Student Initiative Fund
Do you have a great idea for an activity at U of T but need money to make it happen? The Student Initiative Fund (SIF) offers financial support for projects that enhance the student experience and foster a sense of community at the University. Your project could be eligible for up to $3000 in funding!
SIF has supported many diverse projects including:
- Art and Mindfulness Exhibition
- Brunch for Breast Health
- How to be a Good Ally Workshop
- Beyond the Brain: A Multi-Disciplinary Conference on Neurodegeneration
About the SIF Committee
The SIF Committee is made up of six students from U of T, two staff members, one non-voting chair and one non-voting secretary. Apply now to join the committee for the 2019-2020 academic year.
U of T students and/or student groups from the St. George campus are eligible to submit a funding proposal to SIF. (Eligibility does not extend to students from the Scarborough or Mississauga campuses.)
Funding is based on a number of criteria. Does your proposal:
- Contribute positively to U of T’s student experience?
- Reach a broad student community?
- Add value to the U of T community?
- Align with Student Life’s mission, vision and values?
- Align with one or more of the Innovation Hub’s Domains of Innovation?
Proposals will not be funded if they:
- Are for the purpose of fundraising
- Are held outside of U of T (e.g. an application submitted by a U of T St. George student on behalf of their external community-based organization)
- Involve personal expenses: SIF funding cannot be used for flights. Funding can be used for local GTA travel up to $100 and gifts/honoraria up to $100.
- Include alcohol-related expenses
- Are capital in nature, unless the capital is used for the formation of a new student club
- Are for general operating expenses of student clubs or organizations. The SIF is intended for projects/events/activities and not business cards, apparel, or compensation for event organizers
- Are from an applicant who has NOT submitted the post-project reports for any previous SIF-funded project
- Exclude any student or student group from participation
- Require event planning and risk management practices, and these have not been addressed
We encourage you to seek additional funding, if needed. Here are three possible sources:
Funding: Tiers & Timelines
Three tiers of funding
The application process will depend on which tier you are applying for.
- Tier 1 Funding
Tier 1 funding is available for small-scale or simple initiatives that require funds up to $499 CAD for room booking and food related expenses. Examples include snacks (with plates, napkins etc.) for an open mic night, a meet & greet session, supplies for a “mocktail” event, a room booking fee etc.
Groups and individuals can only receive Tier 1 funding once in a given year. Receiving Tier 1 funding does not prohibit groups and individuals from receiving Tier 2 in the same SIF year.
- Tier 2 Funding
Tier 2 funding is available for medium-scale initiatives that require funds from $0 to $3000 CAD to enhance the student experience and foster a sense of community on St. George campus. Examples include: an Alumni night, an Art & Mindfulness exhibition, a workshop series, a themed conference, a University of Toronto talk series, an inter-departmental conference, a cultural event for students, etc.
Tier 2 funding requires two selection phases.Phase 1: Application Submission
- Application is submitted on the SIF website.
- Applicants that are selected during Phase 1 are invited to come and pitch their initiative to the SIF committee. Applicants selected will receive funding as determined by the SIF committee. Only 45 applicants will be selected during Phase 1. Pitches will be ten minutes total in length, with seven minutes being devoted to pitching the initiative and three minutes being devoted to committee questions.
Groups and individuals can only receive Tier 2 funding once in a given year. In addition to the online application, a 10-minute pitch presentation to the SIF Committee is required (7-minute presentation and 3-minute period for committee questions).
Funding schedule and deadlines
Funds will be allocated in the fall, winter and summer terms. In your application, be sure to identify which funding term you are applying for. Your initiative should take place in the season identified in your application.
- Fall (October 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020)
Deadline for application: September 9, 2018
Pitch dates for Tier 2: September 17, 2019, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Applicants for Tier 2 funding must be available to pitch during these times.
All initiatives must be run between October 1, 2019 and January 31, 2020.
- Winter (February 1, 2020 - May 31, 2020)
Deadline for application: January 10, 2020
Pitch dates for Tier 2: January 17, 2020, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Applicants for Tier 2 funding must be available to pitch during these times.
All initiatives must be run between February 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020.
- Summer (June 1, 2020 - September 30, 2020)
Deadline for application: March 30, 2020
Pitch dates for Tier 2: April 8, 2020, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Applicants for Tier 2 funding must be available to pitch during these times.
All initiatives must be run between June 1 and September 30, 2020.
After you submit your proposal:
- Applications are reviewed by the SIF Committee (after the funding term deadline has passed).
- Applicants are contacted by email. This process usually takes two weeks. The Committee’s decisions are final.
- When your initiative is finished, you must complete and submit the SIF Post-Initiative Report to receive all of your allotted funds.
Record-keeping and completion of post-initiative report:
- Keep a clear record of where you are spending funds and keep all original itemized receipts. Any changes to your proposed budget should be approved prior to spending funds on non-approved expenses.
- Be aware that failure to submit a complete post-initiative report will result in the project applicant being personally responsible for the project costs.
Pre-project & Post-project funds
You can request up to 40% of your approved funding BEFORE the project starts, based on the projected budget included in your approved application. It takes a minimum of 35 days to receive the funds.
To receive all of your allotted funds at THE END of your project (or the remainder of your funding if you received 40% prior to start), you must submit your SIF Post-Initiative Report within one month of your project conclusion. Your report must outline the actual funds used and must include all documentation of expenses being reimbursed by SIF (original itemized receipts, invoices, charges, bills, etc.). Only expenses with corresponding original itemized receipts will be eligible for reimbursement.
After the post-initiative expense report is received, the balance of funds will be released. This will take a minimum of 35 days.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Failure to submit a complete post-initiative report will result in the project applicant being personally responsible for the project costs.
Attend an Information Session
Interested in learning more about the Student Initiative Fund or getting support with your application? Register for the SIF Information Sessions on CLNx (Events & Workshops Calendar > Leadership, Mentorship & Clubs)
Location: Room 321, 21 Sussex Avenue (3rd Floor)
Dates and times:
- SIF Application Workshops
September 5, 2019
January 7, 2020
March 26, 2020
- SIF Acceptance Workshops
October 24, 2019
February, 27, 2020
May 28, 2020
- Before you apply, be sure that you and your project partners read and fully understand the SIF Handbook.
- It is important to be clear about the total amount and funding tier your group is requesting from SIF in the budget section of the application. SIF will approve, at most, one application per person or group per academic year. Exceptions can be considered at the sole discretion of the committee.
- Download the application form and complete each section carefully and thoroughly.
- It is the responsibility of the Primary and Secondary contact listed on your application to be contactable throughout the SIF process, including the submission of the Post Initiative Report. SIF will only communicate with the listed contacts.
- Submit your completed application online. Only applications received online by the deadline date will be accepted. Please do not email applications. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
The Fall 2019 Applications will be accepted online from September 2, 2019 to September 9, 2020.