Graduate Support Initiative (GSI) Awards


Likely in January 2016

Annual Value



Permanent Resident

Degree Level


The Graduate Support Initiative is a program for funding graduate students through entrance scholarships, multi-year funding packages, tuition awards and scholarship top-ups. GSI funding cannot be used as payment for employment; nor will it replace funding for TA-ships. Approximately $6.5 million in GSI funding is awarded each year across all UBC graduate programs.



Students in all fields of graduate study at the UBC-Vancouver campus are eligible to receive GSI funding, except for those enrolled in the program listed below:

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Management
  • Master of Engineering (in Faculty of Applied Science)
  • Doctor of Pharmacy

GSI funding is available to both international and domestic students.

Application Procedures

GSI allocations are made to disciplinary Faculties, who in turn allocate those funds amongst their graduate programs. Faculties and graduate programs are to establish and publish criteria by which the GSI funding will be distributed amongst their graduate students. Students should refer questions regarding funding criteria and amounts to their graduate program or Faculty.

Profiles of Award Holders

Hassan Halawa

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering (PhD)
Artemis: Defending Against Automated Large-Scale Cyber Intrusions by Focusing on the Vulnerable Population

Kelly Turner

Master of Science in Medical Genetics (MSc)
Targeting the Hedgehog Pathway in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Stem Cells with a Novel Combination Therapy

Sarah Fessenden

Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD)
"We just Wanna Warm some Bellies": Food Not Bombs, Anarchism, and Recycling Wasted Food for Protest

Natalia Balyasnikova

Doctor of Philosophy in Language and Literacy Education (PhD)
Culture, identity, and belonging of senior ESL learners: A case study at a community-based program

Bulmaro Valdés Benavides

Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering (PhD)
Reducing Compensatory Movements in Stroke Therapy through the Use of Robotic Devices and Augmented Feedback

Further Information

GSI allocation formula

Taking the November registration data for each of the last three years, each registered student "earns" the following weighting for their disciplinary Faculty:

  • PhD:  4
  • Master's with thesis:  2
  • Course-based Master's:  1
  • High cost-recovery Master's:  0

Each Faculty's share of the total student registration determines the Faculty's share of the total GSI $ allocation.


Total registration at UBC

  • 3,000 PhD X 4 = 12,000
  • 2,000 Master's with thesis X 2 = 4,000
  • 2,500 course-based Master's X 1 = 2,500
  • Total = 18,500

Total registration in Faculty A

  • 250 PhD X 4 = 1,000
  • 200 Master's with thesis X 2 = 400
  • 150 course-based Master's X 1 = 150
  • Total = 1,650

Faculty A’s share of GSI = 8.9% (1,650 / 18,500)


If total GSI allocation is $5M, then Faculty A’s share would be $445,000 ($5M X 8.9%)