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Co-op funding opportunities

Several funding options may be available to support your co-op work experiences.

You can also see funding opportunities for employers, which could help your potential employer hire you.

Strategic Framework Experiential Learning Fund (SF-ELF)

At UVic, hands-on experiential learning is an essential part of the student experience. To support you in community-based learning opportunities, UVic provides a range of funding opportunities for students and employers both in Canada and abroad. 

If you're traveling outside Victoria (but within Canada) for a co-op work term with a not-for-profit or a for-profit organization, you may be eligible for a $1,000 travel stipend. SF-ELF provides approximately 10 to 15 for-profit travel subsidies and approximately 25 to 35 not-for-profit travel subsidies per year.

Who can apply

  • full-time undergraduate or graduate students doing co-op work terms anywhere in Canada, excluding the local Victoria region, as part of their UVic degree
  • the local Victoria region is defined as the Victoria Capital Regional District, which includes communities from Sidney and North Saanich at the north end of the Peninsula, to Victoria at the southern-most tip, to Oak Bay on the east and extending west to include Sooke and the Juan de Fuca electoral area to Port Renfrew

When to apply

Applications will only be accepted during the term that the placement takes place. The application deadline varies per term. 

  • January - April work terms: 4:30 p.m. on February 15
  • May - August work terms: 4:30 p.m. on June 15
  • September - December work terms: 4:30 p.m. on October 15

How to apply

Apply today (Students must be signed into UVic with their netlink ID and password in order to access the form)

UVic's Strategic Framework Experiential Learning Fund supports Indigenous community organizations to hire Indigenous students. Students must undertake co-op work terms in Indigenous community organizations anywhere in Canada.

Your potential co-op employer can apply for funds for co-sponsorship for one co-op work term. This funding will not cover the full cost of hiring a student. Employers are responsible for additional costs in excess of the maximum funding subsidy allowance of $5,000.

When to apply

The deadlines are:

  • November 1 for January-April work term
  • March 1 for May-August work term
  • July 1 for September-December work term

How to apply

Your employer can submit this Indigenous SF-ELF application form.

Who can apply

If you're formally registered in an approved entrepreneurial co-op work term, you may be eligible for this grant, which provides a maximum of $5,000.

Application deadline

Applications will be accepted during the term that the entrepreneurial work term takes place, or in the term before the entrepreneurial work term takes place. 

If you're applying in the SAME TERM as your entrepreneurial work term:

  • students going on a summer work term (May to August) must apply by 4:30 p.m. PST on June 15
  • students going on a fall work term (September to December) must apply by 4:30 p.m. PST on October 15
  • students going on a spring work term (January to April) must apply by 4:30 p.m. PST on February 15

If you're applying in the term BEFORE your entrepreneurial work term:

  • students going on a fall work term (September to December) must apply by 4:30 p.m. PST on June 15
  • students going on a spring work term (January to April) must apply by 4:30 p.m. PST on October 15
  • students going on a summer work term (May to August) must apply by 4:30 p.m. PST on February 15

How to apply

Complete and submit the Experiential Learning Wage subsidy application form. (Students must be signed into UVic with their netlink ID and password in order to access the form).

This funding provides eligible charity and not-for-profit organizations with up to $5,000 to cover a portion of the cost of hiring a UVic co-op student. Half of the funding goes to the employer at the end of the first month of the work term. The rest of the funding is released after the employer has completed the final competency assessment. 

When to apply

The deadlines are:

  • November 1 for January-April work term
  • March 1 for May-August work term
  • July 1 for September-December work term

How to apply

 Additional Strategic Framework Experiential Learning Fund (SF-ELF) opportunities are included below under international funding.

Co-op Changemaker Awards

The Co-op Changemaker awards celebrate co-op students who have made significant contributions to their workplace, community and/or to their own personal learning. Co-op students can nominate themselves for these annual awards, or an employer may nominate them.

Recipients receive $500.

Who is eligible?

All current co-op students (domestic or international, undergraduate or graduate) in good academic standing are eligible. Four awards will be given each award cycle: one per category.

  • Work term locations may be within Canada or international
  • Students may receive only one Changemaker award per academic year (May to April)
  • Priority will be given to students who have not won this award before

When and how can you apply?

