Finances & Scholarships

Annual Stipend

Graduate Students in Cell and Systems Biology are provided a base stipend. This stipend is $19,000 plus 2019-2020 tuition and fees for MSc students, while Ph.D. students receive $19,500 plus tuition and fees.  For domestic students (i.e., Canadian citizens or permanent residents) this is an annual income of approximately $26,851 (MSc) or $27,351 (PhD).  International students receive the same base stipend plus UHIP health insurance ($636 for 2019-20).  The stipend is provided for students in the funded cohort who maintain good academic standing.  The funded cohort includes M.Sc. students in years 1-2, PhD students in years 1-4 if they entered with an MSc degree, or years 1-5 if they entered directly from a BSc degree. Transfer students from the MSc program are provided a total of five years of funding. Students are required to be teaching assistants as part of their funding package. For students without external scholarships, a minimum of 140 hours of teaching are required at present.  In August preceding the new academic year, documents detailing the stipend are sent to individual students and their supervisor(s) along with a letter outlining components of the stipend and associated information.

Scholarships and Awards

NOTE: Information can be found at


The CSB departmental deadline for NSERC Doctoral scholarship applications will be in late September (exact date TBA).  The deadline for NSERC Master’s CGSM applications will be Monday, December 2nd (online). The deadline for OGS applications will be Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 for domestic students, and Friday, March 6th, 2020 for International students. Students must complete applications online by the respective due dates.  

General information about NSERC scholarships can be found at the main NSERC page at  and more specifically, for NSERC Doctoral Postgraduate Awards, see  Information for Master’s Awards can be found at:

*OGS information for the 2020-2021 competition will be posted in December, 2019.

The CIHR CGSM deadline to complete the online application is Monday, December 2nd, 2019.  With the harmonized application, the due dates for NSERC and CIHR CGSM awards are the same.

For CIHR Doctoral Research Awards the UofT component of the application (MRA application and ‘institutional signature’) must be submitted to Research Services in late September, 2019 (exact date TBA).  The CIHR/ResearchNet application deadline will be posted in late July. Students apply directly to CIHR through ResearchNet for this award.  The ResearchNet website can be found here.  Full application instructions can be found on the CIHR website.  All research funding applications at UofT require an application to be created on the My Research Applications (MRA) system, details of which can be found on the  Research and Innovation website.

2. The Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology (QEII-GSST, formerly known as OGSST) There are two QEII-GSST awards available to CSB graduate students – the Joan M. Coleman Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology for CSB students conducting research focused on plants and the Sherwin S. Desser Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology for CSB students conducting research focused on animals.  These scholarships are each valued at $15,000, and nominations for both QEII-GSST awards are sent to the School of Graduate Studies by the CSB Graduate Office.  The competition will be held simultaneously with the OGS competition, and all domestic OGS applications submitted to the department by April 22, 2020 will automatically be entered into the QEII-GSST competition. These scholarships count as part of the base graduate stipend for the academic year beginning in September following the April competition.

3. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships The Vanier CGS program aims to attract and retain world-class doctoral students by supporting students who demonstrate both leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health. Canadian and international students are eligible to be nominated for a Vanier CGS. In an effort to support students in broadening their research horizons and seeking new challenges, the Vanier CGS program strongly encourages candidates to pursue their studies beyond the university that granted their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students wishing to apply for a Vanier CGS must do so through the Canadian university to which they are applying for doctoral studies. The Vanier CGS Scholarships are valued at $50,000 per year for a maximum of three years. For more information, please visit the Vanier CGS website.  *Anyone planning on submitting a Vanier CGS application through the Department of Cell and Systems Biology must have their application completed by Monday September 24th.  This is a strict deadline.  You are strongly encouraged to contact the CSB Graduate Office well ahead of this deadline.

4. Ontario Trillium Scholarships The Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS) is designed to attract international PhD students to the University of Toronto. Value and Duration: The University will have 15 awards to distribute annually.  Each OTS will be worth $40,000 per year, and is renewable for four years. *Please note that students who intend to begin in a masters program and transfer to a PhD within 12 months are not eligible for the OTS program. Nominees must be entering a PhD program directly. Deadline: The deadline is early February of each year. Check with your graduate unit, as students must be nominated for the Ontario Trillium Scholarship.

5. Connaught International Scholarships These prestigious scholarships are for international doctoral students only and are funded by the University of Toronto. In the first week of February each year, the CSB Graduate Admissions Committee nominates outstanding candidates from the group of international students who have been offered admission to the department. Further information is available at

6. Graduate Admission Awards For the 2019-2020 academic year, the Department of Cell and Systems Biology awarded 11 Department of Cell and Systems Biology Graduate Admission Awards to exceptional graduate applicants. These students were chosen by the Graduate Admissions Committee and no application was necessary. These awards are valued at $3,000 and are in addition to the base stipend. This program will be continued in 2020.

7. Cell and Systems Biology Restricted Awards Through the generosity of private donors and matching funds from the University, a substantial number of endowments have been established to provide internal awards to CSB graduate students.  In the Department of Cell And Systems Biology, many of these awards are provided as a top-up to the student’s base stipend in recognition of research and academic excellence.  Further information on these awards is posted here.