FAQs

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Definitions

Faculty of Arts & Science: Academic programs at the University of Toronto are organized into faculties and divisions. Faculties and divisions have responsibility for various administrative and financial decisions pertaining to students enrolled in their programs.
The Faculty of Arts & Science is the academic division at the University of Toronto responsible for students enrolled in Arts & Science programs. It is made up of 29 Departments, seven colleges and 46 interdisciplinary Centres, Institutes and programs, which together include 42 graduate units.
The Faculty of Arts & Science covers three broad disciplinary sectors:

Humanities: disciplines include, for example, Classics, Cinema Studies, Comparative Literature, Drama, History, History of Art, Linguistics, Medieval Studies, Philosophy, and Women and Gender Studies, as well as languages and culture studies including East Asian Studies, English, French, Germanic Languages & Literatures, Italian, Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, Slavic Languages & Literatures, and Spanish & Portuguese.

Social Sciences: include Anthropology, Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, Economics, Geography & Planning, Global Affairs, Industrial Relations, Political Science and Sociology.
Sciences: include Astronomy & Astrophysics, Cell & Systems Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology and Statistical Sciences.

Unit/academic unit: The Department, Centre or Institute in which a student is registered. The academic unit hosts the programs.

Funded cohort: The group of doctoral-stream students on all three campuses who are eligible for the graduate funding package. Students may receive funding for up to five years of doctoral-stream study: some units direct this funding toward one year of Master’s and four years of PhD study; others focus funding on five years of PhD study. 

Eligible students: Arts & Science students in the funded cohort on all three campuses who do not hold scholarships worth more than the value of the base funding amount, plus tuition and fees.

Base Funding

 

Arts & Science base funding: This is the funding amount provided to all eligible students registered in the Faculty of Arts & Science. In 2016-2017, this amount stands at $16,500 plus tuition and fees for students in the Social Sciences and Humanities, and $17,000 plus tuition and fees for students in the Sciences. We provide this funding to support graduate students in the full-time pursuit of their graduate degree. Therefore, this funding is subject to certain terms and conditions. Arts & Science base funding is delivered to units as an aggregate allocation. This allocation is then adjusted based on various factors including external scholarships received by students, and assumed per student research assistant (RA) and teaching assistant (TA) contributions per unit. 

Program base funding: This is a per student funding amount instituted by an academic unit (Department, Centre, Institute) for students in the funded cohort of a particular graduate program. It is often more than, but never lower than, the Arts & Science base funding amount. For example, in September 2016, a hypothetical Swedish Studies student in Arts & Science would receive at least $16,500 because they are an Arts & Science student in the humanities. Additional funding may be provided on top of this by the Department of Swedish Studies. 

Fellowships: Funds provided to students so that they can work on research directly related to their dissertation. Students do not have to perform hourly work (such as TA work) for this portion of their funding. There are many types of fellowship funds that contribute to doctoral-stream student funding. Two types of fellowship to note in particular are:

University of Toronto Fellowships (UTF) are internal fellowships funded through divisional operating grants. They are the largest source of fellowships for Arts & Science doctoral-stream students.

Program-level funding: Funding from the unit from a variety of sources including “named” awards from donors, and, new in 2017-18, a program-level fellowships pool allocated to each academic unit by the Faculty of Arts & Science.

Direct-to-student support: Funding that is provided directly to the student’s Student Web Services (SWS)/ACORN/Repository of Student Information (ROSI) account.

Program-level fellowship pools: The Faculty of Arts & Science is allocating funding to each unit – expressed as an amount per registered student in the funded cohort, but not direct-to-student. Units allocate this pool of funds to their funded cohort students in accordance with their own academic priorities and strategies and in the context of a competitive academic environment for attracting the best graduate students. Units allocate this pool of funds in a transparent manner. The program-level fellowships pool must be spent: (1) in the year allocated, (2) on students in the funded cohort, (3) on fellowships (not employment).

Time to completion: The time taken by a student to complete their degree (in years) as measured by terms registered in a program. Approved leaves during which the student is not registered are not counted towards the time to completion.

