Dec 20, 2022

Temerty Medicine Increases Graduate Student Stipends

The roofline of the Medical Sciences Building with a clear blue sky in the background.
By Erin Howe

The Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto will substantially increase its graduate student stipends beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year, making them the highest in Canada. 

As a result, students in Master of Science programs will receive $37,000 per year. PhD candidates will be offered $40,000 annually.  

“With opportunities to participate in research both on campus and across the city at all the University’s affiliated hospitals and research institutes, there’s no question we offer an outstanding educational and training experience. This change will allow us to be more competitive against our peer schools in the United States and beyond,” says Professor Justin Nodwell, Vice Dean, Research & Health Science Education and member of the Toronto Academic Health Science Network’s Research Committee (TAHSNr). 

Nodwell says the financial boost will be partially offset by the Faculty. 

Most of the funding for student stipends comes from supervisor grants, Nodwell notes. Graduate student remuneration is often the biggest line item in grant applications.  

In Canada, there is fierce competition for research funding, which has been stagnant for many years. This has resulted in pressure on funding available for graduate students. 

“Graduate student researchers play a critical role in U of T’s research and innovation success. Their talent is critical to making the discoveries that will drive health improvement and economic growth in the future. Further, today’s graduate students are tomorrow’s leaders and will one day make breakthroughs in their own labs, educate the future generations of scientists, and advance the knowledge economy,” says Professor Leah Cowen, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives. 

This is the third consecutive year Temerty Medicine has increased its stipends for graduate students in programs covered by the Harmonized Base Funding Agreement, including those in biochemistry, immunology, nutrition, medical biophysics, molecular genetics, phamacology and toxicology, physiology, laboratory medicine and pathobiology and the Institute for Medical Sciences. 

In 2019, the stipend was $28,000 per student. In response to feedback from learners, Temerty Medicine increased the amount by 10 per cent in each of the past two years. 

“Graduate students contribute significantly to our talent base and the stipend increase reflects how important their contributions are to our research ecosystem,” says Professor Brad Wouters, the Executive Vice President of Science and Research at UHN and co-chair of TAHSNr.  “The stipend increase will make it easier for us to attract some of the brightest learners from across the country and around the world to our labs and help them to devote their full attention to their studies.” 

In addition to stipends, Temerty Medicine also offers about 70 entrance scholarships for graduate students ranging in value from $5,000 to $10,000. The Faculty is also actively seeking additional funds for student support throughout their programs of study.