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Intro to NSERC Summer Student Program in Physics at Toronto

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The Department of Physics of the University of Toronto will be participating in the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) Program for the summer of 2017.

Program Description

The Department of Physics of the University of Toronto will be participating in the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) Program for the summer of 2017. If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies in physics at U of T, you should seriously consider making application. This program gives undergraduates the opportunity to work on a project with a clear research goal, under the supervision of a professor who is active at the forefront of his or her field of physics. It is an excellent introduction to research in physics, and gives undergraduates the opportunity to interact directly with professors, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. This activity is supplemented by the summer student research seminar series, a weekly series of talks by faculty members about their latest research.

The Department of Physics will have 16 of these positions available; each must be held for at least 16 weeks. NSERC provides part of the funding, but the research supervisors will provide a considerable supplement. Including this supplement, the salary levels will be:

  • $2100 a month for students who have completed 4th year,
  • $2000 a month for students who have completed 3rd year,
  • $1900 a month for students who have completed 2nd year (1styear from Quebec),

of their university program. Some projects, of course, will only be open to students in their upper years.

Travel expenses to and from the home university will be refunded by NSERC up to a maximum of economy class air fare.  For students from outside Toronto, the University Housing Service provides up-to-date information on affordable accommodation.

In addition, the Chair of the Department of Physics will "top up" the awards to the top four students participating in the University of Toronto program by a total of $800 per student. These students will be designated "Chair's Scholars".

Application Procedures

Each applicant must submit to: Liz Glover at eglover@physics.utoronto.ca an electronic copy of the following documents by Wednesday, February 1, 2017:

1. The completed NSERC Form 202 - Application for a USRA (Part 1 only)

2.  An up-to-date (i.e. including Fall session grades) transcript of your university records

3.  A brief (one page) description of your interests and goals in physics.

Each application package must be submitted electronically as a single PDF, assembled in the above listed order. Reference letters are not required.

Students with offers of award will be asked to submit their official transcripts.

Application Deadline

The deadline for applications is February 1, 2017.

Selection Process

Shortly after the application deadline,  we will be in touch with the successful candidates to determine their priorities for research and the supervisor(s) with whom they would like to work, as listed on the Job Description . Feel free to get in touch with individual professors to discuss their research in more detail! Once a supervisor is identified, the name of the student will be posted on the Job Description so that other students will know that a position has been filled. Since it takes a while to work through this process, which is ongoing, you may not hear from us again for some time until a vacancy occurs and you are next on the list for an offer. Keep checking the website for updates. If you do not hear from us, all of the 16 positions have been filled, and your application has been declined for 2017. If you are unsuccessful, some professors may be interested in hiring summer (non-NSERC) students.  Students should follow up with specific supervisors.

For general information on the physics department at the University of Toronto, students are encouraged to consult our main departmental webpage .