Graduate Advisory Committee (GAC): The GAC is a group made up of unit Graduate Chairs, Graduate Directors/Associate Chairs Graduate and graduate student representatives from the Graduate Student Union (GSU). All sectors (Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences) are represented. The GAC is chaired by the Vice-Dean Graduate Education.

FAQs

Questions about the Fellowship Initiatives 2016-17 to 2018-19

  1. What changed for 2016-17 in graduate student support in Arts & Science?
  2. What consultations did Arts & Science undertake in developing these initiatives?
  3. How much money is Arts & Science putting toward graduate student fellowships?
  4. Why is Arts & Science providing all eligible doctoral-stream students with an extra $2,000 ($1,500 in 2016/17, growing to $2,000 by 2018/19) rather than allocating the funding specifically to those students at the lowest end?
  5. Why hasn’t this increase to graduate funding happened sooner?
  6. I’ve heard that this initiative represents a 27% increase in the Arts & Science Fellowships budget, so why are students only receiving a 10% increase?
  7. Why do the funding increases only affect students in the funded cohort?
  8. Why not use the money to fund students beyond the funded cohort (i.e. extend the 5 years of doctoral-stream funding to 6 years)?
  9. Why is this increase happening in Arts & Science, and not University-wide?
  10. How much additional money can a student in the funded cohort expect in their funding package in 2016-17? In 2017-18? In 2018-19?
  11. How will academic units determine how program-level fellowship funds will be used?
  12. What are you doing to improve graduate education for all graduate students?
  13. How will the Arts & Science professionalization programs (Milestones and Pathways) differ from those already on offer elsewhere at the University?
  14. What will happen to these graduate initiatives (Milestones, Pathways and the funding increase) in the future?

Questions about How Funding Works in General

  1. How much does it cost to fund eligible graduate students (i.e. the funded cohort) in Arts & Science each year?
  2. What are the elements of base funding packages in Arts & Science?
  3. Does base funding include the cost of tuition and ancillary fees?
  4. Why are the average incomes for graduate students posted on the School of Graduate Studies website much higher than the Arts & Science base funding amount?
  5. Why is the Master’s program funded in some units but not others?
  6. Why do some students in Arts & Science receive more financial support than others?
  7. I’m confused: Arts & Science is on the downtown campus of U of T, so why does Arts & Science graduate funding impact students on all the three campuses?
  8. How do Teaching Assistantships fit into the funding packages?
  9. Is there a limit to how much teaching assistantship income and research assistantship income can be part of a funding package?
  10. How does graduate support in Arts & Science compare to other universities in Canada?
  11. I’ve heard that some students have to do an extensive amount of teaching in order to earn the minimum level of financial support while others do not have to work at all. How is this fair?
  12. It seems that funding often runs out before the student can complete their PhD. Why?
  13. What are the consequences (to the student, to the university) when it takes a long time to complete a PhD?
  14. What role does Arts & Science play in graduate student funding and graduate student life?
  15. What role does my unit (Department, Centre or Institute) play in graduate student funding and graduate student life?
  16. What role does SGS play in graduate student funding and graduate student life?


Questions about the Fellowship Initiatives 2016-17 to 2018-19

  1. What changed for 2016-17 in graduate student support in Arts & Science?
    First, we have put in place two new programs, Milestones and Pathways, aimed at bolstering the level of support we provide to enable students to progress through their studies and prepare effectively for their careers.

    Second, we have introduced major improvements to graduate student financial support. A key component is the Fellowship Initiative under which all eligible Arts & Science students in the funded cohort – domestic and international, across all three campuses – will receive a base funding package of at least $2,000 more by 2018-19 than they receive today, with the first increase taking effect this fall.  All of this increase will go directly to students in the form of fellowship income. Students will not be required to work for any of this additional income.

    Third, we have created Program-Level Fellowship Pools in each of the graduate Departments, Centres and Institutes (academic units) in Arts & Science. These will be dedicated pools of fellowship resources that academic units can allocate to students in the funded cohort in accordance with their priorities for graduate education. 

