Funding for PhD students

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Information on this page:

Funding by Cohort - Students who entered the program:

Doctoral Funding Policy (effective August 2011)

The Faculty of Information makes every effort to provide competitive funding packages for all its full-time doctoral students. The University’s standard Funding Commitment package is intended to promote scholarly excellence, research and teaching expertise development, and timely completion of degrees by full-time students.

The Faculty reserves the right to request additional documentation at any time to confirm a) employment status and/or b) annual earnings.

The Faculty of Information follows the policy for ”maximum acceptable time spent” on employment as defined by the Council of Ontario Universities:

The common benchmark for the maximum acceptable time spent on university-related (or other) employment for full-time graduate students is an average of 10 hours per week. Versions of the 10 rule have been adopted by the federal granting councils and the Ontario Graduate Scholarships, as well as by OCGS. (http://cou.on.ca/policy-advocacy/graduate-education/policy)

General terms and conditions applicable to all funded students

All doctoral students registered full-time and wishing to be considered for funding must :

  • fill out a Doctoral Student’s Declaration Form (DSDF), on an annual basis, by the established deadline of July 31, to determine eligibility. Failure to submit this declaration by the established deadline may result in delays processing your funding, if eligible.
  • the Faculty processes the grant portion of the  living allowance in three (3) installments, September, January and May.
  • apply to available TA/research assistantship positions within the Faculty, as well as within the University of Toronto. Students working (TA/research assistantships, etc.) outside the Faculty, but within the UofT environment, must inform our Business Officer so records may be adjusted accordingly. Failure to do do so may result in the cancelation of the guaranteed funding package.

The Faculty expects all students to apply for external student funding each year. Funding sources include external competitive student awards such as SSHRC, OGS, etc.

Students receiving departmental awards/funding must abide by all the terms and conditions of the award. By signing the DSDF you agree to advise the Faculty of any changes in your circumstances during the year that may affect your eligibility to receive funding from the Faculty of Information. 

Funding by cohort

Students entering in September 2016

Doctoral Student Funding Packages are awarded to successful candidates as a University of Toronto Fellowship to a maximum of $23,925.96 for the 2016/2017 academic year. This fellowship is made up of a variety of funding sources and is dependent on meeting eligibility guidelines and conditions.

The Funding Commitment package is available to all full-time students who:

  •  Are registered as full-time students. Funding package is not available to those enrolled in the flex-time program;
  •  Are in good academic standing;
  •  Are in years 1 – 4 in their program. During year five, students who remain in good standing in the doctoral program may receive full Tuition and Fees only. There is no funding available for those in their 6th year and beyond. Determination of what year you are in is defined by official ROSI record which reflects any applicable leave or absences.
    • Continuation of the Funding Commitment package will normally be contingent upon a student making consistent and satisfactory progression through the program, as per the “time for completion”. Progression is assessed annually.
  • Do not work full time (full time: ≥ 35 hours per week, or defined as full time), and/or
  • Do not have ≥ $30,000 income per year;
  • Do not have a major scholarship (e.g., SSHRC, OGS, MITACS, NSERC)
  • Are, apart from approved absence, geographically available to visit the campus regularly

Doctoral students registered full-time who wish to be considered for funding must:

  • Fill out a Doctoral Student’s Funding Declaration Form (DSDF), on an annual basis, by the established deadline to determine eligibility. This will typically be issued in August. The Faculty reserves the right to request additional documentation at any time to confirm employment status and/or annual earnings. By signing the DSDF you agree to advise the Faculty of any changes in your circumstances during the year that may affect your eligibility to receive funding from the Faculty of Information.
  • Apply to available TA/research assistantship positions within the Faculty, as well as within the University of Toronto and/or accept offered TA Subsequent Appointments as governed by the CUPE3902 Collective Agreement for Teaching Assistants. Participation in Teaching and Research Assistantships is optional but failure to participate will void this aspect of the funding package.
  • Apply for external student funding each year. Funding sources include external competitive student awards such as SSHRC, OGS, MITACS etc.
    • Students receiving departmental awards/funding must abide by all the terms and conditions of the award.
  • Participate in Doctoral Research Days each year (usually two (2) days in April).(Rescinded November 2016)

