Travel Awards

Travel Awards are primarily intended to support the travel component of the scholarly activity of graduate students related to their research. Graduate programs are encouraged to promote and enhance their students' graduate experience by supporting their attendance and active participation in conferences in their field of study through the use of these funds. Direct costs of doing research may also be supported.

Eligibility & How to Apply

Because the travel awards listed on this page come from a variety of sources (internal university funds, faculty or departmental funds and/or external and government funds) the process for applying for each award differs. Students should read the eligibility and application process for each award carefully.

More Information

If you have any questions about the awards listed below, please contact your academic unit.

Apply for Awards

Some awards listed below are applied for through the Graduate Awards Application Adjudication System (GA3).

Apply now through GA3 →

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Upcoming Deadlines

 

Travel Awards

Graduate International Research Travel Award

This award is intended to provide financial support to master's and doctoral students who must travel in order to undertake research for their degree requirements.

Note - not all departments hold competitions for this award.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS AWARD →

Terms of Reference

  1. This scholarship is awarded to graduate students who must travel to undertake research required for their program of study. The Graduate [International] Research Travel Award is valued up to a maximum of $7,000 (effective Fall 2020) and is tenable in the Summer, Fall or Spring term. The duration of the research trip, funded by this award, must be a minimum of one month to a maximum of four consecutive months. The award value may be prorated depending on the duration of the research trip and its location.
  2. To be eligible to hold this award, a student must be registered as a full-time, regular (not “on-leave” or “part-time”) student in good standing in a master’s or doctoral program in the term in which the award is held.
  3. Master’s students must be intending to complete a project or thesis that will be deposited in the SFU Library/Summit and hold the award within two years of beginning their degree program.
    Doctoral students must hold the award within three years of beginning their degree program.
    These times may be extended for students who have taken approved ‘on-leave’ semesters for medical or maternity reasons.
  4. Students cannot hold more than one Graduate International Research Travel Award during their degree program.
  5. Recipients of a Graduate Research Travel Award may accept other scholarship support from external sources and/or from awards administered by SFU with the exception of the Michael Smith Foreign Travel Supplement.  Students cannot hold the GIRTA and the MSFSS during the same travel period.
  6. Your application must be accompanied by:
    1. a current, unofficial SFU transcript AND a copy of the transcript from the institution from which the applicant obtained their most recent degree;
    2. a list of scholarly contributions (publications, conference papers, etc.) and graduate awards received;
    3. a statement of the research to be conducted, including description of research, relevance, contribution to the student’s development as a researcher, and justification for travel (maximum two pages);
    4. a letter of support from the senior supervisor, indicating the relevance of travel to the research and confirming that they do not hold a research grant that could support the travel;
    5. completion of the one-page budget summary form, including dates of travel, travel costs, accommodation, and living expenses. (It is not necessary for these costs to equal or exceed the value of the award.)


Eligible Travel/Expenses

The following categories of activity are typical of those that will be supported:

  • research where travel to informants is necessary (e.g. ethnographic research)
  • research that requires travel to natural phenomena (e.g. species, ecosystems, landforms)
  • research where travel to cultural phenomena (e.g. archives, artifacts) is necessary
  • research that requires use of facilities not available in Western Canada or the Northwestern USA (e.g. scientific equipment; reference collections)


Expenses Not Eligible

The following categories of activities will NOT be supported:

  • instructional activity (courses, field schools, training programs)
  • research to be conducted in Northern Canada, the Northwest Territories or the Yukon. Funding for these areas may be available through the Northern Studies Training Program (NSTP)
  • conferences, seminars, working groups, etc.
  • travel to paid employment (co-op terms, internships, research assistantships, etc.)
How to Apply →
  1. Read about the award to ensure you and your research travel/expenses are eligible
  2. Search for the award in the Graduate Awards Application System
  3. Can’t find the award in the system? Check with your academic unit - not all units hold competitions for this award

Indigenous Graduate Travel Award

This award provides financial support for Indigenous graduate students for the travel component important to their research. Indigenous or “Aboriginal” is defined by Canada’s 1982 Constitution as people identified as First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples of Canada.

