A little over a month ago, the University of Toronto announced that it had accepted the first application for the new, $1.4 million competition for researchers and students to write papers at the top-tier U.S. university.
As part of the submission process, the university asks candidates to write an abstract, summarize their research, describe their methodology, and describe a method that they would use in the paper.
In the process, students and researchers also have to write up a preliminary manuscript in which they outline their research.
“We want to ensure that all applicants are fully prepared to tackle the challenge of writing a successful paper, with all the necessary background, research skills, and resources,” said U of T’s director of academic services, Michael J. Smith.
“The goal is to get your paper published in an international journal and to do it well.”
The competition was launched in October 2017 and the winner will receive a $100,000 grant.
Smith said the competition has been a success.
“There’s a lot of work that’s being done, and we’re seeing a lot more papers come to us,” he said.
“So it’s a great example of a research environment that really values academics.
It’s a very different environment than the one we’ve been accustomed to.”
The university has now opened a new submission process that requires applicants to fill out the following four questions: What is your research topic?
How do you think your research fits into a larger set of research topics?
What are the challenges you faced in your research?
What challenges have you overcome in your work?
How have you addressed these challenges in your papers?
What would you do differently if you were a researcher?
What other types of challenges do you face in your field?
What do you hope to gain from your work that could change the field or society?
For many students, this process may sound daunting, but the university’s process is designed to make sure applicants are ready for a paper that is “very good,” Smith said.
In addition to the initial submission, applicants have a few weeks to prepare for the final round of interviews, which takes place on March 2 and 3, when the paper will be presented at a national conference.
Smith described the process as “very straightforward.”
“The paper submission is a very, very straightforward process,” he explained.
“They just tell you, ‘Here’s your paper.’
We go through the questions, the materials you’re required to bring, the writing sample, the references, and then we put the paper together and we send it off.”
Smith said that applicants must submit a final paper by April 1.
Once that paper is approved, they’ll have 30 days to submit their final paper.
“If they don’t submit a paper by then, we’re going to ask them to submit it in writing,” he added.
The university said the process is not perfect, and Smith admitted that it’s been frustrating for some students.
“But what we’ve learned is that the process does work.
There’s definitely a way to go,” he noted.
“It takes a lot out of you.
But we’ve seen that a lot people actually do the right things.
There are certainly a lot who fail, and that’s what makes the competition so exciting.”
The deadline for submissions has also been extended, from March 15 to March 18, for a total of 45 days.
“A lot of students are in the process of submitting papers right now and they’re working very hard,” Smith told Polygon.
“At some point, they’re going the extra mile.
They’re going all over the country.
It helps to have that time to actually submit a complete paper.”
The submission deadline is also slightly longer than it was last year.
For this year’s competition, Smith said, the submission deadline was April 13, but “the actual submission deadline has been extended to March 2, which will be March 15.”