Student Activities Fund

Now Open and Receiving Applications

The Transportation Association of Canada Foundation (the Foundation) will support student activities which relate to their studies in transportation disciplines at Canadian institutions.

If you, or your group, has an eligible activity, submit an application using the Student Activities Funding Request Form. 

Applications for financial support will be reviewed by the Foundation’s Student Activities Fund Committee.  Funds will be allocated, in whole or in part, based on the purpose of the activity and the quality of the application.  It should be noted that the number of applications supported and the extent of that support may be constrained by the Foundation’s annual budget.

Who Can Apply

  • Individuals – The Fund is open to application from registered full-time undergraduate and graduate students in good-standing in a recognized university/college engineering program with emphasis on transportation-related disciplines at the time of the activity. Alternately, instructors or professors teaching transportation-related courses at colleges and universities may submit an application requesting support for an appropriate activity.  Priority will be given to undergraduate students or activities exposing undergraduates to transportation.

  • Clubs, Teams or Associations (CTAs) – CTAs are organized groups which promote professional development and learning among students engaged in transportation-related studies.  CTAs may have a charter/constitution, mission statement, and operating budget, however ad-hoc CTAs may also apply to the fund for special trips, activities etc.  TAC councils or committees would fall under the CTA classification.  When multiple students apply individually to the fund for the same activity (for example, a conference), they may be grouped into an ad-hoc group and evaluated accordingly.

Activities Eligible for Support

Field Trips – These are activities engaged in by a student or group of students of a recognized university/college program related to transportation which enhances the educational experience, and has associated with it both direct and indirect travel costs.  Examples include field trips or technical tours within courses in the curriculum; contributing to degree requirements; attendance at engineering and/or science conferences and seminars.

Enhanced Educational Experiences – These are any activities seen to advance the applicant’s/recipients’ knowledge, skills and experience, are aligned with the Foundation’s definition of transportation, and mesh with the career objectives of the participant(s).

Infrastructure or Equipment – Support for the acquisition of infrastructure or equipment which enhances learning opportunities for a group or team of transportation students.  This may be related to teaching or research. 


Application Guidelines

General Guidelines

  • Funds are available for value-added activities over and above what is typically provided for students in their program of study.
  • The intention is to provide seed funding for various activities – not to cover 100% of the costs.  Students are expected to directly fund part of the cost and their contributions must be clearly identified.
  • Applicants must adhere to the regulations of their university or college pertaining to participation in the activity including, but not limited to:
  • legal waivers
  • medical protection – vaccinations, etc.
  • medical insurance
  • travel policy
  • The Student Activity Fund does not support
  • exchanges, tuition and general fees
  • aspects of courses or activities NOT related to a transportation-related degree or diploma
  • internship placements
  • Activities receiving funds must credit the TAC Foundation for its financial support in related printed or publicity materials produced (brochures, announcements, websites etc.).

Field Trip Guidelines

  • Funding for field trips will be guided by the principle that travel costs should not be a deterrent to the execution of an activity.
  • Funds to send graduate students to conferences will be considered only if the graduate student is presenting a paper or poster at the conference.  The student can receive an amount that matches the cash contribution of the supervisor, up to a maximum of $500 for any single conference.  A letter of support from the supervisor must be included in the application.
  • Undergraduate students presenting at or wishing to attend conferences may apply for up to 50% of the total cost to attend the event.
  • Undergraduate trips occurring during the school term should not result in more than three (3) days absence from classes. Students are responsible for notifying their professors of any absence and must ensure that important course components are not missed as a result of their trip.  Trips will not be approved during the final two weeks of term or the exam period.
  • Groups must take part in a pre-departure briefing prior to their trip and have an identified and named faculty advisor who will also attend this briefing.
  • Priority will be given to group trips that support a transportation engineering core course.

Enhanced Educational Experience Guidelines

  • Funds are available for special events.  The Foundation will not support regular administrative expenses or events that have occurred prior to application.

Infrastructure or Equipment Guidelines

  • Please use the General Guidelines above. 


Application Information Required

Information to be submitted by applicants should include (not all relevant to all applications):

  • Name of principal applicant.
  • Details of student(s) participating, including name, year, faculty/school.
  • Applicant’s full-time engineering status and relationship of studies to transportation.
  • Applicant’s previous TAC Foundation monies received (including scholarships).
  • Description of activity or series of activities (maximum one page per activity).
  • Activity start and end dates.
  • Total activity budget, clearly showing the percentage of contribution requested from the Fund.  List of names of donors and amounts which have already been secured for this activity as well as a list of names of other potential funding sources.
  • Appropriate permissions to allow examination of transcripts, if necessary.
  • Supporting documentation, as applicable:
    • Quotes for direct and indirect travel costs.
    • Recurring activities (submit current estimate only)
    • Graduate students attending a conference: a letter from the student’s supervisor that guarantees matching funds; confirmation of acceptance of paper, poster, etc.; copy of abstract submitted to the conference.
    • Field trips: a letter from the Department Head indicating the Department’s authorization of the trip.  Be sure to include trip dates and indicate that a faculty advisor has been assigned to accompany the group.

Funding Limits

  • The amount available through the Student Activities Fund will be determined by the TAC Foundation Board annually as part of its budget process.
  • The maximum grant available through the Fund will not exceed $5,000.


Application Review Process

  • The Foundation’s Student Activity Fund Committee, appointed by the Board of Directors, accepts and reviews applications for funds.
  • The Committee reports to the TAC Foundation Board of Directors and is composed of at least three (3) members of the Foundation and the Foundation’s Executive Director.
  • The Committee meets at least three (3) times per year, including one planning meeting and two meetings to evaluate applications and allocate funds.
  • Where justification is provided, an applicant may defer the start of an event up to a maximum of eight (8) months after the event is approved.
  • Applicants will normally be notified within one month after the application deadline.


Application Evaluation Process

  • The Committee assigns grants from the Fund using a flexible, iterative process which attempts to optimize the use of the funds for the benefit of the applicants.
  • Applications must be complete and meet all eligibility requirements to be considered.
  • Applications are available to Committee members in advance of a decision meeting.
  • Evaluation guidelines to be used by the Committee are as follows:
  • Once all scenarios have been reviewed, the draft assignments will be reviewed and adjusted a final time to ensure that optimal funding distribution is achieved.
  • In cases where all Committee members do not agree that an application merits support, a formal vote will be held. 
  • Cases where all Committee members agree that the application should be supported do not require a formal vote, and proceed to discussing the recommended grant.
  • The Committee Chair, in conjunction with the Executive Director, will provide funding scenarios to the Committee for discussion at the start of the meeting.
  • The Committee Chair submits final recommendations to the TAC Foundation Executive Committee for decision.

Accountability Requirements

  • At the completion of all funded events/projects, applicants must provide evidence that their grant was used for the purpose(s) intended, by those who applied for funding and pertained directly to the funded activity.  Failure to do so will result in applicants’ future ineligibility for funding of any kind from the TAC Foundation. 
  • Applicants who received funds but were, for any reason, unable to complete the event/activity/project as described in the application, must return the funds to the TAC Foundation. 
  • Students attending a conference or other similar event, in particular where the grant supports the presentation of their research, must purchase travel insurance to cover any situation that prevents them from attending the activity.