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Minimum Funding for Ph.D. Students

The University of British Columbia is committed to ensuring that financial support is provided to all students enrolled in full-time PhD programs.

Students enrolled in a full-time PhD program are assured a Minimum Funding Package for the first four years of full-time study. Funding can be used towards expenses related to the academic program (e.g., tuition, books) as well as general living expenses. Minimum funding is an annual commitment spanning three academic terms per year for four years and is conditional on full-time registration. Full-time students typically devote a minimum of 35-40 hours per week to academic activities (e.g., research, teaching or research assistantship, professional development) related to their studies.

The Minimum Funding Package may be provided through any one or more of the following: internal or external awards and scholarships, graduate academic assistantships, teaching employment (e.g., teaching assistantships, sessional lecturers) and/or research assistantships. At the request of the student, other employment in the field of the student’s research may be considered part of the funding package, whether the work occurs on or off campus (e.g., continuation of part-time nursing practice to maintain professional skills and to understand current research needs in that setting). If a student receives additional funding (e.g., a scholarship, etc.) that elevates the amount of the funding package above the minimum amount per year, support from other components of the funding package may be reduced. The funding package amount is the minimum, and actual student support will be higher in many cases.

The Minimum Funding Package is inclusive of vacation pay and benefits, as well as external awards or sponsorships, if applicable. It does not include the International Tuition Award.

Students must apply for major scholarships as required by their Graduate Program to continue to qualify for the Minimum Funding Package. Students may be required to disclose their sources of university or scholarship funding, as well as other income sources to the Graduate Program and must inform the Program immediately of new or additional funding sources.

The Minimum Funding Package does not apply to students enrolled in a Part-time Doctoral Program or those enrolled in Doctor of Education (EdD) or Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) programs.

Students must satisfy academic progression requirements and maintain good standing in the program to maintain funding eligibility. See ‘Academic Regulations’.

Students who complete their degree requirements are no longer eligible to receive funding. Students who complete degree requirements in less than four years may forfeit a portion of their financial support. Students who withdraw, change to part-time status, or are approved for a leave of absence may no longer be eligible for funding or may be subject to repayment or pro-rating of their funding.

Students transferring from a UBC master’s to a PhD program without completing the master’s program will be eligible for the Minimum Funding Package once enrolled in a full-time PhD program. In line with UBC academic policies, the start of the PhD program for these students will be the date of first registration in the master’s program. Hence, a student who transfers to a PhD after one year of master’s study will be provided with a Minimum Funding Package for the next three years.

The student may decline all or part of the package after acceptance of an offer of admission without any prejudice to his/her admission. Where the student declines all or part of the Minimum Funding Package at the time of admission, the Graduate Program must submit a written statement to G+PS, signed by the student, which acknowledges that the University has met its obligations. If the student requires a funding package in the future due to a change in situation, the Graduate Program and Supervisor will make their best effort to secure funding, though this might not be possible as funding sources may already be fully committed.

The Minimum Funding Policy will be reviewed annually by the Graduate Council. The Council will decide on any increases in the amount of the minimum funding, and the amount will be published on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website. Any annual increases will apply to both new and current eligible doctoral students.

Page last updated: May 27, 2021

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