Statement of Objectives

The McConnell Student Opportunity Fund is an endowment generously provided by the McConnell Foundation as part of its contribution to Bishop’s Partners in Learning campaign.

The purpose of the McConnell Student Opportunity Fund is to encourage student-initiated projects that foster undergraduate student innovation, initiative, and self-reliance, by providing students with financial support to pursue practical research and, most particularly, job-related experiences. Funds are intended to nurture the development of new experiences and/or to enhance intellectual and practical skills complementary to those taught in academic programs. Funds are not intended for expenditures associated with course credit. Examples of student initiatives which could receive support might include academic or career opportunity forums, distinguished speakers, apprenticeship opportunities, cultural exchange, volunteer work – in short, any activities that nurture the development of new knowledge and aptitudes.

Successful applicants will receive a maximum of $2200 per project.


Applications are encouraged from both individuals and formally constituted or informal groups. All applicants must be full or part-time undergraduate students of Bishop’s University in academic year 2023-2024. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative average of 70%.

All projects must be completed prior to June 30, 2024. Graduating students will be held firmly to this deadline. Nevertheless the McConnell Student Opportunity Fund Evaluation Committee recognizes that some projects may involve time frames outside of this time period. Non-graduating applicants should note that such projects would require approval over two budget years. A prompt, final report to the McConnell Student Opportunity Fund Adjudication Committee of the project’s outcome is mandatory in all cases. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, a project that represents a repeat of a previous year’s project will not be funded.

Applications for projects that involve a significant travel component for a single student or several students (for example, cultural exchange abroad, voluntary medical service or other service-learning in the third-world, research opportunities at academic field stations, etc.) are encouraged, but if successful, will be restricted to grants of no more than $2,000 per project.

Application Procedure

The application form consists of two parts:

1)  Project definition and documentation

  • a statement of objectives,
  • a description of the project, highlighting its innovative nature,
  • a statement of methodology in relation to objectives,
  • a detailed timetable for project realization,
  • a projection of potential value of the activity to the individual student or student group,
  • two letters of reference, with at least one from a Bishop’s University faculty member, and
  • a current resumé of the applicant(s) or project coordinator(s).

2)  Detailed budget proposal

Budgets must be reasonable and proportionate to the project. They must be presented in detail, with each element justified. There are no specific limitations for budget categories outside of the general recommendation that equipment should be rented rather than purchased and that payment of salaries is ineligible. Successful applications for projects that involve a significant travel component for a single student or several students will be restricted to grants of no more than $2,000 per project. Information on additional potential funding can be obtained from the Vice Principal of Student Affairs, the Academic Deans, and the Bursar’s office.

How to apply

Submit your application using the online form
Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the committee.

Deadline to apply: March 15, 2024.

McConnell Fund Online Application Form

For any questions about this fund, please contact Kyle S. Pye:


Adjudication of applications is the responsibility of the McConnell Student Opportunity Fund Evaluation Committee, which evaluates projects through an open, competitive, and objective selection process. The Committee has five voting members: three students (appointed by the Student’s Representative Council) and two faculty. They must represent each of Bishop’s Divisions and Schools. The Committee’s non-voting chairperson is appointed by the Dean of Arts and Science. The Vice Principal of Student Affairs sits on the Committee in an advisory capacity.

Projects will be judged using the following criteria:

  • Originality of project and objectives, and level of innovation
  • Clarity of project description
  • Perceived value of project to individual or group
  • Appropriateness of method
  • Viability of timetable and budget
  • Probability of project completion

The Evaluation Committee reserves the right to request that students make a presentation.

Conditions of Awards

The amount awarded represents the allowable maximum of expenditures associated with the applicant’s grant. Cost overruns will be borne by the applicant. The time periods indicated in the project proposal and approved by the Committee are binding.

  • Funds cannot be used for fundraising.
  • Funds cannot be used to create new employment.
  • Funds cannot be used to cover personal expenses.

All expenditures must be supported by original receipts or invoices and are to be submitted to:

Monetta Gallichon
Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Social Sciences

Please see the BU Directory for Monetta’s phone and office number.

Any projects involving human participants must conform to the guidelines for ethical conduct of research established by the Tri-Council Agencies (the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)),of Canada. Likewise, any project involving the use of animals must conform to the guidelines established by the Canadian Council on Animal Care. Information concerning these guidelines may be obtained by contacting the chairs of the Bishop’s Human Ethics Committee or the Bishop’s Animal Care Committee, respectively. Funds will not be disbursed until approval has been granted by the appropriate committee.

All applicants will receive a formal letter from the Evaluation Committee concerning the outcome of the adjudication process.


All award holders must submit a full report to the McConnell Student Opportunity Evaluation Committee describing the overall success of the project and the results in reference to the expected value of the project. Reports must include a detailed financial statement and must be submitted within four weeks of completion of the project. Interim reports on medium- or long-range projects may be required.

All award holders must acknowledge support of the McConnell Student Opportunity Fund throughout their projects.