How were applications evaluated?

We received 256 applications. We used a 4-step process to review applications:

  1. Eligibility Screening: An initial screening used the self-reported demographics and undergrad transcripts to ensure eligibility. 242 students passed the initial screening and were determined to be eligible for the program. All students who passed the initial screening will be given access to online content during the 8-weeks of the program that will help develop their graduate application materials.
  2. Nomination Process: Next, the research statements and personal statements were separated from the rest of the application and sent to a subset of SROP Faculty Members who were serving as reviewers. Applications were reviewed by two reviewers each. Faculty reviewers read both statements and make a binary yes/no rating as to whether they wanted to “nominate” the student for the full program, based on whether they felt inspired by the statements. Reviewers did an initial pass to review and nominate applications from students at the intersection of our highest priority groups (i.e., Indigenous and Black applicants who are Canadian Permanent Residents and Citizens), with the understanding they would review the full set if less than 15 students from our highest priority groups were nominated. However, 21 students from our highest priority groups were nominated. Please see “Why and how were specific identities prioritized.
  3. Stratified Lottery: A lottery was used to select the 15 funded spots from among the nominated applications.
  4. Mentor Review: The selected applicants were matched with SROP Faculty, trying to give each student their top-ranked Faculty Mentor. We had constraints having to do with the “site” of the research projects, such that we needed to have a minimum of 4 students doing research with SROP Faculty in the Graduate Department of Management, a minimum of 2 students at each of the three Psychology Department sites (Mississauga, Scarborough, and St. George), and a minimum of 2 students at the Rotman Research Institute. Three student spots could be completed at any site. We tried to maximize the student’s ranking while keeping the distributions across our sites in mind. Nine (9) of the selected students were matched with their 1st-choice mentor/project, 4 selected students were matched with their 2nd-choice mentor/project, and 2 selected students were matched with their 3rd-choice mentor/project. Once the selected students were matched with SROP Faculty, then their research statement, personal statement, and letters of recommendation were shared with the faculty member. The Faculty Mentor reviewed the materials and confirmed their willingness to mentor the student.

Decision letters were sent on March 15, 2021.

Step in Selection ProcessApplication Components Used in this Step
1Eligibility ScreeningDemographics, Undergrad transcripts
2Nomination ProcessResearch statement, Personal statement
3Stratified LotteryNominations, Demographics
4Mentor ReviewResearch statement, Personal statement, Letters of Recommendation
This table maps how each component of the application was used in the selection process and at what step(s) it was used.

2 thoughts on “How were applications evaluated?

  1. Hi, I applied for Canada SROP. I am neither black nor indigenous. I was not aware that black and indigenous students were prioritized — but I understand that part completely. However, as this prioritization was not stated anywhere on the website, I naturally was under the impression that all applications would be evaluated equally and none would be prioritized. Finding out this was not the case was a little disappointing. I completely understand your rationale and understand the need for indigenous and black students to be prioritized, but I wish that this was stated somewhere on the website so I would be aware of how the process took place.
    – Maren (alias)

    1. Hi,this is a valid and important point. We regret not being transparent that we were prioritizing certain identities and how those priorities would be applied. We did not get questions about that aspect of eligibility, and questions were what drove the creation of our FAQ. Not having this information highlighted was a major oversight, because it would have been better all around. We are sorry how this directly affected you and everyone else who also had this experience. We are including this mistake in our Program Review Report that we will submit to our funders in September. Next year, we will ensure that we are transparent about this issue, certainly leaving up these FAQ posts and integrating the information into our static pages. Your feelings here will be included anonymously in that report, unless you ask for us to not include this quote. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Leave a Reply