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Research Cost Fund

Research Cost Fund

COVID-19 Update: We strongly advise you to review the current restrictions on in-person research and travels before submitting an application for this funding opportunity. For detail, please review the Research Ethics page.

If you have received a notice of award for Research Cost Fund: It is recognized that research activities related to current and past Research Cost Fund and Fieldwork Cost Fund applications as awarded may be affected by COVID 19 related restrictions. Once awarded, students have a two-year period in which to submit expense claims related to their application. Based on current restrictions, expense claim time limits are being extended for a minimum of four months. If further extension is required, requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
If applicable, costs related to the cancellation or postponement of planned research activities as described in your Research Cost Fund application may be eligible for consideration as approved expenses. Please note, receipts and/or other supporting documentation will be required.


The Research Cost Fund (RCF) assists with the costs directly connected to research undertaken by registered full-time York graduate students who are or have been members of CUPE 3903 within their current program of study.

Applications are reviewed and allocations are determined by a four–person committee, consisting of:

  • One full-time faculty member selected by the University
  • The Dean of Graduate Studies or designate
  • Two representatives of CUPE 3903

Value and Duration

  • Successful applicants may be allocated up to $1,600 per degree. The Research Cost Fund is available in both the Spring and Fall semester each year.
  • Once awarded, students have a two-year period in which to submit expense claims related to their application.



  • Full–time registered York graduate students who are or were members of CUPE 3903 Unit 1 & 3 during their current program of study.
  • Applications from doctoral students are normally given priority, followed by applications from master’s students;
  • Students applying to the Research Cost Fund are eligible to receive a maximum of $1,600 per degree (once for Master, once for PhD research). The Research Cost Fund is available only to full–time registered York graduate students who are or were members of CUPE 3903 Unit 1 & 3 during their current program of study.
  • While an applicant’s MRP, Thesis, or Dissertation proposal may still be in development and pending approval at the time of application to the fund, it must have achieved all levels of approval (academic and ethics as appropriate) and be submitted to the appropriate office by the time the research is to be conducted. MRP proposals remain in the Program Office. Thesis/dissertation proposals are sent to FGS;
  • Only complete applications are considered;


  • Student travel and/or accommodation necessary for research;
  • Incentive payments or token gifts to research participants—where an incentive is deemed necessary, a $5 to $10 gift certificate is recommended for survey and interview respondents;
  • Materials, supplies, photocopying and other services essential to the research; and,
  • Disability accommodation costs for participants (e.g., accessible transportation, interpreters, note takers.

Allocated funds are provided to successful applicants by reimbursement after eligible expenses are incurred and original, detailed receipts are provided (including incentives payments).

Reimbursement claims must match the budget line items approved by the Committee.


  • Books;
  • Conference costs;
  • Subsistence costs;
  • Tuition and related fees;
  • Equipment and services considered a normal student expense including the cost of researcher's intra-city transportation within the GTA (e.g., city taxis, TTC); and/or,
  • Services deemed essential without a quote from a certified professional.

Please note: Research Cost Fund/Fieldwork Cost Fund do not support student travel to present at conferences. However, if research plans include travel to a conference site for the specific purpose of interviewing experts presenting there, the applicant must provide evidence that interview appointments were arranged in advance of travel.

How to Submit an Expense Claim:

Please submit an expense claim electronically via CONCUR: For instructions download the Student Guide to Claim Personal Reimbursement (.pdf)


  • Both the online application form and additional materials to the graduate program must be submitted by March 24, 2023
  • There are two competitions each year—one in Fall and one in Spring. For the Spring cycle, eligible applicants should submit one application to be considered for both Research Cost Fund and Fieldwork Cost Fund.
  • We advise applicants to complete the online portion of the application well in advance of the deadline to give adequate time to obtain the required signature and comments from their supervisor
  • Applications received incomplete or after the published deadlines will not be considered.

Graduate programs must review submitted files and confirm recommended applicants by April 11, 2023.

How to Apply


  1. The applicant completes the online application form. You are required to save this application form in PDF immediately upon completion of the online portion.  You will be sent an email confirmation after submission of the online portion of the application. The following elements are required to complete the on–line portion of the application:
    • Personal information, including your student number and program details;
    • Information regarding destination and duration of research travel;
    • Information regarding previous applications to the RCF;
    • Detailed research budget; and,
    • Information on additional sources of funding.

    Technical Note: It is recommended that you complete the online portion of the application on a computer using a Windows operating system. If you are using an Apple computer, use Google Chrome as your browser.

  2. The applicant submits the application form to the relevant graduate program office, with:
    1. A one–page (250–word maximum) description of the thesis/dissertation project; and,
    2. A supervisor’s statement/letter of support from their principal supervisor.


  • After the RCF Committee determines allocations, all applicants are notified by email of the committee’s decision(s). Successful applicants receive notification of the maximum value of the allocation, the budget line items approved for reimbursement and the process for filing claims for reimbursement


  • Follow the instructions as specified in the notice of award.


  • Graduate Program Office

Last updated February 2, 2021.

This fund is provided in accordance with section 15.15 of the CUPE 3903 Collective Agreement:

15.15 Research Cost Fund
The employer shall maintain a fund to defray research costs incurred by full–time graduate students who hold or have held a position in the bargaining unit. In 2011–2012 the amount allocated to the fund shall be $80,000. Effective September 1, 2012, the amount allocated to the fund shall be $100,000. Any unexpended monies shall be retained in the fund.

The Research Costs Fund shall be administered by a four-person committee consisting of two members of the bargaining unit selected by the union, one full–time faculty member selected by the employer, and the Dean of Graduate Studies or designate, using criteria and procedures approved by the Labour/Management Committee. All Research Costs grants shall be in varying amounts up to $1,600 per academic year. An annual report on the disbursement of monies shall be submitted in writing to the Labour/Management Committee.