The Top-up Fund increases the minimum funding package for eligible members in the funded cohort in research stream masters’ and doctoral programs, topping up base funding to $17,750.
Who is eligible to apply to the Top-up Fund?
For the 1 September 2018 – 31 August 2019 round of the Top-up Fund, anyone who meets the following criteria is eligible to apply: (a) You have secured at least 1 hour of Unit 1 work by the end of the semester in which the application is made. (b) You were a graduate student in the funded cohort in the 2018-19 academic year. The funded cohort is defined as the group of students with a base funding package guaranteed by the U.ofT. School of Graduate Studies (S.G.S.). (c) You received less than $17,750 in funding (excluding T4 wages and any grants that explicitly reimburse expenses, e.g., travel grants) in the 2018-19 academic year.
Eligible groups of students include: full-time Ph.D.s. in years 1-4, full-time Ph.D.s in year 5 who are still part of the funded cohort, full-time S.J.D.s. in years 1-3, M.A. and M.Scs. in years 1-2 who are part of the funded cohort.
Ineligible groups of students include: D.M.A.s., professional masters’, performance masters’, or other non research-stream masters’, post-funded students, never funded students, flex-time students (i.e., not full-time). Please note these members are instead eligible for the T.A.F. or the U.S.A.F., depending on their funding.
I have a special circumstance; how will the Top-up Fund work for me?
I received a: conference, research, and/or travel grant; a Bursary for Students With Disabilities; and/or a U. of T. (S.G.S.) emergency grant. Grants that explicitly reimburse expenses are not counted as funding for the purposes of the Top-up Fund. Recipients of these grants are more likely to have their disbursements miscalculated. Please check your disbursement amount carefully.
I performed R.A. or casual work in the Social Sciences or Humanities that was paid as T4A rather than T4 income. Members with this type of work are more likely to have their disbursements miscalculated. Please check your disbursement amount carefully.
I graduated! You are still eligible to receive a Top-up Fund disbursement for whatever portion of the 2018-19 academic year you were enrolled.
I was not enrolled as a student for the full year (due to a leave, early graduation, late start, etc.). You are still eligible to receive a Top-up Fund disbursement for whatever portion of the 2018-19 academic year you were enrolled. Your disbursement will be prorated.
I got a T.A.ship (or other Unit 1 work) in the summer of 2019 after the deadline to apply for the 2018-19 Top-up Fund had passed. Can I apply for the Top-up Fund now? There will be a special circumstances round of the Top-up Fund open in July 2019. You can apply then. This round is only for members who were not eligible in May because they did not secure bargaining unit work until June-August. The July round will pay out equivalent amounts to the May round.
How much money will I get?
The 2018-19 Top-up Fund has been allocated $900,000. The fund disburses, per member, up to $2,750, the difference between the minimum base funding package guaranteed by the U. of T. S.G.S and $17,750. 2018-19 Top-up Fund Disbursement = $17,750 – Funding.
For the purposes of the Top-up Fund, funding includes: (a) any T4 income included in your base funding package. This may include C.U.P.E. 3902 work, C.U.P.E. 3907 work, U.S.W. 1998 work. This will exclude additional work you take on (e.g., an extra T.A.ship, beyond the hours included in your base funding). And (b) all T4A income. This may include supervisor stipends, internal and external grants and awards (e.g., D.C.A., O.G.S., S.S.H.R.C., etc.), T4A R.A.ships (all R.A.ships in the Life and Physical Sciences and Engineering departments and some R.A.ships in other departments), O.S.A.P. and other financial aid grants, and any other funding provided by your supervisor, your department, the university, the Canadian or other government, or other funding bodies. This will exclude travel/conference/research grants, O.S.A.P. loans or other financial aid loans, B.S.W.D., or U. of T. S.G.S. emergency grants.
If 1-19% of the Top-up Fund goes unspent, the remaining monies will be reallocated to the T.A.F. for the same year. If 20+% of the Top-up Fund goes unspent, then the 1-19% will be reallocated to the T.A.F. for the same year, and the 20+% will be rolled over into the Top-up Fund for the next year.
When will I get my money?
Applications for this fund will be open between 3 – 25 January 2019. Disbursements will follow in the Spring semester, at the latest.
How do I apply?
The application form is available online and accessible through the Union’s website. To find the application, login to the Member Portal (found by scrolling up to the top right of this page).
A complete application for the 2018-19 Top-up Fund will include: (a) a membership card, (b) the 2018-19 Top-up Fund Application Form and (c) supporting documentation—this will include your departmental funding letter.
You will receive an immediate confirmation email for each application you submit. PLEASE NOTE: if you do not receive a confirmation email you did not successfully submit the application.
If you do not have (a) a membership card (i.e., you do not have a C.U.P.E. No., found on the left-hand side of the Portal home page), fill out a Membership Application Form (also found on the ‘Forms’ tab). PLEASE NOTE: processing membership applications can take up to four (4) business days. Failure to fill out a membership application in a timely way (i.e., less than five days before the deadline) is not grounds for submitting a late application.
Applications will be accepted between December 3 and January 25, 2019.