SELECT Languages for Research Purposes

Although some 40 languages are regularly taught at the University of Toronto, there remains a need among graduate students to study a wide range of languages not usually available (for example, Khmer, Maori, Indonesian, U'wa, Yakut).

The Study Elsewhere of Less Commonly Taught (SELECT) Languages for Research Purposes fund enables graduate students to pursue language study required for their research outside of U of T, if this language is not regularly taught at U of T. Funds are awarded to individual graduate students through the graduate unit.

Application Details

Applications vary from unit to unit, but typically the application deadline is in February.

Students should also consult with the Safety Abroad website to assess any additional preparation that may be needed for language study in their proposed location.

Proposal Requirements

While each unit administers their own SELECT funds, please take into consideration the following criteria:

  • The purpose of the SELECT fund is to support the study of a language required by a student's research project. Proposals for research trips will not be funded.
  • The language to be studied is not regularly taught at the University of Toronto. Funding will not be provided for languages that are offered at U of T, but not offered at a particular time (e.g., summer).
  • The language may be one that is regularly taught at U of T, provided that the student requires a level of language acquisition, or distinct dialect training, that U of T does not offer. 
  • Applicants must be current Arts & Science graduate students in good standing.
  • Applicants are eligible to receive SELECT funding a maximum of two times.
  • Priority will be given to students at the PhD level in the early stages of their doctoral research that are applying to the fund for the first time. Students at the master's level may be considered if they can demonstrate that they will be enrolled in a PhD program at the University of Toronto.

Proposals should demonstrate:

  • The need for the language study, and its importance for the student's dissertation research.
  • The timeliness of language study to the student's research program – the language study should occur early enough in a student's doctoral study to benefit their research.
  • The suitability of the venue and the language instruction for the development of language skills.
  • Please also note that for students requiring funds in excess of $3,000, applications are significantly strengthened by evidence of contributions from the student’s supervisor.

Application Submission Process

Application processes vary between academic units, and as such, students should check with their graduate administrator for their unit’s process.  The student’s supervisor plays a key role in the application, and thus language study plans should be done in consultation, and with the support of, the supervisor.