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SGS Parental Grant

Award Overview


Established in 2017, The SGS Parental Grant program, aims to provide financial support to doctoral students within the funded cohort by helping to offset the loss of their program’s base funding as a result of taking an approved parental leave of absence at the time of birth or adoption in order to provide full-time care during the child’s first year or the first year the child comes into care (see SGS Leave of Absence Policy).

The value of the grant will serve to cover the portion of their program’s base funding paused while the student is on an approved parental leave of absence. Parental Grants will be provided to eligible student parents  of up to two sessions (8 months). Birth-parents may be eligible for a third instalment to support parental leaves 12 months or more in duration. The value of the Parental Grant will be calculated based on the graduate unit’s base funding level at the time of the leave.


Eligible students will be:

  • Registered full-time in a research-stream doctoral program and have been granted an approved parental leave for at least one academic session (or 4 months). Birth parents requesting a third instalment must be granted at least 12 months of parental leave;
  • In the funded cohort and eligible to receive their Graduate Unit’s regular base funding package the session prior to and upon return from parental leave;
  • The primary caregiver during the session of the parental leave in which the grant is being received; and
  • Receiving less than the unit’s base funding package amount in pregnancy/parental leave benefits per session from other sources for the same child within the 12 month period after birth or adoption.

Please note:

  • Students receiving Tri-Agency scholarships, a stipend through a PI’s Tri-Agency research grant and  CUPE 3902 Unit 1 Teaching Assistants are eligible for parental leave supplements or benefits that normally exceed the value of the Grant; such students are ineligible;
  • Benefits from employment income through the University (e.g. TA-ships) may be received in addition to the SGS Parental Grant; SGS grant values may be adjusted accordingly;
  • Grant recipients who return to their program prior to the approved leave of absence end date, may be required to return a portion of the Grant for the incomplete session;
  • Multiple births upon the same occasion (e.g., twins) do not increase the duration or the value of the Grant;
  • Students may apply for a Parental Grant for every occasion of birth and/or adoption that occurs during the course of their program provided they continue to meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Tuition support (normally provided in the funding package for registered students) is not included in the calculation of the Parental Grant

Application Process

  • While students are asked to initiate the application process, graduate units are expected to complete the Parental Grant application including details about the student’s funding package and submit the necessary supporting documentation to SGS.

Please note:

  • Students apply for a parental leave of absence through their graduate unit by submitting a Leave of Absence Form;
  • Upon approval of the leave, students can initiate a request for a Parental Grant by accessing the SGS Parental Grant Application and completing the student section;
  • Once initiated by the student the application is forwarded to the Graduate Unit complete and submit it to SGS;
  • Graduate units are required to indicate the student’s current base funding amount (without tuition) and attach the students funding letter to the application;
  • Students will receive an email notification via their U of T email address regarding the application status, expected payment date and/or a request for additional information (e.g. supporting documentation);
  • Proof of pregnancy, birth or adoption will be required to activate payment of the Grant; the following documents are accepted as proof of pregnancy/birth/adoption:
    1. Doctor’s certificate or certificate from a midwife stating that the student (or co-parent) is pregnant and the expected date of delivery;
    2. Long form birth certificate; or
    3. Confirmation of adoption letter issued by the Adoption Agency.

Additional Info


Grant funds will be disbursed in one instalment per session and payable to students starting with the first session of the approved parental leave. Student parents eligible to receive a second instalment will do so at the start of the second session (or fifth month) of leave. Birth-parents eligible for a third installment will receive payment at the start of the third session (or seventh month). Grant applications submitted after the parental leave has commenced will be processed within 10-14 business days of SGS receiving the completed application. In all cases, payment is conditional upon the proper submission of proof of pregnancy, birth or adoption as noted in the application process.

Contacts & Resources

Alice Brummell

Financial Aid and Awards Officer, Graduate

SGS Financial Aid and Advising Office