University of Toronto Excellence Award (UTEA)

University of Toronto Excellence Award (UTEA)

The purpose of the UTEA program is to provide opportunities for research experience at the undergraduate level in the Natural Sciences & Engineering (NSE), Social Sciences & Humanities (SSH), and Health & Life Sciences (HLS); to augment the formal research courses offered by the University of Toronto; to provide undergraduate students opportunities to gain direct research experience on a faculty-led project; to help students learn and appreciate the investigative methodologies of areas of particular interest; and to foster interest in and knowledge of careers in research.

Award Value and Duration

Award Value: Each UTEA award is valued at a minimum of $7,500. $5,250 is provided by the University and must be matched by a minimum of $2,250 from the student’s supervisor or the academic unit. Any supplement above this level may be set at the supervisor’s or unit’s discretion.

Duration: 14 full weeks during the summer term, beginning no earlier than May 1, 2023 and ending no later than September 2023.

Am I Eligible?

  • Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or foreign student with valid student visa for the full summer work term. 
  • Registered in a bachelor’s degree program at the University of Toronto either as: a) a full-time student, or b) as a part-time student only if it is the student’s final session and part-time classes are all that’s required to complete the degree.
  • Students must be registered either at the time of application, or in the term immediately before holding the award. So graduating students may hold an award in the term immediately following the completion of their undergraduate program, as long as they have not started a graduate program. 
  • Must have obtained a cumulative average of “B+” or higher. For students in higher years, this average can be applied to the best two years of study. 
  • May already hold a bachelor’s degree in any discipline and be studying towards a second bachelor’s degree in NSE, SSH, or HLS. 
  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate professional degree program (e.g., M.D., D.D.S., B.Sc.N.).  
  • Holds higher degrees above Bachelor’s. 
  • Enrolled in graduate studies. 
  • A faculty member can hold a maximum of 2 UTEA awards per year.  
  • A supervisor must be a research or teaching stream faculty member at the University of Toronto and must hold (either as principal investigator or co-investigator) or have a pending grant application at the start date of the UTEA (May 1st)
  • A student may only apply for one UTEA opportunity per year. 
  • A student may not concurrently hold a UTEA and an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) or other equivalent summer research award. 
  • Preference will be given to second- and third-year students. 
  • A student may hold a maximum of 3 UTEAs throughout their university career with priority given to first-time applicants. 

How Do I Apply?

  • Develop an excellent, feasible research project that you can conduct with a faculty supervisor over the summer   
  • Read through the Program Guidelines.  
  • UTEA applications are jointly submitted by: 1) the student and 2) the faculty member who will supervise and oversee the research project 
  • Submit your Application Form; student completes Part I, faculty member completes Part II. Forms should be submitted to your respective division (Faculty/Department) UTEA program contact 
  • Each Faculty will set its own application deadline – for late March/early April  

I’ve Applied — What’s Next?

  • Your application will be reviewed both for eligibility and by a divisional expert committee. Evaluative criteria includes: the quality of the research project, the student’s academic excellence, clear learning outcomes, and the degree of supervisor engagement.  
  • Award decisions will be sent in April, with expected May 1st award start dates. 

Research Environment and Fieldwork

Any additional research costs beyond the $7,500 stipendiary payment to the student, e.g. supplies, services, fieldwork (travel expenses) are the responsibility of the supervisor or the division. 

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The University of Toronto recognizes that diversity is essential to the creation of a vibrant intellectual community that allows our researchers to maximize their creativity and their contributions. We are strongly committed to diversity in research and especially welcome applications from racialized persons/persons of colour, women, Indigenous/Aboriginal Peoples of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. 

All divisions will ensure that opportunities are posted widely to attract a board and diverse pool of applicants, and review committees will consistently incorporate EDI principles into their processes. 

I Still Have Questions

UTEA applications and nominations are coordinated by each divisional research and/or undergraduate office. 

If you require additional information about the program, please contact Cheryl Nash.