Although finding a thesis supervisor is a critical step for entering the PCTH graduate program, prospective students should be encouraged to become familiar with sources of financial support, including from UBC, granting agencies such as CIHR & NSERC as early as 12-15mo BEFORE the start of their graduate program to allow sufficient time for salary awards application preparation.  While supervisors often cover stipends, students who receive competitive salary awards are often offered salary top-ups. The Grad Guide also has information about awards, scholarships and financial aid.


For Ph.D. students. the Department requires a minimum of $25,000 per annum for offers signed after January 2024, for a minimum of 4 years, which exceeds the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirement of at least $24,000 per annum

Minimum Funding Policy for PhD Students – Graduate School – University of British Columbia – Vancouver – Canada

The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. There are no citizenship requirements for Teaching or Research Assistantships. All Ph.D. students, regardless of their financial situation, must be provided with a minimum funding package, unless they decide to decline (see link above for form). UBC does not determine minimum funding based on a student’s current or previous income. As a general rule, financial support continues to the completion of the degree sought, so long as performance is satisfactory and the student remains in good academic standing. Students are expected to pay tuition from their stipend.

Transfer from M.Sc. to Ph.D.: Students who transfer to a Ph.D. degree are eligible for the $25,000 APT offer for a minimum of 3 years after the transfer date.

Students may decline all or part of a Ph.D. minimum funding package. In such cases Grad Studies requires the submission of a specific form for review and approval.  

Student loans: Student loans are not considered to be part of a minimum funding package. Students are however encouraged to secure student loans as a safety cushion, especially if interest-free.

The PCTH program does not offer part-time positions.


For M.Sc. students. the Department requires research supervisors to offer a minimum stipend of $25,000 per annum, for a minimum of 2 years. Students may decline all or part of a M.Sc. minimum funding package. In such cases, any deviation from this minimum funding package must be approved by the APT Department Head.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies does not have a minimum funding package for M.Sc. students.

The PCTH program does not offer part-time M.Sc. positions.


Scholarships and Awards. Students in the PCTH Program are required to apply for as many scholarships and/or awards for which (s)he is eligible, from the complete list of awards for graduate students is available on the G+PS website. The PCTH Program Coordinator sends updates and reminders about award opportunities to current students via the PCTH Program email list. See the G+PS website for FAQs about the administration of graduate awards. Students who receive scholarship funding may see funding from their Supervisor reduced proportionally, although we encourage salary top-ups at the discretion of the Research Supervisor. When a major award ends, continuation of the top-up is at the Research Supervisor’s discretion.

Relevant funding opportunities may include any or all of the following:

  • External Awards. These include Scholarships and Fellowships from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). CIHR and NSERC awards are very competitive, open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, and may be applied for in the early fall in the year preceding entry into the Program. A number of not-for-profit foundations and societies, e.g. the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, also offer Fellowships to graduate students.
  • University Awards. Internal awards and scholarships are usually awarded on a competitive basis and many are open to international as well as domestic students. Some examples are provided below. Please see the G+PS websitefor additional information.
  • UBC Four Year Doctoral Fellowships (4YF).Very competitive. May be held by domestic or international students in the Ph.D. program. Provides financial support of at least $18,200 per year plus full tuition for up to four years during the first 60 months in a PhD program. Students holding CIHR or NSERC Doctoral Scholarships automatically become 4YF designates and may be eligible for tuition coverage.
    • The 4YF competition is held in March/April. The PCTH Program Coordinator will inform you if you are eligible to apply. Students in the Ph.D. program at the time of application must have a first-class average in the last 2 full-time years of study and are eligible to apply only if entering the 1st or 2nd year of their doctoral program (i.e. applicants must have completed a minimum of 12 months and no more than 36 months in the PCTH Program when the award starts). Students in the M.Sc. program who will be transferring to the Ph.D. program may also apply as long as they have a first-class average in the last 2 full-time years of study AND will have transferred to the Ph.D. program by the time the award starts.
  • UBC Affiliated Fellowships.Awarded on the basis of merit. Open to domestic and international M.Sc. and Ph.D. students. M.Sc. students can hold a fellowship in the first 24 months of their M.Sc. studies and Ph.D. students can hold a fellowship during the first 60 months of their Ph.D. studies. If a student enters the Ph.D. Program directly from a Bachelor’s, (s)he can hold a fellowship during the first 60 months of Ph.D. study.
  • UBC International Tuition Award.All full-time international students (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) receive the International Tuition Award, unless they are a recipient of external scholarship(s) or external funding that pays their tuition. This award significantly lowers (by ~40%) the amount of tuition paid by international students for the entire period of their degree. Students do not need to apply – eligible international students will receive an email advising them that they are being offered the award and that they need to accept it so that it can be applied towards their tuition.
  • UBC Graduate Student Travel Award.Graduate students are eligible to apply for a Graduate Student Travel Award once per degree program (or one during a MSc and a second after a transfer to PhD). This award provides one-time travel support to a maximum of $500 per graduate student who presents a paper or poster at an official conference or symposium.
  • Faculty of Medicine Awards: The Faculty of Medicine offers a limited number of competitive awards open to graduate students. Further details can be found here.
  • PCTH Teaching Assistantships (TAs): The Department typically offers 1-4 TAships per year, with returning grad students given priority.


Note that this is not an exhaustive list, and it is the responsibility of both the student and supervisor to stay apprised of possible opportunities.

Teaching Assistantships. Students may be able to act as a paid Teaching Assistant in one or more undergraduate and/or graduate courses offered by a variety of Departments at UBC. The decision to apply for a TA position should be discussed with, and approved by, your Research Supervisor. Students in the PCTH Program can hold a maximum of two 0.5 TAships per year. The PCTH Program encourages Research Supervisors to allow students to receive their Teaching Assistantship stipend in addition to their regular stipend, on the assumption that students are progressing in their degree to a similar extent, although TAships may also be part of the minimum funding package.

Graduate Research Assistantships. Students not fully supported by scholarships, awards and/or Teaching Assistantships are supported financially, subject to maintaining satisfactory academic standing and/or progress in research, by a Graduate Research Assistantship. As noted above, Graduate Research Assistantships are paid from research grants typically held by your Research Supervisor. Additional information regarding GRAs can be found here.

Tuition. While students are expected to cover the cost of their tuition, the Department may offer entrance scholarships or tuition awards to help cover tuition, if Department finances allow it. These one-time awards, when funds are available, are offered to new incoming M.Sc. and Ph.D. students and are not considered part of a student’s funding package. Students do not need to apply – they are awarded automatically.

APT MSc supervisor financial support form

APT MSc to PhD supervisor financial support form

APT PhD supervisor financial support form