SGS Research Travel Grant

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​< Back to Conference & Travel Awards

Award Overview


Online application opens: February 11, 2019 (10:00 am)
Online application closes: March 4, 2019 (10:00 am)
Deadline for supervisors to submit online approval: March 8, 2019 (4:30 pm)

Value & Duration

Value dependent on destination and duration of travel

Level of Study

PhD or SJD (full-time)

Required Legal Status

Domestic or international


Late May 2019


The SGS Research Travel Grant provides modest financial support to eligible students who are registered in the Humanities or Social Sciences, in order to pursue research travel that is necessary for the final stages of their PhD or SJD program.

This grant aims to provide successful applicants with supplemental funding as applicants are expected to seek support from various other sources in order to support their proposed travel expenses.

Funding for this competition is supported by the School of Graduate Studies Travel Grant, the Faculty of Arts and Science, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), The Associates of the University of Toronto Travel Award, and The Edward W. Nuffield Graduate Travel Fellowship.


Preference will be given to first time applicants in the latter stages of their program (i.e. have achieved candidacy) and planning to conduct research abroad that is necessary for the completion of their thesis. Student may only apply to fund one return trip per application cycle and may not receive funding for the same trip twice. The following students are ineligible for funding through this program: i) first year students; ii) flexible-time PhD students; or iii) students travelling for conferences, exchange programs/courses or seminars.

Applicants must be:

  • Registered full-time in a PhD or SJD program within the Humanities (Division 1)​ or Social Sciences (Division 2) when:
    1. ​Submitting the application;
    2. Conducting their research travel;
    3. Requesting payment of grant;
  • Planning to conduct research abroad that is necessary for the completion of their thesis;
  • Departing on or after January 1,​ 2019 and returning on or before April 30, 2020;
  • Expecting to take a single trip where the duration is no fewer than 7 days and no more than 12 months; and
  • For all students travelling outside of Canada (including to the U.S.A.): Compliant with all applicable departmental and U of T Safety Abroad procedures, including an in-person workshop, prior to departure (see “Safety Abroad” below).
  • Note: Automatic forfeiture of a SGS Research Travel Grant will occur if recipient does not meet all of the eligibility and payment collection requirements. ​


This grant aims to provide successful applicants with supplemental funding as applicants are expected to seek support from various other sources in order to support their proposed travel.

Amounts offered vary and are calculated using the following information:

  • Travel destination;

  • Duration of travel;

  • SGS Research Travel Grants previously received; and

  • Number of eligible applicants within the competit​ion.

Application Process & Instructions

The online application will be available between Monday, February 11th and March 4th at 10:00 am

Please note:

  • Both the applicant and the supervisor/advisor will be required to use their UTORid and password for the application process;
  • The application will time out after two hours but can be saved in draft form after saving the second page; and
  • The application cannot be modified after submission. If an error is discovered once it has been submitted, a new application must be created to replace the original application. Please email​ to inform SGS of the second corrected application.

Applicants are encouraged to:

  • Notify their supervisor/advisor that they will be submitting an SGS Research Travel Grant application which will require their approval and advise them of the deadline;
  • Confirm their supervisor/advisor’s correct email address to ensure the supervisor/advisor section of the application is sent to the correct email address for completion; and
  • Be mindful of the deadline date to ensure their supervisor/advisor to complete their portion on time.​

Supervisor/Advisor Information

For the purposes of this competition, the supervisor/advisor identified on the application must be a faculty member who currently holds graduate faculty membership at U of T and is familiar with the applicant's current progress within their program.

Online Application

Step 1 - Student Application

​Be sure you meet all eligibility criteria before filling out the application form.

Click on the “Online Application Form” button. Sign in using your UTORid.

You will be brought to a “Dashboard” page. Using the left hand side menu, click on “Forms”, then “Form Library”, and under the Award Forms section “SGS Research Travel Grant Application”.

Complete all pages, review and hit the “Submit” button at the bottom of the last page​.

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Supervisor/advisor's email address (for the approval process); Details of the travel (e.g., destinations, duration of travel);
  • Proposed budget for the travel;
  • Purpose of the research (1500 characters max).​

Step 2 - Supervisor Portion

 Once submitted, the identified supervisor/advisor will:

  • Receive a web link (via the email address entered by the applicant) that must be used in order to review and approve the application;

  • Be asked to review the application and confirm that the applicant is in good academic standing and that the proposed travel is appropriate at the current stage of the applicant's program.

