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SGS Conference Grant

Award Overview

Student Deadline

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

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 in-person – up to five months after the SGS Conference Grant deadline and those which have occurred up to one month before the SGS Conference Grant cycle opens (potential eligibility window of 9 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;
  • 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 five months after the SGS Conference Grant deadline and no earlier than one month 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 are eligible to collect one (1) SGS Conference Grant to support an in-person conference during their registration in a graduate degree program, and two (2) virtual conferences per graduate degree program. Exception: direct-entry or “fast-track” doctoral students are eligible to collect one (1) additional in-person SGS Conference Grants during their degree program for a maximum of two (2) in-person conferences per degree.

Safety Abroad

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 would 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 request their application be unsubmitted and returned to Draft, 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 Forms Tool with your UTORid and password.

You will be brought to a “Dashboard” page. Using the left hand side menu, click on “New Form ” 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);
  • 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 the applicant 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)

Revising your Application

Should you need to submit a revised application, contact conferencegrant@utoronto.ca to request the application be unsubmitted. This will place your application in Draft.

  1. Go to the “My Forms” page of the SGS Forms Tool
  2. Find the SGS Conference Grant Application “Draft”
  3. Make your necessary edits and submit the application; and
  4. Notify your supervisor that they will need to complete their portion of the resubmitted 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 would 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 in-person SGS Conference Grant per graduate degree program and two virtual conference grants per degree program (master’s-doctoral)  “Fast-track” and direct-entry doctoral students may receive 2 in-person 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 Forms Tool, confirm they registered with Safety Abroad (if travelled outside of Canada), and upload the following required three (3) documents:

  1. Proof of conference presentation – must include the student’s name, their presentation (abstract/poster) title, conference name, and location. Acceptable proof include:
    • PDF printout of the specific page of the program or agenda from the conference organizer’s website (“Print to PDF” using internet browser); or
    • Official certificate of participation as a presenter (not just an attendee) from conference organizer displaying all required information.
  1. Registration fee invoice showing the amount paid – must include the student’s name, registration amount, conference name, and location. Acceptable proof include:
    • E-receipt issued by the conference organizer; or
    • PDF printout of organization’s website displaying registration fee amount and email confirmation of registration from conference organizer.

    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). A PDF print out of the conversion from the Bank of Canada Currency Converter webpage is recommended.

    Documents not considered acceptable as proof include: email from organizer accepting a poster submission, photo of student at a conference, their poster, or their attendance badge, text on a blank page.

  1. Proof of online U of T Safety Abroad Workshop completion (for in-person presentations outside of Canada only, including to the U.S.A.). This includes:
    • PDF 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.

Access to the online SGS Conference / Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form

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.

Payment Activation Instructions

Students awarded an SGS Conference Grant must complete and submit the online SGS Conference / Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form in order to accept and activate their payment. Supporting documentation must be uploaded to the form before it is submitted. Once submitted, the form and documentation will be reviewed within two to three weeks. If further documentation is required, the recipient will be contacted through their U of T email address. Once all required documentation has been submitted to SGS, the payment will be processed through the recipient’s ACORN account. Any arrears (unpaid balance from the previous academic year) must be fully cleared in order for the grant payment to be processed.

Step 1. Access the SGS Forms Tool website

 SGS Forms Tool website

Click “Proceed to Login”, Select “Log in with UTORid / JOINid” button. Recipients must log on using their UTORid and password.

Step 2. Start a New Form

Select “New Forms” from the left hand menu if not already there, which should bring up a page of available forms. Select “SGS Conference / Research Travel Grant – Payment Activation” by clicking on the “Start Form+” button.

Step 3. Complete Form

The top portion of the “Award Holder Information” section will be pre-populated with your information from ACORN. If the information is blank, you may not be currently registered. Upload the necessary documentation.

Note:

  • The system will time out after 2 hours
  • Click “Save” and you can return to at a later date through the “My Forms” link on the left-hand side menu

Step 4. Review

 The completed version of the form and uploaded documents will be visible for a final review before submission.

Note: At this point, the online form has not yet been submitted to SGS.

If a change needs to be made, click the “Previous” link at the bottom of the page.

If no changes need to be made, click the “Submit” button on the bottom of the page.

Step 5. Confirmation of Submission

After clicking “Submit,” a “Submission Confirmation” page will appear with a confirmation number.  Note this confirmation number for your records.

An email confirmation will be sent to your U of T email address from vpp.noreply@utoronto.ca, titled “Submitted: SGS Conference / Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form.” Note: the confirmation number will not be specified in the email.

The submitted payment activation form can still be reviewed online by selecting the “My Forms” homepage on the left-hand side menu. A form with the Progress of “Submitted” and a Status of “Received by GAO” indicates that the form has been successfully submitted to SGS for processing.

Step 6. Processing and Payment

Please allow two to three weeks for processing and payment distribution.

If the appropriate types of required documentation were not all uploaded to the submitted form, the recipient will be contacted via their U of T email address. This will result in a processing delay.

For payment distribution, students are strongly encouraged to set up direct deposit on ACORN to ensure that their payment is received quickly and avoid the risk of the cheque being lost in the mail. Cheques can take an additional 2 to 3 weeks to arrive.

To set up direct deposit:

To “add new” mailing address:

Note:

  • The form cannot be modified after it has been submitted
  • If an error is discovered after submission:
    • Email conferencegrant@utoronto.ca to “unsubmit” or return the form to you
    • Edit the information, make a final review, and then click “Submit”

Contacts & Resources

For more information, please contact:

Graduate Awards Office
School of Graduate Studies
conferencegrant@utoronto.ca