Budget guidelines

Personnel Costs

Recommended minimum stipend amounts (varies by department/school/program):

  • MA:  $12,000/year or $4,000/semester minimum
  • PhD: $15,000/year or $5,000/semester minimum

SFU’s student hourly wage rates

Student Assistants

 Hourly Minimum

14% Benefits  

Minimum Total

Hourly Maximum  

14% Benefits

Maximum Total
















Note:  rates of pay are determined by the Supervisor, but must meet the BC minimum wage ($15.65/hour as of June 2022).  Refer to the HR Research Personnel Initiative for more information; and see Employing Grant-Funded Research Assistants.

Travel and Subsistence Costs (SFU)

Research travel costs must be essential to research activities or to communicate research results. The SFU Travel Policy (appendix) lists standard rates for travel/subsistence:

  • obtain air travel at the lowest fare possible (cost may not exceed the equivalent of full economy fare)
  • private accommodation: $45/night
  • personal vehicle usage: $0.61/km
  • meals when traveling (rates include tips and taxes):
Within Canada
Breakfast $20
Lunch       $20
Dinner      $35
     Total $75/day
Breakfast $25
Lunch       $25
Dinner      $45
     Total $95/day

Teaching "Buy Outs"

Some funding agencies provide salary replacement funds to protect research time and "buy out" teaching responsibilities.

According to SFU Policy:

  • the minimum cost of one regular course buy-out is 12% of annual salary
  • a faculty member normally may not buy out more than one course in any academic year
  • buy outs require the approval of the Department Chair and Faculty Dean