The Staff Enhancement Grant (SEG) provides funding for University of Waterloo Staff Association members to pursue personal skills development.

All UWSA members are eligible to apply for a grant, with the exception of current UWSA board directors. You can request up to $500 for activities not related to job duties or business expenses; the SEG Committee strives to fund at least 50% of all approved applications. The number of grants awarded depends on the number of applications received and the funding budget.

The SEG Committee reviews applications twice a year and determines recipients for SEG funding. Applications are typically reviewed in June and December. The next deadline is June 2, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.

What makes a successful application?

  • It’s clear that the activity is not related to your job or a business expense.
  • You provide specifics on how you would spend the grant money.
  • Any proposed courses or workshops are hosted by a reputable company or organization.
  • You demonstrate a clear benefit to yourself and community, as applicable.
  • You have a plan to use the funds within six months.
  • The committee is not left with any questions about your plans.
  • Preference will be given to those who have not been awarded an SEG in the past.

The SEG generally does not fund:

  • UW job related training or expenses
  • External business venture expenses or training
  • Activities that have already taken place
  • Physical items including books, crafting supplies, household items, etc.
  • Subscriptions or memberships
  • Associated mileage or accommodation costs

Application and funding process

  1. You complete the application form by either the June or December deadline (typically the first of the month).
  2. The SEG Committee meets within one month of the deadline to evaluate all applications and determine funding.
  3. If your application was successful, you’ll hear from the SEG chair and will get details on next steps.
  4. You go do your thing! You’ll need to complete your activity and submit receipts within six months, or the grant expires and you will no longer be entitled to the funds.
  5. To receive reimbursement, submit any relevant receipts and documents for the activity, along with a summary of how you used the funds, highlighting individual and community benefits.
  6. We publish your summary (and photos, if you have them!) on the UWSA website to inspire future applicants.

The fine print

  • The SEG committee may ask applicants for more information to guide its decision.
  • Completed grants will be publicized on the UWSA website including the name of the recipient and a summary of the funded activity. Recipients may also be featured on social media, in the UWSA newsletter or annual report, or, if the applicant agrees, in the Daily Bulletin.
  • The UWSA office will retain records of applications where grants have been awarded for one year after completion of the project. Copies of receipts will be kept for seven years. Recipient reports will be kept indefinitely.


The SEG was the vision of Bruce Lumsden who retired as Director of Cooperative Education in June 2005. With seed donations given at his retirement, he requested that a fund be created to provide grants to Waterloo staff pursuing personal and professional development. At that time, the University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) also donated $5,000.00. Since that time, the fund has evolved to be administered by the UWSA only and is for personal development opportunities only.