About the Amgen Scholars Canada Program
The Amgen Scholars Canada Program is an immersive, 10-week program of research experience, professional development and social activities. Program features include:
- Conducting research in the laboratory of a leading U of T faculty mentor
- The Distinguished Scientist Seminar series
- Laboratory journal clubs
- Program capstone research day oral or poster presentation
- Participation in the National Amgen Scholars Program Symposium
Professional development – workshops and seminars on:
- Science communication, oral and written
- The life as a scientist
- Science career exploration
- Graduate school preparation with graduate coordinators
- A welcome event
- A variety of quintessential Toronto activities which may include a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game, an escape room at Casa Loma, an evening visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario, the CN Tower and Skywalk, Canada Day celebrations and a visit to the Toronto Islands
- Scholar-led activities
All participants in the program receive the following benefits:
- Opportunity to work with world-renowned researchers
- Hands-on laboratory research experience
- $6,300 CAD stipend
- Accommodation at New College on the historic University of Toronto St. George campus
- Paid travel expenses to and from Toronto for the program
- Meal subsidy
- All expenses paid participation in the National Amgen Scholars Program Symposium in July
- Additional benefits include participation in career development events, social activities and sightseeing in Toronto and Ontario and access to the University of Toronto libraries, lectures and more!
Current undergraduate students who are academically excellent, passionate about biomedical science and interested in pursuing a career in science are encouraged to apply.
To apply you must meet the following requirements:
- Current enrollment at an accredited university in Canada as a second, third or non-graduating fourth year undergraduate student
- Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- An interest in pursuing an M.Sc., Ph.D. or an M.D./Ph.D.
- A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale)
The Amgen Scholars Canada Program particularly encourages applications from students who identify as part of a historically marginalized group(s) or face barriers to accessing research opportunities. No previous research experience is required to apply to this program but basic laboratory experience, such as an undergraduate laboratory course component, would be an asset.
The Amgen Scholars Program is a comprehensive program that includes activities that will take time during your weekends and weeknights, as well as during the day. Please consider carefully if the program is right for you: you are expected to prioritize Amgen Scholars Program activities during the 10 weeks of the program. Notably, Amgen Scholars are unable to take courses or to work for the duration of the program.
As an Amgen Scholar you are expected to fulfill the following expectations:
- Full-time participation in the 10 continuous weeks of the research experience (May 13 – July 19, 2024)
- Join in laboratory events such as lab meetings and department lectures
- Attend social and professional development events as required by the program
- Participate in the Amgen Scholars launch party and capstone symposium
- Attend the National Amgen Scholars Program Symposium in July
- Live in the campus accommodations at New College on campus in vibrant downtown Toronto
- Complete Amgen Scholars Program evaluations
How many students are accepted to the Amgen Scholars Canada Program?
There are 10 students accepted into the program each year.
Should I contact faculty that I am interested in having serve as a mentor?
No, please do not contact faculty until after you have been accepted into the program.
When will I know if I have been accepted?
All successful and waitlisted applicants will be contacted on March 1. Unfortunately, we are not able to contact all applicants.
I am currently a student at the University of Toronto. Am I able to apply?
Yes! Current students at the University of Toronto are welcome to apply.
I am in my final year of university. Am I able to apply?
Unfortunately, no. If you are in your fourth year of study and returning for a fifth year, you are eligible. If you are in your fourth year (or third year) and not returning for another year of undergraduate study, you are not eligible.
Can I use generative AI/ChatGPT for my application?
The landscape of generative AI and its uses in education is rapidly evolving, and we realize Amgen Scholars Program applicants may be thinking about how to leverage these tools to augment the application they submit for admission. At present, there are no specific conditions or restrictions applied to applications for the Amgen Scholars Program.
Regardless of how these tools are used, it is important for applicants to consider the following critical variables in deciding how to employ generative AI, particularly ChatGPT, and whether it could or should be engaged in the development and composition of a dossier:
- Generative AI tools can successfully approach a topic with breadth but are not as successful when attempting to address depth, especially in the context of a research proposal.
- In personal statements, the tools are not very successful making the connection between your interest in a program or fellowship and why you’d make a successful candidate, which requires intense self-reflection in the process of composition.
- Whether a personal narrative or draft research statement, generative AI has been known to fill in gaps with completely fabricated details, such as journal articles that do not exist.
- The place-holder algorithmic enhancement is a particular danger with research proposals, and you MUST be committed to verifying every aspect of a literature search or a premise upon which you are building your own research project.
- Your voice is a key element that should contribute to the cohesiveness of your dossier. Generative AI tools simply are not set up to capture your voice beyond a very generic analysis and refurbishing of those data.
- Be aware that any data you input into a generative AI tool also could be subject to data mining after the fact.
- In general, generative AI tools can effectively process and regenerate data that already has been collected from many sources.
- However, they cannot yet know the creative ways you may be thinking about a particular research goal or project.
- Generative AI at present cannot convey your uniqueness or memorability as a candidate.
Generative AI tools may be helpful in two specific ways:
- As a general starting point to respond to specific questions on the application, which then should be detailed with more specificity and depth—an important consideration especially for Amgen Scholars Program applicants.
- As an organizational tool for essay responses that contribute to the compositional dynamics of logic and flow, and points to emphasize and where they are placed in the essay.
If you intend to use ChatGPT or other generative AI, please be mindful that your responsibility as an applicant requires a high degree of discernment about what is appropriate content, and, as with any other academic writing, a dedication to fully cite primary sources that are not your own work. If you have questions about how to appropriately use generative AI in your applications, please contact the Global Director of Amgen Scholars at email@example.com. You may also consider seeking guidance from resources at UofT that oversee academic integrity more broadly.