Internal/External Competitions


Programs and competitions to present and share research with others. 


These are hosted by the University of Waterloo.


GRADflix is a research communication opportunity for graduate students. Participants will create a video, moving slide show, or animation of no longer than 60 seconds (one minute) in length that describes their research. This would benefit the student's communication skills, help to expand their network, and give them a chance to win monetary prizes. 

Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition challenges research-based graduate students to articulate the impact and breadth of their research in a 3 minute presentation, using just 1 static power point slide. This competition is held in over 600 universities and institutions across 65 countries worldwide.

Mitacs Opportunity: Decarbonization and Building Adaptation

We are looking to hire graduate students through Mitacs or recent graduates interested in design-tech with a focus on existing building adaptation assessments, material reuse, building adaptation and design optimization. We are currently working on multiple adaptation projects, and studies with KPMB architects, the City of Calgary and the City of Hamilton. 

Adaptis is a registered architecture firm, working in partnership with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the LASG at the School of Architecture. We are also part of Velocity-Concept at UWaterloo, so there will be lots of entrepreneurial training and exposure as part of the position for anyone interested.

Adaptis Overview (PDF)

Recent Publications:
Time and Space for Innovation (PDF)
A Computational Methodology for Generating Modular Design Options (PDF)

Masonry Council of Ontario: The Longevity of Masonry

This year’s masonry design competition challenges students to develop an innovative conceptual masonry design which highlights the sustainable nature of masonry wall systems. Successful applicants will present visualizations of masonry systems and their architectural potential.


*This competition is open to any student(s) currently enrolled in their undergraduate B.A.S. or graduate M.Arch at the School of Architecture, University of Waterloo.

Award Criteria

  1. Masonry is a critical component of the Architectural design intent. Masonry is a key feature of the building or a specific space withing the project
  2. Innovative use of masonry;
    • Creative use of masonry techniques, patterns and technologies
    • Creative masonry applications
    • Innovative masonry products or hybrid strategies (e.g. 3DP masonry units)
  3. Technical proficiency;
    •  Display an understanding of masonry and its integration in structural or facade systems
    • Appropriate architectural detailing
  4. Craftsmanship;
    • The type of masonry and the type of pattern use shows consideration for the architectural intent
    • Detail design of the masonry application supports or enhances the features of the space or building
  5. Sustainability
    • The use of masonry plays a key role in the overall sustainability strategy for the project
  6. Longevity
    • Sustainability and durability
    • Innovative lifecycle considerations
    • Uses structural masonry as well as masonry facade components

Submission format;

  1. Digital submission via the Masonry Council of Ontario website
  2. PDF format – 2 panels 18″x24″ landscape or portrait

The Judging panel will consider the following criteria:

  • Innovative use of masonry
  • Technical proficiency
  • Craftsmanship
  • Overall presentation
  • Consideration of sustainability
  • The sustainability of the design

Submission Date: Deadline May 12, 2023 11:59PM, Toronto EDT (GMT -4)

Prize Structure:

  • 1st: $1,000
  • 2nd: $500
  • 3rd: $250

Enter your submission.


These are hosted by organizers apart from the University of Waterloo. 

FORM Student Innovation Competition

In the FORM Student Innovation Competition, architecture and interior design students are challenged to design a piece for any residential or commercial setting using the competition's annual themes. 

CCA Master's Students Program

The CCA’s Master’s Program encourages students at Canadian architecture schools to take up urgent questions of public relevance to the built environment in Canada and beyond. Through a three-month collaborative project, participants actively engage with the CCA’s collection, participate in seminars and other pedagogical activities, and articulate their own understanding of architecture as a public concern.

Intense Interiors - 2023 Architecture & Film Symposium

In its third season, the 2023 Architecture & Film Symposium will shine its cinematic light on intense interiors. It will concurrently expand inwards and outwards from the interior, the buildings to the cities’ streets and urban conditions – while aligning with a heightened awareness of the users of these spaces.

Intense Interiors seeks submissions that capture a range of topics and put forth questions to examine the following (but are not limited to):

  1. Atmospheres of the Interior (e.g., indoor air quality, toxins, pathogens, radiation and chemicals)
  2. Domestic Interiors, Domestic Goods, Women as Domestic Objects
  3. Epidemic, Pandemic and Forensic Interiors and Architecture
  4. Feminine Interiors, Feminist-Queer Interiors, Gender Studies and Sexuality, Intersectional Identity and Histories
  5. Institutional Architectural Interiors and Vulnerable Persons (e.g., long-term care, hospital, ICU, safety and support)
  6. Interiority and Emotion
  7. Proxemics, Personal Space, Territoriality, Urban and Architectural Cinematic Spaces
  8. Risk Perception, Cultural Theory of Risk and Sacred Contagion
  9. Rooms (Safe Place, Safe Room, Panic Room, Quarantine Room, Storm Cellar, Bunker, Merkhav Mugan)
  10. Visible and Invisible (dis)abilities.