Deadlines to apply are November 30, April 15th and July 30th of every year.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS AWARD →

Terms of Reference

  1. The purpose of the Indigenous Graduate Travel Award is to provide financial support for Indigenous graduate students for the travel component important to their research. Students can only apply for the Indigenous travel award once per academic year. Indigenous graduate students may apply for this fund before their travel to pay for costs in advance.
  2. To be eligible for this award, the following criteria must be met:
    1. This award is for Indigenous graduate students attending Simon Fraser University.
    2. Indigenous or “Aboriginal” is defined by Canada’s 1982 Constitution as people identified as First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples of Canada.
  3. Disbursements of up to $1000 each may be applied for in each academic year (starting September 1 of each year).
  4. The funds will be given out on a first come / first applied for basis. The fund will be considered used for the year when the $5,000 limit for the year has been reached. Once the total fund has been distributed for the year, a message will be sent out through the Indigenous graduate student listserv.
  5. Repeat applications will be allowed from year-to-year. Preference, however, will be given to students who have not yet received money from this fund (this is at the discretion of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies).
  6. Application includes:
    1. A completed budget which accounts for the requested amount;
    2. A letter of support from the applicant’s academic supervisor or a faculty member familiar with your work (to verify the student’s academic status, intent, and need).

Travel Report

Upon completion of travel, successful applicants will need to submit the following within two weeks to the Graduate Awards Assistant: gpsaward@sfu.ca

A concise Travel and Activity Report, written in language suitable for the general public. Contents and/or quotes from the report may be published in Graduate Studies promotional material. If you do not wish for your travel report to be published, please indicate so.

The following could be included in your report:

  • The activities that were carried out, in respect to how the travel contributed to your research and/or scholarly activities
  • Any unanticipated benefits derived from the travel, including those in relation to your current research objectives an/or to your general experience as a graduate student
  • Any special issues or problems you encountered
How to Apply →
  1. Read about the award to ensure you and your research travel/expenses are eligible.
  2. Search for the award in the Graduate Awards Application System. Deadlines to apply are November 30, April 15th and July 30th of every year.
  3. Students need to submit a travel report after completion of their travel.

Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement (CGS-MSFSS)

This MSFSS is only available to Canadian citizens or permanent residents who hold a Tri-agency CGS Scholarship. The award is valued up to $6,000 based on the information and budget justification provided in the application. The related research study period must be between two to six months.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS AWARD →

This award is funded by the tri-agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) and interested applicants must check eligibility to apply and to hold the award. Learn more →

Competition Timelines

JUNE 2020 INTAKE
April Applications open
May 28th
(5PM PST)

Student DEADLINE to submit full application and supporting documentation (includes all required signatures) to the Graduate Awards Team at the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) via email only

Email: gpsaward@sfu.ca

Subject Line: MSFSS June 2020 Application - Full Name

June 20th
GPS deadline for final submission
August Notice of Decision
OCTOBER 2020 INTAKE
September Applications open
September 29th
(5PM PST)

Student DEADLINE to submit full application and supporting documentation (includes all required signatures) to the Graduate Awards Team at the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) via email only

Email: gpsaward@sfu.ca

Subject Line: MSFSS October 2020 Application - Full Name

October 10th GPS deadline for final submission
December Notice of Decision

About the Host Supervisor Letter

The supporting letter from your host supervisor should confirm:

  • their affiliation and employment with the host institution/host destination;
  • how they became your choice for a host supervisor;
  • how their research is related or overlaps with yours;
  • why they agreed to the research travel (is it beneficial for their group/lab/current research? Is it beneficial for a publication? to a larger group?);
  • their committment to you (supervisory time, university resource and access to those resources);

 

