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.
Examples of past projects include:
- 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.
Applications for positions on the SIF Committee are currently closed.
Program EligibilityU of T students and/or student groups from the St. George campus are eligible to submit a funding proposal to SIF. Students from UTM and UTSC are not eligible to apply. Read the SIF Guiding Principles and Terms of Reference (PDF) to ensure your eligibility.
How The Program Works
There are two tiers of funding. The application process will depend on which tier you are applying for.
Simple events or initiatives without virtual speakers or facilitators
Tier 1 funding is available for small-scale or simple initiatives that require funds up to $499 CAD for venue 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 or a room booking or A/V fee.
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.
Medium-large initiatives with virtual speakers or facilitators
Tier 2 funding is available for initiatives that require funds from $500 – $3000 CAD to enhance the student experience and foster a sense of community on St. George campus. Examples include an alumni night, an art exhibition, a workshop or speaker series, a themed conference or a cultural event for students.
Tier 2 funding requires two selection phases:
- Application submission: Submit your application under Program Registration below.
- Pitches: Applicants that are selected during Phase 1 are invited to make a 10-minute pitch of their initiative to the SIF committee on the pitch date for the term.
Groups and individuals can only receive Tier 2 funding once in a given year.
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 (November 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021)
New for fall 2020: Students will be able to apply for SIF retroactively for initiatives that took place from November 1, prior to applications opening on November 16.
- Applications open: November 16, 2020
- Deadline: November 23, 2020
Winter (February 1 – April 30, 2021)
- Applications open: January 11, 2021
- Deadline: January 18, 2021
Summer 2021 (May 1 – September 30, 2021)
- Applications open: April 19, 2021
- Deadline: April 26, 2021
- 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 Tier 1 and one Tier 2 per independent individual or group per academic year.
- It is the responsibility of the primary and secondary contacts listed on your application to be reachable throughout the SIF process, including the submission of the Post-Initiative Report. SIF will only communicate with the listed contacts.
- Complete and submit your application under Program Registration. Use this budget template (PDF) for the Budget section. Only applications received online by the deadline date will be accepted. Please do not email applications. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
After you submit your application
- 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 Form (PDF) to receive all of your allotted funds.
Record-keeping and completing 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.
Download: SIF Post-Initiative Report Form (PDF)
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be aware that failure to submit a complete post-initiative report will result in the project applicant being personally responsible for the project costs.
Please email a complete SIF Post-Initiative Report Form with original itemized receipts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pre-project and 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 for advancement cheques to be processed once the request is received.
To receive all/the remainder of your allotted funds at THE END of your project, you must submit your SIF Post-Initiative Report within one month of your project conclusion.
After the Post-Initiative Report is received, the balance of funds will be released. This will also take a minimum of 35 days.
Applications are currently closed.
Considerations & Exceptions
Allocating funds to facilitators or participants who assist with your initiative can take three forms:
- awarded through success in a contest
- can be won by participants
- maximum of $100 per person (subject to pre-approval) and $100 per initiative
- cannot be cash
- recipient must sign a declaration (PDF) acknowledging receipt of the prize
- symbol of gratitude for assistance with an initiative, not won
- does not require an invoice
- maximum of $100 per person (subject to pre-approval)
- can be cash
- recipient must sign a declaration (PDF) acknowledging receipt of the honorarium
Fees for services
- paid via invoice for a service provided to initiative
- invoice required, upon payment must show that fee was paid
- can be greater than $100 (subject to pre-approval)
- can be cash
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 (e.g. 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 (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
Additional fundingWe encourage you to seek additional funding, if needed. Here are three possible sources: