Cultural Studies provides funding for PhD and domestic MA students pursuing full-time graduate studies in the program. Funding is comprised of a combination of employment income from Teaching Assistantships (TA-ships) and/or Graduate Research Assistantships (RA-ships), plus Queen’s Graduate Awards (QGAs) and/or Fellowships, and/or external scholarships or awards. Available TA-ships and RA-ships vary from year to year, and accordingly so will the individual components of funding. 

Students can expect funding to cover tuition and to help offset the cost of living. Do not expect the funding to completely cover living expenses in Kingston. Please refer to the “Important Notes” section below for more details.

Domestic MA students are offered minimum guaranteed funding of $15,000 for their first year, and the same for a second year if admitted into the 2-year stream.

PhD students are offered minimum guaranteed funding of $88,000 over four years, i.e. $22,000 per year.

Important Notes

  1. The minimum funding guarantee is contingent upon your timely progression through the degree program and your continued registration as a full-time graduate student in good standing. 
  2. Queen's does not offer tuition waivers.
  3. Funding typically includes employment income from TA-ships and RA-ships. These positions typically require up to a maximum of 10 hours a week/130 hours per term of tutorial preparation and leadership, marking, and other duties. Proximity to campus is required for most positions. Most often students have one TA-ship in the Fall term and one in the Winter term. Income tax will be deducted on the work portion of your funding, but you may be able to claim this back by filing a tax return. If you decline the work portion of your funding, you accept a lower funding package. TA-ships are regarded as both a source of funding and as an important element in the student's career.
  4. The Cultural Studies program requires you to apply for all external funding for which you are eligible, and will actively support you in doing so. If you are unsuccessful, then the minimum funding guarantee applies. If you are successful, you will receive more than the minimum funding guarantee through a combination of the award and TA-ships and/or RA-ships. 
  5. Any student entering their first year of the MA or PhD program who has won a Tri-Agency Award (SSHRC, SSHRC-CGS, SSHRC-CGM) will automatically receive a Tri-Agency Recipient Recognition Award (TARRA) from the University ($5,000 for MA; $10,000 for PHD).
  6. Part time students receive no funding.
  7. Note that international MA tuition is higher than PhD and domestic MA tuition, and we do not guarantee funding to international MA students. 

All funding rules and policies operate in accordance with the regulations of the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.

External Awards

As a Cultural Studies graduate student, you are required to apply for SSHRC and OGS scholarships if you meet the eligibility criteria. Our students have considerable success with these awards and we offer workshops and other mentorship to help you look your best. Remember: while we do aim to pass on all information we receive, it is your responsibility to contact the award provider for all application, eligibility and deadline information.

*Queen's University provides an automatic one-time top-up of $5,000 (Master's) or $10,000 (PhD) to all SSHRC and CGS-M/PhD winners who are entering Year 1 of a graduate degree program.

Use the new searchable table (found on the URS website) to find funding opportunities in your research area. The table includes all opportunities announced on the funding opportunities e-mail list service, and may be filtered by sponsor, program, posting date (i.e. when it was distributed via e-mail), grant type or by any keyword or research area. Closed opportunities are included in the table for one year after the first required deadline is reached. Any questions about the database should be sent to

Travel Funding

The Graduate Dean's Travel Grant for Doctoral Field Research provides financial support for doctoral students pursuing dissertation research at a considerable distance from Queen's. Awards will be made through a competition. The maximum value of the award is $3,000. Graduate programs and Departments are sent details and application materials approximately 8 weeks prior to the annual competition deadline. Applications are normally due in January. Please watch your email for full details. 

Eligibility:  Cultural Studies Conference Travel Awards (CTAs) are available to Cultural Studies students who have attended or presented at a recognized conference, either virtually or in-person. CTAs can be used to provide financial support for travel, accommodation, food and registration fees. Please note we are offering an initial award amount of up to $500 if you are presenting your own or co-authored paper or poster or up to $250 if you attend as a participant. At the end of the academic year, if there are CTA funds remaining, we will provide further reimbursement to all students.

  • Students must be registered full-time in a graduate degree program within the School of Graduate Studies at the time of the conference to be eligible for CTAs.
  • Students who are registered full-time but are beyond their funding-eligible period (years 1-2 for Master’s students, years 1-4 for PhD students) may be eligible to receive a CTA. This will depend on a number of factors including (1) the number of other applications received in a given year and (2) the number of awards a student has already received in previous years.
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through the academic year. Please submit your application after attending the conference. 
  • Deadline to apply is August 21, 2024. 
  • Funding is limited, and the aim is to divide it fairly among applicants. 
  • Students can only apply for conference funding once per academic year.