  2. What consultations did Arts & Science undertake in developing these initiatives?
    Joshua Barker, Vice-Dean, Graduate Education, held extensive consultations on matters relating to graduate education with students, faculty members and graduate administrators since assuming this role in July 2015. He has also met with graduate student course union presidents and vice-presidents to discuss graduate funding and the graduate student experience more broadly.

  3. How much money is Arts & Science putting toward graduate student fellowships?
    Arts & Science at the University of Toronto is making a major improvement to support for doctoral-stream students, starting at $3.35 million in 2016-17 and rising to an ongoing annual investment of $6.7 million over 2015-16 levels by the third year. This represents an estimated 27% increase to the Arts & Science University of Toronto Fellowships allocation.

    This investment will be used to improve the funding packages of students in the funded cohort. The first increase of $1,500 per eligible doctoral-stream student takes effect September 2016 and will be reflected in the funding letters students receive from their program in the summer of 2016. Additional increases of $250 per year will take effect in September 2017 and September 2018, respectively.

    This means:
    • By 2018, all students in the funded cohort will receive at least $17,000 plus tuition and fees in the humanities and social sciences programs and $17,500 plus tuition and fees in the science programs.
    • Base funding for students in the funded cohort will be at least $2,000 above where it stands today.
    • All of this increase will be in the form of fellowship income.
      In addition to these increases, which will go directly to students, we plan to establish dedicated pools of fellowship resources in the academic unit. Our plan is to invest $1.12 million in these pools in 2017-8, rising to $2.24 million annually in 2018.

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  4. Why is Arts & Science providing all eligible doctoral-stream students with an extra $2,000 ($1,500 in 2016/17, growing to $2,000 by 2018/19) rather than allocating the funding specifically to those students at the lowest end?
    There are various views on the best way to allocate a funding increase. Extensive consultations with graduate students and faculty indicated we should provide extra funds directly to doctoral-stream students in the funded cohort who had not seen an increase in support since 2008. The increase to funding affects international and domestic students, across all three campuses.

    In addition to the funds provided directly to students in the funded cohort, Arts & Science needed a way to acknowledge and support the autonomy of its many individual academic units to make strategic decisions in accordance with their own academic priorities.  (Arts & Science has 40 graduate units and the widest variety of academic disciplines of any division at the University of Toronto.)

  5. Why hasn’t this increase to graduate funding happened sooner?
    In Arts & Science, we have worked hard to balance our budget and are now in a position to begin to reduce our accumulated debt, and address key academic priorities such as recruiting new faculty and improving graduate funding.

    Our financial circumstances had been severely constrained especially since the 2008 recession which had long lasting effects on university endowments and budgets. Our ability to fund doctoral-stream students also remains limited by the realities of provincial funding of postsecondary education. Ontario remains last among the provinces in per-student funding of higher education.

    Provincial support of postsecondary education in Ontario has decreased in real terms by over 40% relative to 20 years ago. In 2013-14 government grants represented 34% of our total operating revenue and are expected to decline further to 29% by 2017-18. These percentages include funds introduced for graduate expansion through the McGuinty government’s 2005 Reaching Higher and 2011 Putting Students First plans.

  6. I’ve heard that this initiative represents a 27% increase in the Arts & Science Fellowships budget, so why are students only receiving a 10% increase?
    The overall amount being spent on UT fellowships by Arts & Science is increasing by 27% between 2015-16 and 2018-19.

    Fellowships are only one part of a student’s funding package so the Faculty’s increased expenditure on fellowships doesn’t translate to a proportional increase in base funding per student.  This is why students will see a 10% increase to their base funding amount between 2015-16 and 2016-17.

  7. Why do the funding increases only affect students in the funded cohort?
    The Faculty has chosen to prioritize its graduate student resources to support doctoral-stream students for a period of time so as to enable them to focus on their studies and graduate in a timely way.  That said, we understand that many students are unable to complete their studies in the funded period and that it is stressful for graduate students when they move beyond the funded cohort. Therefore, we will continue to look at issues that relate to the time it takes for students to graduate. 

