The Department of Zoology has a minimum funding policy for all Graduate students. The minimum level of financial support is $28,000 per year. This minimum can come from a combination of Teaching Assistantships (TA), awards/scholarships, or Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) paid from the supervisor’s research grants.
For further details, please consult the different forms of financial support information below.
The minimum level of support may be adjusted every few years for cost of living. Typical adjustments are 2-3%.
All students making satisfactory progress will continue to be supported throughout their graduate degree at the minimum level or higher. All financial support is contingent on satisfactory performance and subject to yearly review.
Students are personally responsible for paying any tuition and fees assessed by the University.
The current PhD tuition fees can be found under the Standard Doctoral Degree Programs table.
Note: All PhD students currently receive the Faculty of Science PhD Tuition Award during the first 4 years of their program. This award is an additional benefit and does not contribute to the $28,000 minimum set out in the program funding policy.
The current MSc tuition fees can be found under the Standard Master’s Degree Programs table.
To achieve the minimum level of financial support, a student may be required to TA up to two terms per year. Graduate students in Zoology are not permitted to TA more than two times in an academic year. Most Zoology graduate students TA for the undergraduate Biology Program though there are often TA opportunities in other programs as well.
Prospective TAs will be assigned to an appropriate TA position in late summer for one or both terms. Students should contact the instructor directly regarding duties and scheduling issues and contact the TA Team and Graduate Program as soon as possible about any scheduling conflicts between assigned positions and courses. There is a preference system for hiring TA’s, based on length in program and experience (see CUPE 2278 Collective Agreement for full details).
Salary, work hours and conditions are determined through the CUPE 2278 collective agreement. The current TA salaries are also published under the CUPE 2278 salary scale at UBC Human Resources.
Many students are paid Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) directly from their supervisor’s research grant. This represents a major way in which a student’s pay is brought from the amount given by teaching assistantships and awards to the total salary required by the department.
GRA’s are given in support of the student’s own research towards their degree. Satisfactory progress towards the student’s research is expected for payment of a GRA, but work not related to the student’s research program should not be required. Graduate students may be hired for additional wages for work unrelated to their degree, but these wages should not be counted towards their minimum level of support (unless both supervisor and student agree that extra work can be done in lieu of a TA-ship).
All students are expected to contribute to the shared chores of a lab and to fulfil weekly requirements of the supervisor. The latter category can include lab meetings, one-on-one meetings, seminar attendance, etc. The total time for tasks required by the supervisor can be up to an average of five hours per week across the four academic terms in the year. Any additional work not directly related to a trainee’s own research must be paid either through an hourly wage at the GTA1 marking rate or through an additional GRA.
Faculty of Science PhD Tuition Award
The Faculty of Science currently covers tuition fees for students in their first four years of their PhD program. To be considered, tuition must not be funded from other sources.
Zoology MSc Partial Tuition Award
All Zoology Master's students receive a partial tuition award of $1,000 per year until the end of their second year of MSc studies. The award will be assigned in August of each year.
Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Graduate Student Travel Fund ($500)
Graduate students who present a paper or poster at an official conference or symposium may apply once per degree program for the Graduate Student Travel Fund (maximum value $500).