Submissions to both the Student Life Endowment Fund (SLEF) and Equity, Opportunity, and Innovation Fund (EOI) can be submitted to the Internal Funding Group Proposal Form.

Student Life Endowment Fund (SLEF)

Calling all big-idea people! Do you want to improve student spaces or run an awesome event, but need some help with funding? Apply to SLEF today!

SLEF helps promote campus by supporting student-led projects with funding grants twice a term. Since the Spring of 1992, undergraduate student contributions have grown the Fund to over $5 million. Interest generated each year is allocated to projects on campus by the Funding Committee: for students, by students.

Normally, in order to be awarded a grant, the project needs to fit within the following priorities for disbursement:

  • The improvement of health, wellness, and safety on all campuses
  • The improvement of accessibility on all campuses
  • The renovation to student operated or managed spaces
  • Connecting students to available university resources
  • The improvement of current lounge and study spaces
  • Activities promoting or furthering the academic goals of the Federation of Students
  • Joint projects with Municipal or Regional governments that improve student well-being

Any projects outside the sphere of these priorities are eligible for funding, but as funds are limited, such projects will receive slow and careful consideration before awards are granted.

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Term Application Deadline (Midnight EST) Funding Committee Meetings
Winter 2024 Friday, January 19th Friday, January 26th
Sunday, March 10th Week of March 11th
Spring 2024 Friday, May 17th Week of May 20th
Friday, July 19th Week of July 22nd
  1. Complete the online application form and submit it before the funding deadline to be considered in that cycle. Late submissions will be considered in subsequent cycles (usually in two months).
  2. You or a representative may be asked to attend a Funding Committee meeting to present your request and answer questions.
  3. You should hear back on funding decisions within 1-2 weeks of the deadline!
  4. If granted funding, your event or project should acknowledge the contribution of SLEF/EOI through social media, event promotions, or other reasonable means.
  5. Please ensure that a complete and formal estimate of costs is included with your submission for each item and option. This may include invoices, online quotes or costs given by Plant Operations on campus. They can be contacted at extension x36318 and will need two weeks to give a full estimate.
  6. Funding is open to full-time undergraduate students only.
  7. Note that expenses incurred before Funding Committee approval will not be retroactively reimbursed: you may only begin spending after being approved!
  8. The amount you receive is what you will be funded. If your purchase price is higher than expected, it is your responsibility to cover the difference.
  9. You may not submit reimbursements for different expenses then that which the Funding Committee has approved. If you wish to modify or re-allocate previous grants, you must submit a new proposal.
  10. All reimbursements must be submitted within one year of the granting of funds. If you fail to submit all invoices and receipts by that date, your funding will be forfeited, unless an exception is granted by the Funding Committee Chair.

Past funding decisions can now be found within our Funding Sharepoint site.

SLEF Funding Guidelines

Eligibility: The applicant must be a full-time undergraduate student currently enrolled at the University of Waterloo. The proposal and all subsequent work should be led and directed by students, and not be on behalf of a department on campus.

Validity: The proposal must fall under an official SLEF priority.

  • Improvement of health, wellness, and safety on all campuses;
  • Improvement of accessibility on all campuses;
  • Building a stronger student community;
  • Renovation to student operated or managed spaces;
  • Improvement of current lounge and study spaces;
  • Activities promoting or furthering the academic goals of WUSA;
  • Joint projects with municipal or provincial governments that improve student wellbeing;

These considerations are designed with the goal of maximizing benefit for undergraduate students with limited funds.

  • Scope: How many students will the proposal benefit over the lifespan of the project?
    • Positive: Open to all undergraduates, accessible, inclusive of all students of the target audience
    • Negative: Only benefits an exclusive group
  • Lifespan: Does the proposal provide a long-standing benefit to campus? More relevant for expensive proposals.
    • Positive: Long-lasting requests, such as durable equipment and furniture, or projects that have a impact beyond their duration
    • Negative: Projects that only provide short-term benefits to campus life (ex. Focused on food, rentals). This is not to say that these items will not be funded especially for low-cost proposals, but may be deprioritized.
  • Need: Other funding sources exist on campus. Is the proposal specific to a group (ex. program, faculty) that is supported by another fund?
    • Positive factors: Unique funding need
    • Negative factors: Overlaps with other funding sources, did not explore alternatives
  • Application presentation:
    • Positive: Clear and comprehensive, explains quotes and options for requested items, especially for high-cost proposals
    • Negative: Vague, missing quotes or key details
  • Value for money: Does the proposal yield benefits in line with its costs?

Negative factors do not make an application ineligible for funding, just as positive factors do not guarantee funding. In general the larger ($) the proposal, the stricter the considerations.

Speaker fees, honorarium, gift cards: Speaker fees, honorarium, and gift cards are typically not funded. Rationale: These direct external transfers usually do not efficiently benefit students.

Travel costs, team competition fees: Any proposals seeking support for travel costs or competition fees must be open for any undergraduate student to join as explained in the application. For EOI: Opportunity funding, this guideline does not apply but individuals should justify that support is needed.

Donations and fundraisers: Any donations or costs toward fundraisers should not be funded. Rationale: Funding is intended to directly benefit students rather than raise additional funds. Direct investment in student resources and experiences is prioritized.

Food: Costs for food should be scrutinized with regards to value for money. Rationale:  In most cases food should complement, not be the primary focus of, student events or activities. Emphasis should be on providing food that enhances an event's experience in a responsible and cost-concious manner.

Equity, Opportunity, and Innovation Fund

This fund exists to assist with projects that bring awareness to systemic issues borne by marginalized groups on campus, support professional development opportunities like conferences and competitions, and fund the costs of new projects that benefit students on campus. Today the EOI fund stands in excess of $1 million, and uses the interest generated to fund student-led projects as evaluated by the Funding Committee.

Equity: Promoting a safer, healthier and more accepting campus.

Opportunity: Individual students or student groups who wish to engage in projects, conferences, or other experiences that further professional development. Funding should not typically exceed $500 per student.

Innovation: New student-led initiatives that will provide a lasting benefit to undergraduate students and/or promote innovation on campus.

Preference will be given to projects which have not applied to this fund in the last two years in an attempt to diversify offerings.