An outstanding scholars student and supervisor

How to Apply

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.

The application process to join the program from high school closed on April 15th. However, if you have missed that process there will be another opportunity for you to apply after you complete first year. Please read more about the 'Applying to Second Year' process below. Curious about Outstanding Scholars? This video will give you a brief introduction:


Stay well!


There are two points of entry into the OS program:

  • directly from high school;
  • after completing your first year at the University of Windsor.

First year OS students are known as Candidates. If you are selected, the OS program will help you prepare to become a Scholar in your second year of study.

From high school:

Students are eligible to apply whose GPA, based on the top three to six Grade 12 U/M courses, is least 85%.

Applicants for Fall 2021 admission to OS will open on January 15th, 2021.

The survey includes the following four questions:

  • Do you have a specific field, subject, or research that is being done by a professor that interests you? (Many 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?
  • Briefly describe your volunteer, internship, athletic, artistic, leadership, or other exceptional experiences, with dates. How do they connect with your research goals?
  • Have you have experienced any exceptional circumstances that may have impacted your educational progress, either positively or negatively?

Each response field has a 250 word limit.  Please prepare your answers prior to entering the survey, so that you can paste your responses in the the required fields.

Please apply through your Student Awards Profile at this address: 

The deadline for applications will be Wednesday, March 31st, 2021.

In the video below, the Outstanding Scholars Student Council offers some helpful tips about the application process.

After first year:

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.

Outstanding Scholar Candidates and students who were not Candidates in their first year may compete for admission to the program in their second year.

Steps for first year students:

1. To be eligible to apply for Scholar status, University of Windsor applicants must complete the following two steps:

  • complete the three required training modules at Health and Safety. Please select the option for "Requred Training for Students on Unpaid Placements," and complete all three modules.
  • request a reference from a University of Windsor professor, coach, or advisor, supporting your application. Send an email to identifying your chosen reference person, and copying them on the email. They will be asked to complete an online survey that focuses on the three selection criteria that are available on this website.

Your reference is an important part of your application - it is scored in the selection rubric. Make sure that you get to know a professor or staff member whom you admire, starting early in your first year. Attend their office hours, and ask questions about their personal research topic, their research goals, and the current research areas in the field.Take the opportunity to learn from them, and share your own curiosity with them. Consider volunteering to work on their research or in their lab during first year, if you have available time.

2. In your e-mailed letter of invitation to apply there will be a link to the Application Survey. The survey will ask you to respond to the following four questions. You will only be able to use the link once, so you may wish to prepare your responses in advance.  Your response to each question must be no more than 2000 characters in length (approximately 250 words). Prepare well! Experienced writers will tell you that writing a short, disciplined statement is actually harder than writing a longer essay.

  • Give a specific example of a research or creative topic you are curious to explore.  Explain why the topic is important to you. Many professors have websites describing their work that are linked from their departments’ home pages, if that helps you answer the question.
  • How is your chosen research or creative topic relevant to the greater field (i.e., "jazz performance" within the field of music, or "diurnal rhythm" within biology), or to a broader audience/group? What motivates you to do research or original creative work at the University of Windsor?
  • List your volunteer, internship, athletic, artistic, leadership, or other exceptional experiences, with dates. How have you served in the community?
  • Describe any exceptional circumstances that have impacted your educational progress, either positively or negatively.

Applications for Scholar status must be received before midnight on June 1, 2021.

All applications to Outstanding Scholars, whether for first year or second year entry, are scored by the Outstanding Scholars Selection Committee. This committee includes faculty members from all six undergraduate faculties, the Outstanding Scholars Coordinator, and two or occasionally three student leaders from within Outstanding Scholars. This is the process that is followed:

  • Applications are received via the Outstanding Scholars Qualtrics survey. Incomplete applications are not considered.
  • All applications are scored by the committee using a rubric. Each application is scored by three people, assigned on a random basis. In the second-year process, the rubric includes a score for the faculty reference.
  • Each application is scored out of 100 points.
  • The three scores for each application are added, to give the applicant a total score.
  • In cases of a tie for the last few places, the GPA is used to decide the winners.
  • In the second-year process, the Provost's Council expects that Outstanding Scholars will enrol at least five students in each of the six undergraduate faculties.

Every effort is made to complete this process in a timely way, and to notify all applicants of their status as soon as possible. All communications regarding OS admissions are conducted by e-mail.  If you have any questions or concerns about your application please contact the Coordinator at

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

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, $1275 per semester, for 75 hours of work at $16.35 per hour, plus 4% vacation pay
  • Third year, $1445 per semester, for 85 hours of work at $16.35 per hour, plus 4% vacation pay
  • Fourth year, $1800 per semester, for 100 hours of work at $17.30 per hour, plus 4% vacation pay

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.


Outstanding Scholars Golden Maple Leaf Medallion