Step 3 - Confirmation Email

Once the supervisor/advisor has submitted their portion, the system will send a confirmation email to both the applicant and the supervisor within 24 hours.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the details of their supervisor portion within the confirmation email.

Technical difficulties with the application must be reported immediately to


S​afety Abroad Requirements

Safety Abroad procedures are mandatory for all U of T students travelling outside of Canada, including to the U.S.A., and must be completed before the travel occurs (regardless of receiving SGS Research Travel Grant support). 

All of the following steps must be completed prior to departure:

  • Complete the online registration request form. This should occur at least one month before departure. The Safety Abroad Office will register the student and send a confirmation email.

  • Sign on to the Safety Abroad Database and complete a profile, including emergency contact and passport and travel health insurance information.

  • Attend the appropriate Safety Abroad Workshop (valid for 1.5 years) – certain workshops are only offered once a month so be sure to plan accordingly in order to attend before travelling.

  • Sign and submit waivers to the Safety Abroad Office.

  • Submit a Safety Planning Record (if applicable).

  • Obtain supplementary health insurance (if not already covered).

For travel to a region designated by Global Affairs Canada as "Avoid Non-Essential Travel" or "Avoid All Travel" students must contact the Safety Abroad Office at as soon as possible to request special approval for the trip.

Please contact the Safety Abroad Office at for further information.


All applicants will receive an email with their result via their U of T email address at the end of May. 

Successful applicants will receive information regarding the offer amount and the terms and conditions of the grant. SGS Research Travel Grants cannot be deferred beyond a return date of April 30, 2020. Successful applicants can request to apply their grant to a different destination after receiving the results of their application - full details are provided in the "Changing Destination and/or Duration" section of this webpage.

Successful applicants must report any SGS Travel Grant funding received when applying for other sources of funding related to the same research travel.

Changing Destination and/or Duration

Successful applicants may request changes to their proposed travel plans, provided that their supervisor/advisor approves and the travel occurs within the appropriate competition timeframe, i.e. any changes to travel dates must still conform to the April 30th deadline mentioned above. Requests after this deadline will not be considered. If your revised travel will occur after April 30th of the following year, please cancel your grant and reapply to the following year’s SGS Research Travel Grant competition.

Please note that once offers have been distributed, the value of the offer cannot be increased. However, it may be subject to a reduction due to changes to the destination(s) and/or duration of travel. A completed Change Request form must be submitted to prior to travel for pre-approval or uploaded to the online Payment Activation Form with the other required documentation (please see Payment Activation section below).

Payment Activation

To receive payment, awardees must submit the following required documents within 30 days of returning from their trip and no later than April 30, the year following the offer. Requests after this deadline will not be considered.

  1. A completed online SGS Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form (access Payment Activation Instructions below​).

    1. Awardees will be expected to confirm on this form that all Safety Abroad requirements were completed prior to travel outside of Canada. Research travel conducted without completing all Safety Abroad requirements will cause automatic forfeiture of the SGS Research Travel Grant.

  2. ​Proof of transportation to and from destination(s) (e.g. copy of flight receipt showing itinerary and boarding passes for both departure and return to Canada, ​copy of bus itinerary, or gas receipts).

  3. Proof of accommodation(s) (e.g. copy of rental agreement showing dates of stay, copy of hotel or AirBnB receipt, or confirmation from accommodation host with address and start and end dates of stay).

  4. A completed Final Report Form with supervisor signature.

Full or partial payment may be obtained in advance of the trip, depending on materials submitted. Failure to submit the required documentation by the above deadline will result in cancellation of the Grant. Arrears (from the previous academic year) must be fully cleared in order for the grant payment to be processed.

For detailed instructions and access to the online SGS Conference/Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form, review the Payment Activation Instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is eligible to apply for the SGS Research Travel Grant?

A: Applicants to the SGS Research Travel Grant must be: a) a registered, full-time PhD or SJD student in Division I or II, and b) requesting funds to support travel directly associated with the completion of their thesis.

Q: Are "flexible-time" students eligible for the SGS Research Travel Grant?

A: No, flexible-time students are not eligible. Flexible-time students are meant to be self-funded.

Q: If I am eligible, am I guaranteed the grant?

A: Eligible applicants are not guaranteed funding. Funding is contingent upon other factors such as the availability of funds, the number of applicants, and the relevance of the travel to the student's PhD or SJD research.

