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. 

Fall 2020

The following projects have been approved for Fall/Winter 2020. Projects that can still continue in either remote or in-person format are labelled “remote”, whereas projects that can only continue if public health guidelines allow in-person activities are labelled “in person”. Projects in which we are still waiting for confirmation from the faculty supervisor are labelled “TBC” (to be confirmed). This chart will be updated with new information as we receive it.

Department Delivery method Faculty name ROP title
ANES Remote  Hance Clarke 1) Phonemics and Genomics of Chronic Posturgical Pain 2) The Transitional Pain Service Database Project
BCH Remote Cordula Enenkel Screen for high copy suppressors in proteasome export mutants in yeast
BCH In-person only Walid Houry The Development of Novel Antibiotics
BCH TBC Warren Lee LDL transcytosis by coronary endothelial cells and the initiation of atherosclerosis 
BCH In-person only Angus McQuibban Drug Discovery in Parkinson Disease
BCH TBC Trevor Moraes Structural and Functional Examination of Surface Proteins from Pathogenic Bacteria  
BCH In-person only Craig Smibert Control of mRNA translation and stability by the G3BP family of RNA-binding proteins.
CHM TBC Ronald Kluger Reagents for Creating Stabilized Hemoglobin as a Transfusion Alternative
CHM TBC Al -Amin Dhirani Nanoengineering exotic quantum phenomena
CHM TBC Al -Amin Dhirani Nanoengineering electrodes for next generation rechargeable batteries
CSB In-person only Sergey Plotnikov Molecular Analysis Cell Mechanosensing by Focal Adhesions
CSB In-person only Shelley Lumba Molecular Characterization of Novel Signalling Networks in Parasitic Plants 
CSC TBC Peter Marbach Evaluating Models and Algorithms for Social Networks using Twitter Data
CSC TBC Peter Marbach Analysis of Economic Inequality and Social Policies
CSC TBC Peter Marbach Network Protocols and Applications for the Internet of Things
CSC Remote Joseph Williams Building Intelligent Self-Improving Technology for Student Education & Health by Integrating Machine Learning, Statistics, Economics, Computational Social Science
CSC Remote Joseph Williams Enhancing & Personalizing Technology for Educational & Physical/Mental Health by integrating Human-Computer Interaction, Psychology, & Statistical Machine Learning
CSC Remote Joseph Williams Helping Students Improve their Education & Health by Integrating Behavioral/Social Sciences like Psychology, Economics, Public Health with Computer Science
EEB TBC Arthur Weis Plant fitness conflicts between seed and flowering stages
ENV In-person only Brad Bass  Reviewing the University of Toronto’s Climate Change Plan to Increase Campus Participation in Addressing Climate Change
ENV Remote Clare Wiseman Road Dust as a Source of Metal(loid) Contamination in the Urban Environment
ENV Remote  Tanhum Yoreh Faith-Based Environmentalism: Mapping and Analysis
ENV In-person only Brad Bass Simulating the emergence of behavioural change and the impact on the environment 
ESS TBC Miriam/Paul/Liisa Diamond/Helm/Jantunen Microfibers from clothing – where do they come from and where do they go?
HIS Remote Jennifer Mori Early modern English popular religion, 1660-1760
LIN Remote Suzi Lima Internationalized learning at home: investigating African languages spoken in Toronto
LIN Remote Naomi Nagy Exploring Heritage Languages in Toronto
MGY In-person only Marc Meneghini Molecular and genetic investigations of viral innate immunity
MGY In-person only Mikko Taipale Systematic phenotyping of rare disease variants by high-content mircroscopy
MGY In-person only Thomas Hurd Determining how deleterious mitochondrial DNA mutations are eliminated
MGY TBC Alan Cochrane Investigating the control of HIV-1 RNA Processing
MGY TBC Derek van der Kooy Learning and memory genes
MGY In-person only Barbara Funnell Mechanisms of Plasmid Maintenance in Bacteria
OISE TBC Xi Becky Chen Successes and Challenges of Syrian Refugee Children in Canada: Language, Literacy and Well-Being
OISE TBC Xi Becky Chen The international bilingual education project
OISE TBC Todd Cunningham Understanding of Assistive Technology with school age students
OISE TBC Todd Cunningham Using Transdermal Optic Imaging to Measure Cognitive Load
OISE TBC Todd Cunningham Evaluation of Assistive Technologies for Students with Learning Challenges: Implications for Clinical Recommendations 
OISE TBC Esther Geva Developmental, Cognitive and Typological Spelling Error Patterns of English Language Learners Coming from 3 Typologically Different Home Language Backgrounds
OISE TBC Esther Geva Exploring the Literacy Outcomes of a vocabulary and reading comprehension intervention targeting immigrant adolescents
OISE Remote  Jennifer Jenkins Promoting Responsive Parent-Child Interaction
OISE Remote Michal Perlman Measuring the impact of a fee subsidy and access to child care on children and families
OISE Remote Michal Perlman Are Current Educational Practices Effective for Developing Creativity and Problem-Solving in Early Childhood Education and Care: Meta-Analysis
