Undergraduate Research Fellowship

The Cheriton School of Computer Science offers enrichment opportunities to exceptional students through the Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF) program to earn at least $15,000 a term for full-time research with a faculty member.


Students 3A to 4B are eligible to apply, exceptional students from earlier terms will also be considered. A cumulative average (CAV) of at least 80% is required. Preference is given to students enrolled in Computer Science major plans. A student can only do one URF/Co-op per term, and must be on a Co-op term or otherwise not taking courses.

Note: International Students need a SIN# to work in Canada

How to Apply?

For Spring 2020 fellowships the application deadline is January 21, 2020 (11:59 PM). Future deadlines will be posted later.

  1. Check eligibility stated above. Make sure you are eligible before taking the following steps.
  2. Prepare a CV/Resume and a one page personal statement.
  3. Complete the registration form online. Submission Site
  4. Students are encouraged to find an advisor and indicate this on their statement. In this case, advisors should write a one page letter of endorsement.

Fellowship Details

Students will receive a minimum of $15,000/term for their co-op placement

Example: Student X is awarded a research fellowship for a term, the school will provide $7,500 toward their salary. If they receive an NSERC USRA for $4,500, then the supervisor would need to contribute at least $3,000. If the student does not get NSERC USRA, the supervisor would need to contribute at least $7,500.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can connect with an advisor in multiple ways. You can approach a faculty member and inquiry about their current research project, or you can review the following list of advisors and their areas of interest https://urf.cs.uwaterloo.ca

Yes. We will only accept students who are endorsed by a faculty member.

No. Preference will be given to those endorsed by a CS faculty member.

We want to hear what you are passionate about and why you want to pursue a work term in research.

This term we will be aligning our recruitment timelines with Waterloo Works and intend on notifying successful candidates before rankings are released.

No! We accept both candidates with and without prior research experience. Just tell us why you have a keen interest in research on your personal statement.

No. We encourage students to select one pathway when applying.

Yes, you can still apply as long as a CS faculty member endorses you.

Yes, as long as you have a work permit, you can apply.

Potential Supervisors

Supervisor Areas
Omid Abari Internet of Things, Intelligent Connectivity
Samer Al-Kiswany Distributed Systems, Cloud Computing, Storage Systems, Big Data Systems
Christopher Batty Scientific Computing, Graphics, Physics Simulations
Raouf Boutaba Internet of Drones, Algorithms, Wireless Networks
John Brzozowski Formal Languages and Automata
Tim Brecht Performance, Distributed Systems, Streaming Video, Wireless Networks, Internet of Things
Khuzaima Daudjee Cloud and Big Data Systems
Nancy Day Formal Methods, Logic, Software Engineering, Software Modelling, State Diagrams, Requirements, Specifications
Ian Goldberg Privacy Enhancing Technologies
Xi He Privacy and Security for Big Data Management and Analysis
Urs Hengartner Security and Privacy for Smartphones and Mobile Applications
Jesse Hoey Affective Computing, Health Informatics, Artificial Intelligence
Ihab Ilyas Machine Learning for Big Data Curation, Data Science, Large Scale Data Management
Craig Kaplan Procedural Modelling, 2D Computer Graphics, Ornamental Design, Tiling Theory and Geometry
Martin Karsten Operating Systems, Systems Software, Networking
Florian Kerschbaum Search over Encrypted Data
Edward Lank HCI, Gestural Interaction, Intelligent Interfaces, Public Display Interfaces, Design of Technology
Ondrej Lhotak Programming Languages, Compilers, Scala, Type Systems, Program Analysis
Jimmy Lin Big Data, Information Retrieval, Databases
Stephen Mann Graphics, Curves and Surfaces
Ali Mashtizadeh Operating Systems, Distributed Systems, Storage, Architecture, and Compilers
Mei Nagappan Software Engineering: Mining Software Repositories, Mobile App Market Analytics, Software Bots
Naomi Nishimura Graphics Algorithms, Fixed-Parameter Tractability, Combinatorial Reconfiguration
Jeff Orchard Computational Neuroscience, Neural Networks
Pascal Poupart Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Health Informatics
Gregor Richards Programming Languages, Dynamic Languages, JavaScript, JIT, Gradual Typing
Semih Salihoglu Problems in Large-Scale Data Processing with a Focus on Graph Data
Ken Salem Databases, Distributed Systems, Cloud Computing
Jeffrey Shallit Automata Theory, Formal Languages, Complexity, Number Theory, Algorithms, Algebra
Peter Van Beek Machine Learning, Image Processing, Artificial Intelligence, Computational Photography
Dan Vogel HCI, Applied Computer Vision for Real-time Interaction, Mid-air Gestures, Touch Input, Novel Interaction Techniques
Justin Wan Scientific Computing, Computational Finance, Medical Imaging, Physics-based Simulation
Grant Weddell Database Technology for Precompiled Real-time Applications