University of Toronto Excellence Award (UTEA)


To provide opportunities for research experience at the undergraduate level in the Natural Sciences and Engineering (NSE) or Social Sciences and humanities (SSH); to augment the formal research courses offered by the University of Toronto; to give undergraduate students opportunities to experience different approaches to research in various fields; to help students learn and appreciate the investigative methodology of areas of particular interest; and, to provide students with an experience that will allow them to make informed decisions about pursuing careers in research. 

Award Value: 

*Amount Changed* UTEA-NSE: $7,500 ($6,000 provided by the University to be matched by a minimum of $1,500 by the student’s supervisor and/or department). Any supplement above this level may be set at the supervisor's or department's discretion. 

UTEA-SSH: $6,000 provided by the University. Any supplement above this level may be set at the supervisor's or department's discretion. 

Award Duration:

14 full weeks in the summer term, between May 1 and September 30, 2021. 

Student Eligibility: 


  • Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or foreign student with valid student visa for the full summer work term. 
  • Registered (at the time of application) as a full-time student in a bachelor's degree program at the University of Toronto (and not holding higher degrees in NSE or SSH). 
  • 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 or SSH. 
  • Registered full-time throughout their program, except for the final session, during which they were only required to register part-time in order to complete their degree. The award must be held in the session immediately following their final session. 


  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate professional degree program in the health sciences (e.g., M.D., D.D.S., B.Sc.N.). Note that CIHR Undergraduate Health Professional Awards and the University of Toronto’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Awards are available to students enrolled in these programs. 
  • Holds higher degrees in the NSE or SSH. 

To hold an award, students must: 

  • have been registered full-time in the term immediately before holding the award unless only part-time study was required to complete degree requirements; 
  • not have started a program of graduate studies in NSE or SSH; and 
  • be engaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities in the NSE or SSH under the direction of an eligible supervisor during the award tenure. 

Please also note the following: 

  • A student may only be nominated in one department under one supervisor, and may not apply to both UTEA-NSE and UTEA-SSH in the same year. 
  • A student may not concurrently hold a UTEA and a NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA). 
  • Preference will normally be given to second and third year students. 
  • A student may hold only one UTEA per fiscal year (i.e., April 1 to March 31). 
  • A student may hold a maximum of 3 UTEAs throughout their university career, although priority will be given to applicants who will be first-time holders if selected. 
  • Graduating students may hold an award in the term immediately following the completion of their undergraduate program requirements, as long as they have not started a program of graduate studies. 

Eligibility of Supervisors: 

  • Maximum of 2 UTEA applications per eligible supervisor. 
  • A supervisor must hold an active NSERC or SSHRC research grant (either as the principal investigator or the co-investigator ) at the time their student holds the UTEA award (i.e. May 1 – September 30, 2021) or is actively seeking funding under the eligible NSERC or SSHRC programs as defined in this guideline document. In the latter case, an application must have been submitted to an eligible NSERC or SSHRC program by the supervisor at the time the student applies for a UTEA with the result of the NSERC or SSHRC application pending. 

Eligible NSERC and SSHRC Programs: 

NSERC Programs 

UofT Faculty who hold the following NSERC Research Grants are eligible to supervise students applying for a UTEA-NSE: 

Grants Programs 

  • Climate Change and Atmospheric Research 
  • Discovery Grants (Individual, Group and Subatomic Physics (SAP) Project, Northern Research Supplements, Frontiers, Accelerator Supplements, Ship Time) 
  • G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research Funding and Belmont Forum 
  • CREATE (Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program) 
  • Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering 
  • NSERC John C. Polanyi Award 
  • NSERC/NRCan/AECL Generation IV Energy Technologies Grants 

Partnerships Programs 

  • Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) 
  • Strategic Network Grants (SNG) 
  • Strategic Project Grants (SPG) 
  • Chairs in Design Engineering (CDE) 
  • Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grants 
  • Engage Grants (EG) 
  • Industrial Research Chairs (IRC) 
  • Innovation Frontiers (IF) 
  • Interaction Grants (IG) 
  • Idea to Innovation (I2I) Grants 

Chairs and Faculty Support Programs 

  • Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) 
  • Northern Research Chairs Program (NRCP) 


UofT Faculty holding only NSERC Research Tools and Instruments, Canada Research Chairs, Canada Excellence Research Chairs or Infrastructure Grants are not eligible. 

SSHRC Programs 

UofT Faculty who hold any SSHRC grant (with the exception of the grant programs as noted below) are eligible to supervise students applying for a UTEA-SSH. 


  • Aileen D. Ross Fellowship
  • Alice Wilson Award
  • Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights Research
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) - SSHRC Housing Research Training Awards Program
  • CMHC-SSHRC Joint Initiative: Collaborative Housing Research Network
  • Connections – Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences 
  • Department of National Defence MINDS Scholarship Initiative
  • International Space University Fellowship 
  • Joint Initiative for Digital Citizen Research
  • Jules and Gabrielle Léger Fellowship 
  • Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowship
  • Parliamentary Internship Programme 
  • Partnership Grants - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Joint Initiative
  • Presidential Fund for Innovation and Development 
  • Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Scholarships
  • Queen's Fellowship
  • Scholarly Publications
  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships 
  • SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • William E. Taylor Fellowship 
  • SSHRC Connection Grants (including other grants solely for research communication and dissemination) 
  • SSHRC Institutional Grants (SIG) 

Application Process:

UTM internal deadline for receipt of completed applications is Friday, March 26, 2021, at 5pm.

  • Only one UTEA application per category (UTEA-SSH and UTEA-NSE) from each UTM academic department may be submitted. Departments please email each application package in one SINGLE pdf file to Rong Wu ( by this date. 
  • Each application package should include:
  1. Part 1 (student form) and Part 2 form (proposed supervisor form)
  2. Student official transcript (eTranscript or scanned transcript)
  • For the UTEA award application which is submitted to the Office of the VP, Research, for UTM internal competition, the faculty supervisor must complete an application using the My Research ­Applications (MRA) online system by the deadline, March 26:

NB: It is required to attach the following documents in the MRA application:

  1. Completed UTEA application forms (part 1 form and part 2 form)
  2. Student transcript

Competition Results:

Results of the UTM internal competition will be e-mailed to the proposed supervisors. The Office of the Vice-Principal, Research will not communicate directly with the student applicants. Successful applications will be put forward to downtown research office for further review. Final review results will be sent to the proposed supervisors around the end of April.

Research Environment and Fieldwork: 

It is expected that provisions will be made for alternative supervision of the student during absences of the supervisor, and that any additional costs related to fieldwork (e.g. travel expenses) will be covered by the supervisor or the department. 

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 and students 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, LGBTQ+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. 

All Faculties and divisions will ensure all efforts are made to incorporate Equity, Diversity and Inclusion principles within their selection process. 

Activity Report:

An Activity Report on the research experience is to be submitted by each UTEA award holder, no later than October 1, 2021, to Shanna Pritchard (, Research Funding Officer. The purpose of this report is to provide information on how well the UTEA program is meeting its objectives.  


Click here to view past recipients and projects.