Research Opportunities Program

The Research Opportunities Program (ROP) gives second- and third-year Faculty of Arts & Science undergraduate students the chance to join an instructor’s research project and earn course credit towards their degree.  

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. Students also participate in the bi-annual Research Fair, which offers the opportunity to share their work with peers and attendees.

Regular tuition fees apply for ROP courses.  

The application period for 2021-22 ROP courses is now closed. The application period for 2022-23 ROP courses will take place in Winter 2022. Please review the program dates below. For any questions about ROP, please email rop.artsci@utoronto.ca.

Student Eligibility

  • To participate in ROP for the 2022-23 academic year, students must be enrolled in a Faculty of Arts & Science (A&S) degree program and have between 4.0 credits and 13.5 credits completed by the end of the April 2022 exam period. Part-time students are eligible for ROP.
  • Students are required to sign an agreement (ROP contract) with their supervising professor to participate in an ROP course. The ROP contract will serve as the syllabus for the ROP course and permits the Office of the Dean to enrol students into the course on ACORN. 
  • Students will be placed into a 299 course for their first ROP and a 399 course for their second ROP.
  • Students can only participate in one ROP course at a time and can participate in a maximum of two ROP courses during their undergraduate studies. Students may not participate in two ROP courses with the same professor.  

2022-23 Program Dates and Timeline

Date Activity
February 24, 2022 2022-23 ROP applications open on CLNx. Students are allowed to apply to a maximum of five ROP faculty supervisors. 
March 2022 (Date TBD)  Prospective ROP students encouraged to attend the Spring Research Fair to hear about 2021-22 ROP research projects and meet current ROP students. 
March 24, 2022 2022-23 ROP applications close.
March 25, 2022 Student applications sent to ROP faculty supervisors. Supervisors begin reviewing applications and extending interview invitations to students.
March 25 – April 5, 2022 Round One interview period: Faculty members review applications, interview students and present offer(s).
April 5, 2022 Deadline for faculty to present Round One offers to students.
April 6 – 8, 2022 Students consider Round One offers. 
April 8, 2022 Deadline for students to accept or decline Round One offers. 
April 9 – May 18, 2022  Round Two interview period for unfilled opportunities: Faculty members review applications, interview students and present offers to student(s). Students accept offers on a rolling basis.
April 18, 2022 Last day for Summer ROP student(s) to be selected and for ROP contracts to be submitted.
April 25, 2022 Deadline for students to be enrolled in Summer 2022 ROP courses.
May 18, 2022 Last day for Fall (F), Fall/Winter (Y) and Winter (S) ROP student(s) to be selected and for ROP contracts to be submitted.
June 2022 Students enrolled in Fall, Fall/Winter and Winter ROP courses.
September 2022 (Date TBD)  Fall Research Fair for summer ROP students.
March 2023 (Date TBD)  Spring Research Fair for Fall, Fall/Winter and Winter ROP students. 

 

How to Apply

  1. Log in to the CLNx platform as a student using your UTORid and password.
  2. In the 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" and click "Apply". Review the eligibility requirements listed and confirm that all requirements are met for program participation.
  4. You will now be able to review available ROP courses for 2022-23 by going to Step 2 and clicking "Search Opportunities".
  5. In subsequent visits to CLNx, after navigating to Experiential Learning at Faculty of Arts & Science, the Research Opportunities Program will be listed in your portfolio under “Current Experiences".
  6. Apply for up to five ROP projects in total. The deadline to apply is March 24, 2022.
  7. To apply to ROP projects, you will need to prepare and upload four documents: your resume/CV, a letter of intent, an unofficial copy of your transcript and your PDF iconApplicant Profile Summary.

On March 25, 2022, all applications will be bundled and sent to the faculty supervisor. The faculty supervisor will then make their selections (see 2022-23 Program Dates and Timeline for details). 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 who are being considered or are selected for an ROP course will be contacted by the relevant faculty supervisor. Selected students are required to sign an agreement (ROP contract) with their supervising professor to participate in an ROP course and will be enrolled into the course on ACORN prior to the start of the relevant term.  

For more information about the Research Opportunities Program, please review the Frequently Asked Questions below. You can also reach out to rop.artsci@utoronto.ca for program-related inquiries.

What are the course requirements of ROPs?

  • ROP projects in Fall (H), Fall/Winter (Y) and Winter (H) typically require 8-10 hours of work/week on the research project. ROP projects in Summer (Y) typically require 18-20 hours of work /week on the research project.
  • Students are expected to keep a journal documenting their research progress, and what they have learned about the project and about the process of research more broadly. 
  • Students should meet at least every other week with their faculty supervisor and record the dates and times of those meetings in their journal.  
  • Students will attend any training or orientations that the supervisor may require. 
  • Written assignments must constitute at least 50% of the final grade in an ROP course.  
  • Final exams are not allowed as part of the grading scheme for an ROP.  
  • Supervisors must return assignments worth at least 20% of the course mark before the relevant course drop date in a given term.  

