Financial Assistance

Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic grade point average (over the last three years), letters of reference, the writing sample and the proposed program of work. This last is particularly important for PhD applications.

Students are responsible for securing letters of reference and ensuring that their applications are complete.

Satisfactory progress is expected of all students holding fellowships and assistantships, whether external or internal. The normal pattern of progress for students in the PhD program is outlined in the section on PhD Degree Requirements. It is especially important that students holding fellowships or teaching assistantships attend to these expectations for progress through the degree program. Recommendations for initial awards and for renewals must be based on evidence of satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Internal Funding: TAships, Sessional lectureships, and RAships
University Fellowships
English Department Prizes
Travel Funding
External Funding

Internal Funding: TA-ships, Sessional lectureships, and RA-ships

Teaching Assistants work 12 hours per week for each 16-week term, running discussion groups once a week and marking assignments and exams. TAs who hold MA degrees currently (2017-2018) earn $12,256.64 per year; TAs without Master’s degrees earn $11,794.16 per year. Once a student has been appointed as a TA, s/he is entitled to reappointment according to the following schedule: PhD candidates are guaranteed TAships for 10 terms, and MA students are guaranteed TAships for 4 terms. Only incoming students accepted on a full-time basis and with full standing and continuing full-time students registered in the graduate program and progressing at the accepted rate will be eligible for teaching assistantships. Students who at any point during the session fail to maintain their full-time status will ordinarily lose their assistantships. Renewal of an assistantship depends upon satisfactory progress in the degree program in which the student is enrolled, academic achievement, satisfactory teaching reports, and the needs of the Department. To read the CUPE contract, click here.

PhD students who are advanced to Candidacy may hold partial sessional lectureships.

Many faculty members hire part-time Research Assistants to do library and database research, proofreading, editing, web design, conference planning, obtaining permissions, etc. Students interested in assisting with faculty research should upload their credentials via the RA and Research Skills database and are encouraged to approach faculty members with overlapping interests about possible employment.



University Fellowships

University Funding. UBC offers outstanding PhD students Four-Year Fellowships (4YF) at the time of entrance. These fellowships provide a stipend of $18,200 per year for each of the first four years, and also pay tuition for each of the first four years. The Department allocates a certain number of these awards each year, and they are offered to the top recruits in the incoming PhD class. The Department also uses Graduate Student Initiative (GSI) funds to provide additional entrance scholarships and multi-year support packages to incoming PhD students. Outstanding MA students may be offered entrance scholarships. The department may top up both PhD and MA awards with stipends and/or TAships and RAships dependent upon overall university budgets (see above). All funding is allocated on the basis of merit, as determined by the application package (transcripts, letters, and research statement). All eligible applicants are automatically considered for these awards. In addition, each fall, students are eligible to compete for general and criteria-based Affiliated Awards.

Aboriginal Graduate Fellowships. Fellowships are available via an application process and offered to top aboriginal graduate students through the First Nations House of Learning and administered through the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. For detailed information, please refer to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website here.

Rick Hansen “Man in Motion” Fellowships for Disabled Students. These awards are made available by UBC to honour the incredible determination and many personal achievements of Rick Hansen. Two awards of $16,000 are awarded each year to physically disabled students enrolled in a full-time graduate program at UBC. For detailed information, please refer to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website here.

There are many other specialized and affiliation scholarships available through the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Students are encouraged to peruse the list here.


English Departmental Fellowships, Scholarships and Prizes (no application necessary)