Funding packages are comprised of the following components:

  • Tuition and Fees for up to four years in the first instance, and a fifth year based on satisfactory progress.
  • Awards: Students must apply for external student funding each year. Funding sources include external competitive student awards such as SSHRC, OGS, MITACS etc. Students who choose not to apply for external competitive awards may forfeit their option to be considered for renewal of their funding.
  • Living Allowance Stipend for years 1 – 4 only are available to qualifying students who applied for but were not successful in achieving an external award.The Living Allowance Stipend is $15,500. For the 2015 / 2016 Cohort, this consists of 175 hours of Teaching Assistantships, which will be paid at the rate of pay established by CUPE3902. The balance is paid as a Grant, payments will be processed in three (3) equal installments in September, January and May.
    • Teaching Assistantships: Participation as a Teaching Assistantship is optional but failure to participate will void this aspect of the funding package.
      • 1st year students receive 50 hours of training in their first term, the remaining TA hours owed in the 1st year are usually, but not necessarily, assigned in the winter term .
      • To qualify for this portion of the funding you must apply to TAship job postings. If no TAship applications are submitted you will not be eligible to receive this portion of the Living expense. Job postings are found on the website, are posted on the 6th floor CUPE bulletin board and are emailed to the PhD mailing list.
      • If you have previously held a TAship, your CUPE Subsequent Appointment will be counted towards your funding package. Subsequent appointments are filled with Funding Package Commitments taken into account. Acceptance of Subsequent Appointment is optional but failure to participate will void this aspect of the funding package.
    • Research Assistantships (RAships): are counted as part of PhD funding packages when contracts are negotiated by the Faculty specifically to fulfill PhD funding package requirements. Primarily offered when not enough TAships are available to satisfy PhD funding Requirements, these positions offer great opportunities to work closely with faculty and provide an opportunity to engage in hands-on research and academic work experience.
    • Grant: The Grant portion of the living allowance will be processed in three (3) equal installments in September, January and May.

Excellence Awards are issued in an amount of $2000 to those who qualify to receive the funding package but do not qualify to receive the Living expense stipend due to receiving an Award such as SSHRC, OGS, MITACS etc. Payments will be processed in three (3) equal installments in September, January and May.

Please note:
The Faculty of Information follows the policy for “maximum acceptable time spent” on employment as defined by the Council of Ontario Universities: The common benchmark for the maximum acceptable time spent on university-related (or other) employment for full-time graduate students is an average of 10 hours per week. Versions of the 10 rule have been adopted by the federal granting councils and the Ontario Graduate Scholarships, as well as by OCGS. http://cou.on.ca/policy-advocacy/graduate-education/policy)" target="_blank">(http://cou.on.ca/policy-advocacy/graduate-education/policy)
 

 Students entering in September 2015

Doctoral Student Funding Packages are awarded to successful candidates as a University of Toronto Fellowship to a maximum of $23,925.96 for the 2015/2016 academic year. This fellowship is made up of a variety of funding sources and is dependent on meeting eligibility guidelines and conditions.

The Funding Commitment package is available to all full-time students who:

  • Are registered as full-time students. Funding package is not available to those enrolled in the flex-time program;
  • Are in good academic standing;
  • Are in years 1 – 4 in their program. During year five, students who remain in good standing in the doctoral program may receive full Tuition and Fees only. There is no funding available for those in their 6th year and beyond. Determination of what year you are in is defined by official ROSI record which reflects any applicable leave or absences.
    • Continuation of the Funding Commitment package will normally be contingent upon a student making consistent and satisfactory progression through the program, as per the “time for completion”. Progression is assessed annually.
  • Do not work full time (full time: ≥ 35 hours per week, or defined as full time), and/or
  • Do not have ≥ $30,000 income per year;
  • Do not have a major scholarship (e.g., SSHRC, OGS, MITACS, NSERC)
  • Are, apart from approved absence, geographically available to visit the campus regularly