Do ROP courses (299H/Y and 399H/Y) count towards my degree? 

Yes. You will receive 0.5 or 1.0 course credit (depending on whether your ROP is an H or Y course) towards the 20.0 credits required for an Honours Bachelor of Arts (HBA), Honours Bachelor of Science (HBSc), or Bachelor of Commerce (BCom). 

Do ROP courses count towards my program requirements? 

It may, depending on the nature of the ROP project and your Program of Study. You will have to discuss this with the faculty supervisor who oversees your ROP to see how it fits into an academic program and then discuss this with your program coordinator.  

Are ROP courses in-person or online? 

ROP courses can be in-person, online or hybrid – this will vary based on the research project and is at the discretion of the faculty supervisor 

I am an A&S degree student, but I am over the credit limit for ROP – am I eligible for ROP?  

A&S degree students with 14.0 or more credits are not eligible to participate. Please note that transfer credits count towards your overall credit count. If you are above the credit limit for ROP and are keen to build research experience, you can also consider taking Independent Study or other research-based courses, looking into the Undergraduate Research Fund or connecting with professors directly for additional opportunities to volunteer or work with them. Individual departments or programs may also have information on potential avenues to engage in research – please contact your department or program directly. Finally, there are also Lab/Research Assistant Work-Study positions that you can apply for; Work-Study program eligibility details and dates can be found on the CLNx website.  

I am a visiting or exchange student / a student from another Faculty / a student from another U of T campus – am I eligible for ROP? 

Students who are not enrolled in a Faculty of Arts & Science (A&S) degree program are not eligible to participate in ROP. Please connect with your department or program to find out about other avenues to build your research experience. 

How many ROPs can I apply for? 

Students are allowed to apply for a maximum of five ROPs per academic year. Students can only participate in one ROP course at a time and can participate in up to two ROP courses (one 299 and one 399) during their undergraduate studies.  

Does it help to get my application in right away, well in advance of the deadline? 

No. All applications will only be shared with professors after the application period is complete. We encourage you to take your time to read over and refine your application(s). However, students submitting their application documents close to the end of the application period should be mindful to leave enough time before the final deadline to mitigate the impact of any technical issues that may interfere with your ability to submit your documents. 

Should I contact the faculty supervisor of the ROP project I am interested in? 

Supervisors should not contact students until they receive all the applications from the Experiential Learning & Outreach Support office. Supervisors typically contact only those students they wish to interview. 

Will my marks or GPA play a role? How can I increase my chances of getting one of the positions? 

The importance of your GPA will vary, based on the requirements of the ROP course that you have applied to, and the selection criteria noted by the supervising professor. In general, highlight your skills and relevant experience and tailor your documents to the position. You might find it helpful to review the ROP Application Tips. The Resume and Cover Letter Toolkit may also be a helpful resource. 

What does the acceptance process look like? How will I know that I am officially accepted? 

Faculty supervisors will schedule interviews or phone calls, or email questions to students they are considering. Each faculty supervisor has their own process. If a professor is interested in moving forward with your application, your eligibility will be verified. If you are eligible to participate in an ROP course, you will sign a contract with your supervising professor. Students will be enrolled directly into the course by the Office of the Dean. 

I have not been contacted with regards to my ROP application(s). Is there still a chance that I might get selected for an ROP course? 

Only students who are being considered or are selected for an ROP course will be contacted by the relevant faculty supervisor. Unfortunately, if you do not receive and sign an offer by either April 18, 2022 (for Summer 2022 ROP courses), or May 18, 2022 (for Fall 2022, Fall/Winter 2022-23 and Winter 2023 ROP courses), you have not been selected for a 2022-23 ROP course. 

I have already signed an ROP contract with a professor but have received an offer from another professor. Can I withdraw from the first contract and sign another contract? 

No. Students are not allowed to sign more than one contract per application cycle. If a student signs more than one ROP contract, only the first signed contract will be honoured and the other contract(s) will be considered void.  

I am enrolled in an ROP course, and the term is about to begin next week. I last spoke with my faculty supervisor when I signed the contract. Am I supposed to reach out, or should I wait to hear from them? 

The start of term is a busy time for many people, including professors. If you have not yet heard from your faculty supervisor, we encourage you to send them an email. If you face any challenges connecting with your professor, please email rop.artsci@utoronto.ca.  

I am enrolled in an ROP course and need to withdraw. However, I cannot drop the course via ACORN. What steps should I take? 

If you have not yet started the course, but need to withdraw: 

  1. Inform your faculty supervisor about your decision to drop the course.  
  2. Email rop.artsci@utoronto.ca, copying your faculty supervisor, to let us know that you need to be unenrolled from the course. 

