All incoming graduate students are expected to apply at least once for external fellowships in their first year in the program (generally in the Fall term). Students who have already applied and been awarded an external fellowship for graduate study at UBC, prior to entry into the program (e.g., SSHRC or CIHR predoctoral fellowships), are exempt from this requirement. At the start of each academic year, the department offers workshops to explain the external fellowship application process and facilitate student’s preparation of such applications. Students are encouraged to contact their assigned faculty advisor as soon as possible (ideally in the summer months preceding the student’s first term in the program) in order to discuss the preparation of their applications.
Graduate Entrance Scholarships (GES) are awarded by graduate programs and departments to incoming full-time M.A. and Ph.D. students. Award winners are typically notified of the details of these awards in their acceptance letters.
Graduate fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) competition currently range from $17,000 to $35,000 per year and may be renewable for multiple years. The SSHRC competition is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
A full teaching assistantship consists of 192 hours of work in each of two terms. This year, full teaching assistantships for M.A. students are valued at $11,794.80 per year. A full teaching assistant position for Ph.D. students is valued at $12,256.64 per year. (Pay rates vary according to the union collective agreement: please refer to the CUPE 2278 index for more detail)
Research Assistantships (RAs) allow students to acquire valuable research skills and work experiences. RAs are coordinated and administered by individual faculty members in the department. Because of the ever-changing nature of research projects in the department there is a constantly evolving array of RA opportunities for full-time graduate students. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the stipend for RAs is neither fixed nor subject to a university-determined formula. Stipends vary widely and are determined by the grant holders and granting agencies.
International students are permitted by Immigration Canada to accept part-time employment on the university campus. Students who are appointed as a Graduate Teaching Assistant or are offered another type of employment on campus must have an employment authorization (a work permit). (Research Assistantships are considered to be Fellowships and therefore do not require employment authorizations). Students must apply for authorization at the nearest Canadian Immigration Office or the Canada Immigration Case Processing Centre (this may take six to eight weeks to process). No type of employment should be commenced without first receiving employment authorization. Failure to comply with this regulation could result in a student authorization being withdrawn.
Upon arrival in Canada, international students must also apply to the nearest Service Canada Centre for a Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN). The paperwork appointing the international student to a student employee position on campus cannot be processed until the student has provided the department with a receipt for a SIN application. Students receiving payments from scholarships also require a SIN number. Spouses of students may apply for authorization to work in Canada provided that they can show legal proof of marriage to the holder of a valid student authorization. For more information on employment matters for international students please contact UBC International House, 1783 West Mall, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z2 Tel. (604) 822-5021.