Award applications are open from May to April each year and work terms must have been completed during that period. Nominations must be received by April 30. Awards are presented in May of each year.

Co-op students can apply directly, or their employer can apply on their behalf to the individual awards below.

This $500 award is given to students who have actively contributed towards Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives during their work term. 

Here are some ideas of what this might look like:

  • Talk about ways to advance EDI in the workplace with their colleagues and supervisors
  • Learn how the employer organization has committed to EDI and take action to incorporate these policies in your work
  • Identify and take part in training and education that involve EDI

Who is eligible?

  • All students working in any workplace on a co-op work term (international and domestic)

How to apply

Apply for the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Co-op Changemaker Award. Students can apply directly or employers may nominate a student. 

This $500 award is given to international students who have made a meaningful contribution to the outcomes and goals of the organization or to their own personal or professional development while on a co-op work term.

Here are some ideas of what this might look like:

  • Share your unique perspectives, ideas, and initiatives to create a more inclusive workplace
  • Foster a sense of belonging for employees with diverse backgrounds
  • Overcome obstacles to achieve success on projects and assignments at work

Who is eligible?

  • International students working in any workplace on a co-op work term (international and domestic)

How to apply

Apply for the International Student Co-op Changemaker Award. Students can apply directly or employers may nominate a student.

The $500 Reconciliation Award is for international or domestic students who advanced the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada Calls to Action during a co-op work term. Here are some ideas on how a student might help to advance the TRC’s Call to Action during a co-op work term:

Here are some ideas of what this might look like:

  • Discuss the Calls to Action and exchange ideas on how to advance them during the work term with colleagues and/or supervisors. Visit this blog from Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. for ideas that other Co-op students have piloted.
  • Access, share and engage the Indigenous WIL Resource Hub (IRH) for ideas. Reflect on principles of reconciliation, and engage your employer and team members on developing, decolonizing and Indigenizing initiatives in their human resources practices.
  • Make connections between your project goals and the Calls to Action. How is your project advancing the Calls to Action?
  • Identify training or educational resources that involve the Calls to Action, Indigenous histories in Canada, anti-racism, unconscious bias and intercultural safety. Gain access to these resources and/or participate in the training sessions to identify how best to contribute to Calls to Action in the workplace.

Who is eligible?

  • All students working in any workplace on a co-op work term (international and domestic)

How to apply

Apply for the Reconciliation Co-op Changemaker Award. Students can apply directly or employers may nominate a student.

This $500 award is given to students who have actively contributed towards the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during their co-op work term.

Here are some ideas of what this might look like:

  • Talk about the SDGs with their colleagues and supervisors and make plans about how to advance them
  • Learn how the employer organization has committed to the SDGs, which SDGs have been addressed, and how their role can make an impact
  • Use and share resources from the Indigenous WIL Resource Hub with your team to decolonize and Indigenize processes and initiatives
  • Review and implement ideas from the UN's 170 Daily Actions to Transform Our World
  • Take part in training and education about the SDGs and how you can incorporate them into your co-op work

Who is eligible?

  • All students working in any workplace on a co-op work term (international and domestic)

How to apply

Apply for the Sustainable Development Co-op Changemaker Award. Students can apply directly or employers may nominate a student.

Interested in contributing to the Co-op Changemaker awards? 

Funding for international work terms

Who qualifies?

If you're a student traveling outside Canada for a co-op work term with a not-for-profit organization, you may be eligible for a $3,000 travel stipend. This is a SF-ELF funding opportunity.

Storytelling requirement

If you receive this funding, you’ll be required to share a story about your experience on UVic’s Journey Across Borders storymapSee examples and learn how to share your story.

How to apply

If you've been placed at or considering a co-op work term with a not-for-profit organization outside of Canada, you may be eligible for this travel grant. 

No application is required—we’ll contact you if you're selected for this award. Selection criteria includes the location of the work term, payment provided by the employer and cost of living in the host country.

Students working at UVic Co-op and Career's partner institutions will be given priority.

Please contact the International Co-op office at intlindigcoop@uvic.ca with any questions.

Who qualifies?