If you have already started the course, and need to withdraw: 

  1. Inform your faculty supervisor about your decision to drop the course.
  2. Email your college registrar, copying rop.artsci@utoronto.ca, to request course unenrollment.  

I am interested in working on a professor’s research project for course credit. If the professor is open to working together, can you create an ROP course to accommodate this? 

ROP proposals by faculty members must be submitted for adjudication before they are approved as a course, to ensure that the research project aligns with ROP course policies and requirements. The deadline for faculty members to submit ROP proposals for 2022-23 is January 17, 2022. Special approval may, however, be granted in exceptional circumstances for late submissions; please reach out to rop.artsci@utoronto.ca.  

Alternative ways for your work to be counted towards course credit is to investigate whether your participation in this research project may be eligible for Independent Study or other research-based courses

Past Projects

Term Department Professor Research Project
Summer 2021  CHM  M Cynthia Goh  Continuous disinfection of surfaces by nanomaterials coatings 
Summer 2021  CHM  M Cynthia Goh  Storm pond water: analysis and potential remediation by photocatalysis 
Summer 2021  CHM  Alan Aspuru-Guzik  Synthesis of New Organic Light-Emitting Diode Materials 
Summer 2021  CSC  Alan Aspuru-Guzik  Automatized implementation of non-unitary embeddings for quantum computers 
Summer 2021  ENV  Brad Bass  Simulating the Spread of COVID-19 and the Effectiveness of Preventive Measures with a Fixed Facility, Nigeria 
Summer 2021  HMB  Leanne De Souza  Hindsight 2020: Post-secondary Insights on Learning in a Pandemic 
Summer 2021  LIN  Sali Tagliamonte  Language Detectives of Toronto: Science and Craft 
Summer 2021  MGY  Thomas Hurd  Determining how deleterious mitochondrial DNA mutations are eliminated 
Summer 2021  POL  Peter Loewen  How do governments respond to COVID-19? A cross-national comparison of policy responses to a pandemic 
Summer 2021  PSY  Meg Schlichting Mack  How does the developing brain remember? 
Summer 2021  PSY  Michael Mack  The mutual interaction of attention and memory in concept learning 
Summer 2021  PSY  Gillian Einstein  The relationship between estrogen loss, inflammation, sleep, and brain atrophy 
Summer 2021  PSY  Gillian Einstein  The relationship between sleep, cortical thickness, estrogen, and memory 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 APHD  Xi Chen  The International Bilingual Education Project 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 CSC  Joseph Williams  Helping Students Improve their Education & Health by Integrating Behavioral/Social Sciences like Psychology, Economics, Public Health with Computer Science 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 CSC  Joseph Williams  Building Intelligent Self-Improving Technology for Student Education & Health by Integrating Machine Learning, Statistics, Economics, Computational Social Science 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 ENV  Tanhum Yoreh  Faith-Based Environmentalism: Mapping and Analysis 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 LIN  Suzi Oliveira de Lima  Internationalized learning at home: investigating African languages spoken in Toronto 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 MGY  Derek Van Der Kooy  Learning and memory genes 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 MGY  Tae-Hee Kim  Mechanisms of gut stem cell niches 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 NMC  Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi  Persianate Women Poets 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 POL  Lynette Ong  Analysis of Socio-political Conditions in China and Beyond 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 PSL  Haibo Zhang  Lung Regeneration in ARDS 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 PSL  Sheena Josselyn  Understanding memories in mice 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 PSL  Adria Giacca  The role of NOD1 in obesity-associated diabetes 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 PSL  Sheena Josselyn  Examining the impact of stress on memory in mice 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 PSL  Shuzo Sugita  Genetic analysis of synaptic transmission in C. elegans 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 PSY  Jessica Sommerville  The infantile origins of social thinking, learning and behavior 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 PSY  Spike Lee  Morality, Values, and Intuitions 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 PSY  Spike Lee  Social Class, Social Dominance, Relative Deprivation, and Lay Beliefs 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 PSY  Christina Starmans  Children's Understanding of Moral Conflict and Temptation 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 PSY  Morgan Barense  How does the brain support memory? 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 STA  Pascal Tyrrell  Sample size determination methodologies for machine learning studies in medical imaging research 
Summer 2021 Fall/Winter 2021-22 TRN  Michael Kessler, Nicole Spiegelaar  Sustainable Food Systems 
Fall 2021  HMB  Leanne De Souza  HMB - Hindsight 2020: Post-secondary Insights on Learning in a Pandemic 
Fall 2021  CHM  Barbora Morra, Andy Dicks  CHM - Developing New Microwave-Assisted Organic Synthesis Reactions for Use in the Undergraduate Laboratory Curriculum 
