Navi Mental Health Wayfinder

SGS Conference Grant

Award Overview

Student Deadline

Cycle Open Deadline Eligible Conference date window Results
Fall 2021 September 2021 November 30, 2021 July 1, 2021– June 1, 2022 Mid-December
Winter 2022 January 2022 March 31, 2022 November 1, 2021 – October 1, 2022 Mid-April
Summer 2022 May 2022 July 29, 2022 March 1, 2022 – February 1, 2023 Mid-August

Value & Duration

The value of the SGS Conference Grant varies as it is based on the applicant’s 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 application cycle. The SGS Conference Grant value is not impacted by other sources of support reported by the student on the application. 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 the completed online application:

  • Applicant’s minimum registration fee for the conference;
  • 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 to supplement their travel and other related expenses.

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 applicant’s 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 virtually, or when possible, in-person – 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 received approval to travel from the University Safety Abroad Office before pursuing any travel for in-person conferences – please refer to 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

Graduate students may collect one SGS Conference Grant to support an in-person conference during their registration in a graduate degree program. Exception: direct-entry or “fast-track” doctoral students may collect a maximum of two SGS Conference Grants during their degree program.

Virtual Conference Participation during COVID-19 travel restrictions:
Graduate Students who have received an SGS Conference Grant to participate in a virtual conference during the COVID-19 pandemic remain eligible to apply for an SGS Conference Grant, to support in-person participation at a conference during the same degree. Virtual SGS Conference Grant payments already received under $500 will not impact the value of the in-person SGS Conference Grant.

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 currently. Please ensure you comply with university travel guidelines and restrictions. For the most up to date information, refer to the U of T COVID-19 Information for Students 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). Travel for in-person conferences that is conducted without prior completion of all Safety Abroad requirements may render students ineligible. 

The following steps must be completed prior to departure for in-person conferences: 

  1. Review the Safety Abroad website for details on what action is necessary prior to your travel date; 

  2. Contact the Safety Abroad Office directly by emailing safety.abroad@utoronto.ca to discuss your planned travel and be added to the Safety Abroad Registry;
  3. Sign the Consent and Terms of Participation waiver forms;
  4. Complete the online Safety Abroad pre-departure workshop (valid for 1.5 years); and 

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

Application Process

IMPORTANT: For current information on travel related advisories, please refer to the U of T COVID-19 Information for Students webpage.

The link to the online application is posted after Step 3 below. Applicants are required to review all of the information on this web page before beginning an application.

Applicants should be aware of the following:

  • Applicants will use their UTORid and password to access the application;
  • The application can be saved in draft form after completing the second page but will time out after two hours;
  • 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 notification email issued by the system. This date must be before the SGS Conference Grant deadline for the current cycle (see Application Dates above);
  • Applications are considered complete once the supervisor/advisor has submitted their portion of the online application;
  • Applicants are responsible for monitoring their application and contacting their supervisor/advisor to ensure that they complete their portion before the SGS Conference Grant deadline (see Application Dates above); and
  • The application cannot be modified after submission, however, applicants can “clone” the first application, edit/correct the information and then re-submit. The application that has received the most recent approval from the supervisor/advisor will be considered.

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, letting them know that the SGS Conference Grant application will require their approval, and advise them of the deadline;
  • Be mindful of the deadline date to ensure their supervisor/advisor completes their portion by the SGS submission deadline; and
  • Review the application carefully before submitting; ensure all values are entered in Canadian dollars.

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., conference name, location, applicant’s minimum 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 the following:
    • 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;
    • minimum registration fee for the conference 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 the supervisor/advisor’s portion within their confirmation email.

Online Application Form

(applications must be submitted during the cycles listed in the Application Dates chart above)

Cloning a Completed Application

Should you need to submit a revised application, the cloning option is available 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; and
  6. Notify your supervisor that they will need to complete their portion of the cloned application before the application deadline.

Technical difficulties 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 value and the terms and conditions of the grant. Details regarding a change request or deferral are available in the Changing Conference section below.

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

Additional Info

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.

2. 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.

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

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

4. Can I apply for more than one conference?

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

5. 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).

6. Why are Safety Abroad procedures mandatory for in-person conferences?

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).

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

Travel that is conducted for in-person conferences without prior completion of all Safety Abroad requirements may render students ineligible. Email conferencegrant@utoronto.ca to explain your situation.

8. 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).

9. 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).

10. 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).

11. 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).

12. 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).

13. 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).

14. 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).

15. 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

Grant recipients must request payment of their grant funds within 30 days of the conference presentation taking place or date of the SGS Conference Grant Offer letter, if the conference has already occurred upon notification of the results. Failure to submit a completed Payment Activation Form by the deadline will result in cancellation of the grant offer. Please note that the original letter of offer indicates the maximum value of the grant based on the original information provided in the application. Any changes to the reported conference registration fee or location may result in a reassessment and subsequent reduction of the grant if the change is significant.

To receive payment, grant recipients must complete an SGS Conference / Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form via the SGS Portal and upload the following required documents:

  1. Proof of conference participation (e.g. conference program or agenda, showing student’s name and presentation title, conference name and location);
  2. Registration fee invoice showing the amount paid; and
  3. Proof of online U of T Safety Abroad Workshop completion (for in-person presentations outside of Canada only).

Examples of acceptable documentation:

  1. Proof of conference participation:
    • Screenshot or PDF of conference program or agenda from conference organizer’s website; or
    • Official certificate of attendance/participation from conference organizer

The above must include the student’s name and presentation title, conference name and location.

  1. Registration fee invoice showing the amount paid:
    • Receipt issued by the conference organizer showing the paid registration fee amount and conference name.

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)

  1. Proof of online U of T Safety Abroad Workshop completion (for in-person presentations outside of Canada, including to the U.S.A.):
    • Screenshot or printout of the Module Completion Status page showing the recipient’s UTORid and completion of all four modules.

Please allow two to three weeks for payment through ACORN, upon submission of a completed SGS Conference / Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form and all required documents.

NOTE: Grant recipients are responsible for adhering to the payment requirements of any other grants or 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.

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

Changing Conference

If details about a grant recipient’s conference presentation change from what was reported in their approved application, the grant recipient 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 upload and submit the Conference/Research Travel Grant Change Request Form, along with any supporting documentation, with 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:

Graduate Awards Office
School of Graduate Studies
conferencegrant@utoronto.ca
(416) 978-2386