Graduate funding

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 $32,000 per annum for up to four years of doctoral 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 $21,000. We also have a limited number of merit-based scholarships to distribute to MA students upon admission and during the course of their degree.

All incoming graduate students are automatically considered for scholarships.   All eligible graduate students receiving funding are expected to apply for a SSHRC scholarship.  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. We offer support to students preparing these applications. We also encourage and support students applying for other awards, including SFU awards or external awards.

English Department Graduate Awards

Incoming students 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 from generous donors (up to $10,000 each) as well as graduate fellowships ($7,000) available to qualified incoming students, as well as continuing students.

A student must make satisfactory progress to maintain department funding. For most departmental awards (both incoming and continuing students), students will be nominated by the Graduate Program Committee, based on their academic record, field of study, time in program, and situation. When nominated, students may be required to submit supporting documents.

The SFU Graduate Studies website lists other external funding opportunities, including a detailed list of awards for which English students might be eligible and for which they might apply.

SSHRC Graduate Awards

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.

Graduate students enjoy a robust process of SSHRC proposal development, including elevator pitches, peer review, access to successful proposals from earlier years and panel discussions with successful MA and PhD applicants, a workshop with a FASS research office. This culminates with a 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. Upon a successful SSHRC application, funding packages are subject to revision.

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.

The closing dates for applications are usually in early November.

Graduate Travel and Research Awards (formerly TMRA)

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

Students who undertake research or conference travel, or otherwise need funding for scholarly activity may apply for Graduate Travel and Research Awards (TARA). GPS opens these competitions several times during the academic year, and graduate students must apply. See the terms of reference for what can be covered and what supporting documentation is needed.