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) provides opportunities for Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) undergraduate students to engage in research projects supervised by faculty members over the Summer Term.

The primary goal of the Award is to support the development of students’ research skills by providing them with hands-on experience on a research project being undertaken by a faculty supervisor.

Through the DARE experience, undergraduate students will:

  • receive one-on-one mentoring from a faculty member;
  • participate meaningfully in the process of scholarly inquiry;
  • develop research skills and experience to support them as they move forward in their careers;
  • investigate and learn about a research area of interest; and
  • gain valuable experience in the communication of research results, such as preparing and delivering poster presentations.

Award Value

$5,000 per student (paid as a monthly stipend over the summer months).


The awards are open to full-time undergraduate students enrolled in programs within the Faculty of LA&PS, including those graduating in June 2019, who:

  • will normally have a minimum GPA of 7.0; and
  • have completed at least 48 credits by the time they take up the award.

*Student awardees from the inaugural Program in 2018 are eligible to participate in the 2019 DARE program
*DARE supervisors who participated in the inaugural Program in 2018 are eligible to participate as supervisors in this 2019 DARE Program.

Number of awards for Summer 2019: There will be 30 awards available.

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, 2019.


Stage 1: Resume and Cover Letter

Deadline: February 8, 2019 by 4pm
After reviewing all Research Project Postings, (posted beginning January 22, 2019) interested students must submit via an online Expression of Interest form their resume and cover letter to the professor(s) whose project(s) they would like to work on by February 8, 2019 (by 4pm).

Stage 2: DARE Application (By invitation only)

Deadline: March 8, 2019 (by 4pm)*
Only those students who are selected by a faculty supervisor to work on their research project are invited to apply at this stage. Each student applicant must electronically submit a DARE Application package consisting of:

* Note: Each student applicant is eligible to submit a maximum of one DARE application per competition. If a student is selected by more than one faculty supervisor in Stage 1, the student must decide on one project for which they will submit a complete DARE application, and convey this information to all faculty members involved.

** It is the student applicant’s responsibility to arrange for receipt of the letter of recommendation from the faculty supervisor and append it to their online 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.

Eligible Supervisors: Full-time tenure-track, tenured, CLA or CUPE 3903 Contract faculty members in the Faculty of LA&PS are eligible to submit a project as supervisors. Of the 30 awards supported in Summer 2019, up to 6 will be allocated for projects supervised by contract faculty.  CLAs who agree to supervise students must have an employment contract that does not cease throughout the duration of the award.

Program Process

Step 1. LA&PS faculty members submit research project descriptions by January 17, 2019.

Step 2. All completed project postings will be made available to student applicants beginning January 22. Students will submit via an online Expression of Interest form a resume and cover letter to the professor(s) whose project(s) they would like to work on. At this early stage, students may wish to 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 by February 22, 2019 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 the faculty supervisor.  Note: Students will need to ensure that they have adequately conferred with the supervisor in advance of the competition deadline, so that supervisors are able to comment on the strength of the proposal in their letter of recommendation.

Step 5. Students are responsible for electronic submission of their DARE Application Form by the deadline of March 8, 2019 (by 4PM).

Application Requirements

Due March 8, 2019 by 4PM

  • Completed Online Application Form (consisting of: 500-word Research Proposal and max. one-page Supervisor’s Letter of Recommendation)

Competition Timeline


Deadline Activity
December 2018 Call launched to faculty members
January 17, 2019 Deadline for faculty members to submit online research project postings through online portal
January 22, 2019 Research projects posted online for student viewing.
Feb 8, 2019 Deadline for students to contact faculty members with a resume and cover letter is February 8, 2019 by 4pm.
Feb 22, 2019 Deadline for faculty members to select and notify the student they want to support.
March 8, 2019 Deadline for students to submit complete DARE applications through the online DARE Application Form.
March 2019 Dean’s Office Committee reviews applications
Late March-Early April 2019 Students and supervisors are jointly notified of the decisions
May 1, 2019 Research work commences
August 30, 2019 Final deliverables to be submitted to faculty supervisor
Fall/Winter 2019 DARE celebration and student poster presentations to LA&PS community.


Application Evaluation and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated based on the student’s overall academic record, 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 the award period; and,
  • participate in the annual DARE Poster Session and Celebration


If you have questions about the DARE Program contact: Nadya Bloom, Research Officer, LA&PS: or 416-736-2100 ext. 44565