Doctoral students registered full-time who wish to be considered for funding must:

  • Fill out a Doctoral Student’s Funding Declaration Form (DSDF), on an annual basis, by the established deadline to determine eligibility. This will typically be issued in August. The Faculty reserves the right to request additional documentation at any time to confirm employment status and/or annual earnings. By signing the DSDF you agree to advise the Faculty of any changes in your circumstances during the year that may affect your eligibility to receive funding from the Faculty of Information.
  • Apply to available TA/research assistantship positions within the Faculty, as well as within the University of Toronto and/or accept offered TA Subsequent Appointments as governed by the CUPE3902 Collective Agreement for Teaching Assistants. Participation in Teaching and Research Assistantships is optional but failure to participate will void this aspect of the funding package.
  • Apply for external student funding each year. Funding sources include external competitive student awards such as SSHRC, OGS, MITACS etc.
    • Students receiving departmental awards/funding must abide by all the terms and conditions of the award.
  • Participate in Doctoral Research Days each year (usually two (2) days in April).(Rescinded November 2016)

Funding packages are comprised of the following components:

  • Tuition and Fees for up to four years in the first instance, and a fifth year based on satisfactory progress.
  • Awards:  Students must apply for external student funding each year. Funding sources include external competitive student awards such as SSHRC, OGS, MITACS etc. Students who choose not to apply for external competitive awards may forfeit their option to be considered for renewal of their funding.
  • Living Allowance Stipend for years 1 – 4 only are available to qualifying students who applied for but were not successful in achieving an external award. The Living Allowance Stipend is $15,500. For the 2015 / 2016 Cohort, this consists of 175 hours of Teaching Assistantships, which will be paid at the rate of pay established by CUPE3902. The balance is paid as a Grant, payments will be processed in three (3) equal installments in September, January and May.
    • Teaching Assistantships: Participation as a Teaching Assistantship is optional but failure to participate will void this aspect of the funding package.
      • 1st year students receive 50 hours of training in their first term, the remaining TA hours owed in the 1st year are usually, but not necessarily, assigned in the winter term . To qualify for this portion of the funding you must apply to TAship job postings. If no TAship applications are submitted you will not be eligible to receive this portion of the Living expense. Job postings are found on the website, are posted on the 6th floor CUPE bulletin board and are emailed to the PhD mailing list.
      • If you have previously held a TAship, your CUPE Subsequent Appointment will be counted towards your funding package. Subsequent appointments are filled with Funding Package Commitments taken into account. Acceptance of Subsequent Appointment is optional but failure to participate will void this aspect of the funding package.
    • Research Assistantships (RAships): are counted as part of PhD funding packages when contracts are negotiated by the Faculty specifically to fulfill PhD funding package requirements. Primarily offered when not enough TAships are available to satisfy PhD funding Requirements, these positions offer great opportunities to work closely with faculty and provide an opportunity to engage in hands-on research and academic work experience.
    • Grant: The Grant portion of the living allowance will be processed in three (3) equal installments in September, January and May.

Excellence Awards are issued in an amount of $2000 to those who qualify to receive the funding package but do not qualify to receive the Living expense stipend due to receiving an Award such as SSHRC, OGS, MITACS etc. Payments will be processed in three (3) equal installments in September, January and May

Please note:
The Faculty of Information follows the policy for “maximum acceptable time spent” on employment as defined by the Council of Ontario Universities: The common benchmark for the maximum acceptable time spent on university-related (or other) employment for full-time graduate students is an average of 10 hours per week. Versions of the 10 rule have been adopted by the federal granting councils and the Ontario Graduate Scholarships, as well as by OCGS. (http://cou.on.ca/policy-advocacy/graduate-education/policy)
 

 

 Students entering in September 2014

1. The Funding Commitment package consists of:

a) Tuition and fees for up to four years in the first instance, and a fifth year based on satisfactory progress.

b) Living expense stipend for years 1-4, is either $15,500, consisting of:  Approximately 53% as a grant and 47% of Teaching Assistantships (TAships) or Research Assistantships (RAships), or A Research Assistantship to a minimum of $15,500 per annum.

