Atlantic Canada’s commercialization and industry liaison network

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I-USRA Program

Springboard Atlantic has partnered with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) to help increase regional opportunities for Atlantic companies to work with undergraduate students to conduct research activities.

Please take note of the following changes for 2014–15:

1) Companies must pay students a set minimum rate (please see chart on page 3 of the attached document) during the 12- to 16-week work period in order to be considered for a top-up award from NRC-IRAP. 
2) Companies may qualify for a maximum of two (2) top-up awards from NRC-IRAP per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).

Under this partnership, small and medium-sized Atlantic Canada companies can apply to work with undergraduate science and engineering students, on a 16-week research project and receive a reimbursement of up to $6,500 per undergraduate student ($4,500 from NSERC and $2,000 from IRAP.) Springboard Atlantic administers the reimbursements of these funds for NRC-IRAP.  Students must be paid a minimum salary of $7,625 over the 16-week period.

“When you have a program that pays a substantial portion of the student’s salary, it helps minimize the risk from that investment,” says Dr. Stephen Ewart of OmniActive Health Technologies. Dr. Stephen Ewart supervised an intern hired as a result of the I-USRA program funding.

“The students companies get are smart, enthusiastic and are particularly open to new ideas,” says Dr. Ewart. "The I-USRA program is a great way to test drive a student’s capabilities in a short-term position and to see if they have the potential to become a future employee.  We at OmniActive recommend this program whole-heartedly." OmniActive Health Technologies (Canada) Limited, situated in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island is focused on the discovery of new dietary ingredients for the health supplement and functional food markets.

The I-USRA program gives companies the chance to stretch their budget by covering one or more students help you with your R&D needs. For the student, they gain valuable experience that will help them succeed in their chosen career. 

Please click here to download the two page summary.

Equals6 is a unique social networking site to connect employers and students. Students complete profiles, compete for exclusive scholarships and discover exciting career opportunities. Employers can recruit top students.

For information on the I-USRA program and how to apply, please consult the following websites:

I-USRA Program Information
Application Instructions

Applications must be submitted to NSERC via the on-line application site.

For more information, contact:

Gordon Deveau
Atlantic Regional Office
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
Moncton, NB E1A 7R1
Tel: 506-854-8756


Nicole LeBlanc-Richard
Industrial Technology Advisor
National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)
Moncton, NB E1A 7R1
Tel: (506) 861-0971

Springboard Atlantic 
Kathy Lynch
Office Manager
Springboard Atlantic Inc.
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 0A8
Tel: (902) 421-5678