Graduate Student Funding

Our department aims to provide adequate funding for all of our students within the limit of our abilities, and we also do our best to support our students in the pursuit of external financial awards.


We offer funding to most incoming MA students. For 2016-17, funding consisted of a guaranteed $11,500 minimum, typically from Teaching Assistantships. We also offer some additional fellowship funding to our top candidates, including tuition coverage and Research Assistantships, if and when available.


For 2016-17, we had two sets of funding packages for our PhD students:

1. Our top students received UBC Four-Year Fellowships (4YFs). This provides four years of guaranteed funding, consisting of a minimum annual stipend of $18,200 plus full tuition coverage (worth $8,108 for international students in 2016-17). This funding is guaranteed until the end of a student’s fourth year in the PhD program, provided that she or he remains in good academic standing. We also offered these students an Entrance Scholarship of $4,000 for their first year. The department further guaranteed a minimum of $15,000 for the fifth year of study, which will include some combination of a Tuition Award, Fellowship Funds, Teaching Assistantships and/or Research Assistantships.

2. Our other new PhD students were offered Department Guaranteed Financial Support of a minimum of $18,200 plus tuition coverage (worth $8,108 for international students in 2016-17) for each of the first four years of PhD studies, and an Entrance Scholarship of $4,000. For these students, the first year of funding will consist solely of Fellowship Funds ($18,200) to allow them to devote themselves full-time to their studies and become acclimated to the program. Subsequent years will include some combination of Tuition awards, Fellowship funds, Teaching Assistantships and/or Research Assistantships. We also guaranteed these students a minimum of $15,000 for their fifth year of study, which includes a combination of the funding options listed above.

Research Assistantships (RA positions)

In some cases, we are able to offer additional funding in the form of RA positions, but these are contingent on several factors, including faculty members having available research funds for RAs.

Teaching Assistantships (TA positions)

The Department of Political Science will offer TA opportunities to PhDs when available in order to enhance the financial resources at students’ disposal. Moreover, we consider it an important aspect of the professional development of our PhDs to work as Teaching Assistants, at some point in their PhD program, to develop their teaching skills under the guidance of faculty members. For the 2016-17 academic year, a full Teaching Assistantship for PhD students amounts to $6016 per semester.

External Awards

We support our students in the pursuit of external awards. Our students have been exceptionally successful in SSHRC competitions, and a number of our PhDs have secured prestigious awards such as the Vanier Scholarship and Trudeau Scholarship.

Graduate students at UBC are obliged to apply for Tri-Agency (SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR) funding if they are eligible. Students who receive a Tri-Agency award must accept it in place of their UBC fellowship.  Furthermore, recipients must notify the Department if they receive a Tri-Agency award or any other external funding.

Tri-Agency award recipients may receive an annual 4YF tuition award in addition to their external award funding, but only if the total of student’s external scholarship funding and 4YF tuition award does not exceed $35,000. If the total of a student’s external scholarship funding and 4YF tuition award exceeds $35,000, the 4YF tuition award will be reduced accordingly.

Graduate Student Supplemental Funding:
Conference Travel, Methods Schools, and Research Expenses

Within the limits of available resources, the Department does its best to support graduate students who need financial assistance to attend scholarly conferences, get supplemental methods training outside UBC, or carry out costly components of their dissertation research. All grants will be subject to availability of funds within the Departmental budget. Because University budgeting rules do not allow the Department to carry over significant funds from one year to the next, we are unable to commit to a given level of funding in advance. Graduate student supplemental funding will thus vary from year to year as the Department’s annual budgetary situation changes. Moreover, allocations across conference, methods-training, and research funding may vary with the number and quality of applications received in each year.

Applications for grants to support conference travel, methods schools, or dissertation research will typically be considered in two rounds, with deadlines of November 30th and April 30th. All applications will be adjudicated by the faculty members of the Department’s Graduate Program Committee.

Click on a link below for information about or applications forms for three forms of supplemental funding: