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Student Experience Fund

What is the Student Experience Fund?

The Student Experience Fund (SEF) is a reimbursement-based fund designed to provide financial support of up to $1500 for students to participate in experiential learning opportunities that focus on skill development, career exploration, community engagement, or hands-on learning.

Successful SEF experiences work as follows:

  • Student submits a proposal with expected costs;
  • Funding is approved;
  • Student completes the experience and incurs costs;
  • Student submits receipts and is reimbursed.

What types of activities may be eligible?

Activities offered through Careers & Experiential Education are only available to undergraduate Social Sciences students who meet our eligibility criteria

The following types of experiences may be funded for either in-person or virtual offerings. However, please read further details in the "Is travel permitted for SEF experiences?" section in the SEF Guidelines listed near the bottom of this section.

  • Participate in a volunteer experience with an international organization
  • Attend or present at a virtual conference, workshop, symposium, training, etc.
  • Secure membership to professional organizations, when required for conference registration or event participation
  • Engage in an experience that allows you to interact in a meaningful was with and reflect upon topics learned in class (e.g. cultural experience, tour of religious site, etc.)
  • Plan and run an event related to academics, career exploration or community engagement (other ideas may also be considered)
  • Faculty-supervised, non-credit, independent research or fieldwork (funding is not intended to support volunteer research assistant positions for faculty members.)

What are the application deadlines?

Applications will be accepted for review at the following deadlines before 4 p.m. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • Friday, July 22, 2022
  • Friday, October 21, 2022

More deadlines for the 2022-2023 academic year will be announced before October 21.

How are funds released?

The Student Experience Fund is reimbursement-based. Students are not awarded funds until after they have provided receipts of expenditure. Normally, reimbursements take 3-4 weeks to process.

Is travel permitted for SEF experiences?

Travel will be permitted on a case-by-case basis, depending on the decision of the federal government at the time of application.

McMaster University/Faculty of Social Sciences/Careers & Experiential Education cannot fund an activity if travel warnings issued by Global Affairs Canada advise Canadians to avoid non-essential or all travel to the location of the student experience (visit for information).

If the student is awarded funding, and travel advisories or travel restrictions are announced before the departure date, funding may be withdrawn.

What should a funding proposal look like? How do you submit it?

Review the Student Experience Fund Guidelines for complete information and details about the Student Experience Fund, including these questions and more.

More Information

Other forms that are are either required as part of your application or may be helpful in preparing your application are listed here:

Forms that are required after being awarded funding are listed below:

Attend an Online Information Session

Ask your questions and learn more at an upcoming drop-in information session.

Date: TBA
Time: TBA

Drop in for as long or as little as you'd like to!

Information sessions will be held in Fall 2022 and announced closer to the October deadline.

Pre-registration is required.


For more information about the Student Experience Fund please contact: