Graduate Student Emergency Bursary

(Updated May 21, 2020 at 9:08am)

The Faculty of Arts & Science established a Graduate Student Emergency Bursary to help alleviate immediate financial stress that may result from the COVID-19 pandemic and related fallout on March 27, 2020. The program will run through to the second week of June. Applications will be accepted until 9:00am on Friday June 12, 2020.

All currently registered graduate students in a Master’s (professional or research-stream) or PhD program, enrolled in an Arts & Science administered (Tri-campus) program are eligible. This includes graduate students affiliated with any of the UTM, UTSC, and St. George campuses in an A&S administered program. Students are eligible, whether they are domestic or international, and whether they are in a funded cohort or not.

Other Sources of Support

The Graduate Student Emergency Bursary is intended to provide immediate and short term financial relief based on need. While we understand that many graduate students are facing significant uncertainty and financial challenges, and that even more challenges loom in the future, we also recognize that no single program can address such a broad range of issues. Students in need of greater financial help may consider accessing the School of Graduate Studies’ Emergency Grant and Emergency Loan programs or the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit that will pay $2,000 a month to workers who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Graduate students looking for information on government financial support programs may refer to PDF iconSources of Government Financial Support During COVID-19 – A Guide for Graduate Students.pdf  ​. This guide provides an overview of various programs and supports that have been announced by the Federal and Provincial (Ontario) governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The information in this document is subject to change. This document will be updated as new information becomes available, but please refer to the relevant government websites for the most up-to-date and complete information.

Application Process

The bursary application process is designed to facilitate quick decisions and payments via direct deposit.

Simply complete the online form, which requires basic applicant information, such as name, student number, contact information and department or graduate unit. Provide a brief explanation of the reason for your request and indicate the amount requested. While we do not require documentation, departments may follow up for more information with larger requests.

The completed request will be transmitted to your graduate unit for review.  Lower value requests for say, $200, can be approved quickly.  Higher value requests, say of $500 or more, may take longer. Given the available funds and potential student need, bursaries more than $2,000 will be limited.

Once approved by your graduate unit, the Graduate Student Emergency Bursary will be paid via ACORN and will be direct deposited to your bank account. Approved bursaries will be processed by ACORN on Monday nights. After processing, it may take up to 5 business days for the funds to appear in your bank account, depending up your bank’s own procedures.

If you apply for a bursary, please ensure that your direct deposit information on ACORN is current.

As a final note, please understand that funds are limited. While we encourage all graduate students with short term financial need to apply for the bursary, we request that students who are able to manage without a bursary at this time refrain from submitting a request, so that we can accommodate those with greater need.

Please note that the online application process will close at 9:00 am on Friday June 12, 2020.

Apply for the Graduate Student Emergency Bursary