good idea to apply as soon as possible.
- Additional projects MAY be added, so check back periodically if none of the projects currently posted are applicable to you
- Remember that you're not restricted to the projects on the list. If you have an idea for a project, you are encouraged to contact a faculty member with your idea to see if they are interested in supervising you.
- Email your application package to the project supervisors with whom you are interested in working. Your package should include a copy of your unofficial transcripts, along with a cover letter explaining what interests you about their research, and what you think you can contribute to the project. Make sure you submit your application as soon as possible, as these positions go fast.
- Project supervisors will contact students with whom they are interested in working, and may request an interview.
- Should you be chosen to work as a summer research assistant, you will be asked by the research supervisor to fill out an NSERC online application form. Instructions will be given to you at that time.
- Don't procrastinate. We receive a limited quota of positions, and they are filled very quickly!
Contact the Statistics USRA coordinator at gradinfo [at] stat.ubc.ca (subject: Undergraduate%20Research%20Assistant%20opportunities)
Profiles of some previous Summer Undergraduate Research Assistants:
Angad Kalra, a Combined Major in Math and Computer Science, worked with Prof. Sara Mostafavi in the summer of 2017. Angad first performed literature survey on the problem of open chromatin region classification. He then examined the available tools for deep learning and learned one of them, namely TensorFlow. Using TensorFlow, he implemented and tested a network architecture analogous to the state-of-art for a similar problem. Finally, he presented how to apply TensorFlow for deep learning to the lab. In addition to this project, he also helped with implementing an algorithm for solving a linear mixed model in associating gene-by-environment interactions to gene expression, which he also presented to the lab.
Joanna Zhao, graduated with a BSc. in Statistics, and is now a graduate student in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at SFU. Joanna worked with Jennifer Bryan. “My part in the project was to systematically work through“Creating more effective graphs” by Naomi Robbins and produce all the plots using the ggplot2 package in R language. The goal was to create a convenient and simple tool that can provide users with clear instructions on how to create each and every graph using ggplot2. Ultimately, a web application was put together to present an organized visual collection of all the graphs and the corresponding code. I have learned how to make a web application framework for R and improved by knowledge and usage of R functions to organize and manipulate data. I have also learned how to use knitr and Rmarkdown to generate documents/reports from R, and how to write a Makefile to compile source code."