SGS Research Travel Grant

Award Overview

Student Deadline

The Government of Canada is now warning against all non-essential international travel (including to the U.S.A.).  Also, as of March 12, 2020, the University of Toronto has cancelled future university activity to international locations for all students until June 1, 2020.

The 2020 SGS Research Travel Grant online application deadline has been extended to May 29 at 4:30 pm to allow for new or revised applications from students whose research travel plans have been disrupted due recent travel restrictions.

While upcoming travel may be difficult to confirm, fortunately, the nature of the program has built-in flexibility that allows for students to enter their estimated travel dates (up to April 30, 2021 for the current cycle) and to request changes to travel dates and destination(s) even after a grant has been awarded.

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.

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 within the competit​ion.

Purpose

The SGS Research Travel Grant provides modest 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.

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 expenses.

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

Eligibility

Preference will be given to first time applicants in the latter stages of their program (i.e. have achieved candidacy) and planning to conduct research abroad that is necessary for the completion of their thesis. Student may only apply to fund one return trip per application cycle and may not receive funding for the same trip twice. 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.

Applicants must be:

  • Registered full-time in a PhD or SJD program within the Humanities (Division 1)​ or Social Sciences (Division 2) when:
    1. ​Submitting the application;
    2. Conducting their research travel;
    3. Requesting payment of grant;
  • Planning to conduct research abroad that is necessary for the completion of their thesis;
  • Departing on or after January 1,​ 2020 and returning on or before April 30, 2021;
  • Expecting to take a single trip where the duration is no fewer than 7 days and no more than 12 months; and
  • For all students travelling outside of Canada (including to the U.S.A.): Compliant with all applicable departmental and U of T Safety Abroad procedures, including an in-person workshop, prior to departure (see “Safety Abroad” below).

Note:

Forfeiture of an SGS Research Travel Grant may occur if recipient does not meet all of the eligibility and payment collection requirements. ​

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.

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 within the competition.

Safety Abroad

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).

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 and cannot occur retroactively:

  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

The online application will be available beginning February 3 and closes May 29 (extended) at 4:30 pm.

Please note:

  • Both the applicant and the supervisor/adviser will be required to use their UTORid and password for the application process;
  • The application will time out after two hours but can be saved in draft form after saving the second page; and
  • The application cannot be modified after submission. If an error is discovered once it has been submitted, a new application must be created to replace the original application. The previously submitted application can be “cloned” using the copy button, modifications made, and submitted as a new application. Please email travelgrant@utoronto.ca​ to inform SGS of the second corrected application.

Applicants are encouraged to:

  • Notify their supervisor/adviser that they will be submitting an SGS Research Travel Grant application which will require their approval and advise them of the deadline;
  • Confirm their supervisor/adviser’s correct email address to ensure the supervisor/adviser section of the application is sent to the correct email address for completion; and
  • Be mindful of the deadline date to ensure their supervisor/adviser to complete their portion on time.​

Supervisor/Adviser Information

For the purposes of this competition, the supervisor/adviser 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.

Online Application

Step 1: Student Application

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

Click on the “Online Application Form” button. Sign in using your UTORid.

You will be brought to a “Dashboard” page. Using the left-hand side menu, click on “Forms,” then “Form Library,” and under the Award Forms section “SGS Research Travel Grant Application.”

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

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Supervisor/adviser’s email address (for the approval process);
  • Details of the travel (e.g., destinations, duration of travel);​
  • Proposed budget for the travel;
  • Purpose of the research (1,500 characters max).​​

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 applicant is in good academic standing and that the proposed travel is appropriate at the current stage of the applicant’s program.

Step 3: Confirmation Email

Once the supervisor/adviser has submitted their portion, the system will send a confirmation email to both the applicant and the supervisor within 24 hours.

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

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

ONLINE APPLICATION FORM

 

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 Research Travel 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.

Results

All applicants will receive an email with their result via their U of T email address at the end of May.

Successful applicants will receive information regarding the offer amount and the terms and conditions of the grant. SGS Research Travel Grants cannot be deferred beyond a return date of April 30, 2021. Successful applicants can request to apply their grant to a different destination after receiving the results of their application – full details regarding request for changes are provided on the Award Holder Information section.

Successful applicants must declare any SGS Travel Grant funding received when applying for other sources of funding related to the same research travel.

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

Additional Info

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is eligible to apply for the SGS Research Travel Grant?

A: Applicants to the SGS Research Travel Grant must be: a) a registered, full-time PhD or SJD student in Division I or II, and b) requesting funds to support travel directly associated with the completion of their thesis (see Eligibility section above).

Q: Are “flexible-time” students eligible for the SGS Research Travel Grant?

A: No, flexible-time students are not eligible. Flexible-time students are meant to be self-funded (see Eligibility section above).

Q: Why are Safety Abroad procedures mandatory?

A: The U of T Safety Abroad works with various U of T offices (including the High Risk team), 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 are eligible to apply for the SGS Research Travel Grant more than once. However, preference will be 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 in the later stages of their PhD or SJD program (see Eligibility section above).

Q: Where can I find the SGS Research Travel Grant application?

A: The application will be available on this webpage in the Application Process  section (please see deadlines in the Award Overview chart above).

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

A: Although having achieved candidacy is preferred, PhD or SJD students in Division I or II are eligible to apply for the SGS Research Travel Grant before achieving candidacy (see Eligibility section above).

Q: What is the deadline to submit my application?

A: Applicants & supervisors must complete and submit their portion of the form by the deadline in the Award Overview chart above. Supervisors are required to fill in a one-page application approval after applicants submit their portion.

