Research and Travel Fund


The GESSA Research and Travel Fund (RTF) program makes up a significant amount of GESSA’s yearly expenditure. It consists of monies derived from its operational budget and a further amount can be allocated by the Faculty’s Research and Awards Committee (RAC) for GESSA to administer. The RTF program is one of the main ways that GESSA uses its funds to support students. The Fund is primarily meant to help offset the expenses incurred by MES students during their research and conference attendance. It is NOT meant to be a primary funding source nor is it meant to subsidize travel expenses for students on paid internships or to use for travel outside of the categories listed below.

We strongly suggest that you seek out other funding sources in addition to this fund. The RTF program should not decide the feasibility of potential research projects or attendance at conferences and workshops or skills development sessions. We suggest that you investigate both external and internal funding opportunities, including the York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA), as well as CUPE.


GESSA reserves the right to allocate a percentage that will be disbursed to all eligible applications and activities per application. The RTF fund usually covers up to a maximum of 60% of the cost of eligible activities. The actual amount (percentage) awarded will depend on how many applications are received in that cycle, as well as the amount of funding requested. If the requests for funds exceed the amount of funding available, awards will be based on an equal percentage distribution. The maximum grant available per application is $500. The maximum amount of funds available to a student per academic year is $600. Funds are not available for activities completed earlier than the most recent academic semester.


A. Thesis/MRP - maximum of $500: funds activities and resources to undertake research. Applicants must demonstrate that expenses were necessary and incurred solely for research purposes.

B. Conference (Presenting) -maximum of $500: funds travel, accommodation and registration fees to support students accepted to present their work at conferences. Please provide proof of acceptance and presentation (e.g., conference schedule)

C. Conference (Attending) - maximum of $300: funds travel, accommodation and registration fees to support student attendance at conferences.

D. Skill Development - maximum of $300: funds courses and workshops that supplement your Plan of

Study, and are not available through MES.

E. Course Requirements - maximum of $200: funds course requirements that are over and above tuition and course books, for example, field trip expenses.


Meals, travelers insurance, travel vaccines or medications, travel visas, computer software and hardware, photocopying and printer costs, parking, camera audio visual equipment, other equipment, or honorariums paid to research participants (please note this is not an exhaustive list).


GESSA recognizes that some students’ travel expenses may include gas and mileage in their own cars. Gas and Mileage can be claimed at a rate of $0.45/Km for travel directly related with your research or conference. Maps must be included in your application, that detail your route(s) and distance(s) of travel in order to be eligible for this expense.


If you are claiming a homestay that is paid for in cash, please obtain a document signed by yourself and the host, and which includes the dates of the stay and the amount paid. Please also have your advisor/supervisor include the amount in his/her letter.


Only registered students are eligible to apply. Graduating students are eligible to apply for the deadline ending the term in which they were last registered.

Please submit a separate application for each activity you are applying for and choose only one category for each activity. Activities should be in support of your Plan of Study and all applications must be completed in full. Any application not completed in full cannot be considered.

The following constitutes a complete application:

  1. Cover Letter: Outlining the activity carried out and its application to your Plan of Study and how it will, in your opinion, enhance your research and your study at FES. The Cover Letter must detail how the particular activity will benefit your study, as well as why each expense was incurred. It must also note if you have received or expect to receive funding from other sources and the received or expected/requested amount.

  2. Proof of Registration: A print-out of your student account statement that shows you were charged program and registration fees for the term in which you are claiming funding. (You are welcome to redact other information, but your name, student number, and the charges should be visible.) This constitutes proof of your status as a registered student during the term for which you are claiming funding.

  3. Receipts: Include originals of all receipts for all items listed in your Budget Form. Proof of airline or train boarding is also required. In the event that a paper boarding pass is not used, please provide a signed sworn statement confirming your travel. GESSA reserves the right to not consider your application or the portion of expense that does not have supporting documentation (receipts displaying payment form and date) if the above conditions are not met. Please make sure to explain why your expenses were incurred in your cover letter.

  4. Advisor Signature: Please have your advisor write a signed letter indicating that the activity was relevant to your Plan of Study or research, and that in his/her opinion it was a justified expense. Alternatively, you may include a section in your cover letter for your advisor to note that your activity was relevant to your Plan of Study or research and that in his/her opinion it was a justified expense and for them to sign. In extenuating circumstances, where a signature cannot be obtained, it may be possible to make arrangements with the RTF Officer to have your advisor send a direct e-mail to, to endorse the student’s activities.

  5. Supporting Materials: Conference schedules, course outlines, research output, seminar agendas, workshop work plans. etc. (as applicable).

  6. Complete Application Form: All sections of the RTF application form must be filled out and the Budget section of the application should be completed as noted below.

  7. Budget Section: In this section please note all eligible expenses that you have incurred for your activity. If your expenses were not in Canadian Dollars please convert them to Canadian Dollars. Please make sure to note the conversion rate you used. If you paid by credit card you may use the figure that appears on your credit card statement, however, you must include a copy of your statement for verification. GESSA reserves the right to substitute its own conversion rate.


There are three funding cycles per academic year with the following deadlines:

Summer (May-August) – Applications Due in September, Date TBA

Fall (September-December) – Applications Due in January, Date TBA

Winter (January – April) – Applications Due in May, Date TBA


Completed application packages should be submitted in a clearly marked (GESSA RTF FUND APPLICATION), ATTN RTF Officer, your name and the date of submission) sealed envelope to the GESSA mail box in the main FES Office (room 137 HNES).

Please retain a complete photocopy of everything you submit to GESSA.

You do not need to submit a complete photocopy of your application to GESSA.

In extenuating circumstances (i.e. applicant is overseas), it may be possible to arrange an alternate delivery method (i.e. e-mail and scanned copies of all materials) with the RTF Officer at their discretion. Please contact well in advance of the application deadline to make these arrangements.


Should your application merit an award, awards will be made by cheque and will be delivered to your FES mailbox. Under normal circumstances awards will NOT be mailed. Documentation submitted to

GESSA will not be returned unless a clear photocopy of the documentation is submitted along with the original documentation. GESSA reserves the right to withhold the return of any and all documentation submitted.

Should you have any questions or concerns about the RTF process please contact the GESSA RTF Officer at