About Funding 

The University of Toronto Environmental Resource Network (UTERN), is a levy organization operating across all three campuses. One of the primary goals of UTERN is to allocate funding to individuals or student groups planning projects or events related to sustainability. For individuals or groups who are in need of funding, our application is available Here.

Once we receive your application, our executive team will review it and determine whether to give full, partial or no funding. Before sending in your application, please ensure that you are eligible. Refer to the eligibility section for a more detailed guideline. 

To learn more about UTERN, you can access our constitution and mandate Here.

Funding Guideline

a. Eligibility

Any UofT student or student group planning an initiative/project relating to the environment and sustainability is eligible to apply. Applications must demonstrate that their event benefits the greater UofT community and increases the student knowledge about current environmental issues. 

Events may fall into various categories within the environmental theme. Examples include indigenous rights, water scarcity, food insecurity, global migration, and sustainability. We understand that the theme of “environment” is broad and interdisciplinary. If you are unsure about whether your event falls within the theme of the environment, feel free to contact us.

Eligible candidates can fill out the application form (which can be downloaded Here) and forward the completed form to utern.toronto@gmail.com. Our project manager will contact you shortly to discuss the next steps. 

b. Accessibility and Transportation

One of UTERN’s missions is to encourage the accessibility of events, making sure that everyone feels included and welcome. When our executive team is evaluating the accessibility of an event, points of consideration include the accessibility of the venue (e.g. presence of accessible washrooms and automatic doors) and proximity to public transport. If requested, we are able to provide funds for extra action(s) taken by organisers to make the event more accessible (eg hiring an ASL interpreter).

UTERN does not fund international travel. Transportation within the GTA for students will be funded with a cap of $100 per student group per semester. 

For a guide on accessible event planning, you can refer to: https://accessibilitycanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Planning-Accessible-Events-May-2016.pdf

c. Collaboration

Collaboration is a great way to increase your audience and get to know other students interested in the environment and sustainability. Collaboration is not mandatory for funding but it is encouraged. You will be required to list any collaborators and partners in the application. You can find a list of active environmental student groups Here. 

* Collaboration is especially encouraged for individual applicants, and as a network, we can point you towards possible avenues for that.

d. Funding details

UTERN funds retroactively; therefore, groups are welcome to apply either before or after their event/initiative has been concluded. Although there is no deadline for reimbursement, it is preferred that funding applications be submitted as soon as possible. We can only fund items for which a receipt is available and the receipts must match what is indicated on the application. In cases where the event details and costs have changed, applicants will be required to submit a new application form.  

For cash honorariums, we require that speakers sign a document that they have received the honorarium. Honorariums are capped at $50 per speaker (exceptions will be made for indigenous or speakers from marginalized groups). Unfortunately, UTERN does not fund for staffing costs (with the exclusion of accessibility needs). 

In order for the funding application to be approved, it is advisable that the applicants be specific about expenses (eg. specifying the number of speakers invited, how much food will be provided). Applicants are also encouraged to explore other sources of funding to ensure that all funding needs are met. 

* For recurring events, applicants can either choose to hand in one application form and their receipts at the end of the year for reimbursement, or apply individually for each event date. 

* For applications over $1000, it is required that a representative attend one of executive meetings (either in-person or through an online platform). 

* The funding is capped at 3 events per semester per group (excluding recurring events). 

* Although UTERN funds retroactively, we are flexible about providing some funds up-front. Applicants need to discuss their needs with the executive team.

* We reserve the right to attend the event to ensure the accuracy of the details stated in the application.

e. Event sustainability

Applicants are encouraged to make their events as sustainable as possible. UTERN provides a free dish service, which can be requested using this form, in order to reduce the use of single-use plastic. Other points of consideration include reducing food waste, paper usage, etc.

For a sustainability guide specific to University of Toronto, you can refer to https://www.fs.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/sustainable-events-guide.pdf 

Read our FAQs!

How did UTERN receive a levy?

In the spring of 2003, UTERN won a levy that we proposed to have a 50-cent-per-undergraduate-student at the University of Toronto per semester. UTERN also receives a 25-cent- levy from all graduate students. At St.George and UTM campuses, our levy is split with Bikechain. Our levy is renewed annually, and we use it in order to support student-led projects in relation to the environment and sustainability at University of Toronto. Please visit our About Us page for details.

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Where can I find your Meeting Minutes

UTERN’s Meeting Minutes are shared on our website to ensure  transparency about our activities. If you would like to keep up with our meeting minutes please scroll over the “About” page and click the “Meeting Minutes” page for our documents. Click the link for Meeting Minutes.

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How can I contact UTERN?

You can email us at utern[dot]toronto[at]gmail[dot]com OR our mailbox is UTERN 1016V at 33 Willcocks Street.

You can also follow us and contact us on Facebook and Instagram

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Where can I find what UTERN has funded so far?

If you would like to see the projects, conferences and events UTERN has funded, visit our Funding History page, which outlines the amount funded, date of issue, and the campus organization name. We have the information from 2018-2020.

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I am from UTM or UTSC, can I get funding and more information?

UTERN is a tri-campus organization, and our executive includes representatives for UTM and UTSC. UTM and UTSC students and student groups are able to receive just as much funding and support as UTSG students . So go ahead, and fill out an application form.

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Is UTERN active during COVID-19?

UTERN is active and provides funding for student clubs during COVID-19 shut down. We have temporarily transitioned our tasks to a virtual format. Please feel free to reach out to us by email or social media for any questions.

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Who is David Powell?

David Powell is the faculty supervisor for UTERN. He is a cool guy, who also likes hockey.  

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Does UTERN help with marketing events?

Yes. As UTERN is an umbrella organization for U of T, we encourage students and student groups to send us your events so we can share the information to other U of T students. Please send the information to utern[dot]toronto[at]gmail[dot]com

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