> Home Graduate Funding Facts Graduate Funding and Support for Doctoral Stream Students: Update 2017-18

Graduate Funding and Support for Doctoral Stream Students: Update 2017-18

In 2016, The Faculty of Arts & Science (FAS) announced a three pronged strategy to improve graduate education for doctoral stream students. It included a base funding increase which is being rolled out over three years, new initiatives to assist students to progress through their programs and prepare for careers, and pools of funds to be deployed at the graduate unit level in accordance with the priorities of graduate units and their students. These initiatives are to be reviewed in 2018-19 with a view to developing a strategy for the coming years.

Base Funding Increase

The Faculty of Arts & Science increased base funding for eligible students in the funded cohort with no additional TA or RA work required. The increase is being rolled out over three years. The first increase of $1,500 took effect September 2016. Additional increases of $250 per year were announced for September 2017 and September 2018.

For 2017-18, base funding has been increased to $16,750 in the Social Sciences and Humanities and $17,250 in the Sciences.

The base funding amounts cited above are the FAS base.  Many Graduate Units provide an enhanced base funding package to their students out of their own resources.

Program Level Funding Enhancements

As part of the three year base funding increase announced in 2016, Program Level Fellowship funds were established to enable graduate units to address funding needs and priorities identified with their graduate students. This initiative requires Graduate Units to consult with students to develop a proposal for the use of Program Level Fellowship funds. Consultations were held in 2016 and will be held again in Fall 2017.

The Program Level Fellowship pools available to each Graduate Unit are based on the number of students in the funded cohort.  The total amount available is calculated at a rate of $500 per student in the funded cohort in 2017-18.  The value of the Program Level Fellowship pools will increase to $1,000 per student in the funded cohort in 2018-19.

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 are allocating the program-level fellowships include:

  • Across-the-board increase to program base funding
  • Support for students in particular years of study
  • Support for students in financial need
  • Merit based top-ups for students
  • Support for particular student research activities (e.g. field research)

Milestones & Pathways

The Milestones and Pathways programs were introduced to help students make progress in their academic programs and succeed in academic or non-academic careers.

The Milestones program supports activities, such as retreats and workshops, to help students reach key milestones in their graduate training such as advancing to candidacy, writing their dissertation or publishing an academic article.  Pathways provides students with knowledge and skills needed to succeed in both academic and non-academic career pathways. Examples include professionalization and networking skills workshops and career panels.

Review of Graduate Funding Initiatives

In the third year of the roll out of the funding increase there will be an extensive review by the Graduate Advisory Committee, which includes graduate student representation. It 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.