Application Process:  Students are asked to email the following information to after attending the conference:

  • Name and student number
  • Program and year of study
  • Date, title, and location of the conference (please attach a copy of or link to the program to the email)
  • Date, time, and title of your presentation
  • Receipts for each expense (please note that boarding passes are required for air or rail travel)
  • Summary of expenses including:
    • date each expense was incurred
    • amount of each expense
    • currency, if other than $CAD
    • purpose (i.e., travel from airport to hotel)
  • Total of all expenses being submitted

This annual award provides two graduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science with an opportunity to study and do research in Paris, France, for up to two months in the summer in a fully-equipped apartment owned by Queen's alumnus, Professor David Edney. The opportunity comes with a stipend of up to $1,800 to support expenses related to research, travel and cultural experiences. Two students will be selected on the basis of academic excellence, merit, and the quality of the proposal. The award is available to funding-eligible Master's or Ph.D. level students enrolled in a graduate department or program in any Faculty of Arts and Science discipline. Successful applicants will be required to write a brief summary of the impact of the award on their research to be provided to the donor.

The deadline for submission is March 15. Applicants submit a 500-word letter of application, including project and research details, with a copy of transcripts, to the office of the Vice-Dean in the Faculty of Arts & Science (care of Diane Reid, The recipient of the award will be selected by a committee chaired by the Vice-Dean, and consisting of three faculty members and a representative from Arts and Science Advancement.

Project Funding

The FAS Award for Project and Portfolio PhD Research provides financial support for students pursuing doctoral research who are undertaking a project and/or a portfolio PhD. (For description of the options available to students pursuing a PhD, see the School of Graduate Study information sheet, “The PhD thesis – Enabling Flexibility.”) The PPP Award supports costs directly related to the completion of the degree to a maximum value of $3,000. It is responding to increased student demand for non-traditional, or "alternative" doctoral formats that accommodate different research contributions and applications, new forms of knowledge mobilization, the development of new competencies (i.e. digital, entrepreneurial), and that foster student awareness of the transferable skills acquired in the completion of the doctoral degree. Funded by the FAS at $20,000/year for the first three years, the awards will be available to doctoral students who have completed their comprehensive or qualifying examinations.

Application deadline is mid-May - exact date will be listed on the FAS website

Online Application Form: PhD Project and Portfolio Research Award

The CUST Research Creation/Community-based Research Fund is designed to support MA students registered in Cultural Studies who engage in artistic and/or community projects directly related to the completion of their degrees. The size of the fund is determined by the Program Director by the end of January.

Application Process

MA students applying must complete the CUST Research-Creation/Community-Based Research Fund application form (DOCX, 25 KB). The completed form and supporting documents should be submitted by email to the Cultural Studies Office ( 3pm on May 15.

If necessary, please forward any questions about the application process to the program director.


  1. A complete application form.
  2. Applicants must have passed their thesis/project proposal defense prior to the funds being released. The thesis proposal must include a budget.
  3. Projects that require research ethics approval must have received approval prior to the funds being released.
  4. Applicants must use the funds granted within the calendar year.
  5. The funds requested can amount to no more than 50% of the total budget, including in-kind contributions
  6. The funds must be used for materials, equipment, services or supplies specific to the project.
  7. The funds cannot pay for travel, accommodation or personal expenses.
  8. The funds requested must be at least $500 and no more than $2000.
  9. Funds may be received only once during the applicant’s program of study.


In order to be reimbursed students must submit a report no later than August 31 including:

  • A narrative describing how the granted funds were used in your research project (max 300 words).
  • A summary of expenses.
  • Original receipts dated from the same calendar year as the application.

School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs Student Initiatives Fund

Each year, SGSPA provides a limited amount of funding for graduate student projects and initiatives. Types of activities may include organizing conferences for graduate students at Queen's; organizing exhibitions and public performances involving graduate students; or projects that allow for the professional and academic developments of graduate students.

View more information on SGSPA student funding

Faculty of Arts and Science Student Initiative Fund

Do you have a great project idea? Need assistance to remove financial barriers that may otherwise hinder your research? Have an important community focused venture but need help paying additional costs? Want to engage other students across campus with a unique initiative? Consider submitting an application form below to request funding. The Faculty of Arts and Science is dedicated to providing an educational environment that promotes learning both in and out of the classroom. Through the generosity of our benefactors, the Dean’s Office is able to offer our students grants to fund or partially fund one-of-a-kind opportunities and initiatives identified by students.

View more information about Faculty of Arts and Science Funding

Principal's Student Initiatives Fund

The Student Initiatives Fund supports student participation in projects devoted to the principles of personal growth and/or community service. Projects should provide educational opportunities such as participation in competitions, symposia, conferences, festivals and community development projects. The project must not be related to academic programs such as a class lecture, lab, practicum, internship or work placement.

View more information on Principal's Student Funding

MITACS Funding

Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 15 years. Working with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and both federal and provincial governments, Mitacs builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.

Mitacs supports fellowships for Ph.D. students & post-doctoral fellows, internship programs, and student travel awards. A key feature of many Mitacs programs is that contributions by partner organizations (i.e., companies or not-for-profit organizations) are matched by Mitacs at a minimum 1:1 basis.

For more information about Mitacs funding programs, please visit the Mitacs webpage.

Indigenous Student Funding

The Cultural Studies program has a minimum funding guarantee program for full-time students. This guarantees a set amount of funding over the lifetime of the program as follows. 

  • Domestic MA students $30,000 over two years, i.e. $15,000 per year
  • Domestic PhD students $80,000 over four years, i.e. $20,000 per year

Additional funding opportunities & information: