The steps below are for applying for an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award or a CSB Undergraduate Research Award. On the cover page (Step 5), please indicate if you are applying for only one of the awards, or for both (only one will be awarded per student). All students will submit only one application with a single supporting supervisor regardless of the number of awards that they wish to be considered for.

1. Decide Which Research Opportunity is Right for You

With two CSB undergraduate research opportunities in the summer, you need to decide if you wish to be considered for both of them, or for only one of the two. The differences between these opportunities can be seen in the comparison table.

2. Find a Sponsoring Professor

In CSB, we leave it to the student to find their own supervisor within our department. So, the first step towards obtaining an undergraduate research award in CSB is to contact the professors in the Department of Cell and Systems Biology (St. George campus), and find one who is willing to sponsor you. Advice on acquiring a research position is available through this link. A list of potential supervisors is available through this link. Information on their research interests can be found through this link.

3. Arrange for a Transcript

If you are a U of T student, you do not need to arrange for an official transcript to be sent. Instead, you can include a PDF copy of your academic record from ACORN with your application. Your supervising professor cannot access their part (Part II) of NSERC Form 202 until your part (Part I) is complete. It is not complete without the academic record.

If you transferred to U of T from another institution or if you are currently studying at another institution, you will need to submit an official transcript from that institution. Please arrange for an eTranscript to be sent to by February 16. Please be aware that your cGPA will be calculated based on the grades of ALL of the post-secondary institutions you attended.

4. Complete the Application

  • Whether you are applying for an NSERC award only, a CSB award only, or both, you use the same application form – Form 202
  • Instructions on how to complete the application form, Form 202, are available through this link. Please use the On-line Services to complete your part of the form. When you register, you will be given a reference number that you pass on to your supervising professor. Your supervisor will use that number to access and complete their part of the form
  • If you self-identify as Indigenous or Black, make sure you select the appropriate field in Form 202-Part I and also indicate this on the CSB cover page.
  • It is your responsibility to complete Part I. You should work with your supervising professor to complete Part II. When both parts are completed, they can be verified, but the supervisor should NOT “Submit to LO” at this time.
  • No hand written applications will be accepted.
  • A PIN is requested on both pages of the application form. This is a number for the student on Part I, and for the professor on Part II. If you have not applied to NSERC before, you will not have a PIN and you can leave this blank. However, once you have completed Part I and verified it, it is possible that a PIN is generated for you. If so, leave it in place. If not, it is fine to leave it blank.
  • Under “Name of discipline,” please enter your undergraduate program (e.g., Cell and Molecular Biology (not Cell and Systems Biology – that is our department name)). Under “Department,” please enter the name of the department that sponsors the program you are enrolled in. Please do not put Faculty of Arts and Science under Department. For those of you in a Human Biology program, please put Human Biology under Department. If you cannot fit the full name of your programs and/or sponsoring departments, please do not use acronyms such as CSB. Instead, you can use an abbreviation such as Cell & Systems Bio. You can also use the “Other degree” sections to list additional programs. Please list each “degree” as Bachelors.
  • Under “Year and month of expected degree completion,” please list the month as either “06” if you plan to graduate in June or “11” if you plan to graduate in November.
  • Research subject codes are available at this link.

5. Complete the CSB Cover Page

Along with Form 202, you must also complete and submit the CSB Combined Application Cover Page. Please complete the form electronically. Do not hand write the cover page. On the cover page, you must indicate whether you are applying for only one of the awards, or if you are applying for either one or the other.  You also need to indicate if you have previously received an award or not.

Applications for self-identified Black and Indigenous students are strongly encouraged. Please indicate on the application cover page if you are a Black or Indigenous student.

The cover page requires a paragraph outlining why you want the award, indicating your career and research goals. The paragraph must be a maximum of 400 words and fit within the space provided. Anything beyond this point will not be considered.

The Special Circumstances section is optional. Please fill this out if you have any special circumstances that have affected your academic achievement or research potential.  The awards committee will consider these when reviewing your application. Special circumstances may include illness, disability, parental or family responsibilities, cultural or community responsibilities, socio-economic context, trauma and loss or a pandemic.

The cover page is for the department only. It is not a part of your on-line application to NSERC.

6. Submit Your Application

Submit your application electronically to by Tuesday, February 20, 2024. Your application must include the following 3 files:

  1. CSB Combined Application Cover Page
  2. Form 202 – Part I with academic record
  3. Form 202 – Part II (this part is completed by supervisor)

It is your responsibility to obtain Part II from your supervisor in time to submit this file along with the other two by the due date.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at