LMP Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Program (SURE)

Are you interested in research? 

Gain valuable experience in one of our state-of-the-art laboratories during our LMP Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program.

For at least 12 weeks during the summer, engage in full-time research by proposing, executing, and presenting your selected project.

This is the perfect opportunity for you to focus on your future research interests and discover what it takes to work in the lab. 

In addition to laboratory research, we offer exciting lectures featuring biomedical research from labs at the University of Toronto, as well as career development seminars.

After completing the program, you will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience in presenting your research to a panel of judges during our LMP SURE Research Day

Why you should join the summer research experience

  • Learn proper laboratory practice. 
  • Develop experimental and critical evaluation skills. 
  • Enhance communication, collaboration, and networking skills. 
  • Discover your area of interest and gain valuable experience for future research and your career.   

Program overview

The LMP SURE Program is comprised of three obligatory elements:

  1. a research experience
  2. attendance at the Orientation Day in May (2022 dates will be added nearer the time)
  3. presentation of a poster during the LMP SURE Research Day in August (2022 dates will be added nearer the time)

You are expected to engage in full-time research for at least 12 weeks. 

The official start date will be negotiated between you and your supervisor, but you are urged to begin research by the middle of May in order to have enough research done to submit an abstract for the Research Day. 

Important deadlines

Dates for 2022 will be added nearer the time.

  • 29 January LMP SURE Early Restricted awards deadline
  • 31 March to be considered for the UROP and NSERC Summer Research Awards. Applications to the LMP SURE program will continue to be accepted until the start of the program (May 10, 2021).
  • 10 May final deadline for program applications
  • 10 May orientation session
  • May – August program runs
  • 13 August Research Day

Eligibility and expectations

In order to participate in the LMP SURE Program, you must:

  1. have at least a B+ (cGPA of 3.3) average in an undergraduate program;
  2. be registered in a full-time undergraduate program in the academic term immediately prior to the SURE program and expect to return to full-time studies at the end of the research program;
  3. secure an LMP supervisor before applying (see below on how to locate and secure a supervisor);
  4. be Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or international student with a valid student visa.

Students who have completed their undergraduate program are eligible if they expect to return to full-time studies at the end of the summer research program (e.g., expected to start graduate school, medical school, other professional program, or return for additional undergraduate studies).

Program expectations

To take part in the program, you must be able to:

  • be available to work in a laboratory for a minimum of 12 weeks full time
  • attend the Orientation Session, on May 10
  • participate in the LMP SURE Research Day on August 13.

How often you are expected to be in the lab is something you will have to discuss and decide with your supervisor. There is no set schedule and your lab hours are dependent on the expectation of the supervisor, project needs, and workload to complete the project. 

Lab work requires a lot of commitment and dedication. You will have to plan your time accordingly to the needs of your experiments in order to successfully complete your project. 

International students

The LMP SURE Program is open to international students who currently study in a Canadian university with valid student visa and social insurance number (SIN) - you are considered the same as domestic students (Canadian citizens and permanent residents).

It is your responsibility to obtain the proper student visa and government approvals to legally enter the country and participate in the program.

Due to COVID travel restrictions, international students who study at universities outside of Canada (ie. those without a student visa) are not eligible to apply for the LMP SURE program this year.

Application step 1: locating and securing a supervisor

You may submit only one application to the SURE Program

Supervisors can be named as primary supervisor for a maximum of two students through one department to this Program. Your application may be rejected or marked as reduced priority if you do not meet this rule.

Search the LMP Faculty Directory for a potential supervisor. If you're interested in COVID-19 research, see who is working on projects in COVID-19 research and initiatives in LMP.

Tips on locating a supervisor 

  • Identify the area of research you are interested in and focus on faculty in that area. 
  • Speak with Teaching Assistants and upper-year students who have gained research experience or have participated in the program in the past. 
  • Ensure your resume, transcript, and application form are carefully prepared and up-to-date. 
  • When contacting a supervisor, learn about their research, publications and view their website. 
  • Start your search for supervisors early. 

Tailor your cover letter to include: 

  • your knowledge of their research work; 
  • a brief description of your research interests and skills/experience and how this ties in with their lab; and
  • your program, year-of-study and career goals. 

