Undergraduate Summer Research Program

Interested in cutting-edge research on questions of fundamental importance in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology using bacteriophage, bacteria, yeast, flies, nematodes, and mammalian cells as model systems? Apply to the Department of Molecular Genetics Summer Research Program!

Program Features

  • Primarily you will be conducting research in the laboratory of your supervisor

  • Participate in the end-of-summer Summer Students Poster Session

  • Attend optional summer seminars and journal club meetings designed to enhance your ability to perform and communicate research


Students are expected to engage in no fewer than 12 weeks of full-time research, beginning in May 2020.


In order to participate in the Molecular Genetics Undergraduate Summer Research Program, you must:

  • Be enrolled in a life sciences program at a Canadian University, or have completed the appropriate coursework that would prepare you for the type of research that you wish to conduct.

  • Secure a supervisor

  • Submit an application form, signed by your supervisor

Locating and Securing a Supervisor:

Students must first secure a supervisor in order to be eligible for the Undergraduate Summer Student Program. Here are some suggestions for finding a supervisor:

  • Read about the Molecular Genetics Faculty members on our Departmental Website and identify potential supervisors whose research interests you

  • Contact your potential supervisor with the following: 1) an up-to-date resume that includes your program and year, 2) an (unofficial) transcript, 3) a cover letter that outlines why you would like to work with them, including your understanding of their research, and 4) a description of your own research experience and career goals.

You do not need to win an award in order to participate in the Undergraduate Summer Research Program

Student Awards

There are a small number of competitive scholarships available for Undergraduate Summer Research Students:



When will I know if I am successful in any of the above award competitions?

Students can expect to hear the outcome of the award competitions in mid-April, 2019.


Is there a list of Faculty members who are taking students for the 2019 Summer Research Program?

We do not maintain a list of participating Faculty members. You should contact any of the Molecular Genetics Faculty members whose research you are interested in, to inquire as to whether they are accepting undergraduate summer students. The list of Molecular Genetics Faculty members is found here: http://www.moleculargenetics.utoronto.ca/research-faculty/


How do I know if my supervisor is eligible to host an NSERC URSA award?

You can ask your supervisor directly if he/she is eligible to host an NSERC URSA award. If you or your supervisor have questions about eligibility, please contact the MoGen Student Services Assistant at studentservices.mogen@utoronto.ca


Will you accept an email submission for any of the summer awards applications?

No. Applications must be submitted to the MoGen Student Services Assistant in MSB 4396 in hard copy.


If I am not a successful award recipient, will I still be paid for my work?

Some of our Faculty members may accept summer students on the condition that they hold one of the student awards that are available for summer 2019. If you are not a successful award recipient, and your supervisor agrees to take you on as a summer student, the details of your compensation will be at your supervisor’s discretion.


When will the Summer Research Program Poster Session be held?

The date for the poster session is TBA. Watch this space for updates.


For any other inquiries, please contact the Molecular Genetics Student Services Assistant at studentservices.mogen@utoronto.ca