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Professional Development Grants

Professional Development Grants


The GSS is proud to provide a source of funding to graduate students presenting at conferences or engaging in field research. Graduate students taking part in these professional development activities may apply for a grant of $499. Grants are distributed by lottery to top-scoring applications coded according to an objective system established by the GSS Grants Allocation Committee.

PDG Application

  • Step 1 – Online Application Form
  • Step 2 – Email this paper form to OR drop it off in person at the GSS Office (MBC 2203)
    NOTE: Both steps must be completed for the application to be considered!

Deadlines for the 2021-2022 Academic Year: 

  • September 17, 2021 at 4pm
  • November 1, 2021 at 4pm
  • January 3, 2022 at 4pm
  • March 1, 2022 at 4pm
  • May 2, 2022 at 4pm
  • July 4, 2022  at 4pm


Fill out the form today

Click on the button on the right to redirect yourself to the application form.

Application Eligibility:

  • Conference presentations and field research are both eligible for this funding.
  • Practicum and courses are NOT eligible.
  • Students are eligible to receive no more than one (1) award during each Masters’s program and no more than two (2) awards during each Ph.D. program.
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled Simon Fraser University graduate students and enrolled during their travel date.

Notification of results usually occurs within one month of the deadline. We do not prescreen or adjudicate applications until after the deadline has passed.

Please note that PDG recipients may be audited and required to produce receipts after conference/research travel has occurred.  

If you are conducting community-based research or working on social justice projects, please contact for more granting opportunities!


There are no partial awards. Since the grant is for $499, applications with a shortfall of less than $499 will not be considered.

Usually, 15 grants are allocated to each travel period. Any declined awards are reallocated to the next period or to a deadline with a greater than the average number of applicants.

Grants are not guaranteed due to the high number of applicants and funding limitations. We usually receive 30-70 applications for each deadline, making the best odds 50% or less. If your first application is unsuccessful, you may reapply for the next deadline, as long as travel occurs within the eligible time period.

No, late applications will not be accepted for any reason. You may apply for the next deadline, as long as travel occurs within the eligible time period.

Yes, signatures from another SFU member of your supervisory committee, your SFU Department Chair or your SFU Department Graduate Chair are also acceptable.

In all cases, you must provide receipts for all the expenses you list. If you have not yet finalized your expenses you may provide quotes from travel, accommodation or conference websites.

If you are presenting at a conference, you must provide ALL of the following:
(1) proof that you have registered (paid) to attend that conference (usually an online registration receipt);
(2) proof that your paper or poster has been accepted (usually a letter or email from the conference association advising that your paper/poster has been accepted for presentation, or an official conference program showing your name and paper/poster title); and
(3) the abstract that you submitted.

If you are conducting field research you must submit documentation that proves you are travelling for research purposes. This should include correspondence with a host organization (e.g., another university, lab or archive)

In-person cheque pick-up is highly recommended. Due to the high incidence of lost cheques, student cheques will no longer be delivered to SFU department offices. If replacement of a lost cheque is required, $25 will be deducted from the requested cheque amount, or the recipient may elect to wait until the last cheque is stale-dated (6 months from the cheque date). Cheques may take up to 2 weeks by mail to home addresses.

Email if you have further questions not addressed on the website.