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Summer Research Program

Domestic students who accept the offer of admission into one of our graduate studies programs are also offered a Summer Research Fellowship.

  • Apply by the early deadline of February 1 and accept our offer of admission by April 15 in order to be considered for this great opportunity.
  • Up to $6,000 for four months (or $1500/month) in funding is available to start research in the summer before the official start date in September; May and January registrants are not eligible.
  • Incoming students must stay for at least three of the four months of the summer (May-August).
  • This is a chance to work for any chemistry graduate faculty member during the summer but may choose a different thesis advisor after officially registering in the graduate program in September.
  • Contact a research faculty in chemistry about working in his or her lab over the summer right after receiving the letter of offer.
  • Experience gained from the summer research program will tend to reduce time to obtain degree and increase chances of producing publications in the near future. These publications are important for future scholarship applications and prospective career goals.
  • Repayment of an award is required if a student is in full-time attendance fewer than 12 weeks in the program, withdraws from the summer program or fails to register in the graduate program in September.
  • Further information will be forwarded by the Chemistry Graduate Office in the first week of April.

Our Students' Experience

Name: Kelly Firth
Previous Institution: University of Western Ontario
Area of Study: Inorganic (Stephan Group)
Program: MSc
Testimonial: I was very grateful for the opportunity to start my graduate research the summer before I was officially enrolled as a student. The extra time really helped me get my bearings in the lab before the chaos of classes and TA assignments began. I think this opportunity was especially important as a Masters student, since time is extremely limited to complete research in the 12-14 month program.

Name: Heather Lam
Previous Institution:  University of Toronto
Area of Study: Organic (Lautens Group)
Program: PhD
Testimonial: The Summer Research Program was a wonderful interlude between the end of my undergrad and my entry into graduate studies in organic synthesis. To broaden my knowledge and the spectrum of people I would be acquainted with, I opted to work in a group that did something other than what I was planning to do in the fall. I chose to work in the Winnik Group, which is well-known for their synthesis of polymers and nanoparticles. My role in the project I was a part of was to synthesize a modified siderophore, a natural iron-chelating agent, so it could be used to chelate a variety of other metals. I had the amazing opportunity to work under an insightful and detail-oriented PhD student, Cookie Cho as well the incredibly knowledgeable Professor Winnik. Under their tutelage, we were able to obtain the results that we ultimately presented to a biological research equipment company, Fluidigm, at the end of the summer.
In addition to gaining valuable experience in the lab, I was able to meet a lot of the other incoming students and got to know many of the graduate students who were already working at Lash Miller. They were eager to share their experiences in their respective groups so I was able to form a more educated decision as to which professor to work with in the fall.

Name: Adam Pollit
Previous Institution:  University of Waterloo
Area of Study: Polymers and Materials (Seferos Group)
Program:  Direct-Entry PhD
Testimonial: Joining the Department of Chemistry in May as part of the Summer Research Program gave me the unique opportunity to begin integrating myself into a lab months ahead of lab-mates, becoming accustomed to research during the low-key summer term. Initiating a research project over the summer (free from coursework and other obligations) was extremely beneficial for quickly developing the skills necessary to become self-sufficient in the lab, speeding project progress while simultaneously smoothing the transition into graduate life at the beginning of fall. I would highly recommend this program to graduate students entering the department, particularly those who are looking to expedite their research early on.

Name: Jennifer Tran
Previous Institution:  University of Toronto
Area of Study: Physical (Goh Group)
The Summer Research Program offered by the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto was a great opportunity for me to begin my journey in graduate studies four months early. Although I stayed in the same lab as my undergraduate thesis project, the Summer Research Program provided me with the chance to further develop my research interests and explore potential research ideas. Since it extends from May to August, I was able to focus on scientific investigation without the loom of other responsibilities such as teaching assistantships or coursework. During the four months, I was able to adapt to a new experience as a graduate student, and hit the ground running in September.

Name: Nicolas Zeidan
Previous Institution:  University of Toronto
Area of Study: Organic (Lautens group)
Program: PhD
Testimonial: The Summer Research Program was by far the best decision I made going into graduate school. I was able to get settled into a lab I was interested in, get to know the group research and get started on projects within one month which was a huge advantage. Alternatively, fellow students who started in the fall were preoccupied with courses, teaching, cumulative exams, and seminars, leaving little time to find a working research project. The Summer Research Program also left room for time off as it only demands 12 or 16 weeks and most professors do encourage to take some time off before the fall. There was also a tedious process of safety training and NMR training which was done in the summer clearing the need to include it in the fall schedule. In summary, I highly recommend the program.