  • William Royce Butler and Jean Campbell Butler Scholarships have been endowed through a bequest by Jean Campbell Butler, to honour the memory of Dr. G.G. Sedgewick, for Department of English undergraduate and graduate students.
  • The Mairi Grant Campbell Fellowship in English Literature. This award is granted to an outstanding PhD student in English. It may be renewed for a second year subject to satisfactory performance.
  • The Ann and William Messenger Scholarship in English. This award is granted to an outstanding PhD student in English. Current and incoming students are considered.
  • The Gilean Douglas Scholarship in English. This scholarship is awarded annually to students completing their theses.
  • The David Macaree Memorial Scholarship in English. This scholarship is awarded to a student in Eighteenth-century English studies who is entering the PhD program or has been admitted to candidacy.
  • Gabriele Helms Memorial Graduate Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a graduate student studying Canadian Literature in the Department of English, with preference given to an international student.
  • Barbara Anne Wiebe Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is dedicated to undergraduate or graduate students studying English language and literature.
  • Mabel Mackenzie Colbeck Scholarship in English. This scholarship is awarded to a student in the PhD program in English.
  • The Stanley Merritt Ellery Read Scholarship in English. This scholarship is awarded to an MA or PhD student in English who has completed the first year of graduate study.
  • Carol Coates Literary Prize. This prize is awarded to a student in English literature.
  • Paul G. Stanwood Prize in English. This prize is awarded annually for the best PhD dissertation in English.
  • Leslie D. G. Brooks Memorial Prize. This prize is awarded to a graduate student with preference to a student over 30 years of age whose studies have been interrupted for a period of time.
  • Milton and Bess Narod Scholarship in English. Scholarships are offered by the estate of Milton and Bess Narod for students who demonstrate excellence in the study of English within the Faculty of Arts.
  • Janet Narod Memorial Scholarship. A scholarship has been made available through an endowment established by her parents and friends in memory of Janet Narod who attended UBC from 1976 to 1980. The scholarship is awarded to the outstanding graduating student in Honours English, who intends to continue study at the graduate level at this university.
  • Professor Mo Steinberg Memorial Award in English Literature. This award is offered by friends and family in memory of Dr. Moses “Mo” Wolfe Steinberg.  The award is to be given to the student who best exemplifies an amalgam of academic excellence in English literature and the attributes of good citizenship.
  • Mary Ellen Henley Memorial Prize. This prize has been endowed through a bequest by Mary Ellen Henley.  It is awarded to the graduate student who achieves the highest academic standing in one of the following seminars;  ENGL 514, Studies in the Renaissance;  ENGL 515, Shakespeare; ENGL 519, Studies in the Sixteenth Century;  and ENGL 520, Studies in the Seventeenth Century.
  • Sherrill E. Grace Graduate Scholarship in English. A scholarship has been endowed in honour of Dr. Sherrill E. Grace by her husband, Dr. John R. Grace, for graduate students in the Department of English who are conducting original research in the literary and/or cultural study of Canada that promises to advance understanding of the country and has potential for publication.
  • DESAI Graduate Scholarship in English Literature. A scholarship is offered annually to a Masters of Arts, English Literature student in loving memory of Mr. J.V. Desai, who was a humble and brilliant man whose first love was for the English language. The ideal candidate would demonstrate an interest in travel and may be an international student or someone whose thesis investigates global issues.
  • Stanley M GRANT Scholarship in English. Scholarships have been made available through an endowment established by the Estate of Dr. Stanley M Grant for students enrolled in the Department of English who have completed their first year.
  • Shakespeare Research Travel Fund. The travel fund supports student doing advanced research at libraries and other research institutions around the world.  The fund is made possible by a generous donation to the UBC English Department.  Only PhD students in English are eligible.  Students can claim flight, accommodation, per diem, and other travel expenses.  There is an application form and process required for this fund.



Travel Funding

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Graduate Student Travel Fund provides travel support of a maximum of $500 once in the course of a graduate program to graduate students who present a paper or poster at an official conference or symposium (student workshops are excluded). For detailed information on this fund, please refer to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website here.

The Department of English Graduate Students’ Travel Fund provides travel support up to $500 once in the course of a graduate program to support a student presenting a paper at a conference or travelling for research purposes (for example, to a library or other archive). To be eligible, students should have already applied for the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ travel funding.  The English department travel funding form is available from the Graduate Office.


External Funding

  • SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) Scholarships. Department of English graduate students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada have a very strong success rate with SSHRC and are encouraged to apply for funding. Canadian students applying to or enrolled in our MA program can apply for a CGS-MA Scholarship worth $17,500. Canadian students applying to or enrolled in our PhD program can apply for Doctoral Fellowships worth $20,000 to $35,000 per year for a maximum of 4 years. MA and PhD SSHRC recipients are also eligible to apply for a CGS Foreign Study supplement of up to $6000 to support research outside of Canada. International and Canadian PhD applicants and candidates are also eligible to be nominated for the Vanier CGS worth $50,000 for up to 3 years. The Department deadline is normally in early Fall. See the SSHRC website for details here.
  • Sir James Lougheed Awards of Distinction. Available for up to two years for Albertan students. Click here for information.
  • Mackenzie King Open Fellowship. Open to graduates of Canadian universities who pursue graduate study in any discipline, in Canada or elsewhere.  Click here for information.
  • IODE Canada scholarships. Click here for information.
  • Minerva Foundation Award for BC women. Click here for information.
  • Canadian Federation of University Women awards, particularly the Margaret Dale Phelp Award. Click here for information.
  • Stewart Reid Fellowship. Awarded to a Canadian (or landed immigrant) PhD student whose prospectus has been accepted by April 30th. Click here for information.

For information on loans, visit the University’s Student Services Finance section.