Awards & grants

The principal sources of financial support for MA and PhD students are Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) ScholarshipsNova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (NSGS),Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarships, and Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) Scholarships. Scholarship funds are normally distributed over a 12-month period for each year the award is held.  Since the first installment is not usually paid until the end of September, students should plan their finances accordingly. Note that any funded student who submits a final (defended and revised) thesis prior to the FGS thesis submission deadline in a given academic term will receive the final funding instalment in the month the final thesis is submitted, and any remaining funds will revert back to the funding source(s).


Important sources of graduate funding for both MA and PhD students include SSHRC, NSGS, and Killam Scholarships. Any English Department in Canada can provide further information about SSHRC, and all eligible Canadian citizens and permanent residents are urged to apply. (Note that SSHRC applications are due in the Fall Term preceding the year graduate work will begin.) Applications must be complete by January 15 to be eligible for nomination to the NSGS or the Killam, and Canadian citizens and permanent residents must have also applied to SSHRC to qualify for the Killam.

Other prestigious awards available at Dalhousie include the James Robinson Johnston Graduate Scholarship for African Canadians (both MA and PhD) and the Eliza Ritchie Doctoral Scholarship for Women (renewable for three years, with preference given to candidates from the Atlantic Provinces). Applicants eligible for these awards are asked to draw our attention to their suitability. The A.S. Mowat Prize is also available for outstanding MA students at Dalhousie, and a number of other awards and scholarships are awarded to incoming and continuing students by the Department. New applicants and continuing students should also be aware of and apply for other sources of financial aid.  

Teaching Assistantships

Many of our graduate students are offered the opportunity to work as Teaching Assistants, most often for first-year courses. Though TAs may take on a variety of tasks, most lead tutorials, grade and comment on student essays, hold individual meetings with students, and sometimes lecture or lead class discussion. Experienced PhD students may be invited to serve as TAs for upper-level courses.

Research and Conference Funding

Financial support for conferences is available through the Faculty of Graduate Studies.  FGS conference travel support is available to MA and PhD students presenting a paper at an appropriate academic venue. Applications must be submitted at least one month in advance of the conference, and must be accompanied by proof of acceptance.

Depending on availability, the Department of English also provides PhD students with some funding for thesis-related travel (including conferences) during years 2-5 of their programs. The Departmental award is administered by the Graduate Committee and is intended to supplement the FGS amount for which prospective recipients are required to have first applied. Application forms are available at the Department office.


Application Deadlines

September 15 For travel in October, November, or December
December 15 For travel in January, February, or March
March 15
For travel in April, May, or June
June 15 For travel in July, August, or September
Scholarship Availability Nomination deadline
SSHRC graduate Scholarships
National November
Vanier Scholarship National October
Killam Scholarship Institutional February
Eliza Richie Doctoral Scholarship for Women Institutional March
James Robinson Johnson Scholarship
Institutional March

Further information

More awards, scholarships and grants
Dalhousie Henry Hicks Building

Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies funding opportunities section for a comprehensive list of financial support options at Dalhousie.