Since there are more students interested in the summer program than the number of potential supervisors, some supervisors may have more than one suitable candidate, and he/she may conduct interviews to select a student. 

You should apply the same effort to applying to this program as you would when applying for a job! 

Do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions at lmp.undergrad@utoronto.ca. Our office is here to help. 

Good Luck! 

Application step 2: apply to the program

All applicants (including those who will be located in a hospital) must:

  • submit an online application form (link will be provided when 2022 applications open)
  • submit a transcript or a statement of results showing marks for all University courses completed (a printout from ACORN for U of T students is acceptable).  
  • include an active email address as this will be used to communicate your acceptance into the program and details regarding the weekly seminars and poster day. Award winners will also be advised via email. 
  • have a supervisor sponsor for the summer prior to submission of the application. 

How you will hear if you have a place

If you meet the above criteria you will be admitted into the program.

We will email you to let you know.

Stipends and awards

In order to ensure that students are in a supportive research environment, the supervisor should email a brief description of the:

  1. research project
  2. role of the student, and
  3. supervision plan to lmp.undergrad@utoronto.ca for approval. 

Student stipend 

All students receive a minimum $4,800 stipend provided either by the supervisor or a combination of external awards and the supervisor.  

Awards 

A number of awards are available to support summer research endeavours for LMP Pathobiology Specialist students and other students participating in the SURE program.

Early Restricted Awards for LMP Pathobiology students only

There are two early restricted awards available to LMP Pathobiology Specialist students to support summer research experiences. 

Application deadline: Now closed (usually end of January)

How to apply: The application form will be made available here at the next round.

You must:

  • be in your 2nd or 3rd-year of study, registered in the Undergraduate Pathobiology Specialist Program
  • have at least a B+ (cGPA of 3.3) average
  • be enrolled in the LMP SURE program and your supervisor should hold a SGS-appointment, though supervisors without a SGS-appointment will be considered.

Awarded to the top LMP student based on grade and application package.

The winner will be notified by email in late January. Winner will be paid the award amount plus a supplement from the supervisor.

1. Linda and Avrum Gotlieb Fund Supporting LMP Summer Student 

Award value: $2,000 plus a minimum supplement of $2,800 provided by the supervisor (Total to student: $4,800) 

Number of awards available: one

2. LMP SURE UROP Award 

Award value: $2,000 plus a minimum supplement of $2,800 provided by the supervisor (Total to student: $4,800) 

Number of awards available: five

 

Non-restricted awards: available to all undergraduate students to support summer research experiences

Application deadline for NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Award (USRA): March 31, 2021. You are automically eligible for the other awards by being part of the SURE program - you do not need to make a separate applictaion.

Those who receive an award will be notified by email in May. The winner(s) will be paid the award amount plus a supplement from the supervisor.

1. Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) Awards 

Award value: $2,000 plus a minimum supplement of $2,800 provided by the supervisor (Total to student: $4,800) 

The UROP award was established in 1973 and its aim is to foster advanced research experiences for undergraduate students at the University of Toronto.

Those who receive an award will be notified by email in May. Winners will be paid the award amount plus a supplement from the supervisor.

There are UROP Awards allocated in 2021 to students participating in the LMP SURE Program. 

  • Cardiovascular, heart                        
  • Epilepsy or Muscular Dystrophy
  • Cancer and cancer related diseases  
  • Health Research in other areas
  • Polio or common cold or Arthritis or cancer

Eligibility and rules

Awards will be made based on grade and application package.

  • Applicants must have at least a B+ (cGPA of 3.3) average.
  • Students must have successfully completed term in a full-time undergraduate program directly prior to the award period.
  • Students who have completed their undergraduate program are not eligible, unless they have been accepted into or are currently enrolled in an undergraduate professional program (medical undergraduate degree program). In addition, students who have completed an undergraduate degree and have been accepted into a graduate program but have not yet begun are also eligible to apply.
  • University of Toronto and non-University of Toronto students may apply, including international students (with valid student visa for the full summer work term);.
  • Students cannot accept multiple summer research awards at the same time.
  • Students may submit only one application to this Program. Departure from this rule will result in the application being accorded a lower priority or being rejected.
  • Award recipient must be enrolled in the LMP SURE program.
  • Supervisors can be named as primary supervisor for a maximum of two students through one department to this Program. Departure from this rule will result in the application being accorded a lower priority or being rejected.

