Funding for Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents

All our students are automatically entitled to a cost of living stipend from their supervisor. We have a minimum stipend of $22,000 per annum. You can also apply for external scholarships. These awards can replace or supplement any funding provided by your supervisor.

The awards listed below are the main source of funding for Canadian and Permanent Residents. In addition the Canadian Blood Service, the Centre for Blood Research, the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute and the Canadian Diabetes Foundation all fund research in our supervisor’s areas of interest. The Faculty of Graduate Studies also maintains a comprehensive list of upcoming funding competitions.

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR)
Named after Canadian Nobel Laureate and former department member Dr Michael Smith, this is a provincially funded agency for the Health Sciences. Only students in BC universities can apply for these awards. Historically our students have been very successful in this competition. It is unique as it can be held (at a reduced level) in conjunction with another scholarship. The agency also provides an additional $5,000 research allowance.
Find Out More

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
Also known as NSERC this is a federally funded award agency and it provides most of the scholarships held by our students. Award levels range from $17,500 per year to $35,000 per year for the top ranked doctoral students. Applications go through three rounds of competitions at the departmental, university and national level.

Find Out More

The Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR)
Also known as CIHR this is the second federally funded scholarship. Collectively NSERC, CIHR and SSHRC (social sciences) are known as the Tri-agencies. Although more NSERC opportunities are available, several of our students hold CIHR awards. Like NSERC awards start off at $17,500 for masters students and go up to $30,000 with a $5,000 research allowance for the strongest doctoral winners. Again there are three rounds of competition.
Find Out More

NSERC and CIHR’s are harmonized.  PhD level competition opens in late July with mid-September deadline, and MSc level competition opens late October with and beginning of December deadline.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
Valued at $50,000 per year the Vanier Program aims to attract and retain world-class doctoral students. Awards can be held for two or three years and the competition is open to both domestic and international students. The Vaniers are administered by the three federal funding agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
Find out more

Affiliated Fellowships (AF)
This is UBC’s graduate funding. It is actually the umbrella term for a collection of awards which are supported by government and university funds as well as private donors. Funding levels go from $175 per year up to $30,000 per year with a $2,000 research allowance if you win a Killam Award. Anyone who applies for a NSERC masters/doctoral or a CIHR masters award is automatically considered for this fellowship. International students, who do not qualify to apply for NSERC and CIHR will fill in an Affiliated Fellowship application form if they wish to be considered for funding.
Find Out More

Teaching Assistant
Each year we hire graduate students to help our lecturers teach our undergraduate courses. These posts are open to all admitted students and are advertised via the careers section on the department website and by email. Posts are usually advertised during the summer for the following academic year. We also hire students on an adhoc basis to provide extra help during exam periods.

UBC Faculty of Medicine
The Faculty of Medicine has a number of funding opportunities, which are supported by private donors. Awards are generally based around particular research areas and are worth up to $20,000 per year.
Find Out More

The SH Zbarsky Scholarship
This is a departmental award which was created in honour of Dr Sidney Zbarsky, one of our founding members. When he retired his friends and colleagues generously donated enough money to create an annual prize. The award value this year is $3150. The  award  is given to a third year doctoral candidate who gives the best presentation in the BIOC 530 seminar class, as voted on by their fellow students.

Marianne Huyer Memorial Award
This is another yearly departmental award which was endowed in memory of Marianne Huyer by Dr. Michael Smith. Marianne was a PhD student in his lab who was tragically killed in a traffic accident in 1996. This $1,100 prize is given to the biochemistry student who submits the best PhD thesis. Nominations are made the thesis supervisors and the graduate committee decides on an overall winner.

Biochemistry PhD Travel Award
We offer up to 6 awards of $500 each for doctoral grads to help pay expenses incurred for presenting at conferences. Competition will be announced in November.