  8. Why not use the money to fund students beyond the funded cohort (i.e. extend the 5 years of doctoral-stream funding to 6 years)?
    The funded cohort was created as a way to prioritize very constrained resources to doctoral-stream students. If we were to extend the funded cohort by a year – funding students in year 6 of their doctoral-stream studies – it would cost nearly twice as much to benefit a relatively small number of students (about 300 per year are in their 6th year of doctoral-stream study compared to about 2000 per year in the funded cohort).

    It is also important to understand that the provincial government typically provides funding for only 3.5 years of doctoral-stream study.  Thus, the Faculty is already providing significantly more support to its graduate students than it receives.

  9. Why is this increase happening in Arts & Science, and not University-wide?
    In 2006-2007, the University adopted a new budget model, in which authority for revenue and spending was devolved to its divisions, including Arts & Science. Many aspects of graduate education policy and funding decisions moved from the University to the Faculty level. This means that resources for funding increases must be identified within each Faculty.

    Arts & Science is now able to invest in increased graduate student support because it has improved its financial position, achieving a balanced budget in the year before the increase in support was announced. The planned increase marks the third major move on graduate student funding in the University’s history, but it is the first move at the divisional level under the new budget model.

  10. How much additional money can a student in the funded cohort expect in their funding package in 2016-17? In 2017-18? In 2018-19?
    Students who do not hold a major scholarship (see information for scholarship holders below) should see an extra $1,500 (10% increase) in 2016-17, an extra $250 in 2017-18 and an extra $250 again in 2018-19. For example, if your funding package is currently $15,000 plus tuition and fees, you will receive $16,500 in 2016-17, $16,750 in 2017-18 and $17,000 in 2018-19, plus tuition and fees.


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    If your funding package is currently $18,500 plus tuition and fees, you will receive $20,000 in 2016-17, $20,250 in 2017-18, and $20,500 in 2018-19, plus tuition and fees.


    chart3.png
    For scholarship holders, we will continue to use our standard formula when allocating UTF fellowships to the units. This means that the scholarship funds will replace the UTF portion of the funding package up to the base amount. In general, students holding scholarships worth more than the value of the base funding amount, plus tuition and fees, will not see an increase. Graduate units will continue to decide how much teaching assistant and research assistant work award holders may do and how top-up funds for scholarships are allocated to students.

  11. How will academic units determine how program-level fellowship funds will be used?
    The purpose of the program-level fellowship funds is to allow units to identify and address priorities and needs specific to their graduate programs, and to allocate these funds to students accordingly. Units will consult with graduate students and faculty members about how this pool of funds will be used. Following this consultation, each graduate unit will create its own transparent criteria on fellowship allocation, which will be available in a public document, posted online. Unit-level funding criteria should be in place before the 2017 winter term, and will be reviewed annually as part of the regular budget review process.

    In the third year of the program there will be an extensive review by the Graduate Advisory Committee, which will propose a new three-year plan to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science. This review will consider the initiative in its entirety, including unit-level criteria for the allocation of fellowship pools.

    The program-level fellowships pool must be spent: (1) in the year allocated, (2) on students in the funded cohort, (3) on fellowships (not employment). Some ways that units may allocate the program-level fellowships might include:
    • Support for an increase to program base funding
    • Support for particular years of study
    • Support for students in particular financial need
    • Top-ups for external scholarships
    • Support for particular research activities (e.g. field research)

    Graduate students are encouraged to voice their views on appropriate priorities by engaging with their Graduate Student Union (GSU) course union representatives and with the Graduate Director/Associate Chair Graduate and/or Graduate Administrator in their unit.

  12. What are you doing to improve graduate education for all graduate students?
    Two new programs, Milestones and Pathways, have launched in 2016-17. These programs aim to support students in progressing through their studies and preparing effectively for their careers. Both programs will focus on discipline-specific initiatives.

    Milestones will introduce activities, such as retreats and workshops, to help students reach key milestones in their graduate training: advancing to candidacy, writing their dissertation, and publishing an academic article.

    Pathways will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in both academic and non-academic career pathways.

