Department Establishes Emergency COVID-19 Graduate Student Bursaries

Department Establishes Emergency COVID-19 Graduate Student Bursaries

In recognition of the financial difficulties that many of our graduate students are facing during the COVID-19 crisis, the Department of Political Studies is setting up a special emergency bursary fund to which our graduate students will have access. Students may make a one-time application to this fund and will receive a set amount of $700 in the form of a bursary. 

To receive these funds, students must be registered as full-time students in the summer term. The application does not require that the need be documented nor is there any requirement to report on expenditures. Michelle Knapp-Hermer will administer the bursary confidentially. Applications to the fund must be received before May 31st. Funds will be disbursed between now and the end of June 2020.

Additional emergency funds may be distributed by the department to graduate students who are experiencing severe financial hardship. This will depend on availability of funds and established need.

The Department is aware that many students have lost field research opportunities and funding, which may lead to increased funding needs in the future. At this early stage, it is too soon to know exactly how field research will be affected, but we will be consulting with individual students directly and reviewing their concerns. The PSGSE-Covid19 emergency bursary is not intended to remedy lost field research funding or opportunities at this time.

All applicants to this fund are advised that these PSGSE-Covid19 bursaries are in addition to any monies that are already available to graduate students through other sources such as the Office of the University Registrar, the Chaplains' Office, the Society for Graduate and Professional Students, and the Ban Righ Centre. Students should also check to see if they are eligible for funds through the Canada Emergency Research Benefit program, as the terms for eligibility continue to be developed.

Faculty members and others may make contributions to the bursary fund (both the emergency & severe financial hardship) through donating to the Department of Political Studies Trust Fund. Any donations received between April 21st and May 21st to this trust fund will be assumed to be designated for this purpose.

Faculty members are also strongly encouraged to use available research funds, if possible, during this summer, to hire graduate students as research assistants or research fellows.