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Awards FAQ

Here you will find answers to commonly asked questions, and more specific questions regarding the Travel Award and Professional Development Award.


Q: Why am I begin asked; Gender, Citizenship, Do you self-declare as a part of any of the following employment equity groups? in the application?

A: These questions will not impact your eligibility for this award, or have influence on your application. EGS would like to understand the students we engage with. The information in this section will be used in an anonymized and aggregated manner to show overall information about our applicants. The overall findings (ex. gender distribution) will be shared internally, as well as externally through channels such as our website.

Q: If I apply for an award and meet the eligibility requirements am I guaranteed funding?

A: No, it is a competitive process and we cannot guarantee funding for all applicants.

Q: How do I receive the award money if I am successful?

A: You will receive an email confirming your award. This email will provide details on how you can reimburse your expenses though the McMaster travel expense system

Q: Who do I contact for help with my reimbursement expenses?

A: You must first contact your department administrator, or business administrator.

Q: I am a student now but I will graduate before the end of the application cycle, can I still qualify for an award? 

A: If you are a student at the time of your travels or the professional development course, then you may qualify for an award.

Q: Are awards distributed equally among engineering departments?

A: No, an applicant’s department is not taken into account in the review process. It is based on the quality of the application and the number of applications in each cycle.

Q: Are senior students given priority on funding requests? 

A: No. All students, Master or Ph.D., 1st year Ph.D. or 5th year Ph.D., are all considered equal in the application process.

Q: If I am having any issues in the application process who do I contact?

A: Please contact the Travel Awards Committee Chair(s) at

Q: Is there an appeals process?

A: Appeals will be handled on a case-by-case basis, please contact the Travel Awards Committee Chair(s) at

Q: Who provides the EGS with funding for the EGS’s Travel Awards ?

A: The Faculty of Engineering has generously sponsored McMaster’s Engineering Graduate Society to grant these awards.

Q: Who oversees the EGS Travel Awards Committee?

A: The EGS President is responsible for the oversight of the EGS’s Travel Awards Committee. You may contact the EGS President at

Q: Are my applications viewable to members of the Travel Awards Committee?

A: Yes, but all applicants are anonymized by the Travel Awards Committee Chair(s). The EGS Travel Awards Committee takes pride in transparency and removing bias wherever/whenever possible.

Q: How many members of the Travel Awards Committee review my application?

A: A minimum of three independent reviewers are assigned per application. The Chair(s) are then required to review independent assessment, investigate conflicting feedback, and summarize their findings in preparation for the EGS Travel Awards’ Committee meeting. 

Q: Who decides if an award is given?

All applications are discussed at a closed-door Travel Awards Committee meeting, after independent review and Chair investigation/summarization. Each application is reviewed with the EGS’s Travel Awards Committee and the Committee, as a collective, vote on the award “winner(s)”. 

Travel Award

Q: How long after the application deadline will it take for the Travel Awards Committee to notify successful applicants?

A: Successful applicants will typically be notified by the end of the month (last month of the application cycle)

Q: Can I apply before I travel?

A: Yes, as long as your travel occurs before the end of the application cycle.

Q: What if my travel is between application cycles? (e.g. April 30 – May 1)

A: You must apply to the earlier cycle.

Q: Can I receive the award money prior to traveling?

A: No, McMaster operates on a reimbursement policy.

Professional Development Award

Q: How much can I reimbursed if I win this award during the May 2021-April 2022 cycle?

A: Awardees can be reimbursed up to $300 through this award.

Q: Can I receive the award money prior to enrolling the the professional development course or workshop?

A: No, McMaster operates on a reimbursement policy.

Q: Is the value of the award the same each award cycle?

A: No, the value is subject to change each award cycle.

Q: What courses are eligible for the professional development award?

A: Professional certificate programs from the W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology (, McMaster Center for Continuing Education ( as well as courses from online learning platforms are eligible for the professional development award.

Courses that are used to satisfy your degree requirements at McMaster are NOT eligible for the professional development award.

Q: If I apply for the professional development award, would that affect my eligibility for the EGS Travel Award?

A: No that would not affect your eligibility. Both awards are independent of one another and you may apply for both awards once per award cycle (May – August).