Financial Information and Funding

The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience offers a variety of funding opportunities directed to those enrolled in the any of the three graduate-level programs: Neuroscience, Clinical, and Experimental.

Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Fellowships are intended to help our students meet the cost of their studies at Dalhousie University. Student appointments may involve part-time teaching or research opportunities. The Department also encourages students to apply to external funding agencies beyond those offered within Dalhousie University.  

For Further information on other funding opportunities and scholarships please see: Gradstudies Funding Opportunities


Awards & Funding Opportunities

Teaching Assistantships

Graduate students are required to serve a Teaching Assistant (TA) position in our undergradate programs during one term of the academic year. With supervisors' approval, student's may TA more than the one term/year requirement. 

Training our graduate students in an apprentice relationship, and NOT the provision of financial support, is the principle rationale for the TA requirement. All teaching assistants are assigned to work under the direct supervision of a faculty member. During closed meetings at which graduate student progress is evaluated, faculty members may be invited to comment on the performance of TAs under their supervision.

TA duties might include development of laboratory exercises, grading of laboratory or other reports, conducting seminars with small groups of students, tutoring students individually, attending lectures given by the professor, and/or preparation, grading, and proctoring of examinations.

Capable students might be given the opportunity to give guest lectures to the class. The faculty member is responsible for assigning grades to the undergraduates in the class, for supervising the aforementioned duties, and for providing an evaluation of the teaching assistant. In exceptional circumstances, the GPC may agree to substitute for this requirement (but not the Psychology 2000/Neuroscience 2007 – Psychology 7100 combination) teaching of at least comparable responsibility and complexity at Dalhousie, but outside our undergraduate program.

Program of Study Year 1 Year 2   Year 3
Experimental and Neuroscience Masters Program x    
Clinical Psychology
  x x
Experimental and Neuroscience Doctorate Program x x  

Note: TAships for Clinical and Doctorate students after Year 1 may be less than 130 hours. 

TAship Support
The amount of a TAