Undergraduate Prize: Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?

The UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize is open to all UTSC students currently identified as having completed their first year of study. Students must be the principal investigators of their submitted projects.

Assignments or research projects must have been completed during the Spring 2021/Summer 2021, Fall 2021 or Winter 2022 terms.

Applicants must illustrate the use of scholarly resources essential to the research process and demonstrate meaningful engagement with the Liaison Librarian for their discipline. For example, students may show evidence of active participation in course research workshops or in-depth research consultations.

Are part-time students eligible?

Yes. All students currently registered in an undergraduate degree program at UTSC and who have have completed their first year of study are eligible to apply. 

What is the submission deadline?

The deadline for submission to the UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize is April 11, 2022 11:59pm EDT. 

How many awards will be given?

The UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize offers up to three prizes of $1,000, one each for projects in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences. The judges evaluate projects on their quality and reserve the right to award the prizes in one, two, or all three of the above categories.

When are prize winners notified?

All applicants for the UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize will be notified by end of May/early June.

How will recipients be recognized?

Winners will have the option to post their submission on TSpace, the University's institutional repository. Prize-winners and their projects may also be featured on the UTSC Library and OVPR website. Students will also receive a Certificate of Achievement.

What are the criteria for judging the entries?

The UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize is given on the basis of the quality of the research or creative project. The entry must be complete and include the description of the research project; a signed reference letter from a faculty member; and a statement of the student's engagement with the library and/or liaison librarian.

Who are the judges?

The Judging Committee for the UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize will consist of UTSC faculty members. Representatives from the Office of the Vice-Principal Research and Innovation will chair the committee.

Are group assignments or projects eligible?

Yes. Groups or teams may participate in the prize competition. However, all group members that contributed to the assignment must be listed, and the prize money will be divided equally among all group members.

May I submit multiple applications for the Prize?

Students may submit only one individual application for the UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize, however they may also submit as a member of a group assignment application. They may also submit an application for the UTSC Undergraduate Research Forum. Please see questions below for more information.

May I submit the same research or creative project to the UTSC Research Poster Forum and the Patricia and Peter Shannon Wilson Undergraduate Research Prize?

No. UTSC students cannot submit the same assignment to both the Patricia and Peter Shannon Wilson Undergraduate Research Prize and the UTSC Undergraduate Research & Creative Forum and Prize.

However, UTSC students may submit the same project to both the UTSC Undergraduate Research & Creative Forum and UTSC Undergraduate Research & Creative Prize. Please refer to their respective websites for additional information on eligibility and submission criteria for each initiative.

Is there any limit on the length or type of the research paper/project submitted for the prize?

There is no limit on the length or type of project submitted. However, every project requires a two-page (maximum) description using clear, non-specialist language such that a general scholarly audience can understand the research. The description must include the wide implications of the project. Other research accomplishments of the student/in the research field should also be noted.

What information should the faculty reference letter include?

A faculty member who supervises, oversees, or assigns research projects shall provide a letter of reference in PDF format as part of the application package. The letter should include the faculty member name, department, email, the title of the project, name of the student, the course name and number, and when the course was taught. The faculty member will comment on the content and quality of the work, including the appropriate and thorough use of research materials.

What information should the library statement include?

The library statement will address the student’s use of library services, print and/or electronic collections and other resources, and how the student's engagement with these resources has contributed to an exceptional research project.

The person who knows the most about my research is not the course instructor, but a teaching assistant. Must the support letter come from the instructor in charge of the course?

Yes, the letter must come from the course instructor or faculty supervisor. However, you may also include a second letter from a teaching assistant who you think knows more about your research.

My project was completed for a course that I took before the terms indicated under Eligibility. Can you make an exception and consider my project for this year’s prize?

We regret that no exceptions will be made. Only projects completed during the Spring/Summer 2021, Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 terms are eligible. 

I dropped the course, but did the research and completed my project. Is this still eligible?

Yes, as long as you meet the other eligibility criteria, you may submit your work.

Does the research need to be completed to be eligible? 

Yes, only completed projects are eligible.

I've graduated from UTSC but completed my research project during the terms indicated under Eligibility. Is my project eligible for the Prize?

Only currently enrolled students are eligible for the Prize.

How do I submit an application?

See the application guidelines.

Does it have to be a research paper?

No, projects can be in any format. 

What help is available to students who want to participate in the UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize?

Contact your Liaison Librarian for help with research skills and preparing your submission. CTL's Writing Support may also be of assistance.

May I apply for the prize if I work at the UTSC Library?


Any other questions?

Please email your Liaison Librarian.