Physics Graduate Scholarships and Awards

Awards Incorporated Into the Physics Graduate Stipend

Special Graduate Entrance Scholarship

All students entering SFU Physics graduate programs are awarded entrance scholarships for the following amounts:

  • MSc Students: $6000 (effective Fall 2015)
  • PhD Students: $3250

Entering students are automatically nominated by the Department for this award, and will typically receive this award if they meet the minimum entering cumulative grade point average (CGPA) requirement of 3.50 (SFU).

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Graduate Fellowships

Physics PhD students will receive a 0.5 Graduate Fellowship worth $3250.00 (effective Fall 2015) each year between years two through four of their PhD program. Receipt of this part of the Physics annual graduate stipend is subject to maintaining a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) requirement of 3.50.

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President's PhD Scholarship

The President’s PhD Scholarship (PS) rewards PhD students who have made excellent progress in their degree, and who have demonstrated academic excellence, substantial scholarly output and leadership early in their PhD program relative to their peers. The award is intended to provide PhD students with a semester to concentrate full-time on their research.

PhD students must have completed fewer than 12 terms of enrollment to be eligible for this award. In the Department of Physics, the President's Scholarship is typically awarded to a student who plans to defend at the end of the term of the award.

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

At a Glance

President's PhD Research Stipend

Amount: $6,500 CDN
Tenure: 1 semester

Awards Offered in Addition to Regular Stipend Funding

Travel and Research Awards

Travel and Minor Reseach Award (TMRA)

Travel and Minor Research Awards are primarily intended to support the travel component of the scholarly activity of graduate students related to their research. Graduate programs are encouraged to promote and enhance their students' graduate experience by supporting their attendance and active participation in conferences in their field of study through the use of these funds. Direct costs of doing research may also be supported.

Funds for Travel and Minor Research Awards have been allocated to each graduate program for internal administration. Interested applicants should read the Terms of Reference to ensure they are eligible. This is a merit-based award and students typically need a 3.50 or higher CGPA to be eligible to receive this.

To be eligible for this award, travel must take place during the current academic year (September though the end of August). You may apply for a TMRA during any of the competitions that year either before or after travel takes place. Unsuccessful applications will automatically be considered in later competitions.

The Physics Department requires a Reference Letter from your Senior Supervisor (entered into the Reference Section on GA3) and a current, Official or Unofficial SFU Transcript with your TMRA application.

Graduate International Research Travel Award (GIRTA)

The Graduate International Research Travel Award provides support to MSc and PhD students who must travel in order to undertake research for their degree requirements. Effective Fall 2015, the award is valued to a maximum of $6,500 and is tenable only in the term in which the travel is occurring.

Interested applicants should read the Terms of Reference to ensure they are eligible.

For GIRTA applications: Eligible students apply using the Graduate Award, Application, and Adjudication System (GA3) and submit all required documentation to their department of enrollment. Departments should advertise their own deadlines for receiving applications. Students should be aware that not all departments hold competitions for this award.

For Fall 2015 onwards: Paper applications are no longer accepted for applications starting in Fall 2015. GIRTA applications can only be done via the new online award system. 

Departments: the funds for the Graduate International Research Award comes out of your BASS/TFA (Annual Funding Allocation). Departments should send their recommendations to the Graduate Studies Office in the same annual cycles as the GF, SGES and TMRA. Annual Cycles are in Spring (for fall payments), Fall (for spring payments) and Spring (for summer payments).

At a Glance

Graduate [International] Research Travel Award

Amount: varies to max $6,500
Tenure: 1 semester

Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement (MSFSS) [For TriCouncil Grant Holders]

This travel award opportunity is provided by the TriCouncil granting agencies to holders of NSERC CGS, SSHRC CGS or CIHR CGS awards only.

The value of the CGS-MSFSS award is up to $6,000, based on the information and budget justification provided in the application. Supplements are non-renewable. The related research study period must be between three to six months.

At a Glance

Michael Smith Foreign Travel Supplement (MSFSS)

Amount: up to $6,000
Tenure: 1 semester

Apply to Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

Private Awards

General Information About Private Awards

Due in large part to the generosity of our donors, Simon Fraser University can offer a number of donor or endowed awards to our graduate students.

The deadline to submit applications is June 3 for the Fall 2020 term. Students cannot apply for an award designated by nomination only. (See Donor Awards page for details on application and nomination process.)

Please click on an award's name to see the full terms of reference for the award. Make sure you read the terms of reference carefully as late or incomplete applications may not be accepted.

Private Awards Specifically for SFU Physics Students

Private Awards for Facutly of Science Students (including Physics Students)

Scholarships for All Graduate Students

From the list below, we encourage Physics students to apply for the William & Ada Steele Memorial, the Micheal Stevenson, and the IODE Seaman Morley Scott Memorial scholarships.

