University of Toronto Summer Psychology Research Initiative (SPRINT)

The University of Toronto Summer Psychology Research Initiative (SPRINT) is a free summer program for high school students in Ontario to learn about a broad range of psychology topics and gain research experience. The program has two streams: Lecture and Research. Lecture Stream participants will be introduced to psychology as a scientific research discipline, whereas Research Stream participants will build upon the knowledge and develop a group research proposal under the guidance of undergraduate and graduate student mentors in various fields of psychology.

In 2021, SPRINT was launched as an anti-racist initiative to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color students, with a focus on countering anti-Black racism and colonialism. Students from these racialized groups have historically been underrepresented in psychology research, especially as they progress through increasing levels of higher education. It is duly important to represent racialized persons in psychology, as it produces tools, trainees, clinicians, and research that can better serve the needs of its communities beyond the academic setting. Therefore, students from these racialized groups have been prioritized in the application selection process since the first iteration.

In 2024, SPRINT also began prioritizing other historically underrepresented groups, such as gender-minority and first-generation students, to more comprehensively address the issues of equity, diversity, and inclusivity in Canada.

Over the past few years, SPRINT has been fortunate to receive support from the Department of Psychology, Graduate Education Innovation Fund, and Pedagogical Innovation and Experimentation Fund. SPRINT has also been showcased at the Society for Teaching Psychology’s Annual Conference on Teaching.


How long is the program? SPRINT is an intensive 10-day program. Attendance is required, so please be mindful of the time commitment of the program. Exceptions will be made for excused absences.
When is the program? SPRINT typically runs in the last 2 weeks of July, Mondays to Fridays.
Where is the program? SPRINT is held in person at the University of Toronto St. George campus. Virtual accommodations can be made available in certain circumstances.
Does the program cost anything? No, SPRINT is free for all interested students. However, there may be expenses outside of the program (e.g., commute, food). If these expenses pose a barrier to your participation, we may be able to offer partial financial assistance.

Why should you participate in SPRINT?

Students who participate in SPRINT will have the opportunity to learn about a wide range of topics in psychology through typical lectures, interactive panels, live demonstrations, and hands-on activities, similar to students pursuing an undergraduate degree. Students will also have the opportunity to meet current researchers in the field, learn about new ground-breaking studies, and gain hands-on experience by creating a research project proposal. As well, students will connect with current undergraduates who can answer questions about university life. Finally, students will meet other high school students from Ontario who all have a shared common interest in psychology. It's a great way to make new connections!

Here's what past SPRINT participants had to say about the program:

I really enjoyed the in-depth lectures and all the information that was very well taught. I learned many useful concepts and skills.


I liked being able to work with people who were interested in the same topics. I also liked the relationship with the mentors, being able to talk and ask questions.


Everyone was so enthusiastic and this positive environment simply increased my motivation to learn more about areas in psychology.


Who is eligible for SPRINT?

All high school students studying in Ontario are eligible to apply and participate, as long as your application is complete, meets the word count, and demonstrates your strong interest in psychology and research. We typically receive more applications than we can accommodate and have developed a stratified lottery system for those who meet the application criteria.

Applicants who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour and/or members of other historically underrepresented social groups (e.g., first-generation students) will be prioritized in the selection process. In addition, SPRINT prioritizes upper-year high school students (i.e., entering grades 11 and 12), recent high school graduates, and former SPRINT applicants who were not previously selected.

Please visit for full details on our selection criteria and priority groups.

Interested in volunteering for SPRINT?

SPRINT is always in need of volunteers with various levels of expertise, including undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers. Core logistics team members meet weekly during the academic year to plan and organize SPRINT. New members are welcome to join at any time! Closer to the end of the Winter term and the start of the Summer term, we seek volunteers to serve as instructors, panelists, and mentors to help deliver content to SPRINT students.

If you wish to join the team, please apply during our recruitment period or contact us at!

For More Information and Application Details

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