2. The Funding Commitment package is available to all full-time students who:

a) Do not work full time (full time: ≥ 35 hours per week, or defined as full time), and/or

b) Do not have ≥ $30,000 income per year, and/or

c) Do not have a major scholarship (e.g., SSHRC, OGS, MITACS, NSERC)

3. The full funding commitment package is subject to students:

a) working as a Teaching Assistant (TA) in courses offered by the Faculty of Information, or as a Research Assistant for a total of 175 hours per year in each of the first four years of their studies. In their first TA/RA assignment, 50 of the 175 hours will be set aside for pedagogical training,

b) submitting their Doctoral Student’s Declaration Form (DSDF) by the established deadline,

c) not working more than an average of 10 hours per week,

d) participating in Doctoral Research Days each year (usually two (2) days in April). (Rescinded November 2016)

4. Continuation of the Funding Commitment package will normally be contingent upon a student making consistent and satisfactory progression through the program, as per the “time for completion” table posted on our website. A student’s progress is assessed annually.

5. Students funded from alternative sources (e.g., faculty research grants, scholarships, fellowships, TAships/RAships in other departments, part-time U of T employment) may have their Funding Commitment package reduced, partially or in its entirety.

6. As of September 2011, PhD students must apply for external awards, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships, equivalent to the domestic tuition and fees portion of the funding package, starting in their first year. Students who choose not to apply for external competitive awards may forfeit their option to be considered for renewal of their funding.

7. No Funding Commitment package is available to students in years 6 and beyond.

8. No Funding Commitment package is available to students enrolled in the flex-time program.

Students entering in September 2013

1.  The Funding Commitment package consists of:

a) Tuition and fees for up to four years in the first instance, and a fifth year based on satisfactory progress.

b) Living expense stipend for years 1-4, is either $15,500, consisting of:

  • Approximately 60% as a grant and 40% of Teaching Assistantships (TAships) or Research Assistantships (RAships), or
  • A Research Assistantship to a minimum of $15,500 per annum.   

2. The Funding Commitment package is available to all full-time students who: 

a) Do not work full time (full time: ≥ 35 hours per week, or defined as full time), and/or

b) Do not have ≥ $30,000 income per year, and/or

c) Do not have a major scholarship (e.g., SSHRC, OGS, MITACS, NSERC)

3. The full funding commitment package is subject to students:

a) working as a Teaching Assistant (TA) in courses offered by the Faculty of Information, or as a Research Assistant for a total of 150 hours per year in each of the first four years of their studies. In their first TA/RA assignment, 50 of the 150 hours will be set aside for pedagogical training,

b) submitting their Doctoral Student’s Declaration Form (DSDF) by the established deadline,

c) not working more than an average of 10 hours per week,

d) participating in Doctoral Research Days each year (usually two (2) days in April). (Rescinded November 2016)

4. Continuation of the Funding Commitment package will normally be contingent upon a student making consistent and satisfactory progression through the program, as per the “time for completion” table posted on our website. A student’s progress is assessed annually.

5. Students funded from alternative sources (e.g., faculty research grants, scholarships, fellowships, TAships/RAships in other departments, part-time U of T employment) may have their Funding Commitment package reduced, partially or in its entirety.

6. As of September 2011, PhD students must apply for external awards, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships, equivalent to the domestic tuition and fees portion of the funding package, starting in their first year. Students who choose not to apply for external competitive awards may forfeit their option to be considered for renewal of their funding.

7. No Funding Commitment package is available to students in years 6 and beyond.

8. No Funding Commitment package is available to students enrolled in the flex-time program.
 

Students entering in September 2011 or September 2012

1. The Funding Commitment package is available to all full-time students who:

a) Do not work full time (full time: ≥ 35 hours per week, or defined as full time),
b) Do not have ≥ $30,000 income per year,
c) Do not have a major scholarship (e.g., SSHRC, OGS, MITACS, NSERC).