    These initiatives will feature new programming, as well as support for existing, unit-led activities. The Faculty will also seek identify exemplary practices currently available to relatively small numbers of students — such as writing retreats in Geography, academic career placement counselling in English, and industry internships in Computer Science — and scale them up so that more students can benefit.

    Also, the role of the Vice-Dean, Teaching and Learning has expanded to include specific attention to graduate academic programs and support. In addition to identifying new initiatives, successful programs that were previously targeted primarily to undergraduate students, such as the popular backpack to briefcase series, will be made available to more graduate students. These programs will enrich a growing array of initiatives already underway at the University. 

  13. How will the Arts & Science professionalization programs (Milestones and Pathways) differ from those already on offer elsewhere at the University?
    The main difference is that they will be more discipline-specific. Existing professionalization initiatives offered elsewhere at the University focus on developing broad skill sets. The Graduate Professional Skills (GPS) Program offered by the School of Graduate Studies, for example, focuses on “skill areas” (such as communication skills) that are applicable to a wide range of disciplines and careers. The Arts & Science Milestones and Pathways programs will focus on skills and training relevant to a particular discipline – for example, preparing a publication according to the expectations and standards of a disciplinary journal, developing job application materials appropriate to that discipline, translating and adapting disciplinary skills for jobs beyond academia, and engaging alumni so students can see the pathways and address obstacles of transitioning from their PhD.

    Arts & Science will collaborate on professionalization programs with the School of Graduate Studies where it makes sense to do so – for example, in collecting data about the career outcomes of graduate students.

  14. What will happen to these graduate initiatives (Milestones, Pathways and the funding increase) in the future?
    We will assess these initiatives on an ongoing basis. The first comprehensive review will take place in 2018-19, to guide us on how we will proceed for our next graduate education planning period of 2019-22.

    Every three years thereafter, the Graduate Advisory Committee (GAC) will evaluate the impact of these initiatives on graduate student experience, time to degree, and Arts & Science competitiveness. Further changes will be based on the results of this ongoing evaluation, taking into consideration the financial position of the Faculty, and will be implemented on a three-year basis.

    The GAC will also evaluate other student concerns including those relating to the post-funded cohort, international students, tuition, time to degree completion, and more.

Questions about How Funding Works in General

  1. How much does it cost to fund eligible graduate students (i.e. the funded cohort) in Arts & Science each year?
    The cost of funding students in the Arts & Science funded cohort was approximately $59 million dollars in 2015-16. Of this 42% came from UTF fellowship, 27% came from external scholarships, 8% came from research stipends (T4A RA), 22% came from TAships and less than 1% came from hourly research assistantships (T4 RA).

    The increase in graduate student support, which took effect in 2016-17, increases the proportion of UTF fellowship support by 27% between 2016-17 and 2018-19.

  2. What are the elements of base funding packages in Arts & Science?
    Arts & Science currently draws upon the following sources of funding to support doctoral-stream students:
    • University of Toronto fellowships (UTF)
    • Major scholarships
    • Research Stipends
    • Research Assistantships (RA)
    • Teaching Assistantships (TA)
    The relative balance of these funding sources within a funding package may vary from year to year throughout the student’s progress through the program.

  3. Does base funding include the cost of tuition and ancillary fees?
    Yes. Tuition and fees are included in base funding. In 2016-2017, the base funding amount will be $16,500 plus tuition and fees for students in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and $17,000 plus tuition and fees for students in the Sciences.

  4. Why are the average incomes for graduate students posted on the School of Graduate Studies website much higher than the Arts & Science base funding amount?
    It is the difference between “base” and “actual”.  Actual funding is always at least as much as the program base funding amount and generally more. Students may take advantage of opportunities to increase their income over the base funding amount through, for example, additional teaching assistantships (TA) or research assistantships (RA). Actual funding includes TA and RA work above what is contributed to base funding, top-up awards, and income from scholarships that exceed or are ineligible for base funding. Summary data on actual incomes for 2014-15 per unit are available from SGS.

