Graduate Studies Research Travel Assistantship application

Graduate Studies Research Travel Assistantship application (pdf)

Use this form to:

  • Apply for a Graduate Studies Research Travel Assistantship.

Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) and the Graduate Studies Endowment Fund (GSEF) assist the University of Waterloo graduate students to attend professional conferences, and present their research. Students should use this application form to reserve travel funds from their supervisor, Department/School, Faculty and/or GSPA/GSEF.


  • April 1 - spring term travel (May 1 – August 31)
  • August 1 - fall term travel (September 1 – December 31)
  • December 1 - winter term travel (January 1 – April 30)


  • Up to a maximum of $500 from GSPA/GSEF


Read and follow the instructions printed on the top of the application form.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  • Student must be traveling in connection with a UWaterloo research activity, must be the first or second author of the paper or poster, and must present the paper or poster at a conference.
  • Student must be a graduate student registered in a degree program at UWaterloo at the time of the conference.
  • Student must submit the request for funding in advance of travel. Applications will not be considered after travel has occurred.
  • Student must not have already received funding during the current fiscal year (May 1 – April 30).
  • Student must secure partial travel funding support from at least one of the following: supervisor(s), Department/School, or Faculty and obtain signatures on the application.

Application Guidelines

The student's supervisor (or in special cases, a graduate officer or other department head) must confirm that attendance at the conference is of direct benefit to a University of Waterloo research program and that the program conforms with the Income Tax Act definition of research (Research involves a critical or scientific inquiry aimed at the discovery of new facts, or the development of new interpretations or applications. It does not include research carried out for the sake of acquiring the experience or skill of conducting research, as may be the case with research carried out by undergraduate students).

Applications submitted to GSPA must demonstrate that partial travel funding support will be provided by at least one of the following: supervisor(s), Department/School, or Faculty. If neither the supervisor(s), Department/School or Faculty are able to provide funds, a reason must be included on the form. In special cases where funding is not provided by the above mentioned sources, GSPA may choose to contact the student and/or the Department/School for further explanation before GSPA/GSEF funds will be reserved.

Decisions will be made by GSPA within 1-2 weeks after each application deadline and will be based on the date received by GSPA. Applications received after each application deadline may be approved subject to availability of funds.

Applications will not be considered after travel has occurred.

If funds are depleted, the program may be suspended without notice until further funds become available.

Funds reserved by GSPA will expire one month after the anticipated date of return. Funds will be automatically cancelled if GSPA has not received the claim by the expiry date. If the student is unable to submit the claim by the deadline due to extenuating circumstances, the department or student should contact the Co-ordinator, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards in GSPA to request an extension.

After Travel

Upon return from the conference, a completed Expense Claim Form (Finance website) or online claim form (CONCUR) must be initiated and submitted to GSPA via the Department. To receive GSPA/GSEF funds, the claim must include:

  • total amount being reimbursed by supervisor(s), department/school and/or Faculty
  • copy of the research abstract indicating student as first or second author
  • confirmation of acceptance of the research paper/poster for presentation at the conference

Once the claim has been reviewed and approved by Finance, students will receive reimbursement for travel expenses up to the reserved amounts by either cheque or direct deposit, depending on whether their banking information has been added to Quest. To set up direct deposit, visit the Finance website.

As part of a pilot program for 2019-2020, students in the Faculty of Mathematics will receive the GSPA/GSEF portion of their reimbursement (up to $500) as an award payment (called either “GSPA Travel Assistantship Award” or “GSEF Travel Assistantship Award”). It will be coded to their Quest account for the term in which travel occurred. The remainder of the reimbursement amount will be processed by Finance and will be distributed to the student via cheque/direct deposit as described above.