Financial Support

All students in the Doctoral program of the Department of Political Science will receive substantial financial support during the first five years of study in the PhD program on the condition that they are making good progress toward the degree. The Faculty of Arts & Science guarantees a minimum funding package for all doctoral-stream students, which normally includes a teaching assistantship. General information about the funding package, including information about complaint resolution, is available at: http://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/graduate/scholarships.

For the 2015-16 academic year, the Faculty has determined the minimum funding package level to be $15,000 plus tuition and fees. For domestic students this means a commitment of approximately $23,449 and for visa students $36,551.A graduate funding package may be made up from a variety of sources including external awards such as SSHRC or OGS, scholarships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships and other U of T funding. If a student is offered any of the funding components as a part of their minimum funding package and then turns the offer down, the student forfeits that component of their funding package for that year.

SSHRC and OGS Fellowships

All doctoral students must apply for Ontario Graduate Scholarships in their first four years, and all PhD students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents must apply for a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, unless they already hold a fellowship from SSHRC or an equivalent multi-year fellowship from another source. Students in the funded cohort (up to and including their fourth year) who do not apply for these external awards will not receive departmental/university funding in the next academic year. This policy exists because the University of Toronto’s ability to offer its graduate student funding guarantee depends on many of its students receiving such awards. MA students applying to the PhD program are not required to apply for external fellowships, but are encouraged to do so.

Fellowships at the Dissertation Stage

There are various sources of support for students at the stage when they are researching and writing their dissertation. The Department itself administers a number of fellowships aimed primarily to help students at this stage, most of them intended to help with the extraordinary expenses associated with thesis research (for example field work). These fellowships include:

  • Noah Blackstein Graduate Fellowship in Political Economy
  • The Alexander Brady – MacGregor Dawson Scholarships
  • Ken Bryden Scholarship in Canadian Government and Politics
  • David Cameron Graduate Scholarship in Political Science
  • Maurice Cody Research Fellowship
  • Michael W. Donnelly Graduate Fellowship in Political Economy
  • A.W. Johnson Graduate Scholarship for the Study of Canadian Government and Public Administration
  • W.L. Mackenzie King Fellowship in International Relations
  • C.B. Macpherson Dissertation Fellowships
  • Chris Matthews International Graduate Student Scholarship
  • Professor Emeritus Frank Peers Graduate Research Scholarship
  • Department of Political Science Graduate Scholarship Awards
  • Cranford Pratt/Richard Sandbrook International Graduate Student Scholarship in Political Science
  • Vincent Tovell Graduate Scholarship in International Relations
  • Robert C. Vipond Graduate Scholarship

Students who have completed all non-thesis requirements are eligible to apply for these awards, and may do so with a single application due usually in April of each year. Final decisions on these awards is made by the Department’s Admissions, Awards, and Scholarships Committee.

The Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies each year offers a small number of Beattie Awards. These are intended for advanced Political Science PhD students whose dissertation research relates to issues of peace and conflict. Applications are due usually in April, and decisions made by the Trudeau Centre in consultation with the Graduate Director in Political Science. The allocation of Political Science awards for dissertation-stage students takes into account the granting of Beattie Awards to ensure the widest possible distribution of support. This allocation also takes into account the travel grant awards made by the School of Graduate Studies in the spring of each year.

Travel Grants

The School of Graduate Studies invites applications for travel grants usually in April of each year. These are intended to support travel associated with thesis research, and priority is given to students who have not previously received support from this fund. PhD students in or approaching the dissertation stage are strongly encouraged to apply for travel grants. The cost estimates for these applications may also be used for applications to the Department for dissertation-stage fellowships.

Ph.D. students presenting papers at the CPSA or other conferences are eligible to apply to the Political Science Department for support. PhD students presenting papers based on their research at the Canadian Political Science Association are eligible to apply to the CPSA for travel support (see www.cpsa-acsp.ca). Students seeking departmental support for CPSA paper presentation are expected to have applied for CPSA support where eligible to do so.

Other Fellowships

Awards and scholarships are also offered by both the School of Graduate Studies and the Faculty of Arts & Science. Students may apply directly for these awards.

Teaching Assistantships

Graduate student teaching assistants conduct small-section teaching and mark assignments in the Department’s undergraduate program. In 2009-2010, a full teaching assistantship, requiring ten hours a week of work, pays $10,853. Application forms are sent out to all students applying for graduate work and are otherwise available from the TA Co-ordinator, Department of Political Science. As many appointments as possible are made in the Spring of the previous academic year. In some cases, partial teaching assistantships may be available. A PhD student who becomes a teaching assistant for the first time is entitled, by contract, to be offered a second, third and fourth year of equivalent work. A teaching assistantship is normally a component of the funding package guaranteed to PhD students in their first five years. In most years, significant numbers of TAships are available to students outside the funded cohort, including some MA students. All TAs at the University of Toronto are represented by CUPE Local 3902, a certified trade union.

Teaching Opportunities Outside the TA Program

A few undergraduate courses are open each year for PhD students to teach on their own. Applications are solicited from senior PhD students who are well advanced in their dissertation work in two separate rounds, one for the fall/winter terms and the other for the summer. The Undergraduate Director is the chair of a committee that includes the Graduate Director and the MA Supervisor, responsible for choosing among applicants. Among the criteria used is the academic record, progress through the PhD program, the recommendation of the thesis supervisor, and the quality of the course proposal.

Research Assistantships

Individual professors or groups of professors often employ graduate students as research assistants. Graduate students should inquire about these opportunities from professors doing research in their field of interest. The University has no set scale of remuneration for research assistants.

Bursaries, Loans and Emergency Funds

University of Toronto (SGS) Bursaries are available to full-time graduate students on the basis of need. Funding is limited and is specifically for emergencies arising from unforseen circumstances. First year students are normally not eligible for consideration until the second term. Special or part-time students are not eligible. Students with scholarship support or who are eligible for OSAP are normally not eligible for bursary funding. Application forms are available at SGS in the Fellowships and Loans Office, 2nd floor, 63 St. George Street or on the SGS website at http://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/informationfor/students/inform/stuforms.htm.

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), a student loan program, is administered by the Province of Ontario. Information and application forms may be obtained from the School of Graduate Studies, Fellowships and Loans Office at 63 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A1.

There are two kinds of loans available to students:

Graduate Students’ Emergency Loan Fund

This fund has been established in the School of Graduate Studies to assist full-time Students to meet financial problems which could not have been anticipated. Full information is available from the School. (Maximum of $500 can be obtained usually within 3 days.)

The University of Toronto Alumni Association Loan Fund

Loans are available to graduate students enrolled in a full-time program at the University in second and subsequent years. Funds are available for emergency purposes only. Particulars may be obtained from the Secretary of the Loan Committee, Alumni House, 47 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A1, Telephone (416) 978-2366.

There exists a limited Department Emergency Fund. Application should be made first to the School of Graduate Studies for a Bursary or Loan. If you are not successful, your application will be considered by the department. Where it is not possible to apply for an SGS Bursary or Loan, application can be made to the Department by letter addressed to the Chair. You should note the reason for the request and briefly outline the circumstances leading to the emergency. While the department would like to assist as many students as possible, some requests will most likely have to be refused due to budgetary restrictions.