  5. Why is the Master’s program funded in some units but not others?
    Each graduate unit decides how best to prioritize the five years of base funding available. Some units decide to fund one year of master’s and four years of PhD study, while others choose to direct their funding to five years of PhD study. Some of this variation is due to a much broader international disciplinary context or because of other unique conditions in a program, such as whether Master’s degrees typically come with funding at competitor institutions or whether the University of Toronto offers the only program of its kind in Canada. Many academic decisions are best made at the unit level. Units understand the career preparation necessary within their own discipline, they understand the competitive context, and they are more aware of the needs of their students.

  6. Why do some students in Arts & Science receive more financial support than others?
    Many variables affect the amount and type of funding a doctoral-stream student receives: the availability of external grant funds and the degree to which students are supported through faculty grants, individual students’ competitive ability to obtain external funding, competitive recruitment pressures, and access to undergraduate programs with TA positions.

    In some disciplines, there is more funding available from research councils, and/or faculty are more successful in generating the kinds of external research support which can be allocated to doctoral-stream students. Some units have also been innovative in generating resources from other sources and allocating them according to their own priorities.

    There is generally a greater supply of external research funding for graduate student support in the Sciences. As well, many supervisors in the Sciences provide partial funding for their doctoral-stream students from their external grants, while this practice is not as widespread in the Humanities or Social Sciences.

  7. I’m confused: Arts & Science is on the downtown campus of U of T, so why does Arts & Science graduate funding impact students on all the three campuses?
    Arts & Science graduate studies programs are a tri-campus effort, with faculty members and graduate students based on all three University of Toronto campuses. Tri-campus graduate programs are listed on the SGS website (under “Graduate Programs at the St. George campus”).

    All doctoral-stream graduate student funding in tri-campus Arts & Science graduate departments is administered through the Faculty of Arts & Science. These are tri-campus graduate departments with Graduate Chairs.

    Although Faculty of Arts & Science tri-campus graduate students are automatically affiliated with the downtown (St. George) campus based on their program, they may apply to change campus affiliation if they meet specific criteria:

    Must be supervised by a member of the graduate faculty who is on the academic staff of the campus to which they wish to transfer affiliation;

    Must spend the majority of their academic time on the campus to which they wish to transfer affiliation.

    When students opt to affiliate with a home department at UTSC or UTM they are assessed the incidental fees rates associated with the campus they attend (athletics, shuttle bus, etc.). To apply for a change of campus affiliation, students must submit this form to SGS and should meet the following criteria: 1. Student must be supervised by a member of the graduate faculty who is on the academic staff of the campus to which they wish to transfer affiliation; 2. Student must spend the majority of their academic time on the campus to which they wish to transfer affiliation.

  8. How do Teaching Assistantships fit into the funding packages?
    Teaching assistantships are a common component of graduate student funding at universities across North America, including at the University of Toronto, and they are considered both a source of funding and a form of professional training.

    Teaching assistantships provide employment income. A typical graduate funding mix is a balance between employment and non-employment sources of funding. This balance varies by program due to factors such as external grant cultures and access to undergraduate programs.

    Not all students working as TAs are in the funded cohort. In Arts & Science in the 2014-15 academic year, more than 32% of graduate student TAs were students outside the funded cohort. Overall, the majority of students in the funded cohort have some form of TA income. In Arts & Science in the 2014-15 academic year, for example, 87% of students in the funded cohort had some TA income. However,

    TA income remains a small portion of total funding for the funded cohort. More than 75% of funding comes from sources other than TA income (e.g. fellowship, external scholarships, or RA income). With this funding increase, the proportion of funding accounted for by TA income will decline further.

  9. Is there a limit to how much teaching assistantship income and research assistantship income can be part of a funding package?
    Yes.

    The extent to which TA earnings can contribute to the Faculty’s base funding amount is determined by the Collective Agreement between the University and CUPE 3902 Unit 1. The current agreement sets a limit of 190 hours for 2016-17, dropping to 180 hours in 2017-18. Any TA earnings beyond this level will augment a graduate student's actual income, and cannot be offset by lower levels of financial support from other sources (UTF and RA).