How to Apply →
  1. Check your eligibility to Apply and to Hold the award here.
  2. Each agency has its own application form, instructions, and consent forms and care should be taken to ensure that the appropriate form is used.
  3. Request a letter from your current supervisor detailing their support for your research study period abroad and confirming that your proposed research aligns with the research from your CGS award (maximum one page).
  4. Request a Host Supervisor Letter detailing their support for your research study period abroad and the resources they have available to support your planned research activities (maximum one page).
  5. Submit your application form and supporting documentation as PDF file via e-mail to our Graduate Awards Team by the Student Deadline listed in the Competition Timelines section. When this deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is the next business day.

Muslim Studies Graduate Student Travel Award

This award is intended to support a graduate student in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences pursuing research on an aspect of Muslim Society or Culture.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS AWARD →

Terms of Reference

  1. The Muslim Studies Graduate Student Award is supported by the Dossa Endowment Fund. It supports a graduate student award for a student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences who has undertaken research on Muslim societies and cultures. To be eligible for this award, students must be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral thesis program in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
  2. The criteria for this award are:
    1. full-time registration at Simon Fraser University in a graduate program
    2. completed at least one term in a graduate program in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
    3. a program which requires travel abroad to undertake research on some aspect of a Muslim society or culture
  3. This award may be held in any term in conjunction with other awards made by Simon Fraser University or other agencies where permitted by those agencies.
  4. Application must include:
    1. current, unofficial SFU transcript
    2. a research proposal concerned with Muslim societies and cultures
    3. a letter from the student’s supervisor attesting to the quality of applicant and supporting the need for research abroad for the applicant’s research
  5. The award will be made by the Dean of Graduate Studies, on behalf of the Senate Graduate Awards Adjudication Committee, upon the recommendation of the Chair of the Steering Committee, Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies (CCMS), Department of History.
How to Apply →
  1. Read about the award to ensure you and your research travel/expenses are eligible.
  2. Search and apply for the award in the Graduate Awards Application System.
  3. This award is usually part of the Spring and Summer Donor Funded Award competitions with deadlines falling in October and/or February.

Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP)

The Northern Scientific Training Program was established in 1961 to encourage Canadian universities to participate in training northern specialists to meet national needs. It provides supplementary support to offset the additional costs of northern research (i.e. transportation costs, living expenses, shipping costs and interpreter fees). This program is not intended to be a source of primary support for students pursuing northern research. The NSTP terms of reference, eligibility criteria and funding decisions are made by the NSTP Management Committee of Polar Knowledge Canada. 
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS AWARD →

Eligibility

Students are eligible for consideration if they are:

  • doing field research in Northern Canada or northern regions of other circumpolar countries (see below for definitions)
  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • enrolled in a graduate program at SFU; or
  • a third year undergraduate student who intends to undertake an honor's thesis based on northern field work.

NSTP Update (Oct 6th, 2020):

Students who have opted to postpone their project due to COVID-19 still have the opportunity to apply for 2021-2022 as per normal procedures. Their application must demonstrate that this second trip will apply to the next year of study (e.g. Postponed fieldwork for MSc 1st year and new application for MSc 2nd year). The description in the new application must demonstrate a continuation of the project and cannot be identical to the previous year’s. The two trips can be done separately but could also be done one after the other. All proposed projects must continue to meet NSTP eligibility criteria.

Definition of the North

For the purposes of this program, the term `North` is understood to include the part of Canada which lies north of the southern limit of the discontinuous permafrost zone in Canada (arctic and subarctic):

See NSTP Geographic Boundary Map (Electronic Version)

The ‘Circumpolar North” refers to the eight countries of the Arctic Council (Canada, Finland, Greenland [Denmark], Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States [Alaska]).

Refer to NSTP Informaion Manual (2021-2022)

Eligibile Expenses

Use the following as a guide for eligible expenses/budgeting purposes. Note that there is no budget required within the application form, but the University Northern Studies committee may require an explanation of your request.

