Undergraduate Research Prize Frequently Asked Questions

(Last updated October 11, 2023)

What is considered a first-entry undergraduate program?

A first-entry undergraduate student is a student who is enrolled in a Faculty where no prior degree is required. First-entry faculties at U of T include: Arts & Science, Applied Science & Engineering, Architecture, Kinesiology & Physical Education, Music, Transitional Year Program, UTM and UTSC.

What are considered as “effective and innovative" use of information sources?

Information sources and research can take different forms depending on the area of study or discipline. Examples could include (but are not limited to):

  • accessing or uncovering key primary resources for historical research
  • creative reuse or repurposing of information resources to produce new knowledge (e.g. textual analysis, mashups)
  • using, and/or manipulating data and statistics for a science or social science project
  • incorporating mapping, GIS, or statistical software in geographic research
  • effective or innovative uses of standards and technical sources  for engineering assignments

Other information sources, resources, and services can include: attending library workshops, accessing research consultations with a librarian, visiting special collections at U of T libraries and archives, or other libraries off-campus.

What assignments are eligible?

Assignments or research projects completed for course work at the University of Toronto during the Summer 2023 session (May-August 2023), Fall 2023 term (September-December 2023), or Winter 2024 term (January-April 2024) are eligible for submission. Assignments may also include a variety of formats, including digital or online projects. 

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 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.

I conducted independent research with a professor. Can I submit my work done in that project?

No. Only course-based assignments (i.e. courses that appear in ACORN) are eligible for submission.

Who are the judges?

Submissions are judged by a review committee composed of librarians and faculty members in various disciplines at University of Toronto. The review committee evaluates the completed applications and selects the winners in each of the categories based on an evaluation rubric.

May I submit multiple applications for the prize?

No, you may only submit one application per year. However, if you are submitting a group assignment application, you may also submit an individual application.

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 reflective statement and the information-seeking process.

How do I know what year of study I am in?

Check with your faculty registrar for confirmation if you are unsure of what year of study you are in.

Can part-time undergraduate students apply for this prize?

Yes. Prize eligibility is determined based on the number of credits a student has completed, not full or part-time status.

My assignment is written in a language other than English. Do I need to translate it?

No, you do not need to translate your assignment or project that is being submitted into English. However, the application, reflective statement, and brief abstract must be written in English.

I'm completing a second undergraduate degree. Can I still apply?

Yes. You can still apply for the Undergraduate Research Prize, but applicants who have already completed an undergraduate degree will be judged alongside upper year (Year 3/4) submissions regardless of your current year of study.

When are prize winners notified?

All prize winners and applicants will be notified by mid-May 2024. 

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. However, you may also include a second letter from a teaching assistant who you feel knows the most about your research.

I am a course instructor and have been asked to provide a letter of support for a student. Are there guidelines?

Yes. Please refer to the course instructor support letter guidelines.

As an instructor, can I endorse multiple student applications for this award?

Yes, but please note that each student still require their own letter of support.

Any other questions?

Please email libprize@utoronto.ca