SGS Research Travel Grant

Award Overview

Value & Duration

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. Students may apply to fund one return trip

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


The SGS Research Travel Grant provides 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.

Funding for this competition is supported by the School of Graduate Studies, 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.


Note: For research abroad requiring international travel, students must first register their travel dates with the U of T Safety Abroad Office prior to commencing a grant application – please refer to the Safety Abroad section below.

To apply candidates must:

  • Be registered full-time in a PhD or SJD program within the Humanities (Division 1)​ or Social Sciences (Division 2):
      • ​at the time of application;
      • for the duration of research travel; and
      • to receive payment
  • Be conducting research for up to 12 months that is necessary for the completion of their thesis; and
  • If international travel is required, provide proof of registration with Safety Abroad before traveling – see the Safety Abroad section below.

Preference will be given to first-time applicants in the latter stages of their program who have achieved candidacy.

Note: 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. SGS Research Travel Grant offers are conditional on recipients meeting all eligibility requirements.  ​

U of T Safety Abroad Requirements

For students traveling internationally, including to travel to the U.S.A., please ensure you register your travel dates with Safety Abroad in advance of traveling – you will be asked to show proof of registration prior to commencing an SGS grant application.

Before travelling on university activity abroad, there are certain steps that you must complete. For the most up to date information, refer to the Safety Abroad website.

  1. Contact the Safety Abroad Office directly by emailing to discuss your planned travel and be added to the Safety Abroad Registry;
  2. Sign the Consent and Terms of Participation waiver forms;
  3. Complete the online Safety Abroad pre-departure workshop (valid for 1.5 years); and
  4. Obtain supplementary health insurance (if not already covered).

Application Process

Before you apply: If your research abroad requires international travel, students must registered their travel with Safety Abroad prior travel and commencing an SGS Travel Grant application. You will be asked to upload your email confirmation.

Step 1:  Access the Online Application Form

Login to SGS Forms Tool with your UTORid and password

From the “Dashboard” click on “New Form”, from the left menu then select “SGS Travel Grant Application”.

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Email confirmation of registration with Safety Abroad Office – if traveling internationally;
  • Supervisor/adviser’s email address – for the approval process;
  • Details of the travel (e.g., destination, duration of travel);​
  • Proposed budget for the travel;
  • Purpose of the research (1,500 characters max).​​

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

Step 2: Supervisor Portion

Once submitted, the identified supervisor/adviser 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 following:
    • The applicant is in good academic standing,
    • they support/endorse the travel and travel is appropriate and necessary at the current stage of the applicant’s program; and
    • the availability any departmental/advisor funding

Note: If the supervisor/advisor does not receive the email invitation, the applicant may click the “Resend” button for the Supervisor/advisor form in their application to resend the invitation email with the link.

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 in their confirmation email.



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.

Additional Info

Helpful application tips:

  • The application can be saved in draft form after completing the second page but will time out after two hours.
  • Review the application carefully before submitting; ensure all values are entered in Canadian dollars.
  • Verify the accuracy of the supervisor/advisor’s email address to ensure the application is sent to the correct email address for completion.
  • Notify your supervisor/advisor early, letting them know that the SGS Conference Grant application will require their approval, and advise them of the deadline.
  • Applicants are responsible for monitoring their application and contacting their supervisor/advisor if necessary to ensure that they complete their portion before the deadline
  • Revising your application: the application cannot be modified directly after submission, however, applicants can request their application be unsubmitted and returned to the “Draft” form and then re-submit
    1. Contact travelgrant@utoronto.cato request the application be unsubmitted. This will return you application to the Draft form.
    2. Once it’s returned to “Draft”, go to the “My Forms” page of the SGS Forms Tool
    3. Find the SGS Conference Grant Application “Draft”
    4. Make your necessary edits and submit the application; and
    5. Notify your supervisor that they will need to complete their portion of the resubmitted application before the application deadline.

If  your supervisor needs to make a correction to their portion of the form after submission, they may email ​to request SGS to unsubmit their form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why are Safety Abroad procedures mandatory?

A: The U of T Safety Abroad works with various U of T offices, students, staff and faculty to minimize risk by:

  • Offering a Safety Abroa​d Database​ to track where and when students are abroad so that they can be offered emergency assistance
  • Providing Safety Abroad Workshops​
  • Offering a 24-hour emergency line​
  • Monitoring international security situations​

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 (see Safety Abroad section above).

Q: What if I don’t complete Safety Abroad procedures before my travel?

A:  An SGS Research Travel Grant offer may be rendered void if a recipient does not meet all of the eligibility and payment collection requirements (see Eligibility to Apply, Safety Abroad and Award Holder information sections).​

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 (see Eligibility section above).

