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UTSC Sandbox

Undergraduate Research & Creative Events & Prizes

The University of Toronto Scarborough is committed to fostering the undergraduate experience. As part of this commitment, the UTSC Office of the Vice-Principal Research and Innovation and the UTSC Library launched two successful initiatives in 2016 which continue to evolve and grow every year. Of particular note, we’re pleased to introduce a new creative project stream for our annual Forum.

Each initiative provides an opportunity for students who have excelled in research, scholarship and creative activities to showcase their work and win cash prizes.

More Information

UTSC Undergraduate Research & Creative Forum - Application deadline: February 17, 2022 11:59 PM EST

UTSC Undergraduate Research & Creative Prize - Application deadline: April 11, 2022 11:59 PM EST

Patricia and Peter Shannon Wilson Undergraduate Research Prize - Application deadline: April 17, 2022 11:59 PM EST

Have questions?

Check out the links above for details, contact your liaison librarian, or join us at 1 of 2 drop-in info sessions: January 18, 2022 2-3 PM EST OR January 26, 2022 10-11 AM EST.

UTSC Undergraduate Research & Creative Forum

The UTSC Library and the Office of the Vice-Principal Research and Innovation are proud sponsors of the Undergraduate Research & Creative Forum (URCF). The URCF is a competitive, adjudicated event that provides an opportunity for talented University of Toronto Scarborough undergraduate students to display their scholarly and creative activities to a faculty, student and community audience, while competing for cash prizes.  

The Forum enables students to develop presentation skills. It is organized as an in-person poster and project presentation event held during a single afternoon. Due to the pandemic, the URCF will likely occur in a hybrid in-person and online format this year. Final details will be communicated in Winter 2022. 


All UTSC undergraduate students from any major and all academic levels of study are eligible to present their work in one of two presentation streams: 

  • Creative Project 
  • Research Project  

This Forum is ideal for all students completing capstone projects, independent research or creative projects, or other faculty mentored scholarly activities where there are at least preliminary findings to report. Student presentations may include material that has been or will be presented elsewhere, however, students cannot re-submit the same project as in previous years unless there are significant changes or advancements in the final product.  

All students must have faculty support to publicly present their research or creative project in a juried setting. 

Undergraduate research and creative activities must have been pursued during the Summer 2021, Fall 2021, or Winter 2022 semesters. 


The Forum focuses on knowledge translation, which refers to the translation of research findings into knowledge available to others beyond academia. In the context of a creative project this will involve the student describing their creative process to the audience in order to give the audience insights into the work of creative professionals. Information must be presented in accessible, non-technical, non-specialist language that can be understood by a layperson or non-specialist as well as by the expert. One main objective is to make the project understandable without trivializing or over-simplifying it. 

Application Process

  • Submit your work to one of the two presentation streams: 
    • Creative Project  
    • Research Project 
  • Complete the submission proposal form by the February 17, 2022 deadline.  
    • Abstracts and creative statements cannot exceed 300 words. Refer to the FAQs for additional guidance on what to include in the abstract and creative statement.  
  • Ask your faculty supervisor / instructor to complete the faculty support form in order to be eligible. 

Successful applicants will be contacted by March 1, 2022 and will be asked to review a mandatory asynchronous presentation skills and poster workshop. 

The finalists will then be expected to create a digital research poster or creative display by March 28, 2022. 

The Forum

We are hoping to once again host an in-person component for this exciting event.  The 2022 Forum will have an in-person and a virtual component, dependent on public health guidelines, that will showcase the scholarship and creative activities of UTSC undergraduate students. (Final format will be communicated in early 2022). 

The live hybrid format will allow for a robust and interactive presentation of student projects.  

Each finalist will display one digital research poster or creative display and will present a summation of their work in a 3-5 minute presentation to the audience. There will be time for a brief Q&A (3-5 minutes) after each presentation. 

A panel of judges from a variety of fields will evaluate each poster, display and presentation based a pre-determined rubric (to be shared in Winter 2022). 