Q: I applied and received the SGS Research Travel Grant before; can I apply again?

A: Students are eligible to apply for the SGS Research Travel Grant more than once. However, preference will be given to those who are applying for the first time.

Q: I just started my program; am I eligible to apply for the SGS Research Travel Grant?

A: Students who just started their program (in first year) are ineligible to apply as the Grant aims to assist students in the later stages of their PhD or SJD program.

Q: Where can I find the SGS Research Travel Grant application?

A: The application will be available online on February 11 on the Travel & Conference Awards web page on the SGS website.

Q: If I have not achieved candidacy, am I eligible to apply?

A: Although having achieved candidacy is preferred, PhD or SJD students in Division I or II are eligible to apply for the SGS Research Travel Grant before achieving candidacy.

Q: What is the deadline to submit my application?

A: Applicants must complete and submit their portion of the form by 10:00 am on March 4. Supervisors are also required to fill in a one-page application approval that is due by 10:00 am on March 8.

Q: What type of travel is eligible for funding?

A: The SGS Research Travel Grant is available for PhD or SJD students completing research in or outside Canada. Travel must be outside of commuting distance from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), requiring separate accommodations. Travel must also be for purposes necessary to the student's thesis research.

Q: Is travel to conferences or courses/seminars covered by the SGS Research Travel Grant?

A: No, travel to conferences or courses/seminars is not covered under the SGS Research Travel Grant. Students who are seeking funding for conference-related travel should apply for the SGS Conference Grant.

Q: What level of funding can I expect to receive if my application is successful?

A: The funding provided by the SGS Research Travel Grant is not intended to cover all of the travel expenses associated with each application. The value of the grant will be based on the destination(s), duration, and funds available. The value will be communicated in the offer letter.

Q: Can I use other funding to conduct this travel?

A: Yes. Since this grant provides modest financial support, applicants are expected to seek funding from other sources in order to supplement their travel and related expenses.

Q: If I am offered an SGS Research Travel Grant, how do I collect my award?

A: Successful applicants are required to complete the online SGS Conference/Research Travel Grant Payment Activation form, show proof of travel in the form of receipts (e.g., train ticket, airfare, boarding passes, hotel booking), and submit a report upon return. Scanned copies of receipts and boarding passes are sufficient. Once the appropriate documentation is received, payment will be issued via ACORN in two to three weeks..

Q: Will the SGS Research Travel Grant cover multiple trips within the funding timeframe?

A: The SGS Research Travel Grant does not cover multiple trips. However, a single trip with multiple stops may be eligible.

Q: What if my travel plans change after I complete my application?

A: If travel plans change, the Change Request form must be completed and submitted to for prior approval or uploaded to the online Payment Activation form (please see “Payment Activation” section). The Change Request form and further information can be found in the Changing Destination and/or Duration section above.

Q: Can I receive payment of my award before my departure date?

A: Yes, provided that you submit the necessary documentation including the online Payment Activation Form, proof of transportation and accommodations, and Safety Abroad registration and training, as required.

Q: Where can I find the SGS Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form?

A: The Payment Activation Form can be found in the Payment Activation section above.

Q: When can I travel with the SGS Research Travel Grant?

A: Students who are awarded a 2018-19 SGS Research Travel Grant are required to complete their travel (depart and return) by April 30, 2019. Students who plan to travel after May 1, 2019 should apply for the 2019-20 SGS Research Travel Grant competition.

Q: Is there a minimum or maximum length of time for travel?

A:  For the 2018-19 cycle, yes, the minimum length of travel is 7 days and the maximum is 365 days and must take place between January 1, 2018 and ​April 30, 2019.

Q: My travel began before January 1, 2019. Can I apply for retroactive funding for 2019-20?

A: Some exceptions to travel dates may be made for students who departed in December 2018 and returning after January 1, 2019. Please email with your travel date inquiries.

Q: Can I defer my award to next year?

A: No, the award is only valid during the competition timeframe in which it was awarded (January 1st of application year, to April 30th of the following year). If your revised travel will occur after April 30th of the following year, please cancel your grant and reapply to the following year’s SGS Research Travel Grant competition.

Contacts & Resources

Inquiries about this competition can be directed to:

Pascal Papathanasakis
Graduate Awards Officer, Federal
School of Graduate Studies