Funding & awards

Note: The Administrative Coordinator for Graduate Studies, Emily O'Connor, is an important resource for information about funding and awards. After you have read the information below and the associated links, please consult with the Administrative Coordinator for any further information you may need.

Psychology graduate student funding

As a graduate student within the Department of Psychology, you are guaranteed a set amount of funding which can be found in your offer of admission. If you are awarded an external scholarship (e.g. OGS, CGS-M, etc.), the internal funding that you were offered is then replaced by the external scholarship. Students cannot hold both types of funding in the same term. If this should happen, you will be required to pay back the internal funding. That being said, the Psychology Graduate Student Funding document is intended to help you understand how funding is applied, and the different sources of funding you may receive during your time as a graduate student at the University of Waterloo. Please note that this document is meant to be a guideline and not an official funding document. All official documentation can found on the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) Current students webpage.

Psychology Graduate Student Funding (PDF)

Funding through internal awards

Psychology graduate students who do not receive funding from external sources (e.g., Ontario Graduate Scholarship or Tri-Council scholarships) are supported financially through University of Waterloo Graduate Scholarships and teaching assistantships. The maximum duration of this support is:

  • 1 year for Master of Applied Science (MASc) in Developmental and Communication Science (DCS),
  • 2 years for Master of Applied Science (MASc) in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and Master of Arts, 
  • 4 years for Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology.

Those without external funding are guaranteed two teaching assistantships during the academic year. Additional financial support may also be available from other sources, including Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) and Graduate Research Studentships (GRS) funded from the supervisors’ research grants, and a variety of other internal awards.  For a list of internal awards and information about each of them, see Internal Waterloo awards on the GSPA website.

Another source of financial assistance is bursaries.

Government agency scholarships

Psychology graduate students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply for a variety of federal- and provincial-government, merit-based scholarships. The most important of these are the federal tri-agency scholarships (see details below) and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (see Provincial Scholarships below).

Note: All Psychology graduate students who do not currently have external funding are required to submit an application for the relevant tri-agency scholarship/award and for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) each fall.

The following brief account of these scholarships provides links to the relevant webpages at the Graduate Studies Office. It is essential to keep track of application deadlines, required application forms, and other details, as provided on these webpages.

In addition to the required application documents, students are asked to submit the departmental to Emily O'Connor by the application deadline to summarize your publications and conference presentations for your application.

Federal Tri-agency scholarships

It is very important to check with your faculty research supervisor to determine which of the three federal agencies is appropriate for your scholarship application, given the nature of your research.

For graduate students seeking funding at the Masters level, the relevant tri-agency scholarships are:

For graduate students seeking funding at the PhD level, the relevant tri-agency scholarships are:

Unusually accomplished students with a well-developed leadership profile may also consider applying to the following:

Provincial scholarships

For all graduate students (seeking support at either the Masters or the PhD level), the provincial scholarships are the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEII-GSST).

Scholarships for international students

The range of scholarships for which international students are eligible is more limited.  See international student funding for current details.

Comprehensive information about the various sources of scholarships, awards, and other funding for graduate students is available on the Awards & Funding webpage maintained by GSPA.

Teaching assistantships

Teaching assistantships comprise part of the funding provided to graduate students by the University of Waterloo. For more information, please visit the Teaching assistantships page.

Conference assistantships

For information on how to obtain financial support for presenting your research at scientific conferences, see Graduate studies conference assistantships.