If you're selected to participate in the Indigenous International Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Exchange Program, you may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in travel funding support.

This is a SF-ELF funding opportunity.

Storytelling requirement

If you receive this funding, you’ll be required to share a story about your experience on UVic’s Journey Across Borders storymapSee examples and learn how to share your story.

How to apply

No separate funding application is required—we’ll contact you if you're selected for this award after securing an international work term through this exchange program.

Questions? Contact the Indigenous co-op coordinator.

Who qualifies?

The Global Skills Opportunity (GSO) is offered by the Government of Canada to support students on international learning opportunities. It is specifically for:

  • students with disabilities
  • Indigenous students
  • low-income students who face barriers to participation

To qualify for funding, you must be:

  • an undergraduate student at UVic
  • at least 18 years old
  • available for co-op work term that is at least 12 weeks long
  • a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status
  • in good financial standing with UVic

What's included?

If you're selected, you'll receive $6,000 to help cover travel and other expenses related to your international work term. 

You will also be invited to take part in a research study that measures development of your cultural intelligence. You will have the opportunity to complete an online course called MyCQ for Study Abroad that will guide you as you develop your CQ during your international experience.

Storytelling requirement

If you receive this funding, you’ll be required to share a story about your experience on UVic’s Journey Across Borders storymapSee examples and learn how to share your story.

Application deadline

Apply by March 18, 2024.

How to apply

To apply for GSO funding, complete the GSO application for international work terms.

Email your application form to coopawards@uvic.ca 

As a registered co-op student, you can apply funding through the Graham Branton Co-op Endowment Fund. This fund supports placements that provide excellent learning opportunities but little remuneration (typically international co-op opportunities).

The fund was established in 1996 in memory of Dr. Graham Branton, who was instrumental in the growth of the UVic co-op program.

Application requirements

You must be registered in a work term to be considered.

Storytelling requirement

If you receive this funding, you’ll be required to share a story about your experience on UVic’s Journey Across Borders storymapSee examples and learn how to share your story.

How to apply

Application deadline

The application deadline is 4:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the fourth month of the term before the co-op placement (the first Wednesday of April, August and December).

Late applications will not be considered.

This funding supports students pursuing co-op work terms or internships in the Asia-Pacific region.

Four grants of $3,125 from this fund are available each year.

Selection criteria

  • location of work site
  • the learning opportunity the placement will provide
  • relevance to your area of study
  • relevance to your career aspirations
  • your academic grade point average
  • level of remuneration from the employer
  • level of your financial need

Application requirements

You must be formally registered in a work term to be eligible for funding consideration.

Storytelling requirement

If you receive this funding, you’ll be required to share a story about your experience on UVic’s Journey Across Borders storymapSee examples and learn how to share your story.

Application deadline

Applications will only be accepted in the term before the work placement term. The application deadline each term is 4:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the fourth month of the term before the co-op placement (the first Wednesday of April, August and December).

Late applications will not be considered.

How to apply

This funding assists with travel costs associated with undertaking a co-op work term outside students' home community. For students studying biology.

Contact the following offices for additional information:

International Student Services offers the following:

Student Awards and Financial Aid can help you look into funding options offered by UVic, including:

  • grants
  • prizes
  • scholarships
  • bursaries

They can also point you in the right direction to find external sources of financial aid.

Other funding & scholarships

This scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students who complete a co-op work term that involved the restoration and preservation of forests.

You must complete this work term in the academic year (May to April) before the disbursement of the scholarship. Nominations are made by the co-op program and preference is given to those with demonstrated financial need. Learn more about the Joyce Clearihue Undergraduate Scholarship.

This scholarship is awarded to graduate students who completed a co-op term that involved the restoration and preservation of forests.

To be eligible, you must complete the co-op work term in the graduate academic year (September to August) before the disbursement of the scholarship. Preference will be given to those with demonstrated financial need. Approval of the recipient(s) will be made by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Graduate Awards Committee.

Applications must be submitted to the Dean's Office, Faculty of Graduate Studies no later than April 15.

Learn more about the Joyce Clearihue Graduate Scholarship.