    Arts & Science has rules limiting the extent to which hourly RA earnings can contribute to the Arts & Science base funding amount. Hourly RA work is paid as T4 taxable income. The maximum is a dollar amount of T4 taxable income that varies from unit to unit depending of the discipline’s access to research grant funding, but does not exceed $1500 (which at a low rate of RA pay would equal no more than 60 hours).

    Note: In some units (including all science units) students undertake work that is directly related to their thesis and is paid as non-taxable T4A research stipends. This is not considered hourly employment, but can be included in the base funding amount. Arts & Science also has rules around the extent to which this stipendiary income can be included in the base funding amount.

    More detailed information on maximum hourly income and maximum non-taxable T4A research stipends to funding packages can be found through SGS

  10. I’ve heard that some students have to do an extensive amount of teaching in order to earn the minimum level of financial support while others do not have to work at all. How is this fair?
    This is not true. There is a limit on the number of TA hours that can count toward the base funding amount as per the Collective Agreement between the University and CUPE 3902 Unit 1. The current agreement sets a limit of 190 hours in 2016-17 (dropping to 180 hours in 2017-18). Some students with major awards may choose not to teach.

  11. How does graduate support in Arts & Science compare to other universities in Canada?
    Arts & Science is a division (Faculty) within the University of Toronto and it is very difficult to compare what is done at the divisional level with what is done more broadly at the institutional level or within specific departments at other institutions.

    While some other universities or divisions within universities offer base funding, others do not (e.g., most professional programs are not funded); where funding is available, it is frequently capped at 4 or 5 years, is almost always affected by major external awards and almost always includes a TA and/or RA component.

    With so many aspects of graduate funding varying at so many levels, we cannot speak with any authority to the funding practices of other universities. The most meaningful comparisons can be made at the program or department level. We have heard from prospective students, for example, that our funding packages are competitive.

  12. It seems that funding often runs out before the student can complete their PhD. Why?
    Formulas for per-student government grants are complex, but in general the government provides funding for 3.5 years per eligible doctoral student who already has a Masters and 4.5 years for direct entry doctoral students. Arts & Science goes further than the government, providing eligible doctoral-stream students  support for up to 5 years of doctoral-stream study (some academic units direct this funding toward one year of Master’s and four years of PhD study; others focus funding on five years of PhD study). However, we realize that five years is still not enough time for many students to complete their PhD.

    Sometimes, the requirements and scholarly expectations associated with earning a PhD are not achievable within a four-year program. This problem is widespread and is not restricted to the University of Toronto.

    Students may also be delayed by employment and the degree to which the work is – or is not – related to their own research.

    In the Sciences, supervisors typically have access to research grant funding, and as a result their students receive stipendiary income to do work that is connected to their own research. This often leads to faster completion times. In the Humanities and Social Sciences, students rely more heavily on employment that is often unrelated to their own research and this may negatively impact their time to degree.

    Arts & Science has worked to reduce the proportion of hourly work that is included in the base funding amount. This should help to decrease the time needed to complete a PhD and also serve to increase equity between disciplinary sectors.

    The current funding increase is composed entirely of fellowship funds.

    In 2015-2016, the Faculty actively decreased the amount of RA employment income in funding packages in fifteen Humanities and Social Science units.

    In addition, the number of TA hours that are counted towards a student’s funding package has steadily decreased in accordance with recent collective agreements between the University and CUPE 3902. Any hours worked in excess of this capped limit cannot be applied towards the base funding amount, and therefore represents income received by the student in addition to the base funding amount.

  13. What are the consequences (to the student, to the university) when it takes a long time to complete a PhD?
    There is a financial cost and an opportunity cost, both to the student and to the University.

    The student loses valuable time in the workforce, and the experience and the salary income that these extra years in the workforce would provide. In addition the student, once out of the funded cohort, pays a significant amount of tuition and fees to the University.

