Student researchers hard at work in a science lab

Imagine! Explore! Discover!

You’re dedicated, you’re disciplined, and your GPA shows it.

But more than that, you’re a leader. You want to use learning, research, and knowledge to give back to others

The Outstanding Scholars program is for you. If your high school GPA is over 85%, you should consider the benefits the OS program can offer you. University of Windsor students can also apply after completing their first year.

Outstanding Scholars is an exclusive learning enrichment program. We want to help you achieve the most outstanding version of yourself.

Below are the key features of the Outstanding Scholars program. 

The core of the OS program is the opportunity to conduct research in partnership with a professor, outside the classroom. As full Scholars, students are paid to work in a research placement for up to six semesters. During that time you have the opportunity to be mentored in your discipline, and get to know your faculty much better than you would in the classroom. Because of this unique, intense focus on research, the OS program offers you a distinctive advantage for your future post-graduate work.

There are two points of entry into the OS program: directly from high school; and after completing your first year at the University of Windsor. First year OS students are known as Candidates. If you are selected, you will become a Scholar in your second year of study.

From high school

Students whose GPA is over 85% will receive an invitation in their Student Awards offer letters, beginning in February. Your offer letter will provide specific instructions on where and how to apply.

Applicants must complete the following steps:

  • Respond in writing to four questions:
    • Explain why a specific field, subject, or professor interests you. Most professors have websites describing their work that are linked from their departments’ home pages, if that helps you answer the question.
    • What motivates you to do research or original creative work at the University of Windsor? How will your work help us better understand the area, or take a step towards making a better world?
    • List your volunteer, internship, athletic, artistic, leadership, or other exceptional experiences, with dates. How many community hours have you served?
    • Describe any exceptional circumstances that have impacted your educational progress, either positively or negatively.
  • Your responses must each be no more than 2000 characters in length, and should be submitted to the online Applications portal.
  • Applications must be submitted before midnight on March 31, 2018.

After first year:

Students who were not Candidates in their first year may still compete for admission to the program in their second year. University of Windsor students will be invited to apply in May, after the Winter term grades are posted.

If you have completed your first year at the University of Windsor and you are among the top 250 first year students, you will be invited in May to apply for the OS program. We will contact you by email.

You should apply for admission using the same four questions noted above. In addition, please ask a professor, coach, or advisor to write a letter of reference on your behalf. Letters of reference should be directly emailed to the Coordinator at 

To be eligible to apply for Scholar status, University of Windsor applicants must complete database research methods training at Leddy Library, and complete the online Workplace Hazardous Material Information System required training. Please contact librarian Heidi Jacobs for further information.

Applications for Scholar status must be received before midnight on June 15, 2018.


Students applying for admission to the Outstanding Scholars program will be ranked on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Academic accomplishments - in particular, your cumulative GPA. University of Windsor GPAs will be ranked using a Z-score statistical averaging method
  • Evident desire to do research or original creative work for the benefit of others
  • Evidence of community service
  • Leadership, through excellence in athletic, creative, or other fields, or through serving in a formal leadership role

These criteria will be assessed in a balanced way by a Selection Board chaired by the program Coordinator, working in partnership with the Heads of the academic departments.

Each year, the OS program admits the top 100 first year Candidates applying for admission to any first-entry program at the University.

Each summer, the OS program admits the top 80 second year students as Outstanding Scholars.

In your first year, Outstanding Scholars are called Candidates. We will do our best to prepare you for admission to the full program in your second year. During first year, OS Candidates will:

  • Receive $750 per semester, as payments to your University of Windsor student account
  • Receive mentoring from a Scholar in your field
  • Complete training in research methods, and health and safety procedures
  • Join the OS community in social, leadership, and volunteer activities

As a full Outstanding Scholar, you will have six semesters of eligibility to accept paid research positions outside the classroom. You will work with the OS Coordinator to create a personalized plan for completing the OS program and meeting your goals for research, leadership, service, and future opportunities.

Outstanding Scholars are paid for their work during second, third, and fourth years. For 2017-18, Scholars will earn the following amounts:

  • Second year, $1125 per semester, for 75 hours of work at $15 per hour
  • Third year, $1275 per semester, for 85 hours of work at $15 per hour
  • Fourth year, $1600 per semester, for 100 hours of work at $16 per hour

When you successfully complete six semesters of OS research you are eligible to graduate as an Outstanding Scholar. You will receive a notation on your transcript confirming your OS status. You will also be awarded the Golden Maple Leaf Medallion, the emblem of the OS program, in recognition of your accomplishments.