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Outstanding Scholars

The Outstanding Scholars program offers paid research opportunities to undergraduate students in every major on campus. Unlike Teaching Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and Research Assistants, Outstanding Scholars provide faculty with an opportunity to secure meaningful research assistance without affecting their departmental budget.

Who are Outstanding Scholars?

Outstanding Scholars are high-achieving second-, third-, and fourth-year undergraduate students who work closely with faculty on research and other important academic projects. Students are paid hourly for their work, within set parameters, very similarly to how TAs and GAs are compensated. Positions are awarded as single-semester terms.

How can students participate in the program?

The Outstanding Scholars program, unique in Canada, admits the top high school students entering any first-year Honours undergraduate program at the University. Candidacy is awarded upon acceptance. During their first year of study, Outstanding Scholars Candidates meet with mentors to prepare them to hold an Academic Appointment beginning the following year.

First-year students outside the Outstanding Scholars program are still eligible to apply to compete for an Appointment at the end of their second semester. These applicants must have completed between eight and twelve (inclusive) courses at the University of Windsor.

How many Outstanding Scholars are available to me/faculty in my department?

For the Fall 2016 semester, 100 total Candidates were admitted to the program. The number of Outstanding Scholars you can involve in your research projects is limited only by the amount of work you can provide. There are presently about 250 Outstanding Scholars in second, third, and fourth year, who seek research positions each semester.

Which Outstanding Scholars can I use?

While most faculty understandably work with Outstanding Scholars who are enrolled within their department, students are free to seek research opportunities outside of their area of study. Many faculty have found it useful to connect with undergraduate students from elsewhere on campus for interdisciplinary projects and/or fresh external perspectives.

What is the process for working with an Outstanding Scholar?

If you believe your research would benefit from the assistance of an Outstanding Scholar, contact Dr. Simon Du Toit, Outstanding Scholars Coordinator, at scholars@uwindsor.ca.

You will be granted access to a private Outstanding Scholars group within Blackboard Learn, through which you will need to submit an Outstanding Scholars Appointment Project Proposal that describes the opportunity you are offering. (Templates are available via the Blackboard group.) Do note that, over time, the exact nature of an Outstanding Scholar’s work may change slightly in accordance with his or her interests and abilities.

Registered Outstanding Scholars use Blackboard Learn to browse available opportunities and select the ones that most appeal to them. The system effectively functions are a second undergraduate calendar.

Similarly, faculty who commit to the program are able to parse through student enrolment data and connect with prospective undergraduate research assistants they think would be a good fit.

Where can I read more about this program?

For further information, geared towards students, visit the OS website, and contact Dr. du Toit for access to the Blackboard Learn page.

Faculty working with Outstanding Scholars may also be interested in UWill Discover, the University’s annual undergraduate research conference.

Complete contact information:

  • Dr. Simon du Toit
  • Outstanding Scholars Coordinator
  • Essex Hall, Room 324
  • (519) 253-3000 x3457
  • sdutoit@uwindsor.ca

Regular office hours:

  • Mondays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Or by appointment.

Note: This site is a living document, the goal of which is to improve, in some small way, the working lives of University of Windsor faculty. We are eager to collaborate with the campus community to better this service over time. If you can identify any knowledge gaps, missing resources, or outdated or erroneous information on this site, please contact Iva Gentcheva, Director, Office of the Provost and Faculty Recruitment, without hesitation.