University of Calgary : Awards and Financial Assistance for Graduate Students


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Awards and Financial Assistance for Graduate Students

The University of Calgary is very proud of its Graduate Student Awards program. In addition to recognizing academic achievement, scholarships are important in helping to bridge the gap between the rising cost of attending university and limited student income. Attracting top national and international students to the University of Calgary continues to be a very high priority.

We are extremely pleased that our donors share our commitment to graduate student awards, and we appreciate the financial support offered by all of our valued donors.

Full-time students registered in a graduate degree program at the University of Calgary are eligible for awards and financial assistance.

Scholarship information, application forms and instructions are found through the searchable awards database on the web at http://grad.ucalgary.ca/awards.

Additional information is available from your program. Because this award list is published a considerable time before the opening of the session, the University reserves the right to make whatever changes circumstances may require, including cancellation or addition of particular awards.

I. University Assistantships

University Graduate Assistantships are governed by the Collective Agreement between the Governors of the University of Calgary and the Graduate Students’ Association. Each year teaching units have varying numbers of graduate assistantships available to be awarded on the basis of merit. Students interested in such appointments should contact their Graduate Program Administrator for information about eligibility, application deadlines and procedures. The stipends indicated are subject to change without notice. Appointments are available from most units in which graduate programs are offered. Categories of appointment include Graduate Assistantships (Teaching and Non-Teaching).

Graduate Assistantships (GA, Teaching/Non-teaching)
A Graduate Assistantship (Teaching) is an appointment made to assist with the instructional responsibilities of departments or faculties. GA(T)s are appointed to provide teaching or instructional service, which might encompass lecturing assistance, laboratory supervision, office hours, grading assignments, tutorial direction, assistance in preparation of demonstration and instructional aids, and other related academic duties.

A Graduate Assistantship (Non-Teaching) is an appointment made to assist departments and/or professors with non-teaching responsibilities. The duties of a GA(NT) may include, for example, collecting research data, interviewing research subjects, bibliographic work or general research services.

Remuneration paid to Graduate Assistants must comply with the Collective Agreement or the regulations of the agency providing the funds. The stipend is listed in the Collective Agreement.

Research Assistantships (Scholarship)
A graduate student employed as a Research Assistant builds academic experience by assisting with a research project, with duties similar to those described above for a Graduate Assistantship (Non-Teaching). Research Assistant appointments are funded from the research support accounts for University faculty who select and recommend graduate students for such appointments. The stipends vary. This type of support is arranged directly between graduate students and their prospective supervisors.

II. Project Employment

This is funded from a research account to provide a direct service in connection with a faculty member's research. This research is normally not related to the student's program or area of research. The service provided is normally supervised by someone other than the student's supervisor and is treated as regular employment.

III. Sessional Instructorships

A department or faculty may appoint a graduate student as a Sessional Instructor to teach a course as Instructor of Record. Sessional Instructor appointments are Term Certain Appointments covered under the Collective Agreement between the Governors of the University of Calgary and the University of Calgary Faculty Association (http://www.ucalgary.ca/hr/).  Normally, a student may not be a Sessional Instructor for more than one half course or one full course at any one time.

IV. Dean's Entrance Scholarships (DES)

Awarded to Canadian or international students with excellent academic records and potential who will be entering a doctoral program at the University of Calgary. Successful candidates must be registered full-time in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the time of tenure. Students receiving this award must hold or apply for major awards from such funding agencies as: NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR and Alberta Innovates, if eligible.

Graduate programs allocate these awards, and students should check with their Graduate Program Administrator for application procedures.

V. Faculty of Graduate Studies Scholarships (FGSS)

To be eligible for a Faculty of Graduate Studies Scholarship, students must be registered full-time in the Faculty of Graduate Studies in a thesis program at the University of Calgary. Graduate programs allocate these awards, and students should check with the program administrator for application procedures.

VI. Graduate Students' Association Bursaries

The Graduate Students' Association makes available bursaries of up to $1,000 per year to students who at the time of tenure will be registered in a graduate program at the University of Calgary and can demonstrate financial need. Application forms are available from the Graduate Students' Association, MacKimmie Tower, Room 214, telephone 403.220.5997. Contact the GSA office for further information.

VII. Government Financial Assistance

The provincial and federal governments make assistance available to students in the form of loans. Students must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and provide sufficient evidence that financial assistance is essential to enable the student to continue her/his education. The amount of assistance varies. Students should contact their provincial funding office directly to obtain detailed information about the student loans, grants and bursaries offered through their province. Links to the out of province government loan websites are available from the Student Awards and Financial Aid website: www.ucalgary.ca/awards/.

VIII. International Students

International students planning to do graduate work at the University of Calgary are eligible to apply for Graduate Assistantships and FGS scholarships. International students are also eligible to apply for a number of Canadian scholarship programs. Detailed information is found on the Graduate Award website at http://grad.ucalgary.ca/awards.

IX. Awards Offered by Government, Industry and Others

Many foundations, companies, professional organizations and other agencies offer financial support to graduate students. A number of international, national and provincial organizations award scholarships and fellowships, tenable at this and other universities. Details about many of these awards are available from the Graduate Award website at http://grad.ucalgary.ca/awards.

X. University Research Grants - Committee (URGC) - Thesis/Dissertation Research Grants

The University Research Grants Committee recognizes that there are instances where standard funding for thesis research available through a program or faculty may not be adequate to meet certain special needs that are essential to the completion of a particular thesis research project.