How to apply: You do not need to apply separately for this award: all eligible students who apply to the LMP SURE Program by the application deadline will be automatically considered. Please select up to two relevant areas of research when you apply to the SURE program.

 

2. Graduate and Life Sciences Education (GLSE) Summer Research Project Studentship 

Award value: $2,000 plus a minimum supplement of $2,800 provided by the supervisor (Total to student: $4,800) 

Number of awards available: one

Eligibility and rules

University of Toronto and non-University of Toronto students may apply, including international students (with valid student visa for the full summer work term)

Awards will be made based on grade and application package.

You must:

  • be enrolled in the LMP SURE program 
  • have at least a B+ (cGPA of 3.3) average
  • have successfully completed term in a full-time undergraduate program directly prior to the award period
  • be enrolled in a third or fourth year major and/or specialist program in Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics, Immunology, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Physiology or Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology if you are a University of Toronto student
  • be engaged on a full-time basis in research activities under the direction of an eligible supervisor
  • have an interest in future graduate training
  • not have started graduate studies.

You cannot accept multiple summer research awards at the same time.

How to apply: You do not need to apply separately for this award: all eligible students who apply to the LMP SURE Program by the application deadline will be automatically considered. 

 

3. NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Award (USRA) 

Official program details and guidelines on the NSERC website

Internal departmental application deadline: March 31, 2021

Award value: $6,000 from NSERC plus a minimum 25% top-up ($1,500) provided by the supervisor (total to student: $7,500 for 16 weeks)

Duration: 16 full consecutive weeks 

The University of Toronto administers this program in the summer term only, between May 1st and September 30th of each year. 

There is a limited number of NSERC USRA available to the LMP SURE Program. 

Eligibility and rules

In order to be eligible, you must: 

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada at the application deadline date; 
  • be registered in a bachelor’s degree program at an eligible university; 
  • have completed, at the time of application, a minimum of two academic terms/semesters; 
  • have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study; 
  • be supervised by a LMP faculty member who holds an active NSERC research grant, or eligible tri-agency research grant administered jointly by NSERC-CIHR or NSERC-SSHRC; 
  • be enrolled in the LMP SURE Program; 
  • have obtained, a cumulative average of “B+”, as defined by your university. 

In addition, you may: 

  • not defer or transfer the award; 
  • hold only one university USRA per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31); 
  • hold a maximum of three USRA throughout your undergraduate university career. 

You are not eligible for a NSERC USRA if: 

  • you are enrolled in an undergraduate professional degree program in the health sciences (eg. MD, MD/PhD, DDS, BScN), or 
  • you hold higher degrees in the natural sciences or engineering, or 
  • you have started a program of graduate studies at any time. 

Only students who are in laboratories who have supervisors holding NSERC research grants are eligible for this program.  

Eligible LMP supervisors: 

How to apply

The NSERC USRA award requires a separate application package. Please contact lmp.undergrad@utoronto.ca if you need help.  

  • Step 1Register on the NSERC Online System 
  • Step 2: Complete Form 202, Part I- Application for an Undergraduate Student Research Award. When this form is completed online, a reference number will be generated. Please forward this reference number to your proposed supervisor to complete Part II. 
  • Step 3: Supervisor to complete Form 202, Part II- Application for an Undergraduate Student Research Award.  
  • Step 4: Request a hard copy of your official transcript and submit this to: 

Louella D’Cunha, 
University of Toronto 
Dept. of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology 
1 King’s College Circle, Room 6209 
Toronto, ON  M5S 1A8 

  • Step 5: Once the official transcript has been received, Louella will provide you with a PDF copy of the transcript to link to your Form 202. 
  • Step 6: Once Form 202, Part I and Part II are completed, submit Form 202 electronically to NSERC and email a copy of Form 202, Part I and II to: lmp.undergrad@utoronto.ca.

Deadlines to submit all material (including the official transcripts) March 31, 2021. 

Use the UofT NSERC USRA checklist (PDF)

 

Kendel

 

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