The School of Cities’ Small Grants Program supports knowledge mobilization and translation, public policy engagement, curricular innovations, and other activities that address urban issues and contribute to efforts that make cities more sustainable, prosperous, inclusive and just. Examples include, but are not limited to, public engagement events and initiatives, community-informed interventions, organizing conferences and symposia, art practice and creative pedagogies, and teaching & learning activities.

The School of Cities aims to reflect the diversity of people and communities in local urban regions. It is especially committed to the active participation of under-represented and equity-deserving groups, Indigenous, Black, immigrant, racialized, LGBTQ2S+ people and people with disabilities.

Kite flying

The School reflects a global sense of urbanism, with attention to the interplay between local and global contexts and the relationships and networks that shape a sense of place. Locally, its scope includes the cities and metropolitan areas that comprise the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The School’s core values inform its partnerships. We seek meaningful collaborations with our partners, recognizing that communities and their members are not sites or objects of research, but actors, co-creators, and collaborators in knowledge-making projects.

The School of Cities is currently focused on the topics of climate and justice in cities and belonging, migration and thriving. While all applications will be reviewed and considered, we particularly welcome projects addressing the intersection of urban vulnerability with climate change and adaptation, and the creation of a sense of thriving through belonging and migration.

Criteria, Expectations and Applications

  • Maximum of $5,000 per initiative, with the majority of awards ranging from $1,000-$1,500;  
  • Individual faculty and staff members, and recognized U of T student groups, are eligible to apply;  
  • For current student applicants, University of Toronto department, program, recognized student group, faculty member or other formal university organization must also be a co-sponsor (can be non-budgetary). This grant is not meant to fund individual student research projects;  
  • The initiative must focus on knowledge mobilization and translation, public policy engagement, curricular innovations and activities that address urban issues;  
  • Eligible expenses: research assistance, graphic design, writing, hosting/technology expenses, room rental, catering, event promotion, travel expenses, honorariums for guest speakers, field trips. Other expenses to be approved on a case-by-case basis;  
  • Priority given to initiatives that are public, accessible and/or free of charge;  
  • Funds can be accessed a maximum of once per year by each applicant or co-sponsor;  
  • Funds must be spent within 6 months of the grant award;  
  • Funds must be disbursed to U of T financial accounts (via direct transfer) or recognized U of T student group bank accounts (via cheque) only.  
  • Acknowledgement of School of Cities support on digital and/or print media;    
  • A 300-word post-event narrative and summary of outcomes and engagement data (a report template will be provided)  
  • Partner with the School of Cities to have your event/initiative promoted on the School of Cities website and through the School’s social media and other communications only (no financial support). 
  • All successful initiatives receiving funding and/or support will be promoted by the School of Cities;  

Frequently Asked Questions


Individual current (Active Full-time or Part-time status) students who have a co-sponsor (can be non-budgetary) in the form of a University of Toronto department, program, University recognized student group, faculty member, or other formal university organization are welcome to apply for a Small Grant. Individual students must remain active in order to access funds. Please include the contact information for your co-sponsor in the application.  

At this time, the Small Grants program is only reviewing applications from current students with formal university organization as a co-sponsor, current staff and faculty members, and recognized U of T student groups.  

Content/ logistics

While we particularly welcome applications addressing the intersection of belonging, thriving, and migration in cities, all applications on urban focused topics will be reviewed and considered.

Your project/initiative should be ready for execution at the time of application.

Yes. We understand timelines for decisions and transfer of funds may not match project timelines. However, please ensure alternate funding sources are secured before incurring expenses and that all expenses comply with University of Toronto policies. 

Funds must be spent within 6 months of the grant award. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

No. Projects/initiatives can take place in any geographic region or in virtual format. Eligible expenses must comply with University of Toronto policies.

No. These funds are not intended to support individual faculty or student research activities, but rather the outcomes of such activities as they relate to knowledge mobilization and engagement and curricular innovation.

Yes. However, please ensure any new application meets the eligibility requirements and/or specifically responds to the feedback given in the initial decision.  

Please apply with one project/initiative in mind.  


School of Cities Small Grant Award funds are either disbursed to recipient’s home department or to a U of T recognized student group, and not an individual person. 

Remaining funds are to be returned to School of Cities. Please contact for assistance.