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.

Upcoming Deadlines

  • May 28th: Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement (CGS-MSFSS) June 2021 Intake
  • July 30th: Indigenous Graduate Travel Award

Apply for Awards

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

Apply now through GA3 →

Featured Award Recipient

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Open for Canadian Citizens/Permanent Residents
Open for International
Travel Awards

Graduate Travel and Research Award (Formerly Travel and Minor Research Award)

 
This award is intended to provide financial support to travel and expenses relating to the research component of the student’s graduate degree.

Note - As of September 2021, this award replaces the TMRA and GIRTA travel awards. Not all departments hold competitions for this award.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS AWARD →

Terms of Reference

  1. The purpose of this award is to fund required expenses and travel relating to the research component of the student’s graduate degree.
  2. The maximum award amount is $7,000 but individual award values will vary, depending on the expenses being submitted, academic unit approval and budgetary restrictions.  
  3. Students travelling to Northern Canada, the Northwest Territories or the Yukon are encouraged to apply for the Northern Studies Training Program (NSTP).
  4. Students holding a Tri-agency CGS award, including Vanier CGSD awards, are encouraged to apply to the Tri-agency Michael Smith Foreign Studies Supplement (MSFSS)
  5. Awards may be paid before or after the travel takes place. In the event of travel cancellation or changes, any award payment must be reimbursed to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. 
  6. Master’s students must hold the award within 3 years (9 terms) of the beginning of their program; Doctoral students must hold the award within 5 years (15 terms) of beginning their program. These times may be extended for students who have taken an approved leave. Students who did not complete a Master's program before transferring into a PhD are eligible to hold the travel award within the first 15 terms of their PhD, from the PhD start date.
  7. While holding this award, the student must be registered full time, regular (not on leave or part time), in good standing in a master’s or doctoral program. Students cannot hold this award while on a co-op or practicum term. 
  8. Students apply through the graduate awards application system. The application must include: 
    1. Most recent transcript (unofficial SFU transcript for current students; previous university for new students) 
    2. A description of the travel and/or expenses and how they are relevant to the research
    3. A letter of support from the supervisor confirming the expenses
  9. Awards are approved by the Senate Graduate Awards Committee Chair on the recommendation of the Graduate Program Chair. 
  10. Examples of ELIGIBLE travel expenses include travel for research purposes, travel to present at or attend a conference, workshop or seminar related to research. 
  11. Examples of ELIGIBLE research related expenses include direct costs of doing research such as interpretation services, paid data sets, computers/laptops, reasonable computer peripherals (keyboard, mouse, microphones), art supplies. 
  12. Examples of expenses NOT eligible include travel to practicums, co-ops, internships, job fairs or interviews, business or first class travel, course related travel or supplies (such as textbooks or journals). 
How to Apply →
  1. Check to ensure your expense 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

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 30th, 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 2021 INTAKE:
April Applications Open
May 28th

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

Email: gpsaward@sfu.ca

Subject Line: MSFSS June 2021 Application - Full Name

Application Form: here

June 10th
SFU GPS deadline for final submission to the tri-agencies
August Notice of Decision
 
OCTOBER 2021 INTAKE:
September Applications Open
September 27th

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

Email: gpsaward@sfu.ca

Subject Line: MSFSS October 2021 Application - Full Name

Application Form: HERE

October 12th SFU GPS deadline for final submission to the tri-agenices
December Notice of Decision
 
FEBRUARY 2022 ADDITIONAL INTAKE (Waiting for Confirmation): 
January Applications Open
January (TBA)

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

Email: gpsaward@sfu.ca

Subject Line: MSFSS February 2022 Application - Full Name

 

February (TBA) SFU GPS deadline for final submission to the tri-agenices
TBA 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 required 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.
  6. COVID-19: All MSFSS candidates need to adhere to SFU Covid-19 policy as well as provincial (if applicable) and national guidelines, and have approval to travel. Please visit the SFU FAQ Page and SFU Travel Safety for the latest SFU-specific information. 

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 - The terms of reference for this award have been replaced by the Travel and Research Award terms of reference, applicable to travel awards held after September 1, 2021.
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)
  • Additional Computer Peripherals: keyboard/mouse, memory sticks, external hard drives, Mac Airport, Time Capsule
  • Toner cartridges, laptop batteries or adapters

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
  • Service cost for equipment
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