Awards & Recognition

The winning entries for each stream (creative and research) will each receive a cash award in the amount of $1000. Honourable mentions may be awarded. 

Finalists’ posters and presentations will be posted to the UTSC Library website, with the invitation to have a digital version of their work permanently archived in TSpace.  

All finalists will receive a certificate of participation and will receive a notation on their transcript as part of Co-Curricular Record program.   

Important Dates

Proposal deadline: February 17, 2022 at 11:59pm EST - midnight (firm deadline) 

Finalists contacted: March 1, 2022  

Finalists confirm participation and review of asynchronous resources: March 8, 2022 

Final submission deadline: March 28, 2022 11:59pm EST midnight 

Event Day: April 5, 2022 (time and additional details to come) 

Winners announced: mid-April 2022 via email, the UTSC Library Website and social media channels.  

Students are also encouraged to work with their liaison librarians to ensure that they gain the skills needed to excel in this competition as well as through their education. 

More information

Contact your liaison librarian, review our Frequently Asked Questions, or join us at 1 of 2 drop-in info sessions: January 18, 2022 2-3 PM EST OR January 26, 2022 10-11 AM EST.

If you have a disability/health consideration that may require accommodations, please advise Nina Adamo or the AccessAbility Services Office before the submission deadline.

UTSC Library 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 as UTSC undergraduate students 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


The prize is open to all undergraduate students who meet the following criteria: 

  • currently enrolled at UTSC; 
  • completed their first year of study; 
  • student is principal investigator or primary creator; 
  • individual or group research projects completed within the previous year (Spring 2021/Summer 2021, Fall 2021 or Winter 2022) 
  • participated in meaningful engagement with UTSC library resources and/or librarians (see below for template) 

Students cannot submit the same project as last year unless there are significant changes or advancements in the final outcome.  

Students may submit the same project to both the UTSC Undergraduate Research & Creative Poster Forum and UTSC Undergraduate Research & Creative Prize, however, they cannot simply submit the poster created for the Forum. 


The prizes(s) will be awarded primarily on the basis of the quality of the research or creative project and the illustration of the use of scholarly resources in the research process. The detailed judging rubric and additional information to follow. 

The Judging Committee shall consist of UTSC faculty members and representatives from the Office of the Vice-Principal Research and Innovation. 

How to Apply

Please use the attached coversheet/checklist to help ensure that all the application components are included (in the correct order). Application for the UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize will be made by the undergraduate student and will consist of the following in a single PDF package in this order. 

  • Personal data (1 page) 
    • Full name 
    • UTSC department 
    • Current program 
    • Year of study 
    • Identify if you are applying for the Sciences, Social Sciences or Humanities award 
  • Description of research or creative project using clear, non-specialist language (2 pages) 
  • Include also the wider implications of the project 
  • The applicant’s engagement in the research or creative process (1 page – see template – research strategy /creative process, includes sources/databases/guides/software used and why those resources were chosen, any dates/names of library research workshop, did you set up any consultation(s) with the library, if yes, with who? How this was helpful to you, what they learned) 
  • A signed reference letter on departmental letterhead from a U of T Scarborough faculty member or course instructor regarding the student's engagement in the research or creative process 
  • A copy of the submitted research assignment (e.g. paper, website, presentation) or creative project (e.g., zine, play, painting, photography). If the research assignment cannot be submitted in an electronic format (e.g. a video, music performance, artwork) please email Sarah Forbes 

Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF file in the correct order to  

Important Dates

  • Application deadline: Thursday, April 11, 2022 11:59 PM EST 
  • Winners announced: End of May 2022
  • Prizes awarded: June 2022  


Up to 3 cash prizes of $1000 will be given out annually, one each for projects in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences. The judges evaluate the projects on their quality and reserve the right to award prizes in one, two, or all three of these categories.

More information

Contact your liaison librarian or review our Frequently Asked Questions, or join us at 1 of 2 drop-in info sessions: January 18, 2022 2-3 PM EST OR January 26, 2022 10-11 AM EST.