Submission Deadline: November 21, 2023
Full Competition details can be found here (PDF)
General Inquiries:

Advanced Energy Conference

Aviators Garden - Call for Submissions

We invite applicants to submit proposals for a series of permanent outdoor installations to be situated in a newly created garden adjacent to two art galleries, all of which respond to the theme of ‘Nature’s Aviators’, and work together to create a powerful and immersive presence in the designated installation area. The selected artworks will become an integral part of the landscape design, and will foster a sense of wonder and awe in an area trafficked by art lovers, families, couples, nature enthusiasts and other visitors. The garden is intended to help visitors slow down, exhale, sit or walk contemplatively, and enjoy the outdoors in the company of others or on their own.

Aviators Garden Competition Details (PDF)

DesignTO Festival - Call for Submissions

DesignTO Projects
DesignTO Projects are exhibitions and events curated and executed by our organization. For the 2023 Festival, we have three calls for submissions:

  • Prototype Exhibition: ‘Purpose & Play’ is a new edition of the annual prototype exhibition organized by DesignTO in partnership with Umbra. The exhibition invites designers to explore redesigning objects that are underdesigned or often overlooked in the domestic environment. What products are due for reinvention? Consider opportunities for joy, humour, experimentation and play. Deadline: Aug. 26, 2022
  • Thematic Exhibition: ‘One Hot Second’ is an exhibition exploring how creatives can make change to decelerate the rate at which the earth is rapidly warming. We are interested in works that reflect a sense of urgency and serve as a call to action. Deadline: Sept. 23, 2022
  • DesignTO Symposium: ‘Trash Talk’ invites designers and thinkers to explore design responses to the problem of waste management. Deadline: Sept. 23, 2022

Independent Projects    
Deadline: Friday, October 7, 2022 (apply by Aug 31 for early bird rates)

Learn more and apply.   
Independent Projects are exhibitions, events (e.g. tours, talks, workshops), and window installations that are wholly created and executed by an individual or organization during the DesignTO Festival at a venue of their choice (in-person or online).

Venue-Designer Matchmaking Program
Guest Designer: Rolling deadline, with final applications due Sept. 12, 2022.
Let us be your matchmaker! Through the Venue-Designer Matchmaking Program, DesignTO pairs designers with a venue to host their project during the Festival.  
Learn more about the program. The Call for Guest Designers will be released on July 18, 2022.

Want to get involved in the Festival, but not sure how? Check out our handy guide.

ARCC International Conference

The Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) and The College of Architecture at Texas Tech University invites researchers, designers, educators, and students to submit their proposals and join the ARCC annual conference on the theme “The Research Design Interface”.

Topic Areas:

  • Planning, Policy, and Resilience
  • Healthcare and Facilities Design
  • Wellness and the Built Environment
  • Technology and Design
  • Spatial and Formal Analysis Including Human Cognition
  • Architecture and the Humanities
  • Role of Research in Practice
  • Pedagogy
  • Open Track

Paper Proposals
Papers are original scholarly work that have not been presented or published elsewhere. Please submit a 500-word abstract for the first stage of review. Please also include five keywords and three learning objectives. Abstracts that are accepted after review will be invited to develop a full paper for the second blind review process.

Poster Proposals
Posters represent in-progress or finished research that lends itself to visual presentation, and/or research-informed design projects. These are appropriate for professional or student studio-based design work, or other visual research.

Please see website for deadlines and full submission details.

IC-Impacts - Call for Submissions

Building Resilient and Carbon-Neutral Communities Post Covid

In this Joint Call for Proposals, DST and DBT from India and IC-IMPACTS from Canada are seeking joint applications aimed at addressing the issues faced by remote and rural communities in the post COVID world. We seek proposals in the following four areas under this Joint Call:

  1. Agritech and Food Security (DBT and IC-IMPACTS)
  2. Carbon Reduction in Our Built Environment (DST and IC-IMPACTS)
  3. Water (DST and IC-IMPACTS)
  4. Health, Post COVID Health Issues and Long COVID (DBT and IC-IMPACTS)

Deadline: August 31, 2022

Amount: PIs may request up to $100,000 CAD

For full submission details please visit the IC-IMPACT website

Canada Council's Prizes in Architecture

Prix de Rome in Architecture - Emerging Practitioners

The Canada Council Prix de Rome in Architecture – Emerging Practitioners is awarded to a recent graduate of a Canadian school of architecture who demonstrates exceptional potential in contemporary architectural design.

