Department of Nutritional Sciences - University of Toronto

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Visit the Faculty of Medicine's research opportunities page for the most up-to-date information.

NFS394Y/494Y Research Projects in Nutritional Sciences: 2018-2019

This course is offered to the third/fourth year students who have a strong academic background with at least a B+ in the 2nd/3rd year and an interest in research. It provides an exciting, challenging, and educationally rewarding experience to qualified students. In essence, the student, with guidance from a staff member, plans, carries out, and writes a final report on an approved, limited research project. In this way, the individual student is provided with experience in all of the important aspects of research. The course gives the student a chance to experience the challenges, rewards and frustrations of life in research. Students interested in the research course are encouraged to become familiar with the research activities and interests of core academic and cross-appointed staff members. This information is available on the department website. It is recommended that the student contact those individuals working in the areas of interest to discuss the staff members' availability for NFS 394Y/494Y supervision and possible research topics.

Acceptance into the course requires

  1. Prior consent of the supervising staff member.
  2. Strong academic background (B+).
  3. Courses taken in nutrition.
  4. Departmental approval.

Information is available in the guidelines for students package (PDF).

Application Procedure:

1. Fill in the application form (PDF).

Deadline: September 4, 2018

Guidelines and Form are in .pdf format. Download Adobe PDF Reader.


2019 Undergraduate Summer Research Opportunity Program 

Successful candidates were notified by email on Thursday April 19, 2019. Thank you for your interest.

Summer 2019 Application Deadline:  Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 5:00 PM. 

Faculty of Medicine 2019 UROP Guidelines: here

The Department of Nutritional Sciences provides an excellent opportunity for undergraduates to become involved in research in basic, clinical or community health aspects of nutrition research.

Research Examples:

  • Diet and cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and aging
  • Nutrition, cognitive function, brain development
  • Food intake regulation and feeding behavior
  • Pediatric nutrition, from the neonate to the teenager
  • Biochemical and physiological function of food components-fiber, fatty acids, antioxidants
  • Food and nutrition policy and population health
  • Nutrition and poverty
  • Clinical nutrition

Stipends: From $ 5000 to $6000 for 12 to 16 weeks of research.

Eligibility Guidelines

  • Students must have successfully completed a 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 an undergraduate professional program (medical undergraduate degree program) but have not yet begun
  • Students may submit only one application to this program. Departure from this rule will result in the application being accorded a lower priority or even denied
  • Students must have an average of B+ (3.3 GPA) or higher in the two most recent terms to be eligible
  • Students cannot accept multiple summer research awards at the same time
  • Students must be supervised by a Nutritional Sciences faculty member and are encouraged to contact prospective supervisors and formally introduce their research using the following list of faculty members (list will be updated frequently):

Harvey Anderson

Mary L'Abbe

Deborah O'Connor

Daniel Roth

Joanne Kotsopoulos

Daniel Sellen

David Jenkins

John Sievenpiper

Richard Bazinet

Kathy Musa-Veloso

Jonathon Maguire

Elena Comelli


  • Supervisors can be named as primary supervisor for only one application through one unit to this Program. Departure from this rule could result in the application being accorded a lower priority or even denied.

Program Advantage:

  • Experience the fun and challenge of research
  • Meet and work with graduate students
  • Get to know a professor
  • Good for future reference letters

Application procedure:

Students are required to submit an electronic copy of the following to Nutritional Science Admin:

  • A completed  DNS 2019 Summer Research Program Application Form
  • A scanned copy of their current transcript (screenshots and PDF files are acceptable)
  • One Letter of Intent
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A reference letter on your behalf from a Professor or previous employer should be sent to Dr. Mary L'Abbe, Summer Research Coordinator, c/o Nutritional Science Admin.
  • Four prospective supervisors from the list of Nutritional Sciences faculty members available to supervise summer research students (ranked from one to four in order of preference, with one being the most preferred)

Summer Research Awards

  • UROP – 7 awards
    • GM - Health Research in other areas: 1
    • KD - Kidney and kidney related diseases: 3
    • CA - Cander and cancer related diseases: 3

Students who have submitted an electronic copy of the DNS 2019 Summer Research Program Application Form to Nutritional Science Admin will automatically be considered for the Summer Research awards and do not need to submit a second application at this time.

Once applications have been reviewed, and supervisors assigned, selected applicants will be asked to  complete the NSERC 202 form found on the NSERC online system.


Other Undergraduate Opportunities

Below is a list of other opportunities available to students. For most of these programs, a USRA is a pre-requisite. Note that Research Services does not administer these programs.

Please encourage your students to consider this program, particularly those individuals who are either ineligible for, or not selected for, the University USRA. Note that the application and submission processes for this program are changing to a completely electronic format.