Financial Aid

The criteria we use to create a competitive funding package for the incoming Business Doctoral students include:

  • Level of support and interest expressed by Business faculty members in the appropriate area (e.g., compatibility of research interests, ranking of applicants within each area, offer of financial support from faculty research grants, etc);
  • The strength of reference letters from well-known academics and/or other relevant sources;
  • Applicants’ research potential (e.g., evidence of working papers or publications; relevant academic and/or practical experience, etc);
  • Applicants’ statements of purpose (e.g., articulation of their research interest, career goals and why they plan to pursue a PhD degree, etc);
  • Applicants’ academic records (e.g., GPA from previous graduate and/or undergraduate degrees awarded; GPA trends; GPA from relevant courses, etc);
  • Applicants’ quantitative and/or qualitative skills (e.g., GMAT or GRE scores; GPA from relevant courses; Master thesis, working papers or publications, etc);
  • Applicants’ proficiency in oral and written English (e.g., TOEFL scores; impression formed through on-campus/phone interviews or gleaned from review of their applications).

The funding package offered to the incoming Business Doctoral students consists of two major components:

1. Basic funding, guaranteed each year throughout the applicable funding period (up to a maximum of four years);

2. Performance-based funding that is subject to annual review. Our hope is that students will do well in the program so that this support can be continued and indeed increased for the entire period when the performance-based funding is offered (up to a maximum of four years). However, poor performance may lead to a reduction. The criteria we use to evaluate students’ performance in the program at the end of each year include:

  • Course grades;
  • Quality of summer and other relevant research work;
  • Evidence of conference presentations;
  • Evidence of grant and scholarship applications and their outcomes;
  • Other relevant indicators of progress toward excellence.

In addition to the above funding package, during the applicable funding period (up to a maximum of four years), Business Doctoral students are allocated up to $4000 each (subject to review) for Professional Development expenses (research related or to attend conferences) over the course of their PhD program, and are entitled to an additional $1500 to participate in the job market at one conference. Other financial assistance may also be offered from time to time to help support periodic student events designed to develop and improve students’ research and teaching skills.

Competitive Awards

Various forms of assistance are available, including fellowships, scholarships and assistantships. Students can also receive support by applying for government-sponsored research grants offered through the Social Science and Humanities Research Council as well as other agencies. Students who get external grants (e.g., SSHRC, FGSR scholarships, etc) or other external funding are permitted to retain some funding from the program. So, there is an incentive to seek such outside funding. Neither assistantship funds nor Alberta School of Business PhD Awards, described below, will be granted to students who are not in attendance at the University of Alberta in the regular term or summer period. Thus, students who leave the Edmonton area to take up residence elsewhere will not receive assistantship or PhD Award funds. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

PhD Endowment Fellowships

Fellowships are endowed by the following donors and allocated by the Business PhD Program: Bentley, Deloitte, Domtar, Ernst & Young, KPMG, PhD Endowment, Sun Life Financial, Poole, and Ziegler.

Alberta School of Business PhD Awards

Awards are given based on the prior year's performance and available funds, and subject to regulations governing major awards held.

Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) Scholarships

The FGSR web site,, has current information on scholarships and the application process.

Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Fellowships

$20,000 award; Renewal for a second or third year of doctoral study is granted upon evidence of satisfactory performance. Please visit for updated information on SSHRC funding and the application process.

Other financial assistance is available in the form of competitive awards described in the Graduate Financial Aid Section 180 of the University of Alberta Calendar.

Funded Teaching Positions

Students in the candidacy stage, working solely on their theses, may apply for temporary sessional teaching positions in their respective departments. These positions are subject to available departmental funds and cannot be guaranteed. For candidate students who have exhausted their funding, sessional positions may provide the funds required to remain on campus while working on their theses.

updated April 17, 2013