External Awards

Ebco/Eppich Graduate Scholarships in Intelligent Systems

The Ebco/Eppich Graduate Scholarships in Intelligent Systems are open to students registered in various departments, as long as their research projects are related to Intelligent Systems.

Application process for students:

  1. October 18, 2019 is the deadline to apply for the "Ebco Eppich Scholarships" online through GA3  - the Graduate Awards Application System. Note that your department may set an earlier application deadline for this award.
  2. Students only need to complete one online application called the 'Ebco Eppich Scholarships' in order to be considered for all the awards available in this competition
  3. Students must apply for the award in their own department - if the 'Ebco Eppich Scholarship' does not appear when you search under your Department in GAyou can contact your graduate program to check your eligibility for this award. 
  4. The application form consists of different sections and attachments, so students are advised to begin their application early. In a section of the application form, students will need to indicate which awards they are eligible for - we recommend reading through the description of the awards below.  

November 8, 2019 is the deadline for Departments to review applications and provide their recommendations to the Faculty of Applied Sciences.  

November 29, 2019  is the deadline for the Faculty of Applied Science to review applications and make final recommendations to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Competition results will be posted in GA3 in early December. Students must be registered full-time in their graduate program in the Spring 2020 term (the payment term) in order to be eligible for these awards.

For a list of awards with links to the terms-of-reference for each Ebco-Eppick Award, please visit the SFU Graduate Studies Ebco/Eppich page.

Dissertation Awards

Dissertation Awards

There are several  awards to recognize students who are graduating with an outstanding thesis dissertation at the master's and doctoral levels. These awards are by nomination only — students do not apply directly.

Awards Resulting in Customized Stipends

Major External Awards

NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master's Program (CGS-M)

Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Program

The Canadian Graduate Scholarship, Master's Program (CGS M) supports Canadian students in all disciplines and is administered jointly by Canada's three federal granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). 


  • Canadian Graduate Scholarship, Master's Program (CGS M) - $17,500 for 12 months, non-renewable
  • Students apply for these awards using the Research Portal; applications are then routed through an adjudication process at the university 
  • WorkshopNovember 5th, 2019 from 2:30-4:00pm in the Presentation Studio (ASB 10900), Burnaby Campus 
  • Deadline to apply online: December 2, 2019 before 05:00 PM. Requests to submit late applications will not be accepted.
  • Use our CGS M Worklist as a guide to manage your time while completing your application

NSERC Graduate Scholarships - Doctoral Program (CGS-D and PGS-D)

Competition Timeline for Fall 2019


To be considered eligible, as of October 15th, each applicant must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;
  • hold, or expect to hold (at the time they take up the award), a degree in science or engineering from a university whose standing is recognized by NSERC. If you have a degree in a field other than science or engineering, NSERC may accept your application at its discretion.
  • intend to pursue, in the following year, full-time graduate studies and research at the doctoral level in an eligible program in one of the areas of the natural sciences and engineering supported by NSERC; and
  • have obtained a minimum first-class average: a grade of "A-" (CGPA of 3.67/4.33) in each of the last two completed years of study (full-time equivalent); and
  • not be applying for graduate funding to this year’s SSHRC Doctoral or CIHR funding programs

Eligibility Window (Eligibility Should Be Calculated as of December 31, 2016

  • 0-24 months of studies in doctoral program for which funding is requested; OR
  • 4-36 months of studies in doctoral program for which funding is requested if admitted directly to PhD from Bachelor's

NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

Other External Awards

Graduate Student Bursaries

Bursaries are a supplemental source of funding for students with demonstrated financial need; that is, they should not be treated as your primary source of funding.

Bursaries are available to Canadian and International students.  You should be aware that you may not be awarded a bursary every term. Due to the high volume of applications received each term, payment of funds may not occur until the middle of the term of application.  We encourage you to plan accordingly.

Curzon-Digman Bursary

Available to graduate students in physics or for majors or honors undergraduate students in physics, mathematical physics, chemical physics, biophysics or other joint programs with physics. These bursaries are subject to demonstrated financial need and good academic standing. Nominations will be made by the chair of the Department of Physics in consultation with Financial Aid and Awards.

Please search the Curzon-Digman bursary on the Scholarship, Awards and Bursaries Database for more details.

For general eligibility requirements and application procedures visit the Financial Aid and Awards Graduate Students Bursaries page.


TSSU Member Childcare Bursary

Visit the Financial Aid and Awards Graduate Students Bursaries page and scroll down for details about the TSSU Childcare Bursary.