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.

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

COVID-19 Update: If you are granted funding, please confirm your travel plans with the University of Toronto Safety Abroad office prior to booking your trip. Funding will only be issued to you upon the approval of the Safety Abroad office.

Download a slide deck with tips on how to write a research proposal and apply to the Undergraduate Research Fund.

Student Application Form

Supervisor Form

Information Session

Register for the information session to learn what the Undergraduate Research Fund is, how to apply and tips on how to write a research proposal that stands out.

When: February 10, 2020 from 11am-12pm

Where: Sidney Smith Student Commons, Sidney Smith Hall, Ground Floor, 100 St. George Street, Toronto


Application Criteria

Student Applicant

  • Must be current undergraduate degree student(s) in the Faculty of Arts & 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. 

Faculty Supervisor

  • Must be an Arts & Science faculty with a continuous undergraduate appointment at St. George campus, or, have a continuous appointment in a division that offers A&S undergraduate programs.

  • 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).
  • Third- and fourth-year students.


Application Guidelines

For advice on writing a research proposal, please visit the U of T 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;

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

  • Successful applicants undertaking research overseas must register with Safety Abroad and present their Safety Abroad waiver to the Office of the Faculty Registrar before their Undergraduate Research Funding will be released.
  • Applications that do not contain all of the information requested will not be considered.

Award and Payment Information

  • The value and total number of individual awards will be determined annually by the committee.
  • Please allow 6-8 weeks for notifications.
  • Travel awards are paid at the time of travel after students have completed a Safety Abroad Workshop and registered with the Safety Abroad Office.
  • Any awards for projects that require an REB Protocol will be paid once the student has confirmed with the Undergraduate Awards Office that a protocol has been obtained.


  • There will be two competitions each year.
  • Competition 1 Deadline: November 25, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. EST - late submissions will not be accepted.
  • Competition 2 Deadline: February 24, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST - late submissions will not be accepted.
  • Applications may be submitted either in-person or via email: 
    Faculty of Arts & Science Student Award Committee 
    c/o Office of the Faculty Registrar 
    Room 1006, Sidney Smith Hall