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Applying for multiple summer research positions


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Hi everyone,

I would like to apply for a NSERC USRA (and a few other studentships) this summer and there are several labs at different universities that I would be interested in working in.  I know the NSERC USRA is pretty competitive, as are the other studentships I would like to apply for,  so is it acceptable to send out three or four applications with different labs?  I have reached out to a few different professors and most have responded that they would be willing to host me.  

Is it considered rude to apply for multiple NSERCs/summer studentships and only accept one while the declining others (if you are lucky enough to get multiple offers)?  Or is this typical?  It just seems like the process is too competitive to bank on getting the only one you applied for.

Thanks!

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My experience with USRA is that the student's profile (grades, motivation, letters of reference) matters more than the project. Therefore you don't increase your chances by applying with different projects. I can't think of anyone that applied more than once in a cycle (have never considered if that's allowed) but everyone seemed to have gotten funded despite the competitiveness. Maybe my department just knew what they were doing. If you do decide to apply to more than one, just make sure your potential PIs know that you may not end up working with them if you don't get the offer/get more than one. 

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I don't think it increases your chances by applying to multiple labs. I think it would just mean that you'd be required to choose one supervisor you'd like to work with in the event that you do get an offer. I once applied for an USRA and indicated 2 supervisors (I also thought it would increase my chances haha). in the end, before getting an offer, my university just asked that I pick one. Disclaimer: I'm not an expert in all that is USRA-related so take everything I say with a grain of salt

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