SDGs in Action Student Challenge

Apply by August 21st, 2023

Create local and global impact!

  • Grow your knowledge on the SDGs and important global skills such as intercultural communication, leadership, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, digital fluency and project management skills through virtual workshops. 
  • Make local and global impact by developing our own action projects that will contribute to the SDGs with the mentorship of York and partner faculties, global experts and in collaboration with your peers from around the world.  
  • References and inspiration 
  • Receive up to $8,000 to support you to study, research or work in the communities/locations of your SDG projects (must be a current York University Student 
    • Funding would depend on the duration, and location of your study, work, or research abroad, which will be configured to best fit your degree path and objectives. Students who receive GSO funding are not eligible for other awards facilitated by York International. Students can only receive the funding once. 
      • Short-term (~<4 weeks): CAD $2000     
      • Medium term (5-16 weeks): CAD $4000     
      • Long-term (17 weeks+): CAD $8000 

How to participate

  1. Faculty and SDG Mentors information session on July 14, 2023, at 10 AM (Zoom)
  2. Attend an information session [July 17 at 10 AM & August 15 at 3:30 PM].
  3. Review Selection Criteria: 
    1. For York U students: 
      • Demographics, please complete the section in the Application Form as GSO funding will prioritize students who are Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, and low-income, or students living with disabilities. 
      • Minimum 6.0 GPA (B average). 
      • In 2nd year of undergraduate study or higher. 
    2. For Partner students: applications will be reviewed based on information submitted. 
  4. Click here to apply by August 21, 2023
  5. Acceptance notification: Week of September 3, 2023

Project Overview and Timelines

WEEK OF SEP. 3 - Acceptance notification and receive welcome package 


Oct. 10, 2023 Student Orientation | Workshop 1: Introduction to UN SDGs and SDG17 | Community-Based Collaborative Action Session 
  • Mandatory for all students
  • Hybrid: In-person for students in Toronto; Virtual for Partner students in other countries
Oct. 11, 2023 SDG 2 & 10 Workshops by York and Partner Mentors *Students required to attend 2 out of 4 SDG Workshops and the 2 workshops on project management and community engagement.
  • Virtual
Oct. 12, 2023 SDG 12 & 16 Workshops by York and Partner Mentors *Students required to attend 2 out of 4 SDG Workshops and the 2 workshops on project management and community engagement.
  • Virtual
Oct. 13, 2023 Workshops by FES Working in teams/Project Management/Ethical community engagement
  • Mandatory for all students
  • Hybrid: In-person for students in Toronto; Virtual for Partner students in other countries


Starting Oct. 14 Group work, project development and implementation
  • Students attend monthly group check-in meeting with mentor
Oct. 25, 2023 Deadline to Project Proposal and Ethics application (if required)
Nov. 1, 2023 Attend the Project Midway Check-ins Meeting
Nov. 25, 2023 Deadline Project Submission


Nov. 26 - Dec. 4, 2023 Award Review and Selection
  • Creative Solutions Award - awarded to the project with the highest degree of interdisciplinary thinking to mobilize and engage communities to act on the SDGs.
  • SDGs in Partnership Award - awarded to the project that demonstrates outstanding collaboration and community engagement.
  • Best Overall project
Dec. 6, 2023 Knowledge Fair: project presentation & announcement of SDG awards [Link] Note: Students can continue to use seed funding in winter term 2024


Dec. 8, 2023 Drop in virtual post-experience form session
Dec. 13, 2023 Feedback to the 2023-24 SDGs in Action and receive Certificate of Participation
Before April 2024 Only for YorkU students: Funding distributions (requirements to be announced)
Jan 2024 - Feb 2025 Only for YorkU students: Students participate in physical/in-person outbound mobility programs (study/research/work abroad)


I don't know anything about the SDGs, can I still apply?

Yes, you can! You'll be able to learn about the SDGs as you participate in the workshops and prepare your action project.

Are 4th year students eligible?

Yes, so long as you are still eligible for the study abroad opportunities which are available. You must be enrolled as a York University student for the duration of your study/work trip.

I'm a graduate student, can I participate in the program?

Yes, you are eligible! Please note that you will need to be a current student to complete the study/work placement abroad.

I’m a mature student, is there additional support when I go abroad?

If there are extenuating circumstances, you’re more than welcome to disclose this in the application for the Program committee to take under consideration in the distribution of funds. We also encourage potential students to reach out to respective programs and faculties for other available sources of funding.

I’m already working on the SDGs, can I continue to work on it through this program?

If you already have a project in mind, you are more than welcome to propose your project to your student group. Be ready to work with new members to your group and be flexible to feedback and adaptions to allow each member of the group to contribute.

When do I know when I’m going abroad?

For York Students, applications are open now! Confirmation of your study abroad will vary depending on the program. For summer programs and internships at York International, students will typically prepare their application in February and be notified by mid-March.

Can I participate in the workshops and the action plans without doing the study or work abroad?

Yes, you can! Please specify in your application that would only like to participate in the workshops.

Are you a Faculty Member interested in being a Mentor?

Check out the details in the Call for Faculty and SDG Mentors

Contact Information

    • – Make sure to add ‘SDGs in Action 2023-24’ in the subject line. 


Funded by the Government of Canada’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program Global Skills Opportunity (GSO).