Funding and awards

Faculty of Environment research-based graduate students are eligible for guaranteed funding. The funding structure is outlined in your offer letter. There are several additional funding options both within the University of Waterloo and externally that graduate students may apply for. This page outlines the potential avenues funding can be provided; however details vary per academic department.

Please note: Guaranteed funding is contingent on maintaining full time registration, good academic standing in your program and your availability to come to campus.

Faculty of Environment financial support

The Faculty of Environment provides minimum funding for all Master’s research programs and PhD programs. There are three possible avenues for students to receive their minimum funding. Every academic department has their own polices on how funding is distributed, and students are encouraged to visit the website of the department they are interested in.

Teaching assistantship

A Teaching Assistantship (TA) is a position held by a qualified student to assist a faculty member with instructional responsibilities. This can vary from assisting in laboratories or helping in the undergraduate instructional program. TA positions are considered employment income and how they are awarded vary by academic department.

Graduate research studentships

The Graduate Research Studentships (GRS) is funding provided by the supervisor. The goal of a research studentship is to allow students to focus on their research and provide them with the skills to become an independent researcher. Students work collaboratively with their supervisors, as opposed to taking direction. A GRS is paid through Finance.

Graduate research assistantships

The Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) is used to hire a student to assist a professor in their own research. Students will be considered an employee and will be doing work unrelated to their own thesis. A GRA is paid as employment income.

Human Resources has a web page outlining the differences between a GRS and GRA.

Back to top

University of Waterloo awards

The University of Waterloo has over 100 awards and funding opportunities for students in the Faculty of Environment. Some awards require an application, while others are awarded through Faculty/Department selection. The full database of awards and scholarships can be found on the GSPA website.

Notable awards that you may be eligible for include:

Award Application Form Deadline
Emily Ruston Mann Memorial Graduate Scholarship Download the application form    February 1
George Mulamoottil Graduate Scholarship  Download the application form February 1
TD Graduate Bursary for the Environment Link to application form provided on the award page October 1, February 1, June 1,
Barry Goodison Graduate Scholarship for Cryospheric Research Download the application form October 7
Marzieh (Mari) Foroutan Memorial Graduate Scholarship Download the application form February 1
Davis Memorial Scholarship in Ecology Download the application form October 15
Doctoral Thesis Completion Awards Download the application form

Fall - July 15

Winter - November 15

Spring - March 15

James and Nora Nelson Bursary in Environmental Planning Link to application form provided on the award page June 1
Lorne H. Russwurm Memorial Scholarship
Note: preference given to undergrad students
Complete the application in Quest Fall and Winter - No specific deadline 
R.S. Dorney Memorial Fellowship Application Instruction provided by Graduate Coordinator via email Winter term - no specific deadline
Robert Graham Memorial Endowment Fund Link to application form provided on the award page October 1
Briarhurst Travel and Research Award Link to application form provided on the award page March 1
Ellsworth and Karen LeDrew International Experience Award Link to application form provided on the award page July 15

Faculty of Environment Graduate Student Research Dissemination Award

Download the application from No specific deadline

Back to top

External awards page

Students looking for additional funding to support their studies can refer to the External Awards page provided by Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) on guidance for awards such as NSERC and OGS.

Students who need finical aid should visit the Financial need funding page on the GSPA site.

There are additional funding opportunities for international students listed on the GSPA site as well.

Back to top