Financial Assistance

Teaching and Research Assistantships

The Department of History and Classics annually appoints a number of graduate Research and Teaching Assistantships at stipends from about $4,000 to about $17,000, for services requiring three to twelve hours per week for sixteen weeks in each of the Fall and Winter terms (essentially eight months of the year). This work usually consists of marking or doing research for a faculty member. Partial appointments on a pro-rated basis may also be made. At the time of application for admission, prospective graduate students should indicate whether they wish to be considered for an assistantship, but no appointment will be offered until the student is formally admitted to graduate studies.

PhD students

It is the regular policy of the Department to grant a full (twelve-hour) assistantship to all PhD students for each of the first four years of their program, provided that satisfactory progress is being made (as per the requirements and guidelines for the various programs) and the student does not have external funding in the form of a major award. Holders of major awards will not receive an assistantship during the period of the award. Students may decline an assistantship in part or in full if circumstances dictate. Students who have RA or other assignments outside of the Department but covered by the GSA Collective Agreement may have to decline their Departmental support to comply with the work-hours limits provided in that agreement.

Continuing PhD students are required to apply for those external awards for which they are eligible (FGSR General Awards, Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarships, External Sources) before they can be considered for Departmental support, and their continued support may be jeopardized by failure to apply for awards for which they are eligible.

MA students

The Department is not able to fund all MA students. When MA students are funded, the normal level of assistantship is nine hours a week.

For Fall 2021, the department is offering dedicated MA funding (two spots) in Western Canadian history in connection with a SSHRC research project, “Mining, clearing, and reclaiming the Rocky Mountains and foothills, 1947-2018,” (PI Dr. L. Piper). Please see http://www.lizapiper.ca/blog/funded-ma-opportunity for details. Please send expressions of interest to Dr. Piper by November 30, 2020.

Student Teaching

The Department considers teaching experience part of doctoral training. Within budgetary constraints and taking into account Departmental needs, PhD students will be allowed the chance to teach at least one and possibly two single-term courses as Primary Instructor. No more than one of the two courses may be at the 400 level. Normally, only one course can be taught in any particular calendar year. Normally, PhD students must have passed their candidacy to be considered for teaching, but in the Spring and Summer terms they may teach before their candidacy examinations, provided they are making satisfactory progress and have written permission from both their supervisor and the Associate Chair (Graduate Studies).

The Graduate Teaching Coordinator will review course outlines, is available to give advice about classroom instruction, and evaluates at least one class to provide constructive feedback. The Graduate Teaching Coordinator also holds seminars for both first-time and experienced graduate Primary Instructors. The Department encourages graduate students to participate in the Graduate Teaching and Learning Program.

Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship (AGES)

In the past, the Province of Alberta has provided support to graduate students through programs including the Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship (now discontinued) and most recently the Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship.

AGES awards were made in the 2019-2020 academic year and consisted of $12,000 lump-sum payment available to MA or PhD students. Recipients were nominated by the Department according to a quota established by FGSR.

As of March 2020, the Department has not been told whether the provincial government intends to continue the AGES program for the 2020-2021 year, or in what form. We will provide further information as we get it.

FGSR General Awards

The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research administers a number of competitive awards for PhD students, including those at later stages of their program who are no longer receiving Department funding. The two most significant are the Andrew Stewart Memorial Graduate Prize and the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship. Details of these awards may be found on the FGSR web site along with information on other department-specific awards.

The Department oversees the application process for the Stewart and Killam awards. These take place in the Winter Semester, and notice of them will be given to all students by the Graduate Program Administrator.

FGSR Travel Awards

The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research offers competitive awards (to a maximum of $1,500 as of Winter 2020) to fund research and conference travel for both PhD and MA students. These competitions are run directly by FGSR independent of the Department (though a student's supervisor has a role in the application process). The awards and the application process are described in detail on the FGSR web site.

External Sources

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

The major source of external funding for graduate students at both MA and PhD levels is the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). This agency makes individual single-year grants to MA students and multiple-year grants to PhD students. Eligibility is restricted to citizens and permanent residents of Canada. All eligible students are expected to apply for a SSHRC grant in the course of their program, unless they enter with an award.

The procedures for application are different at the MA and Doctoral levels and subject to change from year to year, but typically the application deadline falls in October (for MA students) or November/December (for doctoral students). Preparing a successful application is a time-consuming process that should be planned several months in advance, in consultation with a student's supervisor. Prospective students should be aware that it is possible to apply for an award in the fall before one enters a given program, at the same time that one is applying for admission (though as part of a separate process).

Details on the SSHRC application process are provided by FGSR separately for Doctoral and MA competitions.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

The Department participates in the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship competition inaugurated in 2009. Valued at $50,000 a year for up to three years, the Vanier is one of Canada's most prestigious graduate awards. It is open to doctoral students, both Canadian and international, who show exceptional achievement and potential in both academic and non-academic areas. Students are normally invited to apply by the Associate Chair (Graduate Studies), although students may independently contact the chair to express interest. For further details, see the FGSR Web Site.