LA&PS celebrates undergraduate student research

2023 DARE recipients

In a special celebration earlier this month, the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) recognized this year’s Dean’s Award for Research Excellence (DARE) winners. Forty-five recipients showcased their research, which was completed over the summer under the supervision of LA&PS professors.

“Each year I am impressed by the depth and diversity of the research projects,” said LA&PS Dean J.J. McMurtry. “DARE gives our students the unique opportunity to work closely with some of the best researchers in the country. Over the summer term, they get hands-on experience and one-on-one mentoring during the research process.”

LA&PS launched DARE to provide opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in faculty-supervised research. Students each received $5,000 for their work over a four-month period.

“The DARE program is a simply brilliant win-win-win for LA&PS, its faculty and its students,” said history Professor David Koffman, the Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry. “We can all be proud of the advanced quality of work our undergraduates can achieve, and cheer on the lasting impact and value of the research experience they’ve gained. As a professor who has benefited from two DARE student researchers since the project started, I can say without reservation that my own research has advanced much quicker and better thanks to this innovative initiative. And for LA&PS, connecting faculty and students to advance the enterprise of creating and disseminating original and valuable knowledge in the world helps advance the core mission of all university life.”

Ravi de Costa, associate dean of research and graduate studies at LA&PS, shared similar sentiments about the program: “DARE was designed to unite our students and faculty in meaningful research collaborations, and in eight years of the program DARE has supported over 200 of these. It’s simply a wonderful opportunity to nurture early researchers in all our programs and units.”

This year, the Faculty also awarded a prize for most creative and innovative poster. Elaine Nelimarrka in the School of Social Work took home first prize for “Do women suffer more in countries with greater gender equality?” Additionally, honourable mentions were given to Matteo Cerilli in Equity Studies for “Solidarity-Intersections of the Toronto Bathhouse raids” and to Xie He of the School of Information Technology for “Who wrote this code?”

View the full list of 2023 DARE recipients in the winner’s gallery. To learn more about participating in DARE, visit