Scholars-in-residence summer undergraduate humanities research residency

Scholars-in-Residence Summer Undergraduate Humanities Research Residency

“[Scholars in Residence] fosters students’ research ability, creates a multidisciplinary community of students and faculty, and pioneers a collaborative, team-based model of experiential learning in the humanities.”

– Prof. Angela Esterhammer


The project offers a full-time, 4-week residency to upper-level undergraduates during the month of May. Students receive free residence accommodation and meals at UTSG, UTM, or UTSC and work in 5-person teams on faculty-led research projects; they also attend interdisciplinary workshops on research methodologies, standards, protocol, and professional communication. SiR fosters students’ research ability, creates a multidisciplinary community of students and faculty, and pioneers a collaborative, team-based model of experiential learning in the humanities. Together with matching funds from the Jackman Humanities Institute, Victoria University, the St. George Colleges, UTM, and UTSC, the LEAF Impact Grant allowed for a significant expansion of SiR from 50 students in 2017, to 75 students in 2018, to a steady state of 100 students as of 2019. Through the Scholars-in-Residence program, students benefit from hands-on training and mentorship while making an authentic contribution to original research; faculty benefit from the work and fresh insight of RAs from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds; and the experience opens up new possibilities for incorporating undergraduate multidisciplinary teams into humanities research.


Victoria College, Faculty of Arts and Science.

Project Lead(s)

Professor Angela Esterhammer

Year LEAF Granted


Funding Stream


LEAF Priority Area(s)

Experiential Learning


Impact of the Project on Students

To date, 464 students have participated in the Scholars-in-Residence program. Each year, quantitative and qualitative surveys of students’ experience in SiR show significant gains in students’ research skills and experience. Their feedback also shows a consistently high level of satisfaction with the program overall and with several facets of the experience:

  • The opportunity to work closely with a professor on the creation of original research
  • The opportunity to work on team-based research and to make connections with students across different campuses and fields of study
  • The inclusive, community-building experience of living on campus and building close bonds with students and professors.

In 2020, Scholars-in-Residence was awarded the UTAA’s Northrop Frye Award for an innovative combination of teaching and research.

Impact of the Project on Faculty

Faculty members in all humanities and social science fields at UTSG, UTM, and UTSC are central participants in Scholars-in-Residence. There has been strong buy-in from faculty who propose research projects for SiR, supervise SiR research teams, and in the great majority of cases continue to work with undergraduate researchers beyond the end of the program.

Resources Developed from the Project

The SiR program has developed a successful model for professors to work with multidisciplinary undergraduate research teams on humanities and social science projects.

Future Plans

SiR runs annually at the steady-state capacity of 100 students that it reached thanks to the LEAF grant (albeit with necessary adaptations due to COVID in 2020 and 2021).

Partnership(s) Development

Tri-campus relationships have been strengthened because SiR runs annually on all three campuses. The project established new funding partnerships with the Vice-President Research and Innovation and the Faculty of Arts and Science after the end of the LEAF grant.