Undergraduate Summer Research Program (USRP)

Professor Elaine Biddiss

The IBBME Undergraduate Summer Research Program is a 16-week program that presents an opportunity for students to work in a biomedical engineering research environment, on campus or at one of our partner hospitals.

Students are required to attend regularly-scheduled research seminars and will also have opportunities to participate in a variety of workshops, career talks and events.

The USRP experience culminates with a mini-symposium where students present their research to their fellow students and faculty.


Work terms are 12, 14 or 16 weeks from May to August depending on funding award stipulations.

Exact start and end dates are determined when award results are announced in conjunction with arrangements with individual supervisors.


This program is open to both current and non-University of Toronto undergraduate students.

You must be registered in an accredited university as a full or part-time student at the time of application in one of the following areas of general study:

  • dentistry
  • engineering
  • medicine
  • science (including computer-related sciences)

You must also have completed at least one full year of an undergraduate program by the start of this program.

**Due to restrictions on temporary work permits, we are no longer accepting students who do not have either Canadian citizenship, residency or a valid study permit by the USRP application deadline.**

Obtaining a Supervisor

USRP students are required to initiate and confirm a faculty supervisor match for this program.

Please review the list of supervisors who have indicated interest in hiring a USRP student for 2018.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact faculty members well before the application deadline to discuss potential positions and projects.

You may also reach out to any IBBME faculty member not included in the above list to inquire about alternative USRP positions.

For some funding opportunities, such as the NSERC USRA, students will need to have already secured a supervisor holding a current NSERC grant prior to completing the award application.

Candidates who are able to effectively demonstrate common research interests and background to a professor will typically have a greater chance of securing a supervisor of choice. Generic, mass emails are strongly discouraged.

Please contact our Academic Programs Office if you would like additional guidance on securing a supervisor.

Opportunities at SickKids

Students accepted into the USRP have the unique opportunity to work on a clinical-based topic assigned by the Hospital for Sick Children through the Innovation, Hammer & Nails program.

Specific project information, number of positions and funding are made available at the discretion of Sick Kids. Please contact program liaison Dr. Vito Forte at vito.forte@sickkids.ca for more details and project availability.

All students who wish to participate in this program must complete the USRP application found near the bottom of this page.

Student Funding Opportunities

There are three main pillars of financial support for students in this program. Candidates are selected for these awards on the basis of academic achievement, previous experience and their motivation for undertaking biomedical engineering research.

USRP applicants will be automatically considered for the (1) Director’s Summer Research Opportunities (DSRO) Program and the (2) Undergraduate Summer Research Program (UROP) funding. Students are only eligible to apply for the (3) NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Award (USRA) if their supervisor holds an NSERC grant.

A separate application is required for the NSERC USRA. Complete this first if you are considering applying to our summer research program as you will be required to submit a copy of your NSERC USRA application to us as well.

Awards Details

Other Awards

U of T students may be eligible for additional research awards via their respective departments, such as the Engineering Science Research Opportunity Program (ESROP) and the University of Toronto Excellence Awards (UTEA).

Please note that these awards may be announced after USRP awards. Any student who receives an award from another department or external source must inform the Undergraduate Programs Office via undergrad.ibbme@utoronto.ca.

For more details about specific awards available to you, please contact your departmental academic advisor.

How to Apply

Please complete the 2018 USRP application form and all funding award documents by Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 10:00 a.m EST (Eastern Standard Time).

Other Summer Opportunities


undergrad.ibbme@utoronto.ca (email)