All students admitted to the Botany Graduate Program are guaranteed a minimum level of financial support. Graduate student stipends are derived from a combination of Teaching Assistantships (TA), Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA), and scholarships.
Students can expect to receive annually between $24,500 to $30,000 (depending upon program, student status, and progress). MSc students are supported for a minimum of 2 years and PhD students are supported for a minimum of 4 years. All financial support is subject to satisfactory performance and annual review.
During a graduate career in the Botany Department, most students have occasion to apply for scholarships and other sources of funding. Competition for these limited funds is intense and various criteria contribute to your overall ability to win these awards. The most important criteria are (i) academic excellence (based on grades and letters of reference) and (ii) research ability or potential (this means primary research articles published in good national or international journals, presentations at conferences etc.). The other criteria include (iii) your oral and written communication ability, and (iv) interpersonal and leadership abilities.
Teaching Assistantships (TA’s) / Research Assistantships (RA’s)
Students admitted to Graduate Studies in Botany who do not have a scholarship or fellowship are normally supported financially, subject to maintaining satisfactory academic standing and/or progress in research, by a graduate teaching assistantship plus a graduate research assistantship. In 2021/2022, a full TA stipend is $12,979.44 for GTA II TAs and $13,488.40 for GTA I TAs. The balance of a student’s stipend is generally made up as a Research Assistantship from the supervisor.
Foreign students are admitted on a student visa and are only permitted to receive payment for activities directly related to their graduate studies program such as the above mentioned scholarships and assistantships. A foreign student’s spouse may obtain a temporary work permit, provided the student is registered as a full-time graduate student. See also UBC International House.
Scholarships and Awards
PhD Tuition Waiver
Graduate Support Initiative funds are currently used to cover tuition fees for students in their first four years of their PhD program. To be considered, tuition must not be funded from other sources.
NSERC Scholarship (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council)
Please note that NSERC scholarships are only available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
The NSERC website may be accessed at http://www.nserc.ca. Students who are eligible for NSERC funding MUST apply, so as to be eligible for other university funding. The doctoral competition occurs during September and the master’s competition during December of each year. Please contact the Department of Botany for the departmental application deadlines.
These are available to incoming students and registered full-time UBC graduate students. For more information, visit G+PS Affiliated Fellowships Doctoral Program and G+PS Affiliated Fellowship Master's Program.
Please note that students applying for NSERC will automatically be entered in the Affiliated Fellowships competition; students need only complete the NSERC application.
Affiliated Fellowships competitions run concurrently each year with NSERC competition. Please contact the Department of Botany for the departmental application deadlines.
Four Year Fellowships
The department offers a small number of four year fellowships each year to outstanding first year domestic or international PhD students. There is no separate application form for the Four Year Fellowships; they are awarded based on the information in the application for admission to the program. Visit G+PS 4YF for further details.
Jonathan Page Fellowship in Botany
A one-year $25,000 fellowship has been made available annually through a gift from the Ngan Page Family Fund, a charitable fund established by Jonathan Page (B.Sc. 1991, Ph.D. 1998) for an outstanding graduate student in the Department of Botany. Preference will be given to a student whose research focuses on plant biochemistry or metabolism. Jonathan studied under the eminent UBC Botany Professor Neil Towers, which influenced his career path. He has focused his research on the biochemistry of medicinal plants and is internationally recognized for his work on the cannabis plant. Jonathan co-founded Anandia Labs, a leading cannabis science company that was acquired by Aurora Cannabis in 2018. The fellowship is made on the recommendation of the Department of Botany, in consultation with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
Read about recent fellowship recipient Elizabeth Mahon
Please contact the Department of Botany for the application deadline.
Kay Earle Memorial Botany Fund Fellowships
Support for graduate student stipends
The Kay Earle Memorial Botany Fund was established in November 2019 to support Botany graduate students researching the use of plants to improve the environment in the areas of ecosystem services and crop improvement. This endowment fund will be used to support an annual competition in the Botany department. Students entering the competition must submit applications through a faculty member in order to be eligible. The Botany committee will review applications, and at its discretion select the successful recipients.
The Kay Earle Fellowships proposals are adjudicated through the Botany Scholarships committee’s graduate award competition, along with NSERC graduate fellowships, four-year fellowships, and affiliated fellowships.
Support for graduate student stipends
In 2009, the estate of William Dewar-Cooper endowed the Dewar-Cooper fund in Botany.
“ for the support of chemical/genetic research involving nucleic acids studies with plants, plant viruses and related masked strains …” This endowment fund is used to support an annual competition in the Botany department. Students entering the competition must submit applications through a faculty member in order to be eligible. The Botany committee will review applications, and at its discretion select the successful recipients.
The Dewar-Cooper Fellowships proposals are adjudicated through the Botany Scholarships committee’s graduate award competition, along with NSERC graduate fellowships, four-year fellowships, and affiliated fellowships.
Read about recent fellowship recipient Yujun Peng