Faculty of Graduate Studies launches Academic Excellence Fund


York University’s Faculty of Graduate Studies introduces the Academic Excellence Fund (AEF). The fund’s primary goal is to support graduate students in advancing their research and scholarly objectives by providing them with simple access to funding. The processing time to receive funds is shortened and the application process is easier compared to the previous funding model.

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The Academic Excellence Fund allows graduate students to more easily participate in hands-on learning activities like conferences, publications and fieldwork research

Graduate students often invest not only time but also money into their research and scholarly objectives. Now, the chance to present at an oversees conference or conduct remote fieldwork is going to be easier for them to afford. Previous funding models worked on a reimbursement basis: students paid out of pocket and waited an indefinite amount of time to be refunded. In contrast, the new Academic Excellence Fund can be accessed before expenses are incurred. Students can apply up to four months in advance of their expected event or expenditure to cover the costs. The program has three deadlines per year, one in each term: Oct. 30, Feb. 28 and June 30. There will still be an option to be reimbursed after an expense is incurred, during the next application cycle, and all funds will be directly deposited into the student’s bank account.

Whether full or part time, both master’s and PhD students are given access to the AEF. Students can receive up to $2,000 for eligible expenses directly related to their own research and scholarship activities, as well as $300 for collective initiatives per academic year. Furthermore, students who are active members of their community will be provided with funds to promote research and professional development outside of the academic setting. AEF supports innovative knowledge dissemination activities that bring research into the community.

Additionally, students no longer have to figure out what specific fund to apply for (i.e. Graduate Development Fund, Fieldwork Cost Fund etc.). AEF provides access to funds under one program with a single and accessible application process. All the applicant needs to do is complete the AEF application form, have their supervisor confirm the expense by completing the supervisor form and retain the required documentation for one year in case of audit.

There are four types of eligible activities supported by AEF:

  • conference support (i.e. registration fees, travel costs);
  • publication and other scholarly activities (i.e. submission fees, editing services);
  • research expenses (i.e. expenses for fieldwork, including travel, accommodation); and
  • professional development initiatives (i.e. workshops organized by graduate students).

York University is committed to supporting its students by providing them with opportunities to develop both inside and outside of the classroom. AEF provides easier access to funds to allow graduate students to participate in hands-on learning activities like conferences, publications and fieldwork research. Students can feel confident knowing that there are financial resources available to aid in advancing their research and scholarly work at York.

For more information, visit the Academic Excellence Fund website.