SGS Conference Grant

Award Overview

Application Dates

Cycle Open Deadline Eligible Conference date window Results
Fall 2020 September 2020

 

November 30, 2020 July 1, 2020 – June 1, 2021 Mid-December
Winter 2021 January 2021 March 31, 2021 November 1, 2020 – October 1, 2021 Mid-April
Summer 2021 May 2021 July 31, 2021 March 1, 2021 – February 1, 2022 Mid-August

Value & Duration

The value of the SGS Conference Grant varies as it is based on the minimum registration fee for the proposed conference. Location based top-ups may be available for in-person presentations requiring travel, depending on the availability of funds in any given competition. Please note that the original letter of  offer indicates the maximum value of the grant. Any changes to destination or registration fee may result in a reassessment. SGS Conference Grants are calculated using the following information from completed online applications:

  • Conference registration fee;
  • Location of conference (funds permitting); and
  • Number of eligible applicants per cycle.

The grant is not intended to provide dollar-for-dollar reimbursement for conference expenses. As such, transportation, accommodations, and other related expenses are not taken into consideration when determining grant values. Applicants are expected and encouraged to seek support from various other sources in order to supplement their travel and other related expenses. The SGS Conference Grant value is not impacted by other sources of support reported by the student on the application.

NOTE: Grant recipients are responsible for adhering to the payment requirements of any other funding sources related to the same conference/travel (e.g., their Faculty, a supervisor’s grant, an external award agency). This includes retaining and submitting the same or potentially different documentation/receipts to other administrative offices.

Purpose

The SGS Conference Grant provides financial support to encourage eligible students to actively present their research at an academic conference during the early stages of their graduate studies.

This grant aims to provide successful applicants with funds to cover at least the minimum registration fee for the proposed conference. Depending on availability of funds, in-person presentations that require travel may receive top-ups based on the location of the conference; virtual presentations will be eligible for the registration fee portion only.

Eligibility

Students may apply for an SGS Conference Grant to support conference presentations occurring – either in-person or virtually – up to six months after the SGS Conference Grant deadline and those which have occurred up to two months before the SGS Conference Grant cycle opens (potential eligibility window of 11 months).

Students are expected to have consulted with the University Safety Abroad Office before pursuing any travel – please see the Safety Abroad section below.

Applicants must:

  • Be registered full-time in a graduate degree program at both the time of application and the conference presentation. Conference presentations scheduled to occur after convocation are not eligible for grant support;
  • Be actively presenting their own research relevant to their current degree program;
  • Be compliant with all applicable departmental approval processes as well as U of T Safety Abroad travel requirements, if travelling outside of Canada (including to the U.S.A.). Requirements must be met for all travel regardless of receiving SGS Conference Grant support – see the Safety Abroad section below;
  • Be presenting at a conference no later than six months after the SGS Conference Grant deadline and no earlier than two months before the SGS Conference Grant cycle opens; and
  • Have not already received payment for a previous SGS Conference Grant for the same graduate degree (see exception for direct-entry or “fast-track” doctoral students under Maximum Support below).

NOTE 1: Students must demonstrate that they continue to meet all eligibility requirements at the time of payment activation.

NOTE 2: Preference is given to students who are in the early stages of their program, therefore SGS Conference Grants are typically not awarded to students beyond the program length required for their degree.

Maximum Support

Master’s and doctoral students may collect a maximum of one SGS Conference Grant during their current graduate degree program.

Direct-entry or “fast-track” doctoral students may collect a maximum of two SGS Conference Grants during their current graduate degree program.

Safety Abroad

IMPORTANT: The Government of Canada advises against all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Accordingly, the University is also advising all members of its community to avoid all non-essential international travel at this time. Please consult the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 travel advisory website for more information on international travel. As of May 25, 2020, the University of Toronto has cancelled future University activity to international locations for all students until December 31, 2020. If you are a PhD student who was planning to travel abroad for your dissertation research during this time, please contact the Safety Abroad Office at safety.abroad@utoronto.ca. For current information on this and other travel related information, please refer to the U of T COVID-19 webpage.

