Q: What do I need to apply?

Make sure you have the following documents ready before applying via our online entry form.  Do you have the following?:

a) Your exhibit proposal  (*Please use this this Word template*)

b) Your original research paper/project

c) Letter of support from your supervisor/instructor

Q: 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.

Q: May I submit multiple applications for the prize?

You may only submit one application per project per year. However, if you are submitting a group assignment application, you may also submit an individual application for a separate project.

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

No, there is no length requirement. However, the research paper or project should be substantial and follow the length guidelines given by your instructor.

Remember, research can be conveyed in various forms. The committee is not judging the assignment or project, but rather focusing on the way the exhibit will be used to convey the ideas in your paper or project.

Q: How many cases do I have to design my exhibit for?:

Each winning entry will be assigned one of the three available cases to mount its exhibit.

Q: Do you have any examples of past exhibits?

Here are some examples of past exhibits at the Robarts Library, curated by various U of T departments and groups: Sample photos of past Robarts Library exhibits 

Please note that these examples are included purely for illustrative purposes, and should not be interpreted as how your exhibit ought to look. Please be as creative as you like!

Q: If I win, when am I supposed to mount and take down the exhibit?

Winners will be required to submit a complete, finalized exhibit plan by November 29, 2019, and mount their exhibit by January 10, 2020. 

Q: Are part-time students eligible?


Q: Are undergraduate students eligible?

No. Applicants must be current graduate students at the time of the application.

Q: What evaluation criteria will be used?

  • Use of resources and/or services (library or information-related) the students use during the research or information-seeking process (variety of materials, consultation with library staff, etc.)

  • Quality of content based on subject expertise of related faculty/librarians/archivists (e.g.historical, scientific, cultural)

  • Clarity of concept (research, originality)

  • Design & creativity (with regards to the exhibit case's visual organization and presentation)

  • Other (timeliness, broad interest to U of T community)
In judging the prize, the primary focus will be on the evidence of the student’s research process, choice, use and application of sources, approach to visual presentation of project content, and personal learning, which will be summarized in the reflective statement. Consideration of the product of research, while significant, will be secondary.

Q: As an instructor/supervisor, may I endorse multiple students for this award?

Yes, but please note that each student will still require his/her own letter of support.

Q: May I apply for the prize if I work at a U of T Library?

Yes. Students will not be excluded from competition because of current or past library employment.

Q: Will expenses for the supporting display materials be reimbursed?

Yes. Each winning proposal will be permitted to claim up to $200 for all production costs of original materials for the displays (photos, description cards, posters, information printed on foam board, etc.); original receipts must be submitted for reimbursement. Winners will be responsible for the costs and production in excess of the $200 provided.

Q: Am I allowed to use library items in my exhibit?

Winners must obtain permission from the library/ies that they would like to request materials from for display purposes.  The competition committee can provide further support with that step of the process.

In the event that the library of interest is unable to lend out the materials, it may be possible to request reproductions of any relevant items (e.g. such as at the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library: https://fisher.library.utoronto.ca/services/reproduction-policies-pricing.

If you are using reproductions of library materials, you may wish to consult these copyright resources for further guidance, or contact our Scholarly Communications & Copyright Office.

Any other questions?


Please email gradexhibit.contest@utoronto.ca