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Financial aid for English graduate students

We are eager to have graduate students choose UNB’s Department of English. Funding is a critical part of that decision.

Full-time resident graduate students are eligible for funding through the School of Graduate Studies and the Faculty of Arts. Selection is based on academic performance.

The funding deadline is Dec. 1 for the PhD and Jan. 8 for the MA. Applications for these programs received by these dates are eligible to compete for assistantship funding. Funds are limited, but English students have traditionally done well in these competitions.

Master’s funding

If you are awarded an assistantship for the 20-month MA program, you will receive $15,785 of funding over 12 months (2019-2020). Your assistantship will be renewed for the final eight months of the program, as long as progress is satisfactory, providing a total of $27,703 over 20 months.

PhD funding

As a PhD student at UNB, you are eligible to compete for $19,420 of assistantship funding per year for four years (2019-2020), providing academic progress is satisfactory. If you are a top-ranked assistantship holder, you may also receive additional top-up and merit awards, including the President’s Doctoral Tuition Award.

You should be aware that all assistantship holders at the MA and PhD levels must pay university fees.


As an assistantship holder, you will receive a scholarship and funding in the form of a teaching assistantship, for which certain light teaching or research duties are required.

You may have teaching duties, which include leading tutorials and marking essays.

You may have research duties, that can include helping to edit The Fiddlehead or Studies in Canadian Literature or assisting individual professors with their research projects.

Your duties will be assigned by the Graduate Committee.

For assistantship funding, you are expected to work 104 hours per term (Fall and Winter). The School of Graduate Studies permits you to work up to 10 hours per week across the year (for a total of 520 hours in a 12-month period).

These positions are governed by the collective agreement between UNB and the Union of Graduate Student Workers.

Teaching opportunities for PhD students

If you are a doctoral candidate at UNB who has completed their comprehensive examinations, you may be hired to undertake teaching duties as a contract academic instructor.

These positions are governed by the collective agreement for contract academic employees between UNB and the Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers.

You have access to the Teaching and Learning Centre, located in Marshall d’Avray Hall, for guiding in planning and leading excellent tutorials and classes.

Working as a research assistant

As a graduate student in the Department of English at UNB, you may also be hired as a part-time research assistant by individual faculty members, using funds made available by such agencies as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Funding for qualifying students

Students admitted to a qualifying period are not eligible for assistantships.

External awards

As a Canadian MA and PhD student in English, you are also eligible for scholarships offered by SSHRC.

If you are planning to apply to our graduate programs, we encourage to apply for SSHRC funding in the fall before you apply to graduate school.

If you are already enrolled in a graduate program, you will be offered every assistance in applying for awards for the second-year of the MA and for doctoral study.

If you are thinking of applying for an SSHRC, we encourage you to contact the director of graduate studies or any other full-time member of the department for help with preparing an application.

Our graduate students have historically been very successful in winning these scholarships, with a very high percentage of eligible PhD candidates holding an SSHRC award.

You may be eligible for funding through the NBIF.

For more information on internal and external awards that English graduate studies students are applying for, consult the School of Graduate Studies' awards.

Departmental prizes for graduate students in English

You may be eligible for one of the annual departmental prizes given for outstanding achievement in a UNB graduate English program.

The Desmond Pacey Memorial Prize is a bursary valued at $1,000, awarded for proficiency in either creative writing or Canadian Studies. The prize may be split between two students.

The Tom Riesterer Prize, valued at $100, is awarded to the undergraduate or graduate student writing the best essay in any given year.

The David H. Walker Prize, valued at $1,000, is awarded to the best piece of fiction.

Watch for submission deadlines to be eligible for these prizes; the deadline is usually in mid-April.

You may want to apply for The Babbitt-Davies Award, valued at up to $500, to assist graduate students in English who wish to present a paper at a conference or conduct research outside the province of New Brunswick. The award deadline is in March.

Travel grants for graduate students in English

In addition to the Babbitt-Davies award, some further financial assistance for graduate students participating at conferences is available.

You can apply to the English department, which holds a competition for travel funding twice per year, in the fall and winter terms.

You may also want to apply to the English Graduate Student Society (EGSS). The EGSS provides $100 travel grants for UNB English students presenting at conferences. These awards are limited to one per student, per year and depend on funding availability.

The School of Graduate Studies also provides some graduate student funding for travel.

Tuition fees for graduate studies in English

Once you are registered in a graduate program, you must maintain your registration and pay fees continuously until graduation.

There are three terms in a year: fall, winter and summer.

More detailed information on tuition, fees and other estimated costs for international and domestic students in research-based programs is available from the School of Graduate Studies.