The prize recipient will have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of contemporary architecture culture by visiting a selection of works of architecture abroad, and to expand their professional skills through an internship of their choosing at an international architectural firm.

Prize amount – $34,000

To apply for this prize, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status, as defined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. You do not need to be living in Canada when you apply.
  • have received a professional bachelor’s or master’s degree from a Canadian school of architecture that is certified by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board, in the 36 months before the application deadline.
  • be recommended by the director of the school of architecture that issued the degree.

Deadline – 1 October 2022
Your completed application form and support material must be submitted by email on or before the deadline date by 11:59 pm (local time). Incomplete or late applications will not be assessed.

Application limits – you can apply once per year
Notification of results – approximately 5 months after the deadline date

J.B.C. Watkins Award: Architecture

As part of a bequest from the estate of the late John B.C. Watkins, this award provides fellowships of $5,000 to Canadian architects who are pursuing graduate studies in any country other than Canada, and who are graduates of a Canadian university, postsecondary art institution or training school. Postgraduate schools include postsecondary institutions or training schools, whether or not these are degree-granting institutions.

Priority will be given to applicants wishing to carry out their studies in Denmark, Norway, Sweden or Iceland.

Deadline – 1 October 2022
Your completed application form must be submitted by email on or before the deadline date by 11:59 pm (local time). Incomplete or late applications will not be assessed.

Prize amount – $5,000

To be eligible, you must be:

  • an architecture graduate with a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a Canadian university, postsecondary art institution or training school
  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, as defined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • pursuing graduate studies in a country other than Canada.

You do not need to be living in Canada when you apply.

Application limits – you can apply once per year
You may receive a maximum of 2 J.B.C. Watkins Awards in your lifetime. You cannot apply to this award for a program of graduate studies that has already been completed before the program deadline.
Notification of results – approximately 5 months after the deadline date

Advanced Energy Conference, Poster Presenters - Call for Submissions

The Advanced Energy Conference wants to highlight your work and connect you with energy professionals and entrepreneurs at our university poster session. Abstracts are the basis for poster selection. Students whose abstracts are accepted can attend the poster session for free, participate in a networking reception and view conference exhibits. Only 100 abstracts will be accepted for onsite floor display. Check the conference website for updates. At this time, we are providing free access to the poster session and network reception to students who register for onsite floor submissions.

Submission ends on August 31, 2022. Students will be notified by email of acceptance and provided with further instructions on a rolling basis no later than September 6, 2022.

Visit their website to submit your abstract. Contact with any questions.

See poster for more details. 

CAAJ/AAJC Student Design Competition

A New Frontier: The Contemporary Border Crossing

Border crossing involves a change of state; the crossing of a barrier between two nations. The nature and meaning of this barrier are very specific to its location and the different characters of the nations involved. Borders can mark dramatic transitions between different cultures, political systems, economies, and levels of freedom. They range from open and undefended to closed and heavily militarized.

In many places around the world, borders are under stress and evolving to respond to war, migration pressures, the ebb and flow of political alliances, the creation and removal of trade barriers, the threat of terrorism, the movement of illegal drugs and weapons, and the spread of disease.

Border crossing architecture is the physical manifestation of the balance between evolving security concerns and the desire to welcome visitors and newcomers while symbolically marking the entry into a new country.

The Canadian Academy of Architecture for Justice (CAAJ) invites architecture students to speculate on these issues in a design competition for a new border crossing. Submissions are welcomed from either studio groups or individuals. The design will be evaluated by a jury of experts, architects and industry professionals. Participants are highly encouraged to explore a wide spectrum of architectural responses from functional and practical at one end to philosophical and social at the other, including ways in which this building or complex could be integrated into the surrounding context and community, act as a catalyst for building a positive relationship between two nations, and address what a border entry means in today’s context.

More information and registration on the CAAJ website.

CASA-ACÉA Student Work Showcase

Calling all Architecture Students! The Canadian Architecture Student Association (CASA-ACÉA) would like to celebrate the excellence of our Canadian architecture students who have continued to design this past year. CASA-ACÉA is calling for work to showcase at the 2023 RAIC Conference in May to continue our efforts to profile student work to potential employers, colleagues, and the public.

Eligible participants must be a current student or recent graduate* of an accredited Canadian school of architecture. Projects must be completed as part of school curricula and be the original work of the student(s). Individual and group work is accepted, provided all group members are clearly stated. Only one submission will be accepted per group or individual. All projects must have been completed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022.

Competition entry opens Monday, February 20 and closes Sunday, April, 16 at 11:59pm EST.

Please email questions to

* Graduated on or after April 1, 2022

We look forward to seeing your work.