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U of T COVID-19 Student Engagement Award

Call for Project Proposals

Attention U of T students! Have you been inspired to contribute to the global COVID-19 response? Are you creatively reflecting on the pandemic? Are you contemplating research directly relevant to the challenges of COVID? Have you considered creating a podcast? An art project? A new venture? A prototype? A comparative policy analysis? Or maybe a data visualization project?

The University of Toronto recognizes that students have been dramatically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, many University of Toronto students have developed inspiring innovations and projects that have contributed to the response to the COVID-19 crisis.    

To help foster this global and community-oriented mindset, U of T is launching the COVID-19 Student Engagement Award. The COVID-19 Student Engagement Award provides financial support to interested University of Toronto undergraduate and graduate students working in collaboration with one another, including in interdisciplinary teams. Projects that contribute to building and fostering a global community during the COVID-19 pandemic, from across all disciplines, are invited.  

Projects

  1. To be eligible, a single proposal must be submitted by a team of at least two U of T students. All projects must be student-led and students may be only listed on one project proposal. Interdisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged. Only one grant will be awarded per project.
  2. Each successful project will be awarded up to $3,000 for a funding period of three months. The funding will be released in three installments over the course of the project. Up to 65 projects will be selected for funding.
  3. Where appropriate project teams may identify a U of T faculty or staff project supervisor but a supervisor is not necessary in all cases.
  4. Projects from across all disciplines are eligible and encouraged. Projects could include, but are not limited to: videos, art projects, science and engineering projects, data analysis/visualization projects, policy analyses, social innovations, cross-cultural comparisons, educational projects, financial analyses, etc. 
  5. Projects must contribute to building and fostering a global community during COVID-19. This could include: collaboration between U of T domestic and international students; collaboration with student(s) at universities outside of Canada; accessing international data; engaging with a comparative global lens throughout the project, linking the local to the global, etc.
  6. Each successful project team is required to submit a brief midterm report and a final deliverable. Final deliverables could include: blog series, podcast(s), research paper, poster presentation, art exhibit, online performance, presentation or symposium, etc.
  7. Eligible costs include: stipends (costs of time), equipment & supplies, software subscriptions, dissemination of research results, etc.
  8. The proposals will be assessed and recommended for selection by a committee composed of members of the Office of the Vice-President, International and various divisions across U of T.

Eligibility

  • All U of T undergraduate and graduate students returning to studies in September 2020.

Value and Duration

  • Up to 65 successful proposals will receive up to $3,000 from U of T for each approved project. The duration of the project will be three months (until the end of summer term). The funding will be awarded in three installments: 1. at the start of the project, 2. upon the submission of a midterm report, 3. upon the submission of the project’s final deliverable. Only one grant will be awarded per project.

Timeline

Call for Proposals Opens May 4, 2020
CIE Information Session Cancelled
Proposal Deadline May 20, 2020
Communication of Results June 5, 2020 Note: Due to the large volume of applications notifications will be ongoing through to June 8
Project Start Date Mid-June 2020
Submission of Midterm Report July 31, 2020
Submission of Final Deliverable September 4, 2020

Submission of Proposals

A single application should be submitted online at: https://form.jotform.com/201194098051249

The full proposal is comprised of the following elements:

  1. A proposal cover that includes the following information for all U of T team members: name, email, student number, program & year of study, academic division, college (if applicable), and campus.
  2. Identification of project supervisor, if applicable. The proposal should indicate whether the supervisor has agreed to provide any funding.
  3. A two-page maximum project proposal that includes the following items (in alignment with the selection criteria listed below):
    • Abstract: a brief overall description of the project.
    • Planned activities: adescription of all project activities, rationale and timeline.
    • Project impact: a description of the how the project activities are expected to contribute to the COVID-19 response.
    • Global engagement: a description of all activities throughout the course of the project where team members will be globally engaged and a description of how they plan to contribute to the global community during COVID-19. Proposals should indicate why this global engagement component is essential to the success of the project.
    • Final deliverable: Description of the final deliverable, including any methods for potential distribution and future use.
    • Proposed budget: A breakdown of the cost of the activities.

Evaluation Criteria

A review committee will assess each full proposal according to the following criteria:

  1. Project design and rationale: how clearly presented and justified is the design of the project?
  2. Project impact: how clearly linked are the planned activities and final deliverable to the to the COVID-19 response?
  3. Global component: has the proposal clearly articulated how the project team will be globally engaged and contribute to the global community throughout the course of the project?
  4. Development of new skills and knowledge: the proposal is tied to new skills development for the applicants, including knowledge in a field; problem solving skills; working with others to achieve results; communication skills through presentations and reports development; inter-personal skills through interactions with team, supervisor(s), professionals and various parties needed to carry out the work.
  5. Final deliverable: how clearly articulated is the design of the final deliverable? To what degree can the deliverable be presented and/or utilized beyond the duration of the project?

Midterm Report and Final Deliverable

  • All awardees must, as a condition of receiving an award under this call, complete a brief narrative midterm report that describes what activities and outcomes have been achieved to date and the expected skills development of the project team.
    • The second funding installment will be released upon submission of the midterm report.
  • All awardees must also submit a final deliverable.
    • The third funding installment will be released upon submission of the final deliverable.

Information about this Call

  • All queries related to this joint call for collaborative projects should be directed to: Julia Kulik, Research Officer, Office of the Vice-President, International, julia.kulik@utoronto.ca