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

A: Students may apply for the SGS Research Travel Grant more than once. However, preference is given to those who are applying for the first time (see Eligibility section above).

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 beyond candidacy, in the later stages of their PhD or SJD program.

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

A: Although having achieved candidacy is expected prior to application, PhD or SJD students in Division I or II may apply for the SGS Research Travel Grant if travel is expected soon after achieving candidacy.

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 (see Eligibility section above).

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 travel expenses. The value of the grant will be based on the destination(s), duration, and funds available, which will be communicated in the offer letter.

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

A: Yes. 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 (see Award Holder Information section).

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

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, a completed Change Request form must be uploaded to the online payment activation form with the other required documentation (please see Changing or Deferring my Travel Grant and Payment Activation sections).

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 Payment Activation Form?

A: The online Payment Activation Form is available via the SGS Forms tool. Please see the Award Holder Information-Payment Activation section for a direct link to the form.

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

A: Students who are awarded an SGS Research Travel Grant are required to depart as follows per application cycle: 

Summer Cycle: Between April 1st and Dec. 31st 

Winter Cycle: Between Dec. 1st and Aug. 31st 

Fall Cycle: Between Aug. 1st  and April 30th

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

A:  Yes, no fewer than 7 days (excluding travel dates) and no more than 12 months.

Q: A portion of my travel occurred before the application date. Can I apply for retroactive funding?

A: Some exceptions to travel dates may be made for students who departed prior to the application date. Please email with your travel date inquiries.

Q: Can I defer my award to next application cycle?
A: Students who plan to defer their travel into the following cycle should decline their offer and apply for the next cycle

Award Holder Information

Changing My Travel Grant

Successful applicants may request changes to or defer their proposed travel plans, provided that their supervisor/adviser approves and the travel occurs within the appropriate competition time frame. If your revised travel falls outside the allowable deferral period, you may cancel your grant and reapply to a future application cycle.

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). Please note that once offers have been distributed, the value of the offer, if changed, cannot be increased, but may be subject to a reduction due to significant changes to the destination(s) and/or duration of travel.

Payment Activation

To receive full payment, awardees must submit the required documents listed below within 30 days of returning from their trip. 

 Required documents:

  1. A completed online SGS Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form (review Payment Activation Instructions below​).
  2. ​Proof of transportation to the destination(s) (e.g., flight receipt showing itinerary (not booking confirmation), boarding passes, ​copy of bus ticket showing itinerary, or gas receipts)
  3. A completed Final Report Form with supervisor signature.

Partial payment may be obtained in advance of the trip, depending on the materials submitted. In all cases, students travelling outside of Canada must have first received approval from and registered with Safety Abroad Office and completed any pre-travel requirements.

Amount Paid Document(s) submitted
75% of grant* Departing or round-trip proof of transportation
Remaining 25% of grant* Final Report 

Payment Activation Instructions

Students awarded an SGS Research Travel 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.


  • 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

Change of Dates/Location Request Form

If applicable, recipients may request to change their travel dates and/or location from the one they initially proposed in their application.

If the travel dates and/or location of the proposed research travel has changed, a Conference/Research Travel Grant Change Request Form  must be completed and uploaded to the form.

Note: SGS Research Travel Grant offers cannot be increased and may be subject to a reduction, as per the revised travel dates and/or location.

  • Correctly identify which grant is being activated! The SGS Research Travel Grant does not provide conference funding

After selecting the correct grant, information and questions specific to the SGS Research Travel Grant will appear.

Supporting Documentation

 The following supporting documentation will need to be uploaded to the online form in the appropriate sections.

Each document must be saved as a PDF and cannot exceed 4 MB.

Proof of transportation

Acceptable examples of this type of proof are listed in the “Payment Activation” section above. This proof must be uploaded in the “Supporting Documentation” section.

Report detailing the research completed

After returning from a research trip abroad, a report must be submitted. The report form is in “Payment Activation” section above. This report must be uploaded in the “Supporting Documentation” section.

Once the documents have been uploaded and the form has been completed:

  • Review the “Signature” section
  • Select the “I confirm that the above information is correct” check box
  • Click “Next”

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.


      • The form cannot be modified after it has been submitted
      • If an error is discovered after submission or if you need to submit additional supporting documentation:
        • Email to “unsubmit” or return the form to you
        • Edit the information, make a final review, and then click “Submit”

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, 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:

Attaching additional documents or Final Report Form

If you need to submit additional supporting documentation:

    • Email to “unsubmit” or return the form to you
    • Edit the information, upload the additional documents, make a final review, and then click “Submit”

Contacts & Resources

Inquiries about this competition can be directed to:

Financial Aid and Advising Office
School of Graduate Studies