How to Fund Your Studies

**Current graduate students who remained enrolled full-time during the S20 COVID shutdown may be eligible for an additional semester of support. Please click the link for more information about an additional semester of support.**



Graduate students in CBS who undertake a research-based thesis on a full-time basis are guaranteed a minimum salary or stipend. Currently, the minimum stipend (effective Fall 2022) is $21,460 per year for a full-time MSc student, and $25,460 per year for a full-time PhD student (full details below). This stipend will include one Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) appointment in CBS per year, with the balance of funds provided through a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA), which comes from your supervisor’s research funds.

Please visit the links below for up-to-date information and break down of student stipends at the MSc and PhD levels:

Please note that the HHNS 4-semseter coursework program offers 1 GTA for four-semesters of study. MBINF students who are approved to extend to a 4th semester are provided a stipend of up to $5,000 for that semester. The HHNS 3-semester program and the MBINF 3-semseter program do not offer a stipend. 



Graduate students who are appointed as graduate teaching assistants contribute to various (and vital!) teaching-related duties. Some of the roles that teaching assistants support are preparing and conducting tutorials, laboratories and seminars, and grading assignments, reports and examinations. While students are guaranteed a GTA per year in CBS, they can also apply and hold a GTA outside CBS. The value of the GTA is regularly negotiated by CUPE and any increases will be reflected in an overall increase to the minimum stipend amount. Effective Fall 2022, the value of a GTA is $6,125.96.



Graduate students may be supported through research grants received by faculty members from external agencies or governments. The student's research must contribute to the research program of the faculty member under whose direction it is conducted, and be used in the preparation of the student's thesis. For more information see the Graduate Calendar.



Several scholarships and awards are available to students with a strong academic background and research potential. These scholarships differ in sponsor (e.g., University of Guelph, CBS, government, external organizations) as well as amount, eligibility requirements, and disciplinary area of research, among other criteria. Please note, however, that the majority of scholarships and awards are for full-time students in a thesis-based program.

We have prepared a Scholarship Handbook to help you navigate all these opportunities! Please download the Handbook by clicking on the image below and consult it before and during your grad studies in CBS.

Image cover of the handbook, showing photos related to biology


The following are examples of major scholarships (and their deadlines) that CBS students are eligible for:


In addition to these major scholarships, please do not forget to check out the minor scholarship that we highlight in our Scholarship Handbook! Several smaller awards specific to a department or research areas often get very few applicants, so it is worth perusing the awards list carefully. Like it happens with major awards, most minor awards are also meant to support thesis students. It is also a good idea to have a conversation with your advisor about scholarships to make sure you strategically plan your applications.

On top of the scholarships mentioned in our Handbook, there are also other significant external scholarships that support specific fields of study (e.g., Cancer Research Society, Brain Canada), so we suggest you actively and frequently search for these opportunities.

Please note that current and prospective applicants are responsible for checking sponsor websites for the most up-to-date information regarding eligibility, deadlines, and tenability with other awards. We encourage you to search the University of Guelph Graduate Award database and the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website  to double check deadlines and application process and requirements.


Important: Stipends and scholarships do not include tuition. Students are responsible for all tuition and associated fees, which must be paid in full at the start of each semester or via payroll deduction. See Student Financial Services for current tuition rates and instructions on payment.



Graduate students usually attend one or more conferences each year, whether it is to present their research or network and connect with others in their field. Naturally, questions around the availability of travel grants will come up! Unfortunately, there are not many travel grants offered at the graduate level, so here are some options to help you navigate this issue:

  1. Talk to your advisor: Your advisor might have some grant funding they can provide. Before you ask, however, make sure you do your due diligence: prepare a budget including registration, transport, and meal costs so you can have a clear idea of your financial needs. Another great idea is to talk to your labmates and see if there are opportunities for carpooling or sharing accommodations that could make the trip more feasible. Some advisors might agree to cover expenses if you are presenting or if you will bring back some specific knowledge or skill that you can teach to other lab members. Make sure you discuss all these points with your advisor and lab members!
  2. Search the Grad Awards Database: We do our best to keep the Scholarship Handbook updated, but things happen fast and opportunities might come and go. Always check this tool, filtering by college and type of funding (i.e. travel). The MCB Plant Science Travel Grant and the Arthur Latornell Graduate Travel Grants are options for MCB and IB students, respectively. For longer travels (more than 2 months), UofG Travel Grants are available.
  3. Apply for a GSA Travel Grant: The Graduate Student Association (GSA) offers travel grants. Graduate students can get up to $500 after they come back from their travels. For details, check their website.
  4. Inquire with conference organizations and professional associations: Some conferences and professional associations offer funding relief for students and postdocs, so this is something to consider when you're deciding which conference to attend. For example, the Canadian Cancer Society, North American Dipterists Society, Canadian Society of Zoologists, Canadian Association for Neuroscience, Canadian Society for Biomechanics, Canadian Society of Plant Biologists, among others, have provided funding in recent years. As another example, COESP offers support to travel to teaching and learning conferences. We recommend you explore opportunities in your field.