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Undergraduate Research Fund

The Undergraduate Research Fund fosters research experience at the undergraduate level by providing students with an opportunity to develop a research project of their own, for which there is no other available funding. The fund is open to all Arts & Science undergraduate students in good academic standing and no minimum GPA is required.

The Fund is to be used for research initiated by students, related to their degree, and supervised by a faculty member either through a regular course, an independent study, a research essay, or other academic project. For example, students may want to explore in more depth ideas that emerged in a 299Y course, or to further develop some implications of the research they have done in a seminar, or to undertake additional research required to turn a final essay into a publication (e.g., journal article).

There are two competitions held each year; deadlines are November 22 and March 3. All applicants will be informed of their results approximately one month after the competition has closed.

The Undergraduate Research Fund is funded jointly by the Arts & Science Students’ Union (ASSU) and the Faculty of Arts & Science.

Criteria and Guidelines

Before completing the application form (MS Word document), applicants must read the criteria and guidelines in their entirety to ensure the proper procedures are followed and that the submission contains all of the information requested (including the faculty supervisor’s endorsement and signature).

Application Criteria

Student Applicant:

  • must be current undergraduate degree student(s) in the Faculty of Arts and Science and must be registered as such during the period in which the research will be conducted;
  • must be in good academic standing;
  • can receive the Undergraduate Research Fund only once; and
  • can submit only one application per academic year.

Faculty Supervisor:

  • must be a faculty member with a continuing appointment in the Faculty of Arts and Science; and
  • can supervise only one application per competition round (e.g., one student’s application or one group application limited to three members with one student designated as contact applicant).

Research Project:

  • Research must be a stand-alone project (i.e., cannot be related to a current project in the same location with similar goals, and for which students are already funded).
  • Research must be related to the student’s degree; or in the case of groups, all of the students’ degrees.
  • Applications for funding to recover costs for research projects already completed will not be considered.
  • Requests for stipends/salaries for students will not be considered.

Selection Criteria

Priority will be given to:

  • projects that are academically strong and will provide sound learning outcomes, relevant to the student’s degree;
  • projects that are realistic, with credible timelines, resource requirements, and goals;
  • students who have never received funding (e.g., 399, NSERC, etc.) to conduct research within the University of Toronto (the exceptions are students who have previously taken a 299 course); and
  • third- and fourth-year students.

Application Guidelines

For advice on writing a research proposal, please visit the UofT Writing page.

  • Applications will be judged on the quality of the proposal: It must clearly communicate the rationale for the project and state the research question(s) or hypothesis to be investigated.
  • Non-technical language appropriate for a multi-disciplinary committee must be used.
  • Contact project supervisor well in advance of the submission deadline:

    a) to obtain supervisor’s endorsement and signature (see Part IV of the application form);

    b) to ensure research protocols are met and approval granted by ethics boards (e.g., for research involving human subjects, animal subjects, or biohazards); and

    c) to review the application for completeness.

  • Students requesting funding to conduct research abroad must provide proof of registration with the Safety Abroad Office.
  • Applications that do not contain all of the information requested will not be considered.

Research Project Report

Successful applicants are required to submit a report to the selection committee one month after completing their project, and provide a detailed expense report including original receipts.

Please contact Lanor Mallon with inquiries.