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 of the travel expenses associated with each application. 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. Since this grant provides modest financial support, 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 (see Eligibility section above).

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 Destination and/or Duration 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: Please see the Award Holder Information-Payment Activation section.

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

A: Students who are awarded an SGS Research Travel Grant are required to complete their travel (depart and return) by April 30th of the following year. Students who plan to travel after April 30th of the following year should decline their offer and apply to the next SGS Research Travel Grant competition (see Changing Destination and/or Duration section above).

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: My travel begins before January 1st. Can I apply for retroactive funding?

A: Some exceptions to travel dates may be made for students who departed in December and return after January 1st. Please email travelgrant@utoronto.ca with your travel date inquiries.

Q: Can I defer my award to next year?
A: No, the award is only valid during the competition timeframe in which it was awarded (January 1st of application year, to April 30th of the following year). Students who plan to travel after April 30th of the following year should decline their offer and apply to the next SGS Research Travel Grant competition (see Changing Destination and/or Duration section above).

Award Holder Information

Changing Destination and/or Duration

Successful applicants may request changes to their proposed travel plans, provided that their supervisor/adviser approves and the travel occurs within the appropriate competition time frame, i.e., any changes to travel dates must still conform to the April 30th deadline mentioned above. Requests after this deadline will not be considered. If your revised travel will occur after April 30th of the following year, please cancel your grant and reapply to the following year’s SGS Research Travel Grant competition.

Please note that once offers have been distributed, the value of the offer cannot be increased. However, it may be subject to a reduction due to changes to the destination(s) and/or duration of travel. A completed Change Request form must be submitted to travelgrant@utoronto.ca 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).

Payment Activation

To receive payment, awardees must submit the following required documents within 30 days of returning from their trip and no later than April 30, the year following the offer. Requests after this deadline will not be considered.

  1. A completed online SGS Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form (access Payment Activation Instructions below​).
    1. Awardees will be expected to confirm on this form that all Safety Abroad requirements were completed prior to travel outside of Canada. Research travel conducted without completing all Safety Abroad requirements may cause forfeiture of the SGS Research Travel Grant.
  2. Proof of Safety Abroad pre-departure workshop completion status (if applicable) by submitting a screenshot showing recipient’s name and confirmation of completion.
  3. ​Proof of transportation to and from destination(s) (e.g., copy of flight receipt showing itinerary and boarding passes for both departure and return to Canada, ​copy of bus itinerary, or gas receipts).
  4. Proof of accommodation(s) (e.g., copy of rental agreement showing dates of stay, copy of hotel or AirBnB receipt, or confirmation from accommodation host with address and start and end dates of stay).
  5. A completed Final Report Form with supervisor signature.

Full or partial payment may be obtained in advance of the trip, depending on materials submitted. Failure to submit the required documentation by the above deadline will result in cancellation of the Grant. Arrears (from the previous academic year) must be fully cleared in order for the grant payment to be processed.

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.

Step 1. Access the SGS e-Forms website

 SGS e-Forms website: https://apps.sgs.utoronto.ca

Click “Login to SGS Portal”.

Select “University of Toronto weblogin”. Recipients must log on using their UTORid and password.

Step 2. Start a New Form

On the “My Forms” homepage, click the green button that reads “Start a New Form”. Scroll down to the “Award forms” section. Select “SGS Conference / Research Travel Grant – Payment Activation Form.”

Step 3. Begin Form

The top portion of the “Award Holder Information” section will be pre-populated with information from ACORN.

Note:

  • The system will time out after 2 hours
  • Past page 2, the form will be saved and may be returned to at a later date through the “My Forms” link on the left-hand side menu
  • Commas and periods cannot be entered into the “Value of Approved Grant” field
  1. 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 in the “Award Holder Information” section.

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.

Step 4. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Proof of accommodation

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

  1. Proof of Safety Abroad pre-departure workshop completion (if applicable) 

Submit a screenshot showing your name/UTORid and confirmation of completion of the last module

  1. 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.

“Next”

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

  • Review the “Signature” section
  • Select the “I confirm the above” check box
  • Click “Next”

Step 5. Final 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” button at the bottom left side of the page.

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

Note:

      • The form cannot be modified after it has been submitted
      • If an error is discovered after submission:
        • “Clone” the submitted form on the “My Forms” homepage
        • Edit the information, make a final review, and then click “Submit”
        • Email travelgrant@utoronto.ca to inform SGS of the second corrected form

Step 6. 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 the recipient’s U of T email address from sgs.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 status of “Submitted” in orange font indicates that the form has been successfully submitted to SGS for processing.

Step 7. 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

Steps 1 to 4 below should be followed if partial payment has already been submitted, and now the remainder of the grant is being requested.

Step 1. Follow step 1 as per above (Access the SGS e-Forms website)

Step 2. “Clone” the originally submitted form

On the “My Forms” home page, locate your initially Submitted SGS Conference / Research Travel Grant Payment Activation Form and “Clone” the form

Step 3. Attach new Supporting Documentation to cloned form

Edit the information on the cloned form by attaching new proof of transportation and/or proof of accommodation if applicable, and attaching Report detailing research completed during the trip.

Step 4. Follow steps 5 to 7 as per above

(Final Review, Confirmation of Submission, and Processing and Payment)

Contacts & Resources

Inquiries about this competition can be directed to:

Pascal Papathanasakis
Graduate Awards Officer, Federal
School of Graduate Studies
travelgrant@utoronto.ca
416-978-8260​​