University of Toronto Excellence Award

The University of Toronto Excellence Award (UTEA) program is funded by the Vice-President Research & Innovation and provides eligible undergraduate students with opportunities to conduct summer research projects in the Natural Sciences and Engineering (NSE), Social Science and Humanities (SSH) and Health & Life Sciences (HLS), under the supervision of eligible UofT faculty members. This year the VPRI has included the addition of the health & life sciences (HLS) sector to the traditional natural sciences & engineering (NSE) and social sciences & humanities (SSH) sectors as UTEA-eligible areas of research.

UTSC has been allocated:

  • 14 UTEAs in the Natural Sciences and Engineering (NSE); and
  • 17 UTEAs in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH).
  • 7 UTEAs in the Health and Life Sciences (HLS)

Value of a UTEA Award

The value of a UTEA award is $7,500 of which $5,250 is covered by funding from the Vice-President Research & Innovation. Faculty supervisors are required to provide a minimum $2,250 top-up funding for each UTEA award. Research Services may request backup documents demonstrating this matching requirement is met at the time of award.

Award Duration: 14 full weeks in the summer term, between May 1 and September 30, 2024. It is the responsibility of the Faculty supervisor to communicate all award/payment/reporting details to the student.


Eligibility of Students:

To be eligible to hold a UTEA, a student must:

• be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or foreign student with valid student visa for the full summer work term;

• be registered in a Bachelor’s degree program at the University of Toronto either as 1) a full-time student, or 2) a part-time student only if the UTEA will be held during the student’s final session and the student requires only a part-time courseload to complete their degree;

• be registered either at the time of application or in the term immediately before the award start date. 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; and

• 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.

Eligible students may already hold a Bachelor's degree in any discipline and be studying towards a second Bachelor's degree in NSE, SSH, or HLS.


A student is ineligible to hold a UTEA if they:

• are currently enrolled in an undergraduate professional degree program in the health sciences (e.g., M.D., D.D.S., B.Sc.N.);

• hold a degree above a Bachelor’s in NSE, HLS, or SSH; or

• are currently enrolled in graduate studies

Please also note:

• 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.


Awards are established in the name of the students’ supervisors. Only faculty members who hold or are actively seeking (i.e. have recently submitted applications for) NSERC, SSHRC or CIHR funding are considered eligible.

*Please refer to the program guidelines.


Process & Timeline:

Friday, March 22, 2024, 5PM EST - UTSC OVPR internal deadline to apply by email to

To apply for a UTEA please submit the following:

  1. Completed application forms, both part 1 and part 2 (see sample).
  2. Student’s transcript (Official or print out from Acorn is also acceptable).

There will be an internal review committee selection process. 

If you have any questions about the 2024 UTEA program or competition, please contact: Dr. Ailén Cruz, Office of the Vice-Principal Research & Innovation (OVPRI), UTSC.