Category NSTP Notes Budget Range
Travel Cost of one return trip, Airfare as economy only Estimate Ground transportation at $0.40/KM
Meals/Per Diem Eligible Estimate $40/person/day
Translator/Interpreter/Interviewee Eligible Estimate $35/hour
Accommodation Eligible  
Freight Costs

Eligible

 
Cost of Assistant

Not Eligible

 
Field Supplies

Not Eligible

 
Field Training

Not Eligible

 
Research License Application Fee

Not Eligible

 
Translation

Not Eligible

 
How to Apply →
  1. Read about the award to ensure you and your travel destination/expenses are eligible.
  2. Read through the student section of the NSTP Information Manual (2021-2022) for instructions.
  3. Complete and submit the full application on the NSTP Fluid Review System by Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 (23:59 EST). Note that the application has a supervisory portion that needs to be completed prior to submission. An incomplete form may result in a refusal of application for funds.
  4. Applications are reviewed internally by SFU’s University Northern Studies committee prior to being sent to NSTP for approval. 

See Frequently Asked Questions or contact us by email at gpsaward@sfu.ca

Updated: October 2020

Travel and Minor Research Awards

Travel and Minor Research Awards are primarily intended to support the travel component of the scholarly activity of graduate students related to their research. Direct costs of doing research may also be supported.

Note - not all academic units hold competitions for this award.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS AWARD →

Terms of Reference

  1. The purpose of the Travel and Minor Research Awards is to support the travel component of the scholarly activity of graduate students related to their research.
  2. To be eligible for this award, the following two criteria must be met:
    1. Student is enrolled in a graduate program at Simon Fraser University;
    2. Student must travel to a conference to either present research, travel to attend a conference, or travel to conduct research
  3. Travel to participate in a practicum or internship or travel to attend job fairs and/or interviews, are not eligible.
  4. The completed application form should be submitted with:
    1. current, unofficial transcript
    2. letter of acceptance from the conference organizer (if presenting a research paper/poster) or letter from the student explaining the purpose and relevance of travel
  5. The completed application and supporting documentation must be submitted to the graduate school/department of enrolment by the internal deadline date set by the department/school.
  6. Awards are made by the recommendation of the chair of the Senate Graduate Awards Adjudication Committee on the recommendation of the Graduate Program Chair.
  7. Awards may be paid before or after travel takes place. The student must be registered in their graduate program in the term they receive payment.
  8. In the event of travel cancellation after the travel award has been paid, the student must inform the graduate department/school of enrolment and the award will have to be reimbursed to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Eligible Expenses/Travel

  • International/national/local economy class travel to a conference to either present research, travel to attend a conference, or travel to conduct research, including associated expenses such as economy/standard accommodation, meals, and research-related conference/workshop/seminar fees within reasonable limits.
  • Direct costs of doing research (e.g. interpretation services, paid data sets)
  • Journals and books for research (not required for course)
  • Equipment for research (e.g. tools, art supplies, and stationary)
  • Computer/laptop/iPad or Tablet for research (only 1 item in this category every 3 years)

Not Eligible Expenses

  • Travel as part of a student’s degree program, such as to participate in a practicum or internship or travel to attend job fairs and/or interviews
  • Business or first class travel
  • Passport or visas costs
  • Credit and non-credit courses
  • Skill building workshops
  • Required books and journals for courses
  • Briefcases or luggage
  • Cell phones, Blackberries, iPhones, and/or Data Plans
  • Big screen TV as PC monitor.  Computer monitors over 27 inches
  • Toner cartridges, laptop batteries or adapters
  • Service cost for equipment
  • Additional Computer Peripherals: keyboard/mouse, memory sticks, external hard drives, Mac Airport, Time Capsule
How to Apply →
  1. Check to ensure your research travel is eligible
  2. Search and apply for the award in the Graduate Awards Application System
  3. Can’t find the award in the system? Check with your academic unit - not all units hold competitions for this award