Annual Stipend

Graduate Students in Cell and Systems Biology are provided a base stipend. This stipend is $22,500 plus 2023-2024 tuition and fees for MSc students, while Ph.D. students receive $23,000 plus tuition and fees.  For domestic students (i.e., Canadian citizens or permanent residents) this is an annual income of approximately $30,894 (MSc) or $31,214 (PhD).  International Ph.D. students receive the same base stipend plus UHIP health insurance ($756 for 2023-24).  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.

*Effective Fall 2024, CSB graduate student stipends will be $25,000 plus tuition and fees (MSc for up to 20 months) and $28,500 plus tuition and fees (PhD).

Scholarships and Awards

NOTE: Information can be found at


The CSB departmental deadline for NSERC Doctoral (PGSD) scholarship applications was Monday, September 18th, 2023.  For details about NSERC Doctoral Postgraduate Awards, see

CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Doctoral Research Awards had to be submitted online by Monday October 2nd, 2023.  The ResearchNet website can be found here.  Full application instructions can be found on the CIHR website

Subject matter eligibility:

NSERC applicants whose subject matter has a link, overlap, or future application to health (in particular drug discovery, disease diagnosis, treatment/prevention, development of medical devices, collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, disease population, therapy or health systems), should email NSERC with a one page summary of their research proposal well in advance of submitting an application to seek clarification or a ruling. NSERC typically responds to these types of inquiries within 3-4 business days.

Applicants working in research areas where boundaries overlap or are interdisciplinary are strongly advised to write a compelling justification in their application as to why they believe their proposal is appropriate for support by the agency to which the application is being submitted.

NSERC applicants are encouraged to consult the Addendum to the guidelines for the eligibility of applications related to health, which has additional information and specific examples relating to subject matter eligibility.

*General eligibility requirements for both NSERC and CIHR doctoral awards can be found on the Tri-Agency CGS D website

The deadline for NSERC and CIHR Master’s CGSM applications will be Friday, December 1st (online).  With the harmonized application, the due dates for NSERC and CIHR CGSM awards are the same.  Information for Master’s Awards can be found at:

The deadline for OGS applications will be in mid-April, 2024 (exact date TBA) for domestic students, and mid-March, 2024 for International students. Students must complete applications online by the respective due dates.  

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 mid-April, 2024 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 18th. This is a strict deadline.  You are strongly encouraged to contact the CSB Graduate Office well ahead of this deadline.

4. 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

5. Graduate Admission Awards For the 2023-2024 academic year, the Department of Cell and Systems Biology awarded 10 Department of Cell and Systems Biology Graduate Admission Awards to exceptional graduate applicants based on their undergraduate and graduate academic record(s). These students were chosen by the Graduate Admissions Committee and no application was necessary. These awards are valued at up to $3,500 and are in addition to the base stipend. This program will be continued in 2024.

6. 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 in the list accessed through this link.