Undergraduate Summer Research

Chemistry offers summer research experience to undergraduates in the Department doing hands-on work in the faculty's research laboratories, through the Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship Program. This program opens doors for students to experience first-hand the excitement of learning and discovery outside the classroom.

Research is conducted in the Department's facilities under the supervision of Chemistry faculty and are funded by NSERC under its Undergraduate Student Research Awards and some out of the OSOTF funds which are research scholarships geared to students in good academic standing who are on financial need. There are typically about 20 NSERC and OSOTF positions available each summer.

There are also opportunities to do research overseas in other universities over the summer through student exchange programs. Successfully selected students go to participating universities and spend the summer working on cutting-edge research projects.


Research in the Department

The departmental Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship Program encourages qualified students to broaden their experience in chemistry by doing research during the summer months under the supervision of a chemistry faculty member. These are meant to encourage students to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in chemistry. These research activities are held in the research labs located in the Lash Miller Building at the St. George campus. The two main programs are the NSERC USRA and the OSOTF scholarships described below.

Applications to the Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship Program are received by the departmental undergraduate office and reviewed by the Undergraduate Studies Committee in early March each year. Several considerations are taken into account in each application (in no particular order): the academic year the applicant is in; the enrolled program of study; the cumulative GPA of the applicant; the chemistry courses the applicant has previously taken; and any relevant previous research experience. Unsuccessful applicants are highly encouraged to consider applying for enrollment in CHM 395Y during the summer months instead.



The NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) program is designed to stimulate student interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering. We hope that students who are successful in gaining this experience will develop a serious interest in graduate studies and pursue a research career in one of the chemistry sub-disciplines. Students must have completed at least 3 or 4 academic terms of their bachelor's degree to be eligible to hold a university award. The normal duration of the award is 16 consecutive weeks working in the laboratory of participating faculty members in the Department. 

NSERC USRA is open to UofT students as well as to students from other institutions. 

Apply here. 


OSOTF Research Scholarships

The summer research scholarships listed below are available to UofT students in Chemistry programs who can demonstrate receiving financial assistance during the academic year prior to holding the award. Academic performance will also be a factor to be considered. The holder will be able to spend at least four months in the laboratory of the participating faculty member. 

  • The Richard Ivey Foundation Summer Research Experience Scholarship
  • The DuPont Canada, Inc. Summer Research Scholarship
  • ChemClub Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarship
  • Xerox Research Centre of Canada Undergraduate Scholarship

Apply here.


Research Abroad

The Department offers summer opportunities to do research elsewhere in collaboration with various institutions outside the University of Toronto, even outside Canada. Some of these research positions are funded fully or in part through an exchange program, so that successful students receive financial assistance to pay for transportation and accommodation when the assignment is overseas. 

In addition, a credit for an appropriate 300-level research course may also be granted if certain conditions are met.

For more information about these opportunities and how to apply, please visit the Centre for International Experience.


OBW Ontario/Baden-Württemberg Student Exchange

The Department of Chemistry in collaboration with the University of Toronto Centre for International Experience (CIE) offers undergraduate students in chemistry an opportunity to spend their summer doing research in Germany. Participating research faculty from the University of Freiburg, and the University of Konstanz welcome applications from chemistry undergraduate students who have good research experience and understanding of the research.  

More information about this program is available at Ontario Universities International, or at CIE.


National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore (NUS) in collaboration with the University of Toronto Cenre for International Experience offers summer internships in Singapore to undergraduate students in chemistry. Successful students go to NUS for 12 weeks during the summer to do research in the labs under a NUS faculty supervisor.

More information about this program is available online at CIE.


Other Summer Research Opportunities

RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering)

DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) in cooperation with science organizations in North America and Germany, is offering summer internships in Germany for Canadian and US undergraduate students in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sicences and engineering under the RISE program.  RISE fellows who are successfully admitted in this program work directly with PhD students in research groups of top German universities and institutions and can expect to gain serious hands-on research experience.

For information about the application guidelines and deadline, please go to DAAD.


TRIUMF Summer Research Awards

TRIUMF is Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics, located on the campus of the University of British Columbia. Our 500 MeV cyclotron and smaller isotope production cyclotrons support a diverse program of world class research in particle physics, nuclear physics and chemistry, condensed matter and materials research, and life sciences. In addition, TRIUMF acts as an infrastructure lab for international collaborations in subatomic physics at European laboratories such as CERN and DESY, American laboratories such as Brookhaven, Stanford, and Jlab, the Japanese Lab KEK, and other laboratories around the world.

TRIUMF has a policy to give Canadian undergraduate students the opportunity to experience the excitement of research at a National Laboratory such as TRIUMF. In part to fulfill this policy we sponsor a scholarship every year to bring one student from each of the 5 regions of Canada to TRIUMF.     

For details on how to apply and deadline for these awards please visit the TRIUMF web site.


Summer Abroad Programs 

Woodsworth College offers Summer Abroad Programs in the Sciences, which are designed to give undergraduate students an exciting international experience that fosters an awareness and appreciation for the people, cultures, and social economic systems of the host country. For more information, please visit Summer Abroad at U of T.


University of Toronto Excellence Awards (UTEA) in the Natural Sciences and Engineering

The purpose of the UTEA is to provide additional opportunities for research experience at the undergraduate level in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE); to augment the formal research courses offered by the University of Toronto; to give undergraduate students opportunities to experience different approaches to research in various fields; to help students learn and appreciate the investigative methodology of areas of particular interest; and, to provide students with an experience that will allow them to make informed decisions about pursuing careers in research. The duration is sixteen (16) full consecutive weeks in the summer term.