Funding your studies
Most graduate students in a research program within the Faculty of Mathematics receive funding during their studies. Your offer letter and letter of acceptance will contain information about the department/unit specific details of the minimum level of funding you will receive and the conditions under which the funding will be made available.
Students who are admitted with funding and are registered as full-time normally receive financial support until the end of their program time limit, as long as they fulfil the necessary academic requirements and program milestones. In addition, continued support in the form of awards and scholarships may require maintaining a higher average in coursework. Please refer to your offer letter and/or speak to your Graduate Coordinator for the minimum requirements for your unit.
The student must also satisfactorily perform the duties required for the financial support. Performance is assessed by the supervisor for research assistants, and by the instructor, department chair or graduate officer for teaching assistants. As stated in university policy guidelines: “A student whose performance is judged to be unsatisfactory will normally receive written warning and suggestions for improvement. If the student's performance does not improve sufficiently within a reasonable period of time, financial support may be reduced or discontinued. Written warning and an opportunity need not be given in cases of serious misconduct or serious neglect of duties”. Please see the complete policy on the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) Guidelines on Graduate Student Support.
Full-time graduate students (domestic and international) without a major award are supported by three main sources of funding from their unit:
- Graduate Research Studentship (GRS)
- Teaching Assistantships (TA), and
- Graduate Student Assistantship (GRA)
In addition to the funding from the unit, international students may receive others awards. Please refer to the GSPA International Student Funding page for more information.
Visit the GSPA General Information and Regulations (Awards and financial aid section) for information regarding Awards and Financial Aid.
For more detailed information relating to your department/school funding, please see the following:
- David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
- Department of Applied Mathematics
- Department of Combinatorics and Optimization
- Department of Pure Mathematics
- Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science (Note: scroll down to the Fees and Financial Support section)
Mehta-Jenner Climate Change Mitigation Graduate Scholarship
The Mehta-Jenner Climate Change Mitigation Graduate Scholarship is awarded to two full-time, domestic or international (preferred) women graduate students registered in a research-based master’s program in the Faculty of Mathematics. Selection is based on a demonstrated passion for the environment and climate change.
Congratulations to the two students awarded this scholarship for the first time:
- Taylor Hanson – Applied Mathematics (Hydrodynamics on the inland lakes of Yucatan Peninsula)
- Meixi Chen – Statistics & Actuarial Science (Spatial modelling on wind speeds)
Indigenous and Black Engineering and Technology (IBET) Momentum Fellowship
The Faculty of Mathematics is pleased to offer the Indigenous and Black Engineering and Technology (IBET) Momentum Fellowship. As co-creators with the Faculty of Engineering, we are committed to increasing the diversity of the Canadian workforce by enhancing the Faculty’s efforts to support and prepare tomorrow’s diverse leaders.
Two IBET Momentum Fellowships are available to Faculty of Mathematics doctoral students registered full-time in Spring 2021 or later. Each Fellowship is valued at $25,000 per year with an additional $5,000 per year in the form of a Graduate Research Studentship (GRS) for a maximum of 4 years/12 terms. This will allow recipients to pursue advanced degrees and undertake both traditional and/or non-traditional areas of research without incurring financial hardship.
Visit the IBET Momentum Fellowship website for more information on eligibility and the application process.
A virtual workshop on writing research proposals for NSERC applications was held on October 2, 2020. Professors and scholarship recipients shared their experience and tips on writing NSERC proposals. View the presentation and recording below:
Please visit the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs' (GSPA) website for more resources on scholarship competitions.
Graduate Research Studentship (GRS)
Graduate Research Studentships are given to students for research on their thesis to supplement their TA earnings. The GRS are paid as awards and are not considered employment. Hence, the GRS are not taxed since this studentship is used for your education.
Teaching Assistantship (TA) and Graduate Student Assistantship (GRA)
Each unit of TA includes 80 hours of work per term. Please note that of the 80 hours, 76.5 hours is dedicated to the majority of your TA duties and the remainder (3.5 hours) is dedicated to pool proctoring. Please see the Mathematics graduate teaching assistant for more details.
TAs at the University of Waterloo are considered employment income and are subject to statutory deductions (please see the Human Resources website for more details) for income tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions and Employment Insurance (EI) premiums. Annual earnings are reported on a T4 slip.
UWaterloo and external scholarships
There are a variety of opportunities for a student to fund their graduate studies. Most scholarships and awards require a student to have a minimum of 80% average to be eligible. Please see the GSPA Awards and Funding main page for more details for items relating to program funding, awards and scholarships, external funding, financial need-based funding, international student funding and sponsorship, etc. We recommend that you review the GSPA Awards and Funding for Current Students to determine what awards you may be eligible for before having a discussion with your Graduate Coordinator.
The major competitive external scholarship competitions are for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEII-GSST), and University of Waterloo (UW) scholarships. Please note that there are limited awards for awards for international students.
Arranging fees using your promissory note
You are responsible for having your fees arranged every term. Fees are posted to individual student accounts on Quest approximately three to five weeks prior to the start of lectures each term. Students are notified by e-mail at that time.
When arranging your fees on Quest, your promised funding or your anticipated aid (e.g., TAs, GRAs, awards/scholarships, bursaries, etc.) is used to create a promissory note (see the Finance website for more information on how to do this). Your anticipated aid(s) that are paid through the University of Waterloo are first applied to your student tuition. Only amounts that exceeds your tuition and fees are “refunded” or disbursed into your bank account (see UW Finance for information on Refunds for Scholarships, Bursaries & Awards.)
Please note that students must be "Fees Arranged" in order for awards to be released/paid out.
Timing of funding
When arranging your fees, you may see a breakdown of your anticipated aid, but you will not be explicitly given a notice on when your TAs, GRAs, awards/scholarships, bursaries, etc. will be disbursed to your bank account. As each student’s funding will vary, you should see your Graduate Coordinator to understand the breakdown of your fees and the timing you can expect your payments. Please also refer to the GSPA Funding Payment Information for more information.
In general, awards/scholarships and TAs are paid out in the following manner:
- Scholarships and awards - usually disbursed during the first month of the term (often, but not always in the first and second week).
- TAs and GRAs - normally paid over four months on the last Friday of the month, after tax and other deductions.