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 Conference Grant support). Conference travel conducted without prior completion of all Safety Abroad requirements may render students ineligible.

Please contact U of T Safety Abroad at safety.abroad@utoronto.ca for further information on the process and/or the requirements below.

The following steps must be completed prior to departure:

  1. Review the Safety Abroad website for details on what is necessary prior to your travel date;
  2. Complete a profile if you are a first-time user;
  3. Log your upcoming travel dates on the Safety Abroad Registry;
  4. Complete the online Safety Abroad Workshop (valid for 1.5 years); and
  5. Obtain supplementary health insurance (if not already covered).

Prior to making travel plans, a preliminary determination should be made of the overall risk level and suitability of the University sponsored out‐of‐country activity. When considering the appropriateness of a destination, students should balance risk with academic necessity. The assessment should consider special needs of the student including disabilities and medical issues.

All students should consult the Global Affairs Canada website to ensure that their intended travel is in correspondence to the Safety Abroad Guidelines, and contact the Safety Abroad Office directly at safety.abroad@utoronto.ca prior to any planned travel to a region designated as “Avoid Non-Essential Travel” or “Avoid All Travel”.

Application Process

IMPORTANT: As of May 25, 2020, the University of Toronto has cancelled future University activity to international locations for all students until December 31, 2020. For current information on this and other travel related information, please refer to the U of T COVID-19 webpage.

The link to the online application can be found at the bottom of this section. Applicants are required to review all of the information on this web page before beginning an application.

Applicants should be aware of the following:

  • The applicant will be required to enter their UTORid and password to access the application;
  • The application can be saved in draft form after completing the second page and will time out after two hours;
  • NEW: Applicants will have the ability to enter the date by which their supervisor/advisor must complete their portion of the application which will be included in the email issued by the system. This date must be before the SGS Conference Grant deadline for the current cycle (see Application Dates above). It is the students’ responsibility to follow-up with their supervisor/advisor to ensure that they complete their portion in time;
  • Applications will only be considered complete and eligible for the current granting cycle after the supervisor/advisor has submitted their portion; and
  • The application cannot be modified after submission. If an error is discovered after submission, a new application must be created to replace the original application. Applicants have the ability to “clone” the first application, edit the information and then re-submit. The application that has received the most recent approval from the supervisor/advisor will be considered; and
  • Be sure to enter the correct amount of the conference’s registration fee in Canadian dollars within your online application (offer amounts cannot be increased after results have been distributed).

Applicants are encouraged to:

  • Verify the accuracy of their supervisor/advisor’s email address to ensure the application is sent to the correct email address for completion;
  • Notify their supervisor/advisor early, let them know the SGS Conference Grant application will require their approval, and advise them of the deadline; and
  • Be mindful of the deadline date to ensure their supervisor/advisor completes their portion by the SGS submission deadline.

Supervisor/Advisor Information

For the purposes of this grant, 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.

Applicants who do not have a supervisor/advisor should ask their graduate unit for assistance in identifying an appropriate graduate faculty member who can fulfill this role for the approval process.

Online Application

Step 1 – Student Application

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

Click on “Online Application Form” at the end of this section.

Login to SGS Portal with your UTORid and password.

You will be brought to a “Dashboard” page. Using the left hand side menu, click on “Form Library” and “SGS Conference Grant Application”.

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

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Supervisor/advisor’s email address (for the approval process);
  • Details of the academic conference (e.g., title, location, registration fee, website URL);
  • Details regarding the presentation (e.g., title, first author);
  • NEW: Date by which your supervisor/advisor must complete their portion of the application – ensure that this date is well before the appropriate cycle’s deadline (see Application Dates above); and
  • Proposed budget for the conference/travel (for information purposes only).

Step 2 – Supervisor/Advisor Portion

Once submitted, the identified supervisor/advisor will:

  • Receive an email with a web link that they must use in order to review and approve the application.
  • Be asked to review the application and confirm that the
    • applicant is in good academic standing;
    • proposed academic conference is appropriate and necessary for the student to actively present their research at this time;
    • applicant is actively presenting their own research related to their degree at the conference;
    • conference registration fee reported by the applicant is correct; and
    • proposed funding from the applicant’s department/Faculty (if any) is correct, to the best of their knowledge (for information purposes only).

