UTM Undergraduate Research Grants

UTM Undergraduate Research Grants

UTM Undergraduate Research Grants are intended to assist eligible undergraduate students to develop and improve research skills. All UTM undergraduates in good academic standing are eligible to apply for these grants. Students may apply either as individuals or as groups, limited to three members. In the case of group applications, one of the students should be designated as the contact applicant.

Grants are provided for student-initiated research projects, which are related to their degree programs and are supervised by UTM faculty members. The project may be conducted within the context of an independent study course, but need not be. For example, students may wish to engage in further research on certain themes that they have examined in one of their seminars or advanced courses. A student may apply for funds to support additional research to turn a course essay or course work into a presentation at a conference or a publication (e.g., a journal article). Grant expenses may include but are not limited to funds for: lab supplies and consumables; other materials needed for research; travel to archives; other research-related field work travel; travel to and fees for an academic conference where the student will present his or her research; costs of printing a poster for presentation at a conference.

Two competitions are held each year, in October and in March. Applicants will be informed of their results approximately one month after the competition has closed. Application deadlines for 2020-2021 are Friday, October 23, 2020 for the first competition, and Friday, March 5, 2021 for the second competition.

NEW: A special additional pool of research grants will be given focused on the topic of Sustainability. Students may only apply to one pool, either the general research pool or the sustainability research pool, and may only receive a one grant per academic year.


The UTM Dean’s Office will provide up to $500 per student to support undergraduate research initiatives.

Student stipends or salaries are not eligible for funding. Applications for funding to pay for ordinary course-related expenses or for funding to recover costs for research projects already completed will not be considered, except for funding to allow students to present papers or posters at conferences based on recently completed student-led research, as noted above.

Criteria and Guidelines

Applicants are advised to read the criteria and guidelines in their entirety before completing application forms to ensure that they are following proper procedures and that their submissions contain all of the information requested, including an endorsement by a faculty supervisor.

Application Criteria

Applicants must be:

  • current undergraduate degree students at UTM;
  • registered in an uncompleted undergrad degree at UTM during the period in which the research is to be conducted;
  • in good academic standing;
  • have a faculty advisor in place for the work (normally a UTM faculty member, see below).

A student can submit only one application per academic year (either individually or as part of a group) and is eligible to receive no more than one UTM Undergraduate Research Grant (either individually or as a group) per academic year.

The research project must be supervised by a faculty supervisor who is a faculty member with a continuing appointment at UTM. A faculty supervisor can supervise only one application per competition round (e.g., one student’s application or one group application).

EXCEPTION for 2020-21: For this year only, faculty may supervise up to one application in each research pool, general and sustainability, per competition round. 

The Research Project:

  • cannot be related to a current project in the same location with similar goals for which students are already funded;
  • must be related to the student’s degree—or in the case of groups, to all of the students’ degrees; and
  • must be completed in a timely manner.

It is expected that normally, the research project will be completed within six months of the date of the award announcement; when unforeseen circumstances delay the completion of the research, the student may, with the support of the supervisor, apply for a brief extension. Such requests must be submitted before the end of the six-month period.

No research project may extend beyond the date on which the student’s undergraduate degree is awarded.

Selection Criteria

Priority will be given to:

  • projects that are academically strong and are expected to 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 to conduct research within the University of Toronto; and
  • third- and fourth-year students.

Application Guidelines

Applications will be judged on the quality of the proposal, which must communicate clearly the rationale for the project and state the research question or hypothesis to be investigated. Applicants should use non-technical language, appropriate for a multi-disciplinary adjudication committee. An applicant should contact the faculty supervisor well in advance of the submission deadline:

  1. to obtain the supervisor’s endorsement and signature (see Part IV of the application form);
  2. to ensure that research protocols are met and approval granted by review committee for research involving human subjects, animal subjects, or biohazards; and
  3. to review the application for completeness.

Students requesting funding to conduct research abroad must provide proof of registration with the Safety Abroad Office. Full guidelines are available at: http://cie.utoronto.ca/Safety/Safety-Abroad-Travel-Guide.htm

Applications that do not contain all of the information requested will not be considered.

Disbursement of Research Funds

Once awarded, the Dean’s Office will electronically transfer the research grant to the CFC account of the faculty supervisor and notify the business officer of the department. The business officer will disperse funds to the student(s) as needed, subject to the approval of the supervisor. To receive the funds, the student(s) must submit original receipts. (Supervisors must undertake to return unspent funds to the Dean’s Office if, for any reason, award winners are unable to complete their research projects as planned).

Research Project Report

Successful applicants are required to submit a report to the selection committee one month after completing their project and to provide a detailed expense report including original receipts.

Application for UTM Undergraduate Research Grant: Application Form for Students

Application for UTM Undergraduate Research Grant: Form for Faculty Supervisor’s Statement