Research Opportunities Program

The Research Opportunities Program (ROP) offers faculty members the chance to engage second- and third-year Faculty of Arts & Science (A&S) undergraduate students (see student eligibility requirements) in research projects. Through this program, faculty members gain valuable research assistance and support, and students develop research skills while earning course credit. 

All faculty members who hold a U of T appointment at the St. George campus are eligible to submit an ROP proposal. Faculty may choose to offer a Y-course (1.0 credit) for Summer and/or Fall/Winter, and offer an H-course (0.5 credit) for Fall and/or Winter. All ROP courses require approval by the Department Chair (or designate).

Historically, more ROPs have been offered in the Sciences; we encourage more faculty from Social Sciences and Humanities to consider offering ROPs. Please contact us at rop.artsci@utoronto.ca to discuss how you might leverage ROP in your discipline.

The application period for 2022-23 ROP proposals closed on January 17, 2022. 

ROP Application Process

This section provides a general overview of the ROP application process. For specific dates and deadlines for the next academic year, please refer to Key Dates for 2022-23 ROPs.

Time Frame Activity
December – January Faculty submit a PDF application form that describes their research project and how students will participate and be assessed.
February After receiving Chair approval, projects are adjudicated by the multi-disciplinary Research Opportunities Committee. Approved opportunities are posted on the CLNx portal for students to review and apply.
March – May

Faculty members receive and review applications and interview student(s). Student eligibility is verified for selected students; if eligible, students sign the ROP contract and are enrolled in the ROP course. 

Note: Summer ROP has an earlier (April) enrolment deadline.

 

All faculty members who hold a U of T appointment at the St. George campus are eligible to submit an ROP proposal and supervise an ROP student. However, research support funding is limited to:

Funding is based on the total number of students supported per term and the length of the ROP (H/Y). Funding can be provided for up to nine students in Summer and nine students across Fall/Winter, Fall and Winter. Funds are transferred into the research accounts of participating faculty members by the mid-term of the ROP course.

Funding details are outlined below:

Research Support Funding 1-3 Students 4-6 Students Pilot: 7-9 Students
Summer, Fall/Winter (Y-course) $1750 $2250 +$250/student
Fall, Winter (H-course) $825 $1125 +$125/student

New this year: Faculty Proposal Submission

  • Faculty members may submit one application for all projects offered under an academic program instead of one application per research project, as in previous years. 
    • If a faculty member has two projects that fall under different academic programs, they may submit two applications – one per program. 
  • Submissions may describe either a specific project OR a broad research area with various sub-project areas, if applicable. 
    • Example: A specific project might be The Impact of Trauma on Cognitive Development. A broad research area might be Trauma and the Brain, with specific sub-project areas on The Impact of Trauma on Cognitive Development and Trauma and Memory Loss.

New this year: Research Funding Increase

  • Effective May 2022, ROP research support funding will increase from $1500 to $1750 for faculty members hosting 1-3 students, and from $2000 to $2250 for eligible faculty members hosting 4-6 students. We will also pilot offering additional funding for up to 3 extra students. See Faculty Member Eligibility and Research Support Funding for full details.

New this year: Student Eligibility Criteria (299/399)

  • Based on participant feedback, effective May 2022, the requirement for hosting at least one 299 student for every 399 student will be removed. Instead, A&S undergraduate students must have between 4.0 credits and 13.5 credits completed by the end of the April 2022 exam period. Students will be placed into a 299 course for their first ROP, and a 399 course for their second ROP.
  • As the intention of ROP is to provide an opportunity for students to engage in research earlier in their academic career, faculty members are strongly encouraged to consider second-year students (4.0-8.5 credits) for their research projects.

New this year: Student Selection Process

  • In response to requests by students for a more equitable and transparent ROP selection process, this year we will be piloting a two-round interview process.
  • Faculty will be asked to interview students during the Round One interview period and to present offers by the Round One deadline. Students will have the opportunity to review all Round One offers together and select their preferred project. (Note: Offers cannot be rescinded during this time).
  • For any projects not filled following Round One, there will be a second interview period immediately following Round One. Faculty can present offers at any time during Round Two. See Key Dates for 2022-23 ROPs for further details.

New this year: Administrative Processing

  • We will be using SharePoint to collect all ROP proposal submissions and for Chair approvals. 
  • Faculty members will be provided with a tailored copy of their ROP contract.
Date Activity
December 8, 2021 ROP Call for Proposals opens.
January 17, 2022 Deadline for faculty to submit ROP proposals.
January 28, 2022 Deadline for Chair (or designate) to approve proposed ROPs.
February 3 – 10, 2022   ROP proposals reviewed and adjudicated by Research Opportunities Committee, chaired by the Vice-Dean, Undergraduate (or designate).
February 11, 2022 Faculty members informed of the status of their ROP submission.
February 17, 2022 Revisions due for ROP courses that received conditional approval.
February 24 –
March 24, 2022
ROP courses posted on CLNx for student consideration and application.
March 17, 2022
(3:00 – 5:00PM)
Fall/Winter 2021-22 ROP projects will be showcased by current ROP students at the bi-annual Research Fair. Interested faculty are encouraged to attend. The Fair will take place virtually, and registration will open in March.
March 25, 2022 Faculty members receive student application bundles via email.
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. Faculty members are provided with access to tailored ROP contracts via the ROP portal.
April 6 – 8, 2022 Students consider Round One offers. (Note: Offers cannot be rescinded during this time).
April 8, 2022 Deadline for students to accept or decline Round One offers.
April 9 – May 19, 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 19, 2022 Last day to submit student contract(s) for Summer 2022 ROPs via the ROP Portal.
April 22, 2022 Experiential Learning & Outreach Support office to enrol students in Summer 2022 ROP courses. 
May 19, 2022 Last day to submit student contract(s) for Fall 2022, Fall/Winter 2022-23 and Winter 2023 ROPs via the ROP Portal.
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.

All applications for 2022-23 were submitted through the Research Opportunities Program (ROP) Portal, and new submissions are no longer being monitored. If you have any trouble accessing the ROP Portal to review your previously submitted proposal, please reach out to rop.artsci@utoronto.ca.

Faculty members who did not apply this year but may be interested in future ROP cycles are welcome to download a copy of the PDF icon2022-23 ROP Faculty Proposal Form for reference.

Faculty members are encouraged to review the Faculty Guide: Assessing your ROP Student for sample learning goals, activities and assessments that can be adapted for the purpose of their ROP project.

  • Faculty members can take a maximum of 18 students into their research project(s) at any given time, provided they can demonstrate that they are able to provide adequate supervision and support for a large group of students. 
  • Students may not complete two ROP courses with the same professor. Special consideration may be granted if the student and professor can demonstrate that the student will be working on a new project with distinct learning goals and skill development opportunities.

Faculty members are encouraged to read the information about ROPs provided to students for examples of past projects, student eligibility and other general FAQs.

Questions

For questions about ROP, or for consultation and feedback on new ROP ideas, faculty members are encouraged to reach out to the office of Experiential Learning & Outreach Support at rop.artsci@utoronto.ca.