OISE Remote Michele Peterson-Badali Mental health in Youth Criminal Court
OISE Remote Angela Pyle Play-based learning in the Kindergarten classroom
OISE Remote Earl Woodruff Emotions and learning: Examining affective and cognitive processes in real-time
POL Remote Donald Kingsbury Extractive Frontiers of the Post-Carbon Energy Transition
POL TBC Lynette Ong Analysis of Socio-Political Conditions in China and Beyond
POL Remote Teresa Kramarz The Politics of Environmental Disasters and the Social Production of Risk
PSL In-person only Andrew Dimitrijevic Electrophysiological measures of spatial speech perception in patients with single-sided deafness
PSL In-person only Joseph Fisher Does respiratory drive modify the cerebral vascular response to changes in end-tidal carbon dioxide? 
PSL In-person only Denise Belsham Understanding the role of excess nutrients, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and circadian rhythms in the regulation of neuropeptides that control energy homeostasis and reproduction.
PSL TBC Haibo Zhang Lung Regeneration in ARDS
PSL In-person only Shuzo Sugita Genetic analysis of synaptic transmission in C. elegans
PSY Remote Geoff  MacDonald Social Connection and Disconnection
PSY Remote Rebecca Neel Prejudice, stigmatization, motivation, and social invisibility 
PSY Remote  Gillian Einstein Investigating the impact of estrogens and early-life endocrine changes on cognitive decline and dementia 
PSY Remote Gillian Einstein The relationship between sleep, neuroinflammation, estrogen, and memory
PSY Remote Nicholas Rule Social Perception and Cognition
PSY Remote  Laura Corbit Behavioural Neuroscience and Predictive Learning
PSY Remote  Laura Corbit Investigating Dogs’ Knowledge of the Physical World
PSY Remote  Katherine Duncan Investigating Episodic Memory in Parkinson’s Disease Patients
PSY Remote Gillian Einstein Changes in brain structure and function following surgical menopause
PSY Remote Gillian Einstein Functional brain activity following natural or surgical menopause
PSY TBC Amy Finn Attending less, but learning more: Do children’s reduced selective attention boost memory for irrelevant information? 
PSY Remote Jessica Sommerville The infantile origins of social thinking, learning and behavior
PSY Remote  Suzanne Wood Drug Usage Rates and Attitudes Among U of T Students
PSY Remote  Morgan Barense How does the brain support memory?
PSY Remote  Dirk Bernhardt-Walther Computational exploration of natural scene perception
PSY Remote Dirk Bernhardt-Walther Perception of scenes in the real world and the visual arts
PSY Remote  Dirk Bernhardt-Walther Cooperation as an Input in Production
PSY Remote  Alison Chasteen Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination
PSY TBC Amy Finn Neural development of the perception and memory of event structure in continuous narrative
PSY Remote  Michael Mack The mutual interaction of attention and memory in concept learning
PSY Remote Meg Schlichting How does the developing brain remember?
REL Remote Pamela Klassen Museums and Public Memory in Treaty 3 Territory
RSM Remote  Spike Lee Dirty Socks, Dirty Talk, Dirty Thoughts: Psychological Cleanliness and Other Weird Metaphors We Unconsciously Rely on to Conceptualize the World
RSM Remote  Spike Lee How Physical Firmness Affects Metacognitive Firmness Leading to Stronger Beliefs, Reinforced Processing Styles and More Entrenched Judgments
RSM Remote  Spike Lee Morality, Values, Intuitions, and How These are Influenced by Your Bodily Experiences 
RSM Remote  Spike Lee Do Social Class and Political Orientation Jointly Influence Lay Beliefs and Attitudes? And vice versa?
STA Remote Pascal Tyrell Sample size determination methodologies for machine learning studies in medical imaging research 
TRN Remote Michael Joel Kessler Sustainable Food Systems
VIC Remote  Hakob Barseghyan Visualizing Worldviews: Diagramming Belief Systems

The following ROP projects have been CANCELLED for Fall/Winter:

Department Delivery method Faculty name ROP title
PSY Cancelled Christina Starmans Children’s Understanding of Moral Conflict and Temptation
PSY Cancelled Jay Pratt The temporal and spatial consequences of shifting visual attention 
MGY Cancelled Julie Brill Using CRISPR to generate mutations in genes affecting PI4P synthesis in Drosophila 

Summer 2020

Department ROP title
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
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?

 

The deadline for Fall/Winter Round 2 ROP applications remains July 27th, 2020 however faculty will begin reviewing student applications and accepting candidates on a rolling basis after June 12th.

Please refer all questions to undergraduate.artsci@utoronto.ca

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 undergraduate.artsci@utoronto.ca.

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 undergraduate.artsci@utoronto.ca.

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.