    The University loses the opportunity to admit new graduate students (e.g., each unit has a limited amount of supervisory capacity and resources for current versus new students). The University must also bear the financial cost of the loss of the provincial grant that is provided for new students, since the government only supplies funds (through basic income units or BIUs) for the first three or four years of PhD study (a student with a Master’s is typically “BIU eligible” for only the first 3.5 years of the PhD).

  14. What role does Arts & Science play in graduate student funding and graduate student life?
    At the University of Toronto many budgetary and administrative functions, including graduate funding, rest at the divisional level. As a division, Arts & Science funds students across all three campuses registered within all of its PhD programs, and some of its Master’s programs. Arts & Science ensures that eligible doctoral-stream students receive at least the base funding amount using various funding sources including University of Toronto Fellowship (UTF) allocations calculated as an amount per student in the funded cohort. UTF installments are paid to students through the Faculty of Arts & Science Finance Office via ROSI/Acorn, but are requested by units.

    Arts & Science is responsible for:
    • Payment of UTF, Doctoral Completion Award (DCA), restricted awards
    • Allocation of some restricted awards
    • Adjusting allocations of OGS, DCA and some Tri-agency awards to units
    • Determining and allocating the Arts & Science base funding amount

    Arts & Science also oversees graduate program development, changes to graduate curricula and graduate enrolment planning. The Faculty is currently developing and expanding initiatives to enhance the graduate student experience by: (1) helping students reach key Milestones in their programs in a timely fashion (e.g., candidacy, publication, defense); and (2) providing students with the discipline-specific knowledge and skills they need to succeed in both academic and non-academic career Pathways.

    Graduate students have a voice in Arts & Science decisions through their course union representatives (GSU), who meet regularly with the Vice-Dean, Graduate Education, and through graduate student representatives on the Vice-Dean’s Graduate Advisory Committee.

  15. What role does my unit (Department, Centre or Institute) play in graduate student funding and graduate student life?
    The graduate department or unit is the first point of contact for questions around graduate programs and funding. The main contacts for graduate students within units are the Graduate Directors /Associate Chairs Graduate, and the Graduate Administrators.

    Units put together funding packages for individual students using various sources of funding from federal and provincial scholarships (administered through SGS); University of Toronto Fellowships (funded and administered by the Faculty of Arts & Science); Teaching Assistantships (funded by the Faculty of Arts & Science teaching budget) and Research Assistantships (funded by an individual faculty member’s research grants or by the unit).
    • Decisions made at the unit level include, but are not limited to:
    • Choosing awardees for the DCA, OGS, restricted, and recruitment awards
    • Selecting applications for Tri-agency awards & OGS international
    • Determining the program-level base funding amount
    • Allocating UTF and top-ups to individual students
    • Administering unit-level approval of any extensions and, when necessary, escalating to SGS for final approval
    • Posting and managing hiring for Teaching Assistantships for individual students
    • Managing Research Assistantships for individual students

    Units also facilitate a variety of supports and activities for graduate students, such as professionalization initiatives, colloquia and seminars, extracurricular activities, alumni events and internship placements.

    Graduate students have a voice at the unit level through their Graduate Student Union (GSU) course union and are encouraged to communicate with the graduate chair and graduate administrators.

  16. What role does SGS play in graduate student funding and graduate student life?
    The School of Graduate Studies is a central division, which shares responsibility for graduate education with faculties and units. The mission of SGS is to foster excellence in graduate education by supporting and advancing outstanding graduate learning and research in an environment that promotes an exceptional student experience.

    SGS achieves its mission by:
    • Working collaboratively to advance excellence and innovation in graduate research and education.
    • Fostering an outstanding graduate experience for our diverse student population.
    • Creating and promoting opportunities for graduate student professional development.
    • Advancing integrity and ethical conduct in graduate research and education.
    • Establishing policy and promoting best practices for graduate research and education.
    • Providing registrarial and support services for the graduate community.
  17. While student funding decisions fall within the purview of the graduate faculties and units, The School of Graduate Studies provides information, support and best practice advice to the graduate community including faculties, units and students.

    Graduate students are represented at Graduate Education Council (GEC) and many other SGS committees and working groups, as well as through scheduled meetings of the GSU with the Dean.