The supervisor/advisor will also need to review and hit the “Submit” button at the bottom of the “Review” page.

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/advisor within 24 hours.

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

Online Application Form (will be posted in September)

Cloning a Completed Application

Should you need to submit a revised application, the cloning option is available to you to quickly create a new application:

  1. Go to the “My Forms” page of the SGS Portal
  2. Find the “Completed” SGS Conference Grant Application you would like to clone
  3. Click on the double page button on the right hand corner of the form (it should be beside the delete button)
  4. Click “OK” to the question, “All information associated with this form will be copied into a new form. Would you like to continue?”
  5. Make your necessary edits and submit the application.
  6. Your supervisor will need to complete their portion of the application again before the application deadline.

Technical difficulties with the application must be reported immediately to conferencegrant@utoronto.ca

Results

All applicants will receive an email with their result via their U of T email address.

Successful applicants will receive information regarding the offer amount and the terms and conditions of the grant. Successful applicants can request to apply their grant to a different conference after receiving the results of their application – full details regarding requests for changes are provided in the Changing Conference section below.

NOTE: Once results have been distributed, the value of an offer cannot be increased.

Additional Info

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an “academic conference”?

For the purposes of this grant, an “academic conference” means that the:

  • Abstract/poster submissions are peer reviewed before acceptance is granted;
  • Conference is sponsored by a scholarly association/society, university or institution.

Due to the high number of applicants, a limited amount of funds to allocate within each application cycle, and to better manage expectations, only academic conferences are eligible for the SGS Conference Grant.

  1. What does “active participation” require?

Successful applicants must actively present their research (relevant to their current degree program) as a poster presenter or speaker/member of a panel/roundtable.

  1. Can I present at a conference virtually (online/remotely)?

Yes!  Virtual presentations will be eligible for the registration fee portion only.

  1. Can I apply for more than one conference?

Eligible students may submit one application in support of one conference within each cycle.

  1. When is the right time to apply?

SGS Conference Grant application cycles will now be available three times throughout the year (see Application Dates above).

  1. Why are Safety Abroad procedures mandatory?

U of T Safety Abroad supports students and the University community by:

  • Offering students support in understanding risks associated with the location of their international activity and working with students to develop measures to mitigate those risks;
  • Monitoring situations abroad and advising students on any emerging issues;
  • Providing emergency support when regional or personal emergencies arise.

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 Conference Grant support (see Safety Abroad above).

  1. What if I don’t complete Safety Abroad procedures before my travel?

Conference travel conducted without prior completion of all Safety Abroad requirements may render students ineligible. Email conferencegrant@utoronto.ca to explain your situation.

  1. If I am eligible, am I guaranteed the grant?

Due to the high number of applicants and limited amount of funds to allocate within each application cycle, and to better manage expectations, preference will be given to students who are in the early stages of their program. SGS Conference Grants are typically not awarded to students who are beyond the program length required for their degree (see Eligibility above).

  1. Can I receive more than one SGS Conference Grant?

Eligible students may receive one SGS Conference Grant per graduate degree program (master’s-doctoral “fast-track” and direct-entry doctoral students may receive 2 grants max) (see Eligibility above).

  1. What if I am attending multiple conferences this year?

Eligible students may submit one application in support of one conference within each cycle.

After receiving the result of their application, successful applicants may request to apply their grant to a different conference from the one they initially proposed (see Changing Conference below).

  1. What if the registration fee for my conference is not available yet?

Since the amount of the conference’s registration fee is needed in order to calculate successful applicants’ offers, applicants should try to obtain the previous year’s registration fee as an estimated amount to state in their application.

In order to collect the payment, successful applicants will need to provide a receipt showing the paid registration fee amount, along with the other required documentation (see Payment Activation below).

