Introduction to Award Funding

This webpage covers the key information to know about award funding as a new graduate student at UBC.


Program funding packages

Students should check their degree program listing on our website at Graduate Degree Programs.  Depending on the degree program, there may be program funding packages offered by the UBC department.  The degree program listing may also include statistics on average funding in the program.

Awards organized through the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Graduate students can view the awards opportunities that are available for students to apply to on our website at Award Opportunities.

  • Using the filters at the top of the link, students can update the results to the awards that are relevant to their specific academic profile

Awards offered by UBC programs or departments

Each department/program may have awards that they can offer to their students.  Ask specifically about GSI and department recommended awards. 

PhD students should also inquire about the Four Year Fellowship and the minimum funding policy for PhD students.

Awards offered outside of UBC

There are also many more awards opportunities available to students studying in Canada that are not listed on UBC’s websites.  Review the additional funding databases.

Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant positions

Graduate students who are interested in Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant opportunities should contact their UBC program or department.  RA and TA positions are managed by individual departments.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Other funding information

Financial support options – resource from Enrollment Services

  • Covers some of the other funding options, such as bursaries, loans, Work Learn placements, co-op placements, and emergency funding


There are hundreds of awards that UBC graduate students can apply for, so it’s not possible to list all the specific awards each category of student is eligible for.  Each award has its own unique eligibility requirements that will not be applicable to all students.  For example, an award may be limited to only Canadian citizens, or to students in a specific field of research.

However, the filters on the Award Opportunities page allow students to narrow down which awards they might be eligible for.  Click on each award result and view the “Eligibility Requirements” to confirm eligibility for the specific award.

Coursework only degree programs: Almost all of the awards listed on the Award Opportunities webpage have research as part of their eligibility requirements.  Graduate students in “coursework only” degree programs (such as MPT) are recommended to contact their UBC department to find out what award funding their department may have for “coursework only” degree program students.

Degree programs that are not administered by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies: Degree programs that are not administered by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (such as MEng and MEL programs) are not eligible for any award funding listed on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.  Graduate students in this type of degree program are recommended to contact their UBC department to find out what award funding their department may have for their degree program.


Graduate students are encouraged to apply for awards once they have submitted their admission application to UBC.  Students do not need to wait until they start their graduate degree program to start applying for awards.

There are award application deadlines throughout the year.  However, the major award competitions tend to have application deadlines from September to December of each year.

For example:

However, there are also a number of notable scholarships that have application deadlines at other times in the year.  For example:


The awards listed on the Award Opportunities webpage typically include a sub-section for application procedures, or a link to where you can locate that information.

Refer to the individual award entries on the Award Opportunities webpage for information on the application deadlines for individual awards.

Common documents required for award applications are:

  • Official and up-to-date transcripts
  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Research proposal
  • One or more reference letters

Refer to the application procedures for requirements for individual awards; document requirements vary.