Awards and Scholarships

Student Leadership- Letter Awards

University of Toronto Funding Opportunities

CIHR and SSHRC Undergraduate Student Research Awards for Black Students

In order to address systemic barriers and make Canada’s research culture more equitable, diverse, and inclusive, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) have introduced the Undergraduate Student Research Award program (USRA) for Black students, modelled on NSERC’s USRA program. Successful students will work for 16 weeks over the summer on a research project under the supervision of a faculty member. At present time, these awards are exclusively open to Black student researchers.  

For this first year of the program, CIHR and SSHRC each have 95 Black Student USRAs to award nationally, which have been allocated to eligible institutions.  The University of Toronto can award: 

  • 4 SSHRC Black Student USRAs; and  
  • 9 CIHR Black Student USRAs.  

To manage a relatively small allocation in relation to the size of our student population, the University of Toronto is running a selection process in cooperation with the Academic Divisions (Faculties).   

CIHR and SSHRC USRA Black Student Program Overview 

  • USRAs are for 16 weeks over the summer (between May 1st and September 1st).  
  • USRAs provide $6,000 with a match required by the institution. At UofT the recommended minimum match (often provided by the supervising faculty member’s grant funds) is $1500. 
  • All USRA student applicants and their faculty supervisors must complete an application on NSERC’s USRA online awards system, selecting the agency to which the application applies (either CIHR or SSHRC.)  The research being proposed must fall within the mandate of that respective agency. 

A complete application comprises the student’s application, the faculty member’s application (which includes a brief overview of the research project), and the student’s transcript, which gets uploaded into the student application online.  (An official transcript is not required.) 


  • CIHR and SSHRC USRAs are exclusively for Black students.   
  • Students self-identify as Black when they complete their section of the application on NSERC’s online system. 
  • Eligible students must have obtained a cumulative average of at least a grade of B or B- over the previous year of study and have completed a minimum of two academic terms (first year students are not eligible).   
  • Eligible faculty supervisors are those who can independently supervise students as per their University of Toronto appointment and meet CIHR or SSHRC eligibility to hold research grants (CIHR eligibility, or for SSHRC eligibility, see “Applicant”).  Supervisors cannot be postdoctoral fellows or graduate / PhD students. 

How to apply 

  • Both the student and the Faculty Supervisor must complete an application on NSERC’s portal:  Completing a USRA Application.  
  • Instructions on completing the application are available here:  Instructions for USRA applications  
  • A completed application is exported to a PDF file and sent to the divisional contact email address (see "Internal Dealine for Divisions" below) by the Division’s internal deadline. Divisions will confirm eligibility (in consultation with department) and forward to VPRI / RSO, which will facilitate a selection committee to choose the USRAs for CIHR and SSHRC. The Student GPA will be the primary factor used in the selection process. 
  • A research fund for successful USRAs will be created under the name of the PI Supervisor, from which the student is paid.
  • More information is available in the UofT Funding Opportunities Database, found here.

Internal Deadline for Divisions:  Divisions have, or will be confirming their internal deadline by which completed USRA applications are to be submitted to the divisional contact. Please reach out to the individual in the Division contacts table below  for question about the Division's internal deadline date. 

Divisional contacts to submit completed application packages to: 


Shaun Young or 

Jason Darby 

UTSC Undergraduate Research & Creative Prize

The UTSC Undergraduate Research & Creative Prize honours UTSC students who have excelled in research, scholarship and creative activities in the classroom and beyond. This prize recognizes the research and creative activities of undergraduate students, their overall contribution to the University of Toronto Scarborough, and illustrates the role of the library in their creative and research processes. 

The project may take many forms such as a traditional paper, 2D or 3D works, a database, a website, digital project or creative project in its many manifestations, including projects that demonstrate a student's artistic expression such as painting, photography, poetry or a play.  

The UTSC Undergraduate Research & Creative Prize is a financial prize sponsored jointly by the UTSC Library and UTSC Office of the Vice-Principal Research and Innovation. It is open to all students who are currently registered in a UTSC undergraduate degree program and have completed their first year of study.  

Prize winning projects and/or recipients will be featured on the UTSC Library website and OVPRI website and invited to be archived on TSpace

For more information please visit:

University of Toronto Excellence Awards (UTEA)

The University of Toronto Excellence Award (UTEA) program provides eligible undergraduate students with opportunities to conduct summer research projects under the supervision of eligible U of T faculty members.

For information on how to apply for an UTEA award check out our research database here

Academic Conference and Travel Fund

The Academic Travel Fund supports undergraduate student travel to academic conferences, meetings and/or research activities that will enhance their own academic experience and make a clear contribution to enhancing the student experience.
The fund reimburses approved travel expenses up to $2,000.
For more information please click here.

Dan Leckie City of Toronto Award

Open to undergraduate or graduate students on the basis of finanical need. Students must be in the Division of the Environment or Community Studies or related fields such as Political Science, Economics, Sociology, Health Science, Education and residents of Toronto. Learn more here.

Adams Sustainability Student Grant

To be awarded to undergraduate or graduate students from all faculties and divisions across the tri-campus based on demonstrated leadership in sustainability and a concrete plan to advance sustainability on campus. Their plan may include engaging other students, faculty, staff and/or alumni. Learn more here.


Feldberg Family Scholarhsip in Social Sciences

Awarded to an undergraduate student entering third or fourth year who (i) is enrolled in a program sponsored by the Social Sciences Department with preference given to a student enrolled in a Political Science Program, (ii) is involved in extracurricular/community activity and (iii) has shown outstanding improvement in his/her academic standing while studying under challenging personal circumstances. This person has overcome adversity, of any kind, in their life and continues to strive for excellence in the areas of academics, extracurricular and community involvement.



External Funding Opportunities

Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship

The Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship competition is for minority students of public administration, (governmental) accounting, finance, political science, economics or business administration (with a specific focus on government or nonprofit management) at the upper-division undergraduate or graduate level. The Minorities Scholarship is funded by Tyler Technologies.
For more information please click here

Mayor Andrée Boucher Memorial Scholarship

Awarded to a female student enrolled in a Canadian college or university who is judged to have submitted the best research paper on issues related to women in politics. Special consideration given to essays with a focus on municipal government.
For more information please click here

Charles B. Koester Student Essay Competition 2022

Community college, CEGEP, university undergraduate and graduate students in any discipline are invited to participate in the 2020 Charles B. Koester Student Essay Competition sponsored by the Canadian Study of Parliament Group (CSPG). The author of the best essay will recieve a $1000 prize. The best essay will be posted on the CSPG Website. Additional prizes may also be awarded at the discretion of the CSPG

The CSPG welcomes submissions on any subject matter broadly relating to Parliament, legislatures or legislators, including but not limited to elections, political parties or the relationship between legislatures or legislators and other branches or areas of government such as the executive or the courts. Papers may focus on any one jurisdiction. We welcome comparative analysis or either a federal-provincial or international focus. Essays may be submitted in either official language.

For more information please click here