Graduate Funding Package

All successful doctoral stream program applicants are guaranteed financial support: 5 years of funding for the PhD direct-entry and 4 years of funding for those with a qualifying MSc degree. No application is required for consideration of standard department support. The intent of the departmental graduate student funding level is to ensure that all students have at least $23,250 after payment of tuition, non-academic fees and UTGSU fees. Inclusive of tuition and fees, the department base funding package for academic year 2018-19 is $31,740 for domestic students  and  $32,362 for international PhD students (to cover UHIP fees). This funding is in place for the guaranteed period as long as the student remains in good standing in the program.  (Note that MSc international students are charged at a higher tuition rate and the department provides the tuition fees differential.)

The support is comprised of several sources: departmental, university and/or major scholarship/fellowships (if applicable), supervisor stipend funds (after the 1st year), and teaching assistantship income. The latter is based on the standard department TA service of 140 hours per academic year (approximately 5 hours per week). Please note that a TA assignment of less than the standard 140 hours will reduce the overall funding. Students may have the opportunity, subject to availability, to take additional TA hours to increase the overall funding. Typically, the extra hours are allocated for the summer session. It is recommended that additional TA hours be discussed with the student’s supervisor.

At the end of the guaranteed funding period, students are no longer eligible for departmental and university fellowships. Students entering the first unfunded year are eligible to apply for the Doctoral Completion Award which provides nominal tuition support. As well, teaching assistantships are generally available. Research supervisor funds may be issued at the discretion of the student’s supervisor.

Major Fellowship/Scholarship Awards

All students are required to apply for any major competitive fellowship/scholarship awards for which they are eligible. Please refer to the Scholarships + Awards page for full details. Note that major awards (greater than $10,000) will be counted toward the graduate funding package. e.g. If you receive an NSERC PGS D, the $21,000 in scholarship funds will replace the equivalent in department/university and supervisor support funds.

NSERC or OGS and QEII-GSST award holders will receive a bonus of $5,000 or $4,000 respectively as an entering first year student (paid by the department). The bonus amount is $3,000 for subsequent years (paid by the supervisor).

For awards of $10,000 and under, the following applies:

<$6,000 >$6,000
50% is paid as top-up and 50% is counted toward the graduate funding package. $3,000 is paid as top-up and the remainder is counted toward the graduate funding package.

Research Supervisor Stipend Funds

Starting in the second year of PhD direct-entry (first year for PhD 4 year track), students receive a research trainee stipend from their supervisor to provide support toward advancement of research goals for the doctoral degree. Such work may include research collaboration with the supervisors or others, developing techniques and methodologies, or gaining knowledge of scientific or scholarly ideas or materials. Please note that first year direct-entry PhD students do not finalize their research supervisor arrangement until the beginning of the second year and do not require research supervisor funds during this period. This gives students the opportunity to explore potential thesis research topics and supervisor arrangements.

Travel for Research and Training and Publication Support Funds

The Department is very fortunate to have a significant endowment through a bequest made by Mr. Carl Reinhardt specifically designated for supporting graduate student research. The Reinhardt Endowment fund provides partial travel support for conference poster/paper presentations, scientific meetings with collaborators, data analysis, and observing runs. This award fund in combination with research travel support from the student’s supervisor greatly increases the opportunity for our students to attend international conferences and conduct observing runs all over the world. The fund also provides a subsidy for publication costs.

Thanks to Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, Dunlap Student Travel Fund is made available to all graduate students for participation in career development, training, diversity or educational activities.

Payment Schedule

Payments are normally made in three lump sum installments in September, January and May, TA salary excepted which is disbursed monthly September through April. Starting in January, ACORN payroll payments are automatically applied to the student account balance, and the remainder is issued as stipend.

ACORN Payroll HRIS Payroll
UTF and Department Endowed awards (e.g. Hogg), Connaught, NSERC, OGS, OTS, QEII-GSST, and University-Wide Awards. TA salary, supervisor stipend funds, Graduate Expansion funds.
September-December is disbursed to student. January forward is first applied to student account balance. Always disbursed directly to student.