Research Opportunities Program

The Research Opportunity Program (ROP) gives undergraduate students in their second and third year the chance to join a professor’s research project and earn course credit towards their degree and program requirements.

Students learn research methods, get to know fellow students and share in the excitement and discovery of acquiring new knowledge. They develop relationships with faculty members who can act as mentors during their undergraduate years and assist them in applications to graduate schools or professional Faculties.

The ROP serves to enhance the fundamental connection between teaching and research in our research-intensive university. Students are welcome to participate in more than one ROP during their undergraduate studies. However, students may not participate in more than one ROP project with the same professor, and may not participate in more than one ROP course per academic year. 

Regular tuition fees apply for ROP courses. 

**UPDATED MARCH 27th, 2:00pm** Due to the University’s decision to offer all summer courses remotely, changes to Summer ROP course offerings are as follows:

PSY Investigating Episodic Memory in Parkinson’s Disease Patients
PSY Changes in the volume of the hippocampus following surgical menopause
PSY The infantile origins of social thinking, learning and behavior
BCH Screen for high copy suppressors in proteasome export mutants in yeast
CSC Building Intelligent Self-Improving Technology for Student Education & Health by Integrating Machine Learning, Statistics, Economics, Computational Social Science
CSC Enhancing & Personalizing Technology for Educational & Physical/Mental Health by integrating Human-Computer Interaction, Psychology, & Statistical Machine Learning
CSC Helping Students Improve their Education & Health by Integrating Behavioral/Social Sciences like Psychology, Economics, Public Health with Computer Science
PSY Investigating the impact of estrogens and early-life endocrine changes on cognitive decline and dementia
PSY The relationship between sleep, neuroinflammation, estrogen, and memory
PSY Social Perception and Cognition
ROT Dirty Socks, Dirty Talk, Dirty Thoughts: Psychological Cleanliness and Other Weird Metaphors We Unconsciously Rely on to Conceptualize the World
ROT How Physical Firmness Affects Metacognitive Firmness Leading to Stronger Beliefs, Reinforced Processing Styles and More Entrenched Judgments
ROT Morality, Values, Intuitions, and How These are Influenced by Your Bodily Experiences
ROT Do Social Class and Political Orientation Jointly Influence Lay Beliefs and Attitudes? And vice versa?
LIN The legacy of rural dialects: Comparing language variation and change in Northern Ontario and Northern Maine
PSY The mutual interaction of attention and memory in concept learning
TRN Sustainable Food Systems
BCH Control of mRNA translation and stability by the G3BP family of RNA-binding proteins.
MGY Learning and memory genes
BCH Drug Discovery in Parkinson Disease
BCH The Development of Novel Antibiotics
PSL Understanding the role of excess nutrients, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and circadian rhythms in the regulation of neuropeptides that control energy homeostasis and reproduction.
CSB Molecular Characterization of Novel Signalling Networks in Parasitic Plants 
MGY Investigating the control of HIV-1 RNA Processing
PSY Children’s Understanding of Moral Conflict and Temptation
PSL Genetic analysis of synaptic transmission in C. elegans
ESS Microfibers from clothing – where do they come from and where do they go?
BCH Structural and Functional Examination of Surface Proteins from Pathogenic Bacteria
BCH LDL transcytosis by coronary endothelial cells and the initiation of atherosclerosis
PSY Behavioural Neuroscience and Predictive Learning
PSY Investigating Dogs’ Knowledge of the Physical World
CSB Identifying Avirulence Factors of Plant Pathogens
CSB Molecular Analysis Cell Mechanosensing by Focal Adhesions
PSL Structural and functional studies of epigenetics related proteins
CSC Metacognition and Introductory Programming: Identifying Similar Problems
EEB Plant fitness conflicts between seed and flowering stages
CHM Improving Sequential Generative Models of Graphs for Large Scale Molecular Design
CHM Breaking the adiabatic speed limit in adiabatic quantum computing 
CHM What do Neural Networks learn about Science?
PSY How does the brain support memory?
PSY How does the developing brain remember?

Please note that the deadline for Fall/Winter Round 1 ROP applications has now been extended to April 30th, 2020 to accommodate students who wish to apply for newly deferred courses.

The deadline for Fall/Winter Round 2 ROP applications remains July 27th, 2020

Summer ROP courses that are proceeding remotely will now continue with the student selection process, and shortlisted candidates will be contacted by April 10th to proceed with virtual interviews. 

