Financing Your Degree
In 2023-24, the annual base financial support package is $17,250 plus tuition and fees (varies depending on legal status). Overall, the minimum value of the base funding packing, including tuition and fees, is $26,000. This represents the base support provided; students have opportunities to secure additional funding through scholarships and awards.
|Legal Status & Program||Living Allowance||2023-2024 Tuition||Total|
Domestic – PhD
International – PhD
Base Funding Sources
The base funding package typically consists of a combination of internal awards and fellowships, teaching assistantships (including Clinical Instructor roles), and a supervisor’s research grant/funds. Students in the funded cohort will receive a funding letter at the start of the academic year which outlines the specific components of their funding package as well as payment details.
To maintain eligibility for base funding, students are expected to pursue their studies full-time, must maintain good academic standing, and must make satisfactory progress toward degree completion.
Full-time registered students should not be employed on a full-time basis in addition to their studies, unless approved by the PhD program director or the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, as well as the student’s supervisor.
Teaching Assistant Positions
Learn more about become a Teaching Assistant
Doctoral students are hired as TAs for undergraduate and graduate courses. Teaching assistant (TA) positions are considered both a source of funding and a form of professional training. Students holding TA positions can have a range of responsibilities, depending on their TA assignment. Responsibilities may include grading, supporting simulation lab activities, and leading in-person tutorials. TA’s may also have the opportunity to serve as course instructors, guest lecturers, and clinical instructors (in a hospital or community setting).
The base funding packages includes $6,600 of TA work (up to 140 hours, paid at $47.64, including vacation pay) over the fall, winter and/or spring sessions towards the base funding package.
PhD students are guaranteed six subsequent appointments, one each year for the same number of hours as their first or second appointment (whichever is greater). The department assigns students to their subsequent appointments in May/June for the following academic year.
PhD students who decline positions they are offered are considered to have forfeited this funding for the academic year and will have their total funding reduced accordingly. Students may apply for TA positions in addition to the hours assigned for their base package, however additional appointments are not guaranteed. Positions may be posted throughout the year and are circulated to students as they become available.
Supervisor research grant/funds
PhD students may have access to additional sources of funding from a supervisor’s research grants in the form of research assistantships.
PhD students are encouraged to seek external funding to enhance their CV and increase their income. Funding sources include external competitive awards such as CIHR, SSHRC, CNA, RNAO, OGS, and awards from independent foundations as well as Hospital/Research Institute Awards. Our students have been highly successful in obtaining these competitive and prestigious awards.
Different components of the funding package are paid via different methods according to varying schedules. Payment details are outlined in the annual funding letter sent to PhD students.
Students must be registered and maintain a current mailing address in ACORN for award payments to be issued. Students are encouraged to also record their banking information in ACORN for direct deposit – otherwise cheques will be issued by mail or for pick-up.
Students must also provide their hiring unit with signed contracts/payroll forms/banking information for TA payroll to be set up.
U of T Fellowship
Students without major scholarships normally receive U of T Fellowship (UTF) Tuition Awards which are paid directly to their fees in two equal instalments at the start of the fall (September) and winter (January) sessions.
Students without major scholarships (and some with major scholarships that do not cover the full base package) receive UTF Stipend Awards which are paid through Acorn in equal instalments at the start of each session. E.g. a $x,xxxx UTF Stipend award is paid in $x,xxx instalments at the start of the fall (September), winter (January) and summer (May) sessions.
Teaching Assistant Positions
Teaching assistant salary is paid in equal instalments monthly for the duration of the position through the HRIS/payroll system on the 28th of the month (or the preceding Friday if the 28th falls on a weekend). E.g. a student who has a 100 hour TA position ($4,906) from September – December will be paid for 25 hours ($1,226.50) at the end of September, October, November, and December. Students will receive a contract for each position they are assigned and can access payroll statements using the Employee Self-Service (ESS).
Most external scholarships are paid through ACORN by the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), in equal instalments at the start of each session. OGS, SSHRC, CIHR E.g. a $15,000 OGS award is paid in $5,000 instalments at the start of September, January and May. September payments are issued directly to the student; January and May instalments are usually directed toward outstanding tuition and fees. See the SGS Managing Your Award page for further details.
Funding Complaint Process
The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) and the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) have collaborated to create a Funding Complaint Process for graduate students who want to bring forward complaints about the interpretation, implementation or compliance with University, faculty and / or graduate unit policy regarding their individual funding package. This complaint process applies to all graduate students in the funded cohort in the School of Graduate Studies (SGS).
Funding beyond 4 years
PhD students are also guaranteed TA positions in years 5 and 6 at the same number of hours as their 1st or 2nd appointment (subsequent appointments).
Students can also apply for internal awards and scholarships through the department and SGS (information on such opportunities will forwarded to students as they are announced throughout the year).
PhD students who do not hold major scholarships are eligible to receive the Doctoral Completion Award (DCA) in years 5 and 6. These awards are competitive in nature and the availability and value of the DCS varies each year.
Travel and Conference Grants
Funding for travel and conference attendance and some research expenses is also available through the Faculty and from SGS. This funding varies depending on the number of applications and the pool of funds available each year. In some cases, a supervisor may also be able to provide funding for such expenses.
For questions about PhD funding, please contact our Assistant Director, Student Financial Services .