5. Financial Support

At Western, supporting our student researchers is a top priority.  By offering financial packages to help offset the expenses associated with full-time graduate study, we help our full-time students in PhD programs and in many research-based Master’s programs to devote more time to their studies and research. Based on recommendations by the admitting graduate program, students in research-based programs are offered compentitive financial support packages.

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies distinguishes between research-based programs and professionally-oriented programs to determine eligibility for student support. 

Eligible students in the Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance program (DMA), all PhD programs and some research-based Master’s programs will be offered a financial support package which may include funds from the Faculty or graduate program, such as internal or external scholarship support, or part-time employment.

To be eligible for financial support a student must continue to be registered full-time and must continue to meet the minimum academic requirements of the graduate program and progress satisfactorily towards the timely completion of the degree.

Students in funding-eligible programs receive financial support for the normal duration of their program. Note that there are three terms in one year:

  • The normal duration for Master's programs varies from two terms to six terms , depending on the program. Consult the program's regulations for details.
  • The normal duration for Doctoral programs is twelve terms.
  • Students who transfer from a Master's program to a Doctoral program are eligible for financial support for fifteen consecutive full-time terms of registration. This includes both programs.
  • Students who enter the Doctoral program directly from the Bachelor’s are eligible for financial support for up to fifteen terms of full-time registration.
  • During their fundable period, graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply for external awards for which they are eligible, such as, federal Tri-Agency (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR) and Ontario government awards (OGS, QEIIGSST).

Incoming Doctoral students and continuing Doctoral students who meet the usual eligibility criteria (see Sections 5.02 and 5.03 above), must be offered  an annual financial package (i.e., three terms commencing with the initial term of admission) of at least the annual cost of full-time tuition (Office of the Registrar - Fees & Refunds) plus $13,000, with the following caveats:

  • The financial support package can come from a variety of sources and can differ from student to student. The sources include: supervisor research grant support (e.g. GRA); external scholarships and fellowships from the federal Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) and from the Province of Ontario (OGS, OTS, QEIIGSST); Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA); internal support (e.g. WGRS, awards from donations and endowments); and employment other than GTA. The support package can change, for example when a student receives an external scholarship, or in response to a student’s change in residency; such as, becoming a permanent resident under the Immigration Act of Canada.
  • OSAP is excluded in the calculation of the financial package.
  • The student may decline all or part of the funding package. Where the student declines all or part of the package, the program must submit a written statement to SGPS, signed by the student and grad chair/director, waiving the graduate program’s responsibility to provide the declined funding during the student’s program.

Effective September 1, 2008, external scholarships were officially added to the Western transcript.
To ensure accuracy of the Western transcript, the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) will include external scholarships on the transcript when the adjudication and payment is managed by SGPS.

  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship – CIHR (added effective May 2013)
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship – NSERC
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship – SSHRC
  • CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral (added effective May 2013)
  • CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship - Master's (added effective May 2013)
  • Julie Payette-NSERC Research Scholarship
  • NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral
  • NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship - Master's
  • NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship - Doctoral
  • NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship - Master's
  • NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship
  • SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral
  • SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship - Master's
  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship
  • Schmeelk Canada Fellowship
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship (added effective May 2011)
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology  (Effective May 1, 2011 scholarship was re-named to Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology)

When a student completes the program or withdraws without completing while receiving financial support, the support may be subject to repayment or pro-rating for the remainder of the term. It is important for a student to consult with the graduate program and/or the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for details.

The University of Western Ontario and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies reserves the right to modify and/or discontinue the financial support packages.

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website provides complete information on Financial Support available at The University of Western Ontario.