Research Cost Fund


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 year. The Research Cost Fund is available in both the Spring and Fall semester each year.


Eligible Applicants

  • 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 CUPE members.
  • Applicants whose research involves human participation must have received research ethics approval for their proposed research;
  • Only complete applications are considered;
  • Applicant’s thesis/dissertation proposal must have been approved by the Office of the Dean, Graduate Studies prior to submission of the application; or applicant's MRP proposal must have been approved and on file with their Graduate Program Office prior to submission of the application; and,
  • Students intending to travel abroad should complete the Graduate Student Risk Assessment Form and file with their Graduate Program Office.

Eligible Expenses

  • 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.

Ineligible Expenses

  • 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.


  • There are two competitions each year—one in Fall and one in Spring
    • The online portion of the Fall 2019 RCF application will be available from November 5, 2019, until the deadline of December 5, 2019.
    • Completed and signed paper applications must be submitted to the relevant graduate program office by December 5, 2019.
  • The Office of the Dean strongly advises 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 Program Responsibilities

How to Apply

Application Process

  1. The applicant completes, prints and signs the online application form. You are required to print this application form immediately upon completion of the online portion. Ensure you are able to print before beginning the application. This application cannot be saved for access at a later time. 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 printed 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 (may be written on actual application form or on separate page).
    3. After graduate program directors review and rank applications for submission, graduate program offices deliver approved and ranked applications along with the cover sheet to the Office of the Dean, Graduate Studies by Friday, December 20, 2019.


Allocation Process

  • 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

Submitting claims

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


  • Graduate Program Office

Last updated November 5, 2019

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.