Funding Opportunities

Funding for graduate students comes from several sources: School of Religious Studies Fellowships & Awards, Faculty of Arts Awards, Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Fellowships, external awards, Teaching Assistantships, and Sessional Teaching. All awards and fellowships are granted competitively on the basis of academic merit.

The School of Religious Studies also has several named fellowships and bursaries that are awarded on an annual basis to full-time incoming and in-course PhD students. The named fellowships and bursaries include:

  • the Ellen Bradshaw Aitken Fellowship, in memory of the former Dean of the Faculty of Religious Studies, awarded to an outstanding graduate student in any field of study in Religious Studies;
  • the McBurney Graduate Fellowship awarded to students working in the area of Inter-religious Studies & Social Engagement;
  • the Birks Fellowship;
  • the Deirdre and Robert Stevenson award for students studying Asian Religions;
  • the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem Graduate award for students pursuing research in ecumenical topics;
  • the McConnell Fellowship;
  • the Arthur and Jessie Lochead Bursary;
  • the Saint Maurice Power Corporation Award;
  • the Religious Studies Bursary;
  • the Samuel Finley Bursary,
  • and the Topping Memorial Bursary.

The awarding of these fellowships and bursaries are based on progress towards the completion of the PhD program and academic merit. All full-time registered PhD students in good standing are considered for these fellowships. No application is required.

The School has four 4-year Wilfred Cantwell Smith Entrance Fellowships that may be awarded to students admitted to the doctoral program (PhD full time). There are only a certain number of these fellowships available; they cannot be offered each year. The Wilfred Cantwell Smith Graduate Fellowships, honoring the memory of an influential and internationally renowned professor of the Faculty, are available through the generosity of Barbara and Patrick Keenan.

Dissertation finishing fellowships

The generosity of Barbara and Patrick Keenan has also provided for two annual PhD Dissertation Finishing Fellowships for doctoral students in Religious Studies.

The professors, staff and friends of the School of Religious Studies have also established a PhD “Student Dissertation Fund” to assist students in the final stages of their doctoral program. All students in PhD Year 6 or year 7 in good standing and on track to complete their program will be considered in consultation with supervisors and the Graduate Program Director. Students do not need to apply for these funding opportunities

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