The University of Waterloo is committed to the goals laid out in its Strategic Plan, including those in the Robust Employer-Employee Relationship and Global Prominence and Internationalization themes. To contribute to these goals, Waterloo International, with support from various partners across campus, is pleased to administer the Staff International Experience Fund (SIEF) program.
The SIEF program allows selected staff members to participate in an international experience that serves to advance the University’s strategic objectives. The primary intention of the SIEF program is to provide staff members with international experiences that allow them to advance the goals of the University of Waterloo.
This program is open to regular full-time staff on the USG-scale at Waterloo (as defined by Policy 54) with the following exceptions:
- The applicant has previously received an SIEF award from the University of Waterloo
- The applicant’s organizational unit is in Waterloo International
Preference will be given to those who do not normally have the opportunity to travel internationally to advance their professional goals at Waterloo.
The program is intended to allow staff members to “do their work better” by virtue of having an international experience. More formally, the selection committee members will look for the likely impact that the international experience will have back here at home. Ultimately, that is, they will look to see how the opportunities offered through the SIEF award would advance the University’s goals.
The expectation of the selection committee members is that SIEF award recipients will travel to a series of (approximately two to four) foreign institutions (preferably universities with which Waterloo already has a formal relationship) in one or two countries for a two to three week period. Deviations from this expectation must be accompanied by a clear rationale. Conference attendance is not normally part of successful applications unless it fits within the broader institutional partner visits.
If, as you put together your application, you would like input from Waterloo International regarding Waterloo’s existing partnerships with particular foreign institutions, please contact Laila Wickham at Waterloo International. We will endeavor within two weeks to give you a brief overview of the affiliations you might consider. (We kindly ask that you limit such queries to five in total.)
Before departure, you will be interviewed for an online story about your international experience. The story will be shared with you in advance. You must also review the University's Travel Safety pages and register with International SOS (ISOS) before departure.
During the trip, you will take and share photos as well as engage in social media activity.
After returning, you will:
- Be interviewed for an online story about your international experience. The story will be shared with you in advance.
- Share your experience with colleagues through a presentation which may be a lunch and learn session for the next SIEF competition or another venue.
- Prepare a report (approximately two to three pages) outlining what you did, when you did it, where you travelled, who you met, etc.
- Prepare a report (approximately two to three pages) outlining your learnings, e.g., what you hoped to achieve, what you achieved, the limitations, and lessons learned, etc. (Please note that if you are writing a “subject-rich” and/or reflective report for your supervisor, a group in your unit, or someone else, this may serve to satisfy this requirement.)
While the value of the award (up to $7,000) will be transferred to an account in your home unit, a summary will need to be provided (itemized) of what you spent the money on. (See the University’s travel policy and the summary below regarding allowable expenses.)
All requirements must be fulfilled within six months of returning to campus (unless mutually agreed otherwise).
Summary of important dates
April 12, 2017 – lunch and learn information session
April 21, 2017 – deadline to submit queries about Waterloo’s partnership(s)
May 15, 2017 – deadline for application submission
June 30, 2017 – interviews and final selection to be completed and announced
The application requires the following information:
1) Applicant information
2) Description of proposed institution(s) to visit
3) University of Waterloo travel history
4) Proposed plan: In no more than two pages, tell us what you are going to do, and why you are going to do it (that is, how your actions will have a positive impact at the University of Waterloo).
5) Proposed dates and budget
6) Letter of support: A letter of support co-signed by your immediate supervisor and your Executive Council member is required. In this letter, the two co-signatories must confirm their understanding of the following:
- That the award recipient will be away for this international experience, and that the award recipient will continue to be paid during their time away.
- That the award recipient’s home unit will receive a financial transfer and manage the expense claim, in accordance with departmental standards and institutional policy.
- That the award recipient will have reporting obligations (see above).
Criteria for assessment
- The applicant has provided all information requested in a clear and coherent manner.
Feasibility (of execution):
- What is the likelihood that the plan outlined will be able to be implemented/executed as described?
Likelihood of impact:
- What impact would the plan – if fully executed – have on Waterloo’s objectives?
- Does the applicant normally have the opportunity to travel internationally to advance their work goals at Waterloo?
Other notes and items
- Up to three (3) proposals will be funded per year.
- The SIEF will be considered as a professional development opportunity and the award recipients will therefore be paid their regular salary for the duration of their travels.
- The SIEF award will cover Waterloo permissible travel expenses (i.e., economy air travel, required ground transportation, accommodation, meal allowances, and visa costs).
- Award recipients must review the University’s Travel Safety pages (https://uwaterloo.ca/international/travel-safety-and-security/information-staff) and register with International SOS (ISOS) before departure.
- All activity must adhere to Waterloo travel policies (e.g., Policy 31).
Please note that accessing the application form may require you to log in using your WatIAM.