Please refer all questions to  


How to Apply

  1. Login to CLNx as a Student using your UTORid and password
  2. In left navigation bar select “Faculty of Arts & Science”, followed by “Experiential Learning at Faculty of Arts & Science”
  3. Select “View Available Programs/Courses” followed by “Research Opportunities Program”. Review the eligibility requirements listed and confirm all requirements are met for participation.
  4. Review listed opportunities and apply to up to 3 projects (see “How many can I apply for?” under “Frequently Asked Questions” below)
  5. In subsequent logins the program will be listed in your portfolio under “Current Experiences”
  6. Having trouble? Direct all questions to

Applications will be bundled and sent to the faculty supervisor the day after the deadline. The faculty supervisor then has 3-4 weeks to make their selections. Some faculty supervisors will have interviews, phone calls, or email questions to students they are considering. Each faculty supervisor has their own method. 

Only students accepted into a project will be notified by the faculty supervisor. Accepted students are required to sign an agreement (contract) and will be enrolled into the course on ACORN prior to the start of the relevant term. 

For more information and advice about the Research Opportunity Program, email the program office at

All ROP students must be enrolled in a Faculty of Arts & Science degree program and meet the following criteria based on the timing of the ROP to which they apply:

  • ROP299 in the Summer term: Students must have between 4.0 FCE and 11.0 FCE completed by the end of the April exam period. Students who have more than 11.0 FCE complete are not eligible for a Summer term ROP299.
  • ROP299 in the Fall/Winter term: Students must have between 4.0 FCE and 9.0 FCE completed by the end of the August exam period. Students who have more than 9.0 FCE complete are not eligible for a Fall/Winter Term ROP299. 
  • ROP399 in the Summer term: Students must have between 11.5 FCE and 16.0 FCE completed by the end of the April exam period. Students who have more than 16.0  FCE complete are not eligible for a Summer Term ROP399.
  • ROP399 in the Fall/Winter term: Students must have between 9.5 FCE and 14.0 FCE completed by the end of the August exam period. Students who have more than 14.0 FCE complete are not eligible for a Fall/Winter Term ROP399.
What are the course requirements of ROPs?
  • ROP projects in the Fall/Winter normally require eight-to-ten hours per week on the research project.
  • ROP projects in the Summer normally require eighteen-to-twenty hours per week on the research project. 
  • Each student should keep a journal recording meetings, progress, what was learned about the project and about researching. 
  • Students should meet bi-weekly with their supervisors and record the dates and times of those meetings in their journal. 
  • Written assignments must constitute at least 50% of the final grade. 
  • Final exams are not allowed as part of the final grade for a ROP. 
  • Students will attend any demonstrations, orientations, etc., that the supervisor may require.
  • Supervisors must hand back assignments worth at least 20% of the course mark by the term’s drop without penalty deadline. 
Does the 299Y1/399Y1 course count for degree credit?

Yes. It is a full course equivalent (1.0 FCE)  counting as one of the 20 necessary for an Hon.B.A. or Hon.B.Sc. or B.Com.

Can it count towards a program?

It may, depending on the nature of the project and your Program of Study. You will have to discuss this with the instructor in charge of the individual ROP299/399 project to see how it fits into a program and then discuss it with your program coordinator. It may be difficult to count it towards the B.Com. program; you should discuss this possibility with the Commerce Programs Office.

How many can I apply for?

Students are allowed to apply for a maximum of three per application round (Summer, Fall/Winter Round 1, Fall/Winter Round 2). However, students are reminded they are only allowed to enrol in one ROP per term, and can only take one ROP299 and one ROP399, up to two ROPs total, during their undergraduate studies. Students are not allowed to sign more than one contract for more than one project per term. If a student signs more than one ROP contract per term, only the first signed will be honoured and the other contracts will be considered void. 

Can I contact the Supervisor of the Project I am interested in?

No, the supervisors will not have contact with the applicants until they receive all of the applications from the ROP office. Supervisors will contact only those students they wish to interview.

Does it help to get my application in right away, before the deadline?

No. We are holding all applications, and send them all at once to the instructors, rather than as we receive them. Please take your time to read over your application(s) to be certain it is complete and correct.

Will my marks or GPA play a role?

They may, it will vary on the project applied to, and the relevant course work to the ROP that you have completed. Please be sure to include all your courses and marks in your application, if available.

How can I increase my chances of getting one of the positions?

Fill out your application carefully, answer all questions and include any marks you have received.

How will I know that I am officially accepted?

Once the supervisor has conducted their interviews, and made their selection, your eligibility will be verified and you will receive a Letter of Acceptance via email. The supervisor will then sign a contract with you. Students will be enrolled directly into the course a few weeks prior to the start of the relevant academic term.