XII. Graduate Awards & Financial Assistance

From the University of Guelph


Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs)

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs) are paid to graduate students in support of their scholarly activity/research and in the preparation of their thesis/major paper.

Funds to pay the GRA may be from research grants or contracts received by faculty members from external agencies or governments. In these cases, the student's research would contribute to the research of the faculty member under whose direction it is conducted and the dollar value of GRA stipends may depend on the external granting agencies' guidelines on support of graduate students through research operating grants. Alternatively, funding for the GRA may be from the University. Regardless, in either situation the GRAs must be approved by the department chair or school director on the recommendation of the advisor.

The University provides a T4A tax information slip each year to students with GRAs. For income tax purposes, the T4A documents the funds received through any graduate research assistantships. These slips are mailed to students in late February each year, for the previous tax year.


There is a complete list of internal awards grouped by student eligibility, i.e., by college or department affiliation and/or as awards for which students are eligible from across campus. The university reserves the right to amend these awards subject to the availability of funds.

Students must be registered full-time to be eligible for all internal awards, unless otherwise stated in the eligibility clause.

Students are eligible for internal award consideration from the time they have accepted an offer of admission to a graduate program until they have graduated from that program; students must be registered in order to receive these awards. Students granted a leave of absence (see section 3.4) may defer acceptance of internal awards or interrupt acceptance of continuing awards until after the approved leave with the permission of the appropriate awards committee.

The university provides a T4A tax information slip to students each year. For income tax purposes, these forms document the money received by students in the form of awards, including department, school, college and university awards. These slips are mailed to students in late February each year, for the previous tax year.

Please note that Student Financial Services will apply all internal awards against outstanding balances on student's accounts unless prior arrangements have been made.

Travel Research Grants

Graduate students may receive travel research grants to assist them in their research. Travel research grants are given to cover your travelling expenses, including all reasonable amounts for meals and lodging, while away from home in the course of your research work.

The University provides a T4A tax information slip to students each year. Although it should be reported as income as provided in the Income Tax Act, you are able to deduct the full amount of the described expenses up to the amount of the grant. You should attach to your income tax return a list of the expenses you are deducting from the research grant. These expenses should only include those listed above. You do not have to attach receipts but should keep them in case you are later asked for them.

Entrance awards

Entry-level (semester-one) students in all departments are considered without award application for most internal awards prior to arrival and registration (see also college/school and university award descriptions). Students will normally be included in entrance-award competitions held after the date on which they accepted an offer of admission. It is strongly recommended that a completed application for graduate study be received at least six months prior to the date when the student hopes to begin graduate study. This will ensure consideration for all possible entrance awards for which the student is eligible. Students who apply less than six months in advance may miss some internal award competitions but will still be considered for appropriate awards not yet distributed.


Terms and Conditions

The University established an endowment fund through generous donor contributions and has been matched by the provincial government's Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund (OSOTF) program and the Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS). The income generated from these endowments will be used to support financial aid programs. The awards created will be used to assist Canadian citizens or permanent residents who meet the Ontario residency requirements as mandated by the OSOTF/OTSS program. Students must complete a Financial Need Assessment Form in order to be considered. Please contact Student Financial Services. Students must:

  1. be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;

  2. be an Ontario resident as defined by:

    • lived in Ontario for at least 12 consecutive months up to the beginning of full-time post-secondary study; or

    • the student’s spouse lived in Ontario for at least 12 consecutive months up to the beginning of the current year full-time post-secondary study period; or

    • the student’s parent(s)/ stepparent(s)/legal guardian/official sponsor has lived in Ontario for at least 12 consecutive months up to the beginning of the current year full-time post-secondary study period;

  3. demonstrate financial need as determined by the University of Guelph Needs Assessment procedures.

In-course awards

Students continuing in a graduate program of study are automatically considered for some awards and must make application for others. A list and description of all internal awards is available at About In-Course Scholarships


A limited number of emergency bursaries and/or student loans are available for students who unexpectedly find themselves in difficult circumstances. Students should discuss these unexpected difficulties/costs with their advisor and Graduate Program Coordinator. If unresolved financial difficulties remain, they should then proceed to Student Financial Services. These funds are specifically designed to cover emergency/acute/unexpected/one-time-only situations requiring compassion and are not designed to cover registration and living costs associated with the normal continuation of study.

University of Guelph
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Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1