Financial Support

Minimum Financial Support Package for Doctoral Students in the Funded Cohort

All students in years one through five of the Doctoral program of the Department of Political Science will receive funding on the condition that they are making good progress toward the degree. The Faculty of Arts & Science guarantees a minimum financial support package for all doctoral-stream students, which normally includes a teaching assistantship and research assistantship. General information about the funding package is available here: Graduate Funding in Arts & Science | Faculty of Arts & Science.

For the 2023-24 academic year, the Faculty has determined the minimum financial support package level to be $20,000.00 plus tuition and fees. For domestic students this means a commitment of approximately $28,214.00 and for international students $28970.00. A minimum financial support 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 financial support package and then turns the offer down, the student forfeits that component of their funding package for that year.

Other Funding Opportunities


SSHRC and OGS Fellowships

All eligible graduate students (MA and PhD) may apply for Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) funding. All eligible doctoral students are required to apply for an OGS and SSHRC funding annually during the first four years of the PhD program. The University of Toronto’s ability to offer its graduate student base funding 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 several 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:

  • Lorne Bozinoff Doctoral Fellowship in Political Analysis
  • Noah Blackstein Graduate Fellowship in Political Economy
  • The Alexander Brady – MacGregor Dawson Scholarships
  • Anna Maria Bejarano Field work fund
  • 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
  • W. Johnson Graduate Scholarship for the Study of Canadian Government and Public Administration
  • L. Mackenzie King Fellowship in International Relations
  • 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
  • Richard Simeon Doctoral Student Scholarship
  • Robert C. Vipond Graduate Scholarship
  • Morimitsu Inaba Doctoral Fellowship in the Political Economy of Development (students working on candidacy requirements are also eligible)
  • Tom Easterbrook Graduate Scholarship in Communications and the Mass Media (students working on candidacy requirements are also eligible)

Calls for the above funding opportunities are normally sent out from the Graduate Office annually in April. Final decisions on these awards are 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 considers the granting of Beattie Awards to ensure the widest possible distribution of support. This allocation also considers the travel grant awards made by the School of Graduate Studies in the spring of each year.

Special Opportunities

This fund is designed to help doctoral students advance their academic and professional goals. It is meant to complement existing opportunities, and is therefore not designed to support conference travel, fieldwork, or methods training, which are covered through other departmental programs. It is designed to support other costs associated with opportunities that doctoral students might pursue, such as special workshops or courses that can significantly enhance and complement students’ academic objectives, as well as professional development. The Department will consider a broad array of opportunities. Typical amounts will vary but remain modest. Students at all stages of the program are invited to apply. They should submit an explanation of the opportunity’s benefits and expected costs. This is a continuing fund, with no specific deadlines. Applications are welcome through this form: Special Opportunities Application. Please inform the Graduate Administrator in the Department of Political Science when you have applied.

Doctoral Completion Award

The Doctoral Completion Award (“DCA”) is available to PhD students beyond the funded cohort and still within the maximum degree length (PhD year 6 and PhD Direct-Entry year 6 and 7). This fund supports students with approximately half of the value of the cost of tuition. All students in good standing are eligible and those with large external awards may receive a reduced award. The call for applications normally is sent from the POL Graduate Office annually in May. General information about the DCA is available here:

Travel Funding

MA and PhD students presenting at conferences and/or PhD students approaching the dissertation stage are strongly encouraged to apply for SGS travel funding. SGS invites applications for conference and dissertation research travel grants These are intended to support travel associated with thesis research, and priority is given to students who have not previously received support. (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 conference travel fund (scroll down to conference travel policy and form info). 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 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.

Employment Opportunities

  • Teaching Assistantships

Graduate student teaching assistants conduct small section teaching and mark assignments in the Department’s undergraduate program. In 2021-22, a typical full teaching assistantship, requires 210 hours of work from September to April. Salaries are as per salary info posted in the CUPE 3902, Unit 1 Collective Agreement). Application forms are made available electronically to all registered graduate students. As many appointments as possible are posted and hired for in the spring/summer 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 5 subsequent years of equivalent work. Students must confirm an intent to take-up the subsequent year’s appointment in the spring preceding the academic year). . 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

For students without large external scholarships an RAship valued at $1,000.00 is a component of base funding. All faculty are expected to hire offer an RA contract for at least that amount each academic year to support base funding RAships. Additionally, individual professors or groups of professors often employ graduate students as research assistants beyond their base funding obligation. 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.

Emergency Funds

  • SGS Graduate Students’ Emergency Grant

These funds have been established in the School of Graduate Studies to assist students to meet financial problems which could not have been anticipated. Funds are provided and no repayment is required. Full information is available here.

  • SGS Graduate Students’ Emergency Loan

These funds have been established in the School of Graduate Studies to assist students to meet financial problems which could not have been anticipated. Funds are provided and then repaid. Full information is available here.

  • Departmental Emergency Fund

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.

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), a student loan program, is administered by the Province of Ontario. Full information is available here.