Application Criteria

All applications are evaluated in the following areas. Successful applications do not have to have merit in all categories. Factors are presented in order of importance, and the first three factors (quality, value, equity/diversity) are especially important. Please note that the procurement information below can help you improve the quality and value of your application, and help implement the award later on.

  1. Quality: Proposals must be written like a professional document: well-organized with correct grammar. As well, you must demonstrate a clear rationale for the expenditure that you are proposing. Formal estimate(s) of costs must be given, from more than one source if possible.
  2. Value: Projects are preferred if they provide high-quality benefits to many graduate students with a relatively small cost. We budget approximately $10,000 in total for all successful applications each term.
  3. Equity and Diversity: As GSEF has a mandate to provide support for as many graduate students as possible, if many proposals similar to yours are received, or if GSEF funding has recently been granted to your group or a similar proposal, your application will be less likely to receive funding. Consult the past projects listed on the right sidebar of the GSEF website to see if your group or a similar project has received funding in the recent past. In particular, GSEF should not be relied on as a regular source of funding (e.g. for annual conferences or events). Note: The GSA provides support for departments and clubs holding events. Consult the GSA for further information.
  4. Departmental Support: Part of the GSEF application asks you to approach your department (e.g. the grad officer or chair) for their financial support and/or a statement of general support saying that the project is worthwhile. If there are a lot of applications, departmental financial support makes it more likely that we would rank your project higher. In all cases, a statement by a faculty member or members makes it more evident to the Project Review Committee that the project is valuable.
  5. Urgency: Projects whose funds will be spent by the end of the following term are preferred.
  6. Exposure: The proposed project should provide good exposure for GSEF and Graduate Studies in general.
  7. Other: Projects which demonstrate that other funding sources have been approached, if suitable ones exist, are preferred. If graduate students are not the only participants or beneficiaries, it is expected that other sources will contribute proportionately to GSEF.

Please Note for the Large Project Funding Application: In order to ensure an efficient decision process, at least one representative will be required to be present at the Project Review Committee meeting to address any outstanding questions or clarifications. The designated representative(s) will be contacted to inform them of the details of this meeting. Please ensure that you are providing contact information for at least one representative on the application form.

Procurement Information

You should contact UW Procurement and Contract Services for assistance in planning your purchases. Procurement helps with all tangible items, as well as helping find consultants for different services. You may ask for help getting sources and/or quotes. See UW’s Policy 17. Procurement will generally obtain quotes on the applicant’s behalf as requested.


Applications are treated as confidential and private, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Applications will be discussed internally within the GSEF Review Committee and the Board of Directors for the purposes of evaluating the applications
  2. GSEF reserves the right to fact-check application details with third parties when necessary, e.g. confirming quotes with a supplier
  3. For winning awards, GSEF will publish the project descriptions and award values. Submitting photos of how you use your award is encouraged.