School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Funding & Administration of Graduate Student Awards

Queen's guarantees a minimum funding package currently valued at $18,000 per year for four (4) years for full-time doctoral students though in most cases funding packages are higher. In addition, Queen's guarantees an international tuition award (or equivalent award) valued at $5000 per year for four years for eligible international doctoral students. In all cases, students must maintain good academic standing.

Internal and External Funding

All students (except those in professional Master's programs) accepted for full-time admission into full-time graduate programs are considered for funding the department/program. In addition to department/program funding, there are internal fellowships and scholarships available annually. Applicants and continuing students should check with their department must to ensure that they apply for all awards for which they are eligible to ensure adequate financial support.

Attracting and retaining graduate students who win external awards is an indicator of the academic excellence of our students and enriches the programs. The funding package for Masters or doctoral students is typically comprised of a combination of internal and external awards as well as Teaching and Research Assistantships.

Types of Awards

Registered funding eligible students who are in good academic standing may be eligible for a wide range of internal and external scholarships, bursaries and awards including:

  • Queen's Graduate Awards (QGA)
  • Robert Sutherland Awards
  • International Tuition Awards (ITA - for international students only)
  • Graduate Dean's Doctoral Field Travel Grants
  • Graduate Dean's Conference Awards
  • E.G. Bauman Fellowships
  • R. Samuel McLaughlin Fellowships
  • Franklin Bracken Fellowships
  • Arts '49 Principal Wallace Fellowships
  • Mackenzie King Traveling Scholarships
  • Department of National Defence Scholarship and Fellowship Program
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) awards
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) awards
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) awards
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS)
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarships (International students only)

Internal Awards

Queen's offers graduate student support annually through internal, or "named" fellowships and scholarships. These merit-based scholarships and fellowships, established by generous benefactors of Queen's University, make an important contribution to the support of our graduate students. For the most part, the Fellowship Committee of the SGS administers these awards on recommendations from the departments through an annual competition.

Students applying to graduate programs or continuing enrolment in a graduate program at Queen's do not make a separate application for these named fellowships (with the exception of the Sutherland awards). Departments will nominate eligible students (normally by the end of April) during the annual competition.

In addition, some graduate departments make nominations for awards in particular fields of study. These departmental awards can be paid out for the current academic session until the last day of February. Departments which have such awards are notified each May about that year's expendable amount and all deadlines and guidelines. Departments nominate eligible students for their awards via a memo addressed to the SGS.

Go to the calendar of the School of Graduate Studies for descriptions of all Awards & Fellowships.

Queen's Graduate Awards (QGA)

Each department's QGA allocation is determined based on the number of full-time funding eligible students (year 1 of one year Master's programs; years 1 & 2 of two-year Master's programs; year 1 through 4 of PhD programs) using the enrolment data from the November 1st student count conducted by the University. This information is communicated to Departments by memo from the SGS in March each year.

Graduate programs use QGA to contribute to their financial offers to graduate applicants.

Funding International Students

Queen's has agreements with the China Scholarship Council (CSC), the Ministry of Higher Education in the Arab Republic of Egypt and with the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau / King Abdullah Scholarships nprogram, to help recruit and fund doctoral students who wish to study at Queen's.

Under these agreements, students accepted at Queen's receive funding support from their home country and from the Queen's graduate department or program.

International Tuition Awards (ITA)

The SGS has a limited number of ITAs that are allocated to departments. Each year in February or March, in a memo from SGS departments are  advised of the number of ITAs held by continuing international students and whether they can expect to receive any new ITAs for the upcoming academic session.

It should be noted that ITAs revert to the SGS when they are no longer required (if the international student has completed their degree, become a permanent resident of Canada, or withdraws from the program).

When an ITA is not available for an international doctoral student from the SGS, an equivalent award will be provided from the Department's QGA allocation or from the research supervisor's funds.

NB: International students who arrive with full funding support from an external source (e.g. full funding from the home government, are not required to receive a departmental ITA or ITA equivalent. Confirmation of that external support must be provided to the SGS.

Conference Travel Awards

Conference presentations are an important part of graduate training. They build networking opportunities with experts in the field and are important acknowledgements of students' scholarly contributions. The opportunities for students to present at conferences vary greatly depending on the program of study.

The SGS allocates a lump sum of Conference Travel Award (CTA) funding to support our students to present their work at conferences. The minimum CTA allocation for a program is $500. Each program receives its lump-sum CTA based on full-time eligible enrolment. The SGS will send a memo to each program in March with the total amount you have available.

Programs allocate CTAs to their students who meet the award terms and conditions, and have the flexibility to determine the amount of each CTA. As a result, CTAs can be awarded in variable amounts.

The graduate program provides to the SGS a list of award recipients and the amount awarded. The School of Graduate Studies will then process payment of the award to the student in the usual manner.

Payment of awards through direct deposit

All awards (including internal and external scholarships, fellowships and Queen's Graduate Awards) administered by the SGS are paid through direct deposit to the student's bank account of record after registration is finalized.

Needs-based Funding

In addition to scholarships and fellowships, graduate students may qualify for needs-based funding.  This is funding granted to students based on an assessment of their individual financial need.  At Queen's all needs-based funding is administered by the Office of the University Registrar.

Tri-Council Top-up Award

All Queen's graduate students entering the first year of their program, who win funding from one of Canada's three granting councils (SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR) automatically receive a $5,000 (Master's) or $10,000 (PhD) Tri-Council Award as a top-up from the University, no application is required. 

Queen's provides the Tri-Council top-up Award to new scholarship winners who are incoming graduate students, as a way of both supporting and applauding these students for choosing Queen's for their graduate studies.

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)

The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program promotes excellence in graduate studies at the Master's and doctoral levels. The value of an OGS award is $15,000. Both SGS and provincial regulations govern this funding opportunity.

Full details of the 2021-22 OGS competition is now available on this website in the Prospective Student section.

Mitacs Funding Opportunities

Mitacs has several training/internship type programs that can assist both the student and the supervisor.

Full details of all the  Mitacs programs see the attached Partnering for Innovation presentation from Mitacs held 10th April 2018.

Other Graduate Student Support

Research Assistantships

Faculty who are holders of major research operating grants may provide stipends to their graduate students as graduate research assistant fellowships (GRAF) or may employ a grad student as a research assistant (GRA).

The GRAF is offered to provide funding support to enable the student to pursue research directly linked to their graduate studies (research thesis), and is accepted as financial assistance toward completing the degree requirements through acquisition of research training.

For full details on the Research Assistantships for graduate students go directly to the Human Resources website.

Note to all departments about award payments

With the implementation of PeopleSoft Student, all student awards are now administered by the School of Graduate Studies (if the recipient is a current graduate student) or the Office of the University Registrar, Student Awards (for all other students).  This means that the School of Graduate Studies/Student Awards now administers funding that previously was managed by Financial Services and/or an individual department. Specifically, requests for funding to be paid to graduate students from a departmental/faculty trust fund OR from a research fund within a unit are to be processed by SGS. For these kinds of awards, the  Student Award Payment Form must be completed and forwarded to the School of Graduate Studies if the recipient is a registered SGS student, or the Office of the University Registrar, Student Awards for all other students.