Maggie Benston Centre, #2203, 8888 University Dr, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6
Professional Development Grants

Professional Development Grants

** In the spirit of inclusivity and to highlight our commitment to reconciliation, the GSS is dedicating $5000 to Black and Indigenous Students/Studies, using funds from the current PDG budget, starting in April 2022**

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, valued at up to $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 2022-2023 Academic Year: 

    • September 1, 2022 at 4pm for conference/travel dates between August 1 and November 30, 2022
    • November 1, 2022 at 4pm for conference/travel dates between October 1, 2022 and January 31, 2023
    • January 4, 2023 at 4pm for conference/travel dates between December 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023
    • March 1, 2023 at 4pm for conference/travel dates between February 1 and May 31, 2023
    • May 1, 2023 at 4pm for conference/travel dates between April 1 and July 31, 2023
    • July 3, 2023 at 4pm for conference/travel dates between June 1 and September 30, 2023


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!


You may still apply for an award. The amount awarded will be up to the discretion of the Grants Allocation Committee.

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)

The GSS Administrator will contact successful applicants to obtain their banking information for direct deposit. Please note that there is a minimum two week processing period.

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