Dillon Hall in Fall

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 will close on April 30, 2023. However, if you miss that process there will be another opportunity for you to apply after you complete the first year. Please read more about the 'Applying to Second Year' process below. Curious about Outstanding Scholars? This video is a recording of an Information Session offered by the OS Student Council:

OS Student Council Information Session

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 2022 admission to OS will open on January 15th, 2022.

The survey includes the following four questions:

  • 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. (250 words maximum). 

  • 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? (250 words maximum). 

  • Briefly describe the volunteer, internship, athletic, artistic, leadership, or other exceptional experiences that have most strongly impacted you. How have you served in the community? 

  • Describe any exceptional circumstances that 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 log into UWinsite Student, and apply through your Student Awards Profile here
(The Outstanding Scholars link in the left menu will just loop you back to this page.)

The deadline for applications will be April 30, 2023.

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

Accepting or Declining your Offer

Once you have received notification that you have been accepted as a first year Outstanding Scholar Candidate, please accept or decline the offer as soon as possible.

Instructions on how to accept or decline are available in the document below.

Accept or Decline Instructions



After your first year of study:

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.

Please note that to be eligible to apply for Outstanding Scholars, students must be able to complete six semesters of research in the program.

Steps for first-year students:

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

  • complete the three required training modules at Health and Safety. Please select the option for "Required Training for Students on Unpaid Placements," and complete all three modules.
  • complete the three required training modules at the Office of Human Rights and Accessibility (OHREA).
  • request a reference from a University of Windsor professor, coach, or advisor, supporting your application. Due to the pandemic, we are also accepting references from external people who are familiar with your work ethic and academic excellence. Have one person submit a reference on your behalf using the following Letter of Reference Qualtrics Survey.

Please note that not all of the training modules generate completion certificates. The OS program is not able to directly track module completion. However, Human Resources tracks them in a private account attached to your name. If you have not completed all the modules you will not be able to work as a Scholar, starting in September.

Your reference is an important part of your application - it is scored in the selection rubric. Get to know a professor or staff member whom you admire by attending their office hours, and asking 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. If time allows, consider volunteering to work on their research or in their lab during your first year of study. 

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?
  • Describe the volunteer, internship, athletic, artistic, leadership, or other exceptional experiences, that have impacted your personal development. 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 5, 2023.

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 SCHOLARS@uwindsor.ca

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

  • 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
  • Your cumulative GPA is used to determine your eligibility to apply. Specifically, the University of Windsor GPAs will be ranked using a Z-score statistical averaging method for those applying to be full scholars as they enter their second year of university. 

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 2022-2023, 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