Research Personnel Benefit Plan

To be eligible for benefits, your Grant Holder must provide written authorization stating the Grant will be responsible for 50% of the monthly premiums. (IMPORTANT:  Please note that NSERC [Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council] and some other grantholders are not able to partially pay for benefits for Research Assistants or Post-doctoral Fellows.)

Medical Services Plan (MSP) of British Columbia (Basic Medical Plan). 

This plan covers the cost of the following services (subject to the terms and conditions of the plan):

  • general practitioner and specialist services where medically required;
  • hospital care at ward level;
  • qualifying hospital expenses such as those for laboratory examinations, operating rooms, and drugs administered while in hospital;
  • surgical procedures medically required;

For further details on these benefits and eligibility please refer to the Medical Services Plan Brochure which may be obtained from Human Resources in Strand Hall, or the Medical Services Plan of British Columbia website at

Extended Health Benefit (Pacific Blue Cross). This plan will pay 80%, less a yearly deductible, of many of the services not covered by MSP (subject to the terms and conditions of the carrier). These include, with limitations:        

  • prescription drugs;
  • semi-private or private room charges;
  • ambulance services;
  • out-of-province emergency hospital and physician services;
  • physiotherapy, speech therapist and acupuncturist.

If you are covered under a Provincial Medical Plan in Canada, you are eligible for the Extended Health Care Benefit. For further details on this plan please refer to the Research Assistant Pacific Blue Cross policy.

Dental Plan. If you have been working for the same Grant Holder for one continuous year and will continue to work in that same position for at least another six months and provided the Grant Holder agrees to pay 50% of the premium, you may apply for Dental Coverage in Human Resources. You must complete a Pacific Blue Cross Application Form and attach a copy of your Grant Holder’s authorization. For further details on this plan please refer to the Research Assistant Pacific Blue Cross policy.

Private Medical Insurance: If you are a new resident to Canada, there is a three month waiting period before coverage for MSP can begin. If you want to have medical insurance in the waiting period you should purchase private medical insurance.

Premium Assistance: Only Canadian citizens and Landed Immigrants who have permanently resided in Canada for the last twelve months are eligible for premium assistance. This entitles you to a reduced rate of premiums from MSP if your income is below an amount set annually by MSP. Eligibility is based on NET INCOME (as calculated for Income Tax purposes) less deductions for family size, age and disability (referred to as MSP Deductions). Application forms are available on line from MSP. If you are currently on premium assistance bring the MSP approval to Human Resources.

Please Note:

Even though you may be entitled to the above benefits, you are not automatically enrolled in them unless the application forms are completed and given to Human Resources. 

Benefit application forms and information on benefits for Research Assistants can be found at RA Benefits.

The benefits on this page apply to eligible Research Assistants who are employees of principal investigators. There is currently an initiative underway to make eligible Research Assistants employees of the university. Learn more.