Graduate Student Research Dissemination Award application

Graduate Student Research Dissemination Award application form

Use this form to:

  • Apply for a Graduate Student Research Dissemination Award (GSRDA)

Award Description:

Through a commitment of financial support from the Graduate Studies Endowment Fund (GSEF) and Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA), awards are available to encourage full-time or part-time graduate students to present their own research (oral, poster, paper) at an academic conference and engage in academic dialogue within their field of study and research.


Recipients will receive an award valued at $250 for virtual conferences or $500 for in-person conferences. 

The number of awards available will vary from year to year depending on available budget. The annual budget will be split across three terms normally with more budget allocated to the Spring term. Applications will be approved on a first-come, first-serve basis each term, depending on available budget. Applications will be accepted throughout the year for each term until funds are depleted.

Students are advised to seek additional financial support from their supervisor, department and/or faculty to assist with defraying the costs associated with conference, travel and accommodation expenses, as appropriate.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria:

  • Graduate students must be registered in the term of the conference as full time or part time in a research-based program while completing a thesis or Master's Research Paper (MRP). 
  • Students are limited to receiving the award once per fiscal year (May-April), regardless of the value of award issued.
  • Applicants must be presenting their own research (oral, poster, paper), which is of direct benefit to their research/academic studies, at an in-person or virtual academic conference.
  • Applicants must submit a Graduate Student Research Dissemination Award application where they must include a lay summary of the research they will be presenting, as well as a description of the expected outcomes and how the conference will benefit their research/academic studies. Additionally, the applicant must upload a Graduate Student Research Dissemination Award – Supervisor Verification form signed by their supervisor. 
  • As a result of limited funding for this program, applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as they have confirmed that they will be presenting at a conference. Applications will be accepted at any time throughout the year, provided the conference has not already occurred. Applications received after the conference has taken place will be rejected.
  • Applicants may apply for the award provided that funds still remain for the term in which the conference will take place. If the estimated travel dates or conference dates straddle two academic terms, the application will be considered for the term in which the student’s expected return travel date or conference end-date occurs.
  • Award recipients must notify GSPA immediately if their attendance type changes (e.g., in-person to virtual). In this case, the award value will be adjusted to reflect the new attendance type.
  • Award recipients who do not end up attending the conference are required to notify GSPA immediately by email to arrange for repayment of funds awarded.
  • Students who were approved for the award who subsequently change their registration status to inactive in the term of the conference will be required to pay back the award.
  • GSPA will perform audits of select award recipients who will be required to provide proof of presentation which may include conference brochure, agenda or screenshot of website listing the recipient as a presenter.
  • With the applicant’s consent, GSPA may publish research summaries and expected outcomes provided by the applicant on the application form on their website in order to promote graduate student research at Waterloo.
  • To support internal tracking of research activity, students are strongly encouraged to share their SCOPUS / ORCID ID (16 digits) at the time of application.

Competition Status

Fiscal Year Application Term Travel/Conference Dates     Competition Status
23-24 Winter 2024 Jan 1, 2024 – Apr 30, 2024  Closed; no funds remaining
24-25 Spring 2024 May 1, 2024 - Aug 31, 2024 Closed; no funds remaining
24-25 Fall 2024 Sept 1, 2024 - Dec 31, 2024 Open
24-25 Winter 2025 Jan 1, 2025 - Apr 30, 2025 Open

Application Process:

  1. Ensure that there are funds available (refer to the Competition Status table
  2. Download and have supervisor sign Graduate Student Research Dissemination Award - Supervisor Verification form
  3. Submit application web form

Notification and Payment:

Applicants will be notified of the decision within 3 weeks of submitting their application. Upon approval, the award will applied to the term in which the conference occurs. The award will be coded to the student’s Quest account and first applied to any outstanding tuition and incidental fees. Any credit balance will be released as a refund via direct deposit.