Fall 2022  EEB  Stephen Wright  EEB - Genomic basis of sex determination in the plant Rumex hastatulus 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  ANES  Hance Clarke  (1) Phonemics and Genomics of Chronic Postsurgical Pain, (2) The Transitional Pain Service Database Project, and (3) The GoodHope Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) Project 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  APHD  Michele Peterson-Badali  Mental Health in Youth Criminal Court 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  APHD  Todd Cunningham  Exploring Teacher Mental Health Literacy as a Determinant of Mental Health Service Access by Elementary School Children 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  APHD  Todd Cunningham  School Engagement and Performance Among Refugee Youth 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  APHD  Earl Woodruff  Emotions and Learning: Examining affective and cognitive processes in real-time 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  APHD  Esther Geva  Exploring the Literacy Outcomes of a vocabulary and Reading Comprehension Intervention Targeting Immigrant Adolescents 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  APHD  Esther Geva  Developmental, Cognitive and Typological Spelling Error Patterns of English Language Learners Coming from 3 Typologically Different Home Language Backgrounds 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  BCH  Warren Lee  LDL transcytosis by coronary endothelial cells and the initiation of atherosclerosis 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  CHM  Al-Amin Dhirani  Nanoengineering Quantum Electronic Behaviour 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  CHM  Helen Tran  Synthesis of soft tissue-compatible bottlebrush elastomers 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  CHM  Helen Tran  Self-assembly of biomimetic peptoids into 2D nanosheets 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  CSB  Nicholas Provart  Molecular and Bioinformatic Characterization of Novel Environmental Stress-Associated Genes from Plants 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  CSC  Peter Marbach  Evaluating Models and Algorithms for Social Networks using Twitter Data 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  CSC  Peter Marbach  Network Protocols for the Internet of Things 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  CSC  Joseph Williams  Enhancing & Personalizing Technology for Educational & Physical/Mental Health by integrating Human-Computer Interaction, Psychology & Statistical Machine Learning 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  EEB  Asher Cutter  Genetics and development in nematode evolution 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  EEB  Chelsea Rochman  Contamination and Effects of Microplastics in Aquatic Ecosystems 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  EEB  Megan Frederickson  Host-microbe interactions across an island archipelago 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  EEB  Jacqueline Sztepanacz  The evolution of sex differences in wings 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  EEB  Benjamin Gilbert  Ecological selection and drift 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  ENV  Brad Bass  Simulating the Emergence of Unexpected Change within Natural Systems 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  ENV  Brad Bass  Simulating the emergence of behavioural change and the impact on the environment 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  HIS  Jennifer Mori  Early modern English household manuals, 1660-1800 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  HMB  William Ju  Developing EDI (Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity) learning modules for biology courses 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  LIN  Myrto Grigoroglou  Cross-linguistic expression of events in speech and gesture 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  LMP  Warren Lee  Mechanisms of acute lung injury - development of novel therapeutic approaches 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  LMP  Kelsie Thu  Characterizing novel treatment strategies for lung cancer 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  LMP  Susan Done  Heterogeneity and the Immune Response in Breast Cancer 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  LMP  Shinichiro Ogawa  Human Pluripotent Stem Cells for Modelling Human Liver Disease and Cell Therapy 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  MAT  George Elliott  Classification of C*-algebras 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  MGY  Marc Meneghini  Molecular and genetic investigations of viral innate immunity 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  MGY  Peter Roy  Identifying novel nematicides to combat plant parasitic nematodes  
Fall/Winter 2021-22  PCL  Roger McIntyre  Synthesizing the Pathophysiology of Post-COVID-19 Syndrome: A Systematic Review 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  POL  Donald Kingsbury  Extractive Frontiers of the Post-Carbon Energy Transition 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  PSL  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 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  PSY  Nicholas Rule  Social Perception and Cognition 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  PSY  Alison Chasteen  Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  PSY  Spike Lee  How Physical Firmness Affects Metacognitive Firmness Leading to Stronger Beliefs, Reinforced Processing Styles and More Entrenched Judgments 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  PSY  Geoffrey MacDonald  Singlehood and Well-Being 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  PSY  Rebecca Neel  Prejudice, stigmatization, motivation, and social invisibility 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  PSY  Katherine Duncan  Investigating Episodic Memory in Parkinson's Disease Patients 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  PSY  Amy Finn, Nicholas Rule  Attending less, but learning more: Do children's reduced selective attention boost memory for irrelevant information? 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  PSY  Amy Finn, Nicholas Rule  Neural development of the perception and memory of event structure in continuous narrative 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  RLG  John Marshall  Gospel Parallels 
Fall/Winter 2021-22  VIC  Hakob Barseghyan  Visualizing Worldviews: Diagramming Belief System 
Winter 2022  CLA  Jonathan Burgess  Theories of Myth