Dean's Award for Research Excellence - Undergraduate

DARE U -- Dean's Award for Research Excellence page-header | graphic | 2017-12-08

The Dean’s Award for Research Excellence (DARE) - Undergraduate is intended to provide opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in research projects supervised by LA&PS faculty members. The purpose of the Award is to connect students and faculty via the faculty member’s research project, which will be undertaken during the Summer Term.

DARE will allow undergraduate students to:

  • receive one-on-one mentoring from a faculty member;
  • participate meaningfully in the process of scholarly inquiry;
  • develop research skills and experience; and
  • investigate and learn about a research area that interests you.

Award Value

$5000 per student (paid as a monthly stipend).


The awards are open to:

  • Full-time undergraduate students enrolled in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LA&PS).
  • Students will normally have a minimum GPA of 7.0.
  • Students need to have completed at least 48 credits by the time they take up the award.
  • Students are also eligible to apply for the award within their graduating year.

Number of awards for Summer 2018: There will be 30 awards available in the competition’s inaugural year.

Duration of research activity: The research project is to be undertaken and completed during the Summer Term (May through August). Positions will commence on May 1, 2018.

Application Deadline: There is a two-stage application process, and the first deadline that students must meet is 4pm on January 24, 2018. This is when students must submit their résumés and expressions of interest to individual project supervisors/professors by email.

DARE Applications (inclusive of letters of recommendation from faculty supervisor) are due on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 before 4PM and must be electronically submitted to

Eligible Supervisors: Full-time tenure-track, tenured, CLA or CUPE 3903 Contract faculty members in the Faculty of LA&PS are eligible as supervisors. Of the 30 awards supported in Summer 2018, up to 6 will be allocated for projects supervised by contract faculty.  CLA professors who agree to supervise students must have an employment contract that does not cease throughout the duration of the award.

Application Process

Step 1. LA&PS faculty members submit research project descriptions by January 10, 2018.

Step 2. All completed project postings will be made available to student applicants in an online database. Students will submit (via email) a resume and expression of interest directly to the Professor(s) whose project(s) they would like to work on. It is recommended that students apply to 2-3 different projects that are of interest to them.

Step 3. Faculty members review student submissions and select the student(s) they may want to work with. They then invite them for interviews and select their preferred candidate, for whom they will also need to provide a letter of recommendation.

Step 4. Selected students will prepare an application to the DARE Program, in collaboration with their faculty supervisor.  Note: Students will need to ensure that they have adequately conferred with their supervisor in advance of the competition deadline, so that supervisor’s are able to comment on the strength of the proposal in their letter of recommendation.

Step 5. Students are responsible for DARE application submission on February 28, 2018 (before 4PM). Your DARE applications are to be submitted electronically using the instructions below.

  • Email your completed application form to
  • Your email subject line should list: your full name and indicate – DARE Application

Please do not include any additional attachments (e.g. photos, appendices, brochures, etc.) as these will be removed prior to the review process.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Step 6. Professors must submit letters of recommendation in support of their selected student trainee to on February 28, 2018 (before 4PM). See guidelines on page 4 of DARE application form.

Application Requirements

Due February 28, 2018 before 4PM

  • Completed Application Form (inclusive of 500 word Research proposal)
  • Supervisor’s letter of recommendation (1 page max) See guidelines on page 4 of DARE application form.

Competition Timeline

Dates Competition Timeline
December 2017 Call launched
January 10, 2018 Supervisors submit research project postings. These are posted on a webpage for students to see; supervisors can also promote their projects through other avenues simultaneously.
January 24, 2018 Students contact supervisors with a resume and a brief expression of interest in the project. Supervisors select the student they want to support.
February 28 2018 Students submit DARE applications electronically to Dean’s office at
March 2018 Dean’s Office Committee reviews applications
March 28 2018 Students and supervisors are jointly notified of the decisions
May 1 2018 Research work commences
August 30 2018 Final deliverables to be submitted to supervisor.
Fall/Winter 2018 A research day for poster presentations of the projects to LA&PS community

Application Evaluation and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated on the overall project description and clearly articulated responses to the following criteria:

Learning Objectives

  • What are your learning objectives for your research project?
  • What strategies will you undertake to achieve your learning objectives?

Role in the Research

  • What is your overall role in the research project?
  • What are your specific tasks in the research project?
  • What methods will you use to conduct your research project?

Overall Quality of the Research Plan

  • Reviewers will also rate the overall feasibility and quality of the proposal.

Academic Record

  • Normally students should have a Cumulative GPA of at least 7.0.

Quality of the Research Experience Being Offered

  • Is the Faculty supervisor providing the student with a valuable research training experience?

Release of Funding

Upon receiving the award, undergraduate students must agree to:

  • submit a reflection document to the Dean’s Office at the end of your award period; and,
  • participate in the annual DARE Poster Session


If you have questions about the DARE Program application process, contact: Nadya Bloom, Research Officer, LA&PS: or ext. 44565

Research Projects Posting Board (for students): Due to faculty supervisors no later than Wed. January 24th.

DARE Application form (for students) (PDF - due Feb. 28th - for students who are selected to work with a faculty supervisor). Note: In cases where students are selected by more than one faculty supervisor in the first stage of the competition, they are only allowed to submit one application to the Dean's Office in the second stage of the competition.