Carefully review the relevant GSA Policy and eligibility criteria for the GSA Academic Travel Award below. Call (780) 492-2175 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
P.POL.1.1.a The Graduate Student Support Fund (GSSF) is a benefit to all graduate students, provided by the GSA through negotiations of the Collective Agreement (CA) covering graduate student assistantships. The GSA Academic Travel Award (GSA ATA), provided through the GSSF, helps offset the cost of participation in academic activities such as conferences and research trips that are directly related to their current academic programs.
P.POL.1.2 Eligibility Criteria
P.POL.1.2.a Must be a member of the GSA at the University of Alberta and registered in a graduate degree program.
P.POL.1.2.b The award must be used to offset the cost of participation in academic activities such as conferences and research trips that are directly related to their current academic programs with confirmation by either the Supervisor or designate (for thesis-based students) or the Advisor or Department Chair or designate (for course-based students) supporting the academic event.
P.POL.1.2.c The award can be used to offset the cost of participation in both local opportunities and those necessitating long distance travel.
P.POL.1.3 Application Information
P.POL.1.3.a GSA ATAs are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. See below.
P.POL.1.3.b The GSA will offer awards until allocated funding is expended in the specified period (ie April 1 – June 30; July 1 – September 30; October 1 – December 31; January 1 – March 31).
P.POL.1.3.c If all available funds have been expended in the specified period, no additional applications will be accepted during that period.
P.POL.1.3.d GSA ATA applications can only be submitted no more than six (6) weeks before the academic event (as determined from the date the application is received). Applications received after the academic event has occurred will not be eligible.
P.POL.1.3.e Graduate students are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of their application packages.
P.POL.1.4 Applying for a GSA ATA
P.POL.1.4.a Applications must be completed online through the GSA website.
P.POL.1.5 Allocation Policy
P.POL.1.5.a There is no limit to the number of GSA ATA applications a graduate student can submit during his/her degree program. There is a maximum of one (1) GSA ATA grant for each specified professional development event.
P.POL.1.5.b A Master’s student will be awarded up to a maximum of $500 during their degree program.
P.POL.1.5.c A Doctoral student will be awarded up to a maximum of $1000 during their degree program, up to a maximum of $500 in a fiscal year (April 1 – March 31).
P.POL.1.5.d Graduate students will be awarded their shortfall up to a maximum of $500.
P.POL.1.5.e GSA ATAs will be awarded only for allowable expenses, using the University’s regulations on allowable expenses as a guideline (University of Alberta Policies and Procedures Online (UAPPOL), Travel Expense Procedure and Travel Expense Procedure Appendix A, Schedule of Allowable Travel Expenses), except for hosting expenses, which are not eligible. In cases of dispute, the Vice-President Student Services (VPSS) (or designate) will decide on allowable expenses.
P.POL.1.6 Appeals Policy
P.POL.1.6.a Any appeals of denied applications must be received by the GSA within ten (10) working days.
P.POL.1.6.b Appeals must state the grounds for the appeal in writing.
P.POL.1.6.c Appeals will be reviewed at arms' length by the VPSS (or designate) and two (2) GSA Councillors (including Speaker and Chief Returning Office (CRO)) selected by the President (or other Directly-Elected Officer (DEO) if there is a conflict of interest). All decisions are final and binding. Appeal decisions will normally be made within twenty (20) working days.
P.POL.1.7 Budget Allocation Policy
P.POL.1.7.a Funds will normally be distributed as follows:
P.POL.1.7.a.i 5% of the total annual GSA ATA budget will be held back as contingency funding and
P.POL.1.7.a.ii Of the total annual GSA ATA budget, 1/4 will be allocated in the April 1 – June 30 period; 1/4 in the July 1 – September 30 period; 1/4 in the October 1 – December 31 period; and 1/4 in the January 1 – March 31 period.
P.POL.1.7.a.iii If the funds have not been completely expended near the end of the fiscal year, a decision will be made by the GSA Board (GSAB) on the best way to expend the funds.
P.POL.1.8 Office Procedures
P.POL.1.8.a Applications will be reviewed by the GSA office for eligibility and completeness (see Section P: GSA Grants, Awards, and Bursaries, GSA Policy, GSA Grant Application Policy and Information, Section P.POL.1.2, and others above) using the following checklist:
P.POL.1.8.a.i The application information is complete and required documentation has been submitted or confirmed,
P.POL.1.8.a.ii The applicant has confirmed they are a current member of the GSA and in a graduate degree program,
P.POL.1.8.a.iii There are sufficient funds available in the GSA ATA budget in the specified period that the application is received, and
P.POL.1.8.a.iv The criteria in the Allocation Policy (Section P: GSA Grants, Awards, and Bursaries, GSA Policy, GSA Grant Application Policy and Information, Section P.POL.1.5, above) have been met.
P.POL.1.8.b Applicants who are ineligible or whose application is incomplete will be contacted by email to provide an opportunity to attempt to resolve the issue.
P.POL.1.8.c All applications will be reviewed by the VPSS (or designate).
P.POL.1.8.d Applicants will be notified by the GSA by email once processing has been completed and a decision has been made.
P.POL.1.9 Interpretation of GSA ATA Policy
P.POL.1.9.a The GSAB will be consulted about any concerns and questions raised by the GSA office about interpretation of this Policy. The GSAB’s decision is final and binding.
P.POL.1.10 Changes to GSA ATA Policy
P.POL.1.10.a GSA ATA Policy is subject to GSA Council approval and cannot be changed without GSA Council’s approval — excluding editorial revisions/clarifications."
The above is an excerpt from GSA Bylaw and Policy, Section P: GSA Grants, Awards, and Bursaries, GSA Policy, GSA Grant Application Policy and Information, GSA Academic Travel Awards. The full Policy can be found in GSA Bylaw and Policy; if there are any discrepancies between the above excerpt and the most current, GSA Council-approved Policy, the Policy referred to in the above link will take precedence.