School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Award Announcement

Award Overview


Online application opens:  September 1, 2023

Online application closes for both students & supervisors: November 30, 2023 4:30 pm 



Level of Study: 

Full-time master’s or doctoral students 

Required Legal Status: 

Domestic or international 


Mid-December 2023


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 the 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.  


For the Fall 2023 application cycle, students may apply for an SGS Conference Grant to support conference presentations occurring – either virtually or, when possible, in-person – between July 1, 2023, and June 1, 2024. 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 – either in-person or virtually – between July 1, 2023, and June 1, 2024; 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 program. Exception: direct-entry or “fast-track” doctoral students may collect a maximum of two SGS Conference Grants during their degree program. See the SGS Conference Grant webpage for information on Virtual conference participation.


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. 

SGS Conference Grants are calculated using the following information from the completed online application: 

  • Applicant’s minimum registration fee for the conference; 
  • Location of the conference (funds permitting); and
  • The 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. 

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 to discuss and seek approval for 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

Full instructions are available on the SGS Conference Grant webpageThe Fall 2023 SGS Conference Grant online application will be available from September 1, 2023, until November 30, 2023.

  • 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;
  • 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; 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. 


Fall applicants will receive an email with their result via their U of T email address by mid-December.

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 on the SGS Conference Grant webpage.

Payment Activation  

Grant recipients must request payment of their grant funds within 30 days of the conference presentation taking place or the date of the SGS Conference Grant Offer letter if the conference has already occurred upon notification of the results (full details regarding payment activation are on the SGS Conference Grant webpage). Failure to submit a completed Payment Activation Form by the deadline will result in the 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 presentation (e.g., conference program or agenda, showing student’s name and a 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): 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.

Contacts & Resources 

For more information, please visit the SGS Conference Grant webpage or contact:

Graduate Awards Office
School of Graduate Studies
(416) 978-2386