As a graduate student, there are several funding options both within the University of Waterloo and externally. This page outlines the potential avenues funding can be provided, however details vary per academic department.
Faculty of Science Financial Support
The Faculty of Science 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.
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.
University of Waterloo awards
There are over 100 different awards available for graduate students in the Faculty of Science. To look at the full list of available awards and scholarships, students should visit the Graduate funding and awards database. Students should note that the database also lists awards in which students must receive a nomination as opposed to submitting an application to be eligible.
External awards and scholarships
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.