  1. Can I collect the payment before I attend the conference?

The payment may be collected in advance of the conference if successful applicants are able to obtain and submit all of the required documentation before the conference occurs (see Payment Activation below).

  1. Can I use other funding to attend my conference?

As this grant provides modest financial support, applicants are expected and encouraged to seek support from various other sources in order to supplement their travel and other related expenses. The SGS Conference Grant value is not impacted by other sources of support (see Value & Duration above).

  1. What if I can’t attend the conference I proposed in my application?

After receiving the result of their application, successful applicants may request to apply their grant to a different conference from the one they initially proposed (see Changing Conference below).

Applicants may also choose to decline their current offer and apply again in the next SGS Conference Grant application cycle, provided they will still meet the eligibility and payment collection requirements (see Eligibility and Safety Abroad above, Payment Activation below).

  1. What if I don’t know my UTORid and password?

UTORids are located on students’ TCards. Students can activate their UTORid and/or reset their password through the Information Commons Help Desk.

Award Holder Information

Payment Activation

Payment Activation must occur within 30 days of the conference presentation or date of the Conference Grant Offer letter, if the conference has already occurred upon notification of the results.

To receive payment of the grant, awardees must submit the following required documents:

  1. A completed online SGS Conference / Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form;
    • Awardees will be expected to confirm on this form that all Safety Abroad requirements were completed prior to travel outside of Canada (see Eligibility and Safety Abroad above);
  2. Proof of online Safety Abroad Workshop completion for in-person presentations outside of Canada (a screenshot of the Module Completion Status page showing the awardee’s UTORid completion of all four modules);
  3. Proof of conference attendance and active-participation (conference’s title and location, applicant’s name and title of presentation must be visible), which includes:
    • Screenshot of online conference program on conference organizer’s website; or
    • Official certificate of attendance/participation from conference organizer
  4. Registration fee invoice.
    1. Receipt issued by the conference organizer showing the amount of the paid registration fee and the title of the conference
      • If the registration amount listed (as advertised) is significantly lower than the proposed registration fee amount the applicant specified within their application, the value of the grant may be adjusted accordingly. However, SGS Conference Grant offers cannot be increased (see Value & Duration above)
      • If the invoice is in a currency other than Canadian dollars (CAD), the applicant must provide a conversion showing the foreign currency amount and its equivalent amount in Canadian dollars (CAD)
    2. If registration fee will be waived / covered by the conference organizer:
      • Applicants may enter the advertised registration fee amount (at the student-rate) into their application and receive an offer that consists of both the registration fee and location top-up amounts, if the applicant will also be able to provide the following items:
        • A screenshot from the conference organizer’s website (title of conference visible) showing the advertised registration fee amount at the student-rate, and
        • Email / letter from the conference organizer (listing title of conference and applicant’s name) confirming that the applicant’s registration fee will be waived / covered

Failure to submit the required documentation by the appropriate collection deadline will result in cancellation of the grant.

After submission of the online SGS Conference / Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form, please allow two to three weeks for payment through ACORN.

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

NOTE: Grant recipients are responsible for adhering to the payment requirements of any other funding sources related to the same conference/travel (e.g., their Faculty, a supervisor’s grant, an external award agency). This includes retaining and submitting the same or potentially different documentation/receipts to other administrative offices.

Changing Conference

If details about a successful applicant’s conference presentation change from what was indicated on their previously approved application, the applicant may request to apply their grant to a different conference presentation, provided their supervisor/advisor approves and the conference occurs within the appropriate cycle’s timeframe (see Application Dates above).

The applicant may complete and email the Conference/Research Travel Grant Change Request Form, along with any supporting documentation, to conferencegrant@utoronto.ca for pre-approval or submit the PDF form as part of their online SGS Conference / Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form.

If the request is approved, the value of the grant may be adjusted if there is a significant difference between the new and previous location and/or registration fee. The value of the offer cannot be increased.

Contacts & Resources

For more information, please contact:

Tara Lock
Graduate Awards Officer, Internal
School of Graduate Studies
conferencegrant@utoronto.ca
(416) 978-2386