Guaranteed Funding Packages

Our success as an innovative graduate program depends largely on recruiting outstanding graduate students and enabling them to realize their potential. We offer the financial resources to allow eligible students to focus on their studies, gain valuable teaching experience, and complete their degrees in a timely manner.

Eligible PhD students in English are offered funding based on a combination of teaching assistantships and internal fellowships of at least $28,000 per annum for up to four years of doctoral studies.

We also offer two funding packages for students working in historical periods. Both offer guaranteed funding of at least $30,000 per annum for up to four years of doctoral studies:

Messenger Fellowship in Early Modern Studies; and

Messenger Fellowship in 18th–19th Century Studies

Eligible MA students in the first year of registration are currently offered a minimum level of funding through teaching assistantship appointments, scholarships, and conference travel funding, valued at a minimum of $20,000. We also have a limited number of merit-based scholarships to distribute to MA students upon admission and during the course of their degree.

Incoming graduate students are automatically considered for scholarships. Continuing graduate students must apply for support. Applying for fellowships and scholarships is a skill that is integral to a student's intellectual training and professional development, and students are encouraged to consult with their peers and with faculty members about their research proposals.

All eligible graduate students receiving funding are expected to apply for a SSHRC scholarship. We offer support to students preparing these applications. We also encourage and support students applying for other external awards.

English Department Graduate Awards




Applicants to the SFU Department of English may be eligible for nomination for a university Graduate Entrance Scholarship valued at up to $18,000. Top PhD students may be eligible for a two-year Graduate Entrance Scholarship valued at up to $19,000 per year.

The English Department also has a substantial number of privately endowed scholarships (up to $10,000 each) and graduate fellowships ($6,500) available to qualified applicants, as well as continuing students. A student must make satisfactory progress to maintain department funding.

For graduate travel awards, please see Travel and Minor Research Awards.


Outstanding students in the MATE program may also qualify for merit-based funding. However, students who hold full-time employment will have a lower priority for funds administered by the department.


The principal external source of financial support is the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Master's Scholarships and Doctoral Awards.

CGS-Master's SSHRC Scholarships in the amount of $17,500 are awarded for a 12-month period and are non-renewable. A SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship is currently valued at $20,000 per annum and is awarded for a period of one to four years. CGS - Doctoral scholarships, in the amount of $35,000 per annum, are awarded for a period of three years.

Every fall, the Department of English runs an SSHRC Research Proposal Workshop where graduate students receive immediate one-to-one feedback from faculty members on their draft research proposals. In recent years, the department has achieved outstanding SSHRC success rates.

All Canadian graduate students are strongly urged to apply. Applicants who hold a major external scholarship may be eligible for additional internal funds, but will have a lower priority. Continuing students are expected to apply for all sources of funding for which they are eligible. Failure to do so may result in less than the guaranteed minimum.

The SFU Graduate Studies website lists other external funding opportunities.

The closing dates for applications are usually in early November.

Charles Olson Award in English

This award is to support a visiting scholar or graduate student whose research interests or publication plans involve study of the Charles Olson collection in SFU Library's Special Collections. 

The Charles Olson Endowment Fund, established in 2011 with a generous founding gift from Ralph Maud and matching funds from the English Department, supports the Charles Olson Award in English. 

Applicants for the Award will provide a brief proposal outlining the nature of their research on the Charles Olson holdings in the Contemporary Literature Collection, and a CV.

The award is valued at $2000.

Applications should be addressed to:

Olson Award Committee
c/o Chair, Department of English
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6