The primary purpose of the URGC Thesis/Dissertation Research Grant program is to assist graduate students with exceptional or unanticipated costs that are essential to the completion of their thesis/dissertation projects, but that could not reasonably be anticipated when their project was approved. The expenses must be beyond the means of the student, laboratory or department. These awards are not intended to provide basic project funding. These awards are competitive. To be eligible, applicants must be registered full-time in a research (thesis) based program leading to a master’s or doctoral degree from the University of Calgary. Graduate students applying for Thesis/Dissertation Research Grants must have their thesis/dissertation project approved by the department.

An application guide and the application form may be found at http://www.ucalgary.ca/research/researchers/forms-and-resources/forms.

The maximum amount of awards:
$1,000 for master’s students
$1,500 for doctoral students

Further information is available through the Office of Research Services, Main Floor, 3512 33 St. NW, University Research Park, Calgary, Alberta. Telephone 403.220.6354.

XI. Conference Travel Grant

Graduate Student Travel Awards are made to assist graduate students in presenting the results of their thesis research at significant scientific or scholarly meetings, and equally, to provide students with an opportunity to gain experience in conference presentation and to meet colleagues in universities and industries who will be of importance to their future career.

Canadian and permanent residents will apply through the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Information and the application form may be found at http://grad.ucalgary.ca/awards.

International students will apply through the Office of Research Services Main Floor, 3512 33 St. NW, University Research Park Calgary, Alberta. Telephone: 403.220.6354.

XII. Awards in the Faculty of Graduate Studies

The Faculty of Graduate Studies Scholarship Committee awards the scholarships, bursaries and fellowships listed here.

Details of all awards administered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies can be found on the Graduate Awards website and in the searchable Graduate Award Database at http://grad.ucalgary.ca/awards.

Scholarships and fellowships are awarded on the basis of academic standing and demonstrated potential for advanced study and research. Normally, master's students in the first two years of program and doctoral students in the first four years of program are eligible to hold scholarships. If, in the opinion of the Graduate Scholarship Committee, a suitable candidate cannot be found, it reserves the right not to award any one or any number of scholarships in any year. Unless otherwise stated, awards are for one year only. The value and terms of the awards are subject to change without notice.

For off-campus tenure of awards, written requests, endorsed by the supervisor and Graduate Program Director, for off-campus tenure of awards should be submitted to the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Notification of award is sent electronically to successful candidates as soon as possible after the adjudication. All award winners are asked to accept or decline the offer through the Student Centre as soon as possible and no later than the deadline stated in the notification of award. All award payments begin in September unless otherwise stated in the terms of reference.

Should it become known that a student is unqualified for any reason, the University reserves the right to terminate the award(s) and funds already paid out must be returned.

The following payment schedule applies to all awards in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, unless the terms of reference of the award specify otherwise.

Amount of Award Payment
Up to $2,500 One lump sum payment
$2,501 to $6,000 Paid in equal monthly installments over four months
$6,001 to $10,000 Paid in equal monthly installments over eight months
Awards over $10,000 Paid in equal monthly installments over twelve months

If a student has a successful final oral examination during the tenure of a scholarship, the award will be terminated at the end of the month in which the thesis is submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, unless otherwise specified in the terms of reference of the award, or at the date of the termination of the award, whichever comes first.

No student can receive a total of more than the minimum Tri-Council scholarship value (currently $17,500 for master’s and $20,000 for doctoral) from awards made in the Graduate Award Competition and Program Recommended Awards.

A student holding external awards with a total value equal to or greater than the minimum Tri-Council scholarship is not eligible for funding from the Graduate Award Competition and Program Recommended Awards.

A student who is awarded both a University of Calgary scholarship (or combination of awards) and an external award equal to or greater than the amount stated above must take up the external award at the earliest possible date and decline the University of Calgary scholarship(s) effective on that same date. In such a case, a student may include the offer of the forfeited award on a curriculum vitae.

Travel awards and funds awarded by programs from their Graduate Student Support allocation are not subject to this limit. Program recommended awards in a program with an approved fee differential are not subject to the limits described above and may be combined for an individual student, up to the minimum Tri-Council amount plus the difference between the tuition charged and regular base tuition.

Before accepting other forms of awards or remuneration, especially those involving service, students must check with the Graduate Scholarship Office, to ensure that acceptance of the award does not affect the holder's full-time registration status.

Students holding multiple year funding must submit a Scholarship Progress Report to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Scholarship Office not later than the end of the eleventh month of the registration year.

Adjudication Process Method of Application
Izaak Walton Killam Pre-Doctoral Scholarships

Online application: http://grad.ucalgary.ca/awards. Supporting documents sent to the graduate program in which the student will be registered. Contact the Graduate Program Administrator for more information.

Open Doctoral Scholarship Online application: http://grad.ucalgary.ca/awards. Supporting documents sent to the graduate program in which the student will be registered. Contact the Graduate Program Administrator for more information.
Recommended by Program Variable, check the terms of reference http://grad.ucalgary.ca/awards with the Graduate Program Administrator for details.
Special Awards Online application: http://grad.ucalgary.ca/awards. Supporting documents sent to the graduate program in which the student will be registered. Contact the Graduate Program Administrator for more information.
Bursary Online application: http://grad.ucalgary.ca/awards. Supporting documents sent to the graduate program in which the student will be registered. Contact the Graduate Program Administrator for more information. NOTE: Applicants must show financial need commensurate with the value of the award.

Full terms of reference for each award are available through the Graduate Award Database, found at http://grad.ucalgary.ca/awards.

Graduate Scholarship Office
University of Calgary
MacKimmie Tower, Room 213
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary AB T2N 1N4

Important note: Scholarship payments cannot be made if the student has not registered for the upcoming academic year. Students who have been awarded scholarships and other awards should register as soon as possible to ensure timely payment.