2. The Funding Commitment package consists of:

a) Tuition and fees for up to four years in the first instance, and a fifth year upon the recommendation of the Doctoral Program Committee, in its capacity as the Doctoral Annual Review Committee. Recommendations are based on satisfactory progress.

b) Living expense stipend for years 1-4, is either $15,500, consisting of:    

  • Approximately 60% as a grant and 40% of Teaching Assistantships ( TAships) or Research Assistantships (RAships), or
  • A Research Assistantship to a minimum of $15,500 per annum.  

3. In order to receive the full Funding Commitment  package, students must work as a Teaching Assistant (TA) in courses offered by the Faculty of Information, for a total of 150 hours per year in each of the first four years of their studies. In their first TA assignment, 50 of the 150 hours will be set aside for pedagogical training.

4. Continuation of the Funding Commitment package requires a student to progress satisfactorily in their studies.  A student’s progress is assessed annually. 

5. Students funded from alternative sources (e.g., faculty research grants, scholarships, fellowships, TAships in other departments, part-time U of T employment) may have their Funding Commitment package reduced, partially or in its entirety.

6. As of September 2011, PhD students must apply for external awards, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships, equivalent to the domestic tuition and fees portion of the funding package, starting in their first year. Students who choose not to apply for external competitive awards may forfeit their option to be considered for renewal of their funding.

7. No Funding Commitment package is available to students in years 6 and beyond.

8. No Funding Commitment package is available to students enrolled in the flex-time program.

Students who entered in September 2009 or September 2010

 1. Available to all full-time students who:

a)  Do not work full time (full time: ≥ 35 hours per week, or defined as full time),
b)  Do not have ≥ $30,000 income per year,
c)  Do not have a major scholarship (e.g., SSHRC, OGS, MITACS, NSERC).

2. The Funding package consists of:

a)  Tuition and fees for years 1-5
b)  A living expense stipend for years 1-4.

3. In order to receive Funding students must work as a Teaching Assistant (TA) in courses offered by the Faculty of Information, for a total of 400 hours over the first four years of their studies.

4. Continuation of the Funding Commitment package requires students to progress satisfactorily in their studies.  A student’s progress is assessed annually.

5. Students funded from alternative sources (e.g., faculty research grants, scholarships, fellowships, TAships in other departments, part-time U of T employment), may have their Funding Commitment package reduced, partially or in its entirety.

6. No Funding Commitment package is available to students in years 6 and beyond.

7. No Funding Commitment package is available to students enrolled in the flex-time program.
 

Funding for doctoral students who hold major external awards (March 16, 2010)

For students in the funded cohort who receive an external, competitively-reviewed award valued at or over $15,000 per annum (e.g.: OGS, SSHRC, MITACS, NSERC, NSF), that award will stand in lieu of the stipend portion of the University's Funding Commitment package.

Students with these awards are exempt from the Funding Commitment package requirements that they serve as teaching or research assistants.  

The Faculty of Information will continue to meet either domestic or international tuition fees* (as appropriate for the student), and in recognition of their success, the Faculty will award them an Academic Excellence Award of $2,000 for each year that they hold the external award, and remain in the funded cohort.

These students continue to be eligible to work as teaching or research assistants if they wish to supplement their funds, and if the Faculty has available TA positions.  Awards under $15,000 have no impact on the Graduate commitment package from the University.  This policy will be reviewed annually, but not varied retroactively.
 

Instructions for all doctoral students re: funding and teaching assistantships

Financial Declaration:
Students who are in the funded cohort must submit a Financial Declaration similar to that used by other units on campus, such as OISE, the Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Social Work. You will be sent a Financial Declaration Form in July of each year.  The completed form must be submitted to the iSchool Director of Student Services by July 31st.

Change in circumstance:
If your circumstances change during the year, you have an obligation to inform the Director of Student Services.

