Funding & Awards

Admission cannot be granted until a position and financial support has been defined. It is therefore imperative that all graduate students have a firm commitment from a Faculty member for supervision and financial support.


Students accepted into the MBB graduate program are guaranteed financial support.

Effective Fall 2023 the minimum stipend is $27,000 for MSc students and $29,000 for PhD students.

This guaranteed level of financial support is typically achieved through a variety of sources such as scholarships, fellowships, teaching assistantships and graduate research assistantships.

Normally, full financial support is provided through a combination of mechanisms, generally requiring that the Supervisor agree to provide a graduate research assistantship for at least one term per year. You should discuss your financial assistance expectations with your proposed Supervisor. While holding such support, you are expected to be engaged full time in your course work, research, and teaching duties.

The financial support offered to MBB students does not include tuition and fees.

MBB Graduate Scholarships and Awards

Graduate Awards

These award amounts are incorporated into regular MBB graduate stipends, and do not increase base stipend rates. The Graduate Program Assistant announces a competition for these awards, typically, in May.


MBB holds an annual Graduate Fellowship (GF) competition (valued at $7000). Cumulative grade point average (CGPA) requirement is 3.50.


President's PHD Scholarship reward PhD students who have made excellent progress in their degree, completing all university and program requirements. This award is held during or before the student's 12th term. Students who did not complete a Master's program before transferring into a PhD are eligible to hold the award within the first 12 terms of their PhD, from the PhD start date.

This award is not awarded in addition to the MBB annual graduate stipend, but is offered as an alternative to TA, and full RA funding, to allow the recipient to focus on writing their thesis.

Graduate Travel and Research Award (TARA)

This award amount is offered in addition to regular stipend funding.

The MBB Graduate Travel and Research Award (TARA) is designed to encourage student participation in remote research opportunities or academic conferences. The goal of this program is to generate new travel opportunities for MBB students, facilitating involvement in scientific events that would normally be a significant financial burden for their supervising faculty.

Value: multiples of $500, from $500 up to maximum of $2,000

Application Deadline: October 10, 2023

Applicant (Student) Eligibility Requirements:

  • Formal participation in the event (e.g., presentation of a poster or talk at a scientific conference)
  • Domestic and international students are all eligible
  • Students supervised by full, Associate and Adjunct MBB members are all eligible
  • Past or future travel is eligible, provided travel is completed between Jan. 1, 2023 and Aug. 31, 2024.
  • During the Award payment term (Spring 2024), the student must be: (1) registered full time and in good academic standing; (2) within 9 terms (3 years) of the beginning of their MSc program, OR, within 15 terms (5 years) of the beginning of their PhD program (i.e. for students transferring from MSc, term count starts at the first PhD term). Approved leave terms do not contribute to the term count.
  • This award can only be held by a student once during their graduate program.

How to apply:

Students will submit an application package electronically (as one pdf file) to the MBB Grad Assistant ( This must include (in the order below):

  • Student’s graduate transcripts and CV
  • 1-page statement of interest written by the student, including: (1) A description of the proposed travel research opportunity or conference with precise dates; (2) A brief outline of the student’s research (NOT a full research proposal), highlighting recent results or pending publications that could be presented at a conference; (3) A description of how the participation will enhance the student’s ability to study, network, job seek, or market published/unpublished work

Senior Supervisor must provide a Support Letter that includes:

  • A brief description of the work the student will be presenting at the conference or performing at the remote location
  • Budget of expenses (past or projected, written in consultation with the student)
  • A commitment to pay the remaining portion of expenses for this event not covered by a TARA Award
  • Justification of financial need and/or impact of this opportunity that deserves special attention for support

Adjudication: Applications will be adjudicated by the Scholarship Committee, weighing:

  • evidence of outstanding research achievement
  • impact / educational benefit of the opportunity - e.g. favouring international exposure or large audience
  • supervisor’s financial need - e.g. favouring opportunities that would be prohibitively expense without TARA
  • total TARA budget

Administration note: For travel done before Spring 2024, the student may be (or have been) reimbursed for expenses from the supervisor’s grant. In that case, TARA payment to the student is part of the student’s stipend for that term (i.e. in partial fulfilment of the MBB Dept. minimum stipend guarantee) so the Supervisor MAY elect to decrease their contribution towards the stipend in Spring 2024, by an amount equal to the TARA.

TARA funds are paid directly to the student. Awardees and supervising faculty will be notified of the results of the TARA competition in late October.

SFU Donor Awards - MBB only

Most of these award amounts are incorporated into regular MBB graduate stipends, and do not increase base stipend rates.

SFU Donor Awards - other

Most of these award amounts are incorporated into regular MBB graduate stipends, and do not increase base stipend rates.

For a list of other SFU Donor Awards, mostly applicable to MBB graduate students, see:

Other External Awards

This award amount is offered in addition to regular stipend funding.

Graduate Studies Awards + Funding

Please visit Awards + Funding on the Graduate Studies website for more information, terms of reference and timelines on all awards.