One or more scholarships are awarded to academically outstanding graduate students participating in a co-op work program. Preference will be given to a member or the child of a member of the Peninsula Consumer Services Cooperative. The application deadline is typically August 31. Selection of the recipient will be made by the Graduate Awards Committee.

To apply:

  1. Visit Grad Studies and select UVic Grad Donor Awards requiring an application.
  2. Scroll down to the Peninsula Co-op Award (awards are alphabetical; this one is under MacPherson).
  3. Apply using the live link in the award description. The live link to the form is found in the award description here.

UVic Co-op awards the Thouvenelle scholarship to students in work terms related to community development or service learning. Eligibility is based on:

  • the nature of the work term
  • your GPA 
  • your financial need

No application is required—we’ll contact you if you're selected for this scholarship.

Through SWPP, you could be eligible to qualify for $5,000-$7,000 in a wage subsidy to offer employers to hire you as a co-op student. SWPP funding is provided by Employment and Social Development Canada and is available by applying through several employer delivery partners.

  • funding is provided to employers to hire science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and business students
  • you could pre-qualify for a subsidy, making it easier and more financially feasible for employers to hire you
  • funding is provided to employers across a range of sectors and industries, including science, bio-technology, ecology and environment, information technology, information communications, entertainment and gaming, aviation and aerospace
  • you may qualify for additional funding if are a student from an under-represented group, including first-year students, students with disabilities, Indigenous students, new Canadians and women in STEM

What to do

  • apply for a co-op program. If you are already enrolled in a co-op program, you also qualify for this funding
  • speak to your coordinator about the industries that qualify for a wage subsidy and discuss how working for them aligns with your degree program and career objectives
  • apply to pre-qualify as an eligible student through one of the SWPP delivery partners (see SWPP sections on our employer funding page)

Examples of positions that could qualify

These are just a few examples of the wide variety of positions you could work in to qualify for SWPP funding.

  • sales and marketing assistant at a bio-fuels company
  • software engineer at a health technology company
  • laboratory technologist for environmental management at an automotive company
  • research assistant for a biotech, laboratory or environmental firm
  • programmer in the sustainability or bio-economy industries
  • scientist in a laboratory or field setting

Learn more

Contact your co-op coordinator for more information.

If you’re a full-time co-op student at UVic, you can claim certain costs of your relocation for co-op work placements on your income tax. The job location must be more than 40 kilometres from Victoria. 

To claim these costs, complete a T1-M Claim for Moving Expenses Form from Revenue Canada.

  • Community of Science Funding Databaselists over 400,000 funding opportunities worth over $33 billion. You can access this subscription service through any computer on campus
  • International Scholarships Database: a database of grants, scholarships, loan programs and other resources to help you work and study abroad
  • ECO Canada CO-OP Program: provides 50% of wage funding for employers who hire environmental students
  • EDC Youth Education Program: awards up to 30 scholarships annually, 25 of which go to undergraduate university or college students interested in pursuing a career or furthering their studies in international business. They also offer up to five additional scholarships for students in programs which combine business with environmental or sustainability studies. An EDC scholarship is worth a $4,000 cash award. The application process starts in November and ends in early February. Scholarships are awarded in spring, and issued in autumn at the start of each academic year.
  • ICTC Work-Integrated Learning Program: (under WIL Digital): under the Student Work-Integrated Learning Program, employers offering quality work-integrated learning placements to PSE students will be eligible to receive wage subsidies through ICTC.
  • ITAC Career Ready Program: current post-secondary students who are studying in the areas of business technology management (BTM), computer science, computer systems technology, computer engineering or alike programs and are in an official work term program qualify for the Career Ready program. The program provides up to 50% (up to a maximum of $5,000) of a work term student’s pay in wage subsidies.
  • Lime Connect scholarships for students with disabilities: Lime Connect hosts a variety of outstanding scholarship programs with their corporate partners in the US and Canada—some of which include a paid internship to get you started on a great career. All scholarships are awarded based on merit, not financial need. You do not need to be registered with disability services/access centres on campus nor do you need to provide proof of disability.
  • DAAD undergraduate scholarship: students going on work terms to Germany can apply to fund their international co-op term. The deadline for application is January 31. You can apply for this funding if you want to go on a work term beginning September or January of the following year