Receipt of funding:
After receipt of the declaration of earnings form, each student will receive a notification of funding. Since funding is deposited directly into your bank account, you must complete the bank information section on the University's student information system, known as ROSI.

Working as a teaching assistant:
Doctoral students may apply to work as teaching assistants at any time during their programs, whether or not they receive the Funding Commitment package. The process is as follows:

  • A list of courses that require teaching assistants will be distributed in mid- to late August.
  • You are asked to submit a list of the courses in which you are interested, along with a short CV.
  • Positions will be first assigned to students who require teaching assistantships as part of their Funding Commitment package and to comply with union requirements.
  • The remaining positions will be posted and available to external applicants.
  • We will do our best to match all students with the courses in which they are interested, and for which they have the necessary qualifications.
     

Scholarships, bursaries, & awards for PhD students

Scholarships

A) Ethel W. Auster Scholarship for Doctoral Research

PhD students who have achieved candidacy, i.e., students who have completed all requirements for the degree, exclusive of thesis, are invited to apply for funding.  More information on candidacy achieved can be found in an SGS document on candidacy.

  1. Scholarship: Students must include a proposal (maximum 500 words) describing the research they intend to carry out, as well as a budget for direct costs related to conducting the research, e.g., supplies, travel, focus groups, etc.
  2. Bursary: There is also limited funding available to be offered as a bursary. Doctoral students who can demonstrate special financial need may apply.

Application available in the Winter session.

B)  Marcia J. Nauratil Scholarship

Established by the friends and family of the late Marcia Nauratil (PhD '82) to be awarded to a full-time doctoral student whose area of research is on social issues in librarianship.  The scholarship is primarily based on academic standing; however, financial need may be taken into account.

Application available in the Fall session.

C)  University of Toronto Women’s Association Adele Csima Scholarship

This award was established by the University of Toronto Women’s Association in honour of Adele Csima, a retired professor of Biostatistics at the Department of Public Health Sciences. The recipient, who can be either a full-time Masters or PhD student, must be an Ontario resident in financial need. The student must have completed their first year at the iSchool, and must have contributed to student life through committee or volunteer work.  

Application available in the Fall session.  

Awards/bursaries

PhD Conference Travel Award Policy

Purpose:

This program has been developed to assist iSchool doctoral students with travel costs associated with making presentations of original research at a conference or symposium, or to engage in other appropriate scholarly activity at a conference.

Annually allocated funds will be awarded from a travel budget on a first-come, first-served basis to a maximum of $1500 a year and a total of $3000 during a student’s program. Applicants must be registered in the iSchool PhD Program at the time of application and time of the proposed travel, and must show satisfactory progress in their program. The Ph.D. student must be invited to present a paper or poster at the conference on the basis usually of a peer review of their submission.
Factors such as the significance of the conference as a venue for reporting research in the student’s discipline will be taken into account. Once a student has received $3000 from the travel budget they will not be eligible for further awards from this fund. Priority will be given to students who have not previously received travel funding or are not eligible for other sources of funding.
The PhD student may receive funding from other sources for expenses not covered by this award. Reimbursement will only be permitted for those travel expenses that are allowed under the UofT Expense Reimbursement Policy.   

Application Process:

Requests for conference funding must be made in writing normally at least one month prior to conference attendance. PhD students must submit, to the Chair of Doctoral Studies (CDS) , a Faculty of Information PhD Conference Travel Award Application Form .

After the review process has taken place, the results of the Travel Award process will be sent to the applicant by e-mail.

Reimbursement Process:

Reimbursement of travel expenses must be submitted within 3 weeks of the presentation. Payment will be available upon presentation of a completed iSchool Expense Reimbursement form, original receipts (including boarding passes if applicable) and a copy of the Award Approval Letter. A copy of the Conference program indicating your presentation time and paper title should also be attached.

Deliverables:  

It is expected that students who receive a PhD Travel Award will normally repeat their presentation at some forum for the iSchool Community within twelve months of their travel.  

 

Other sources of financial aid

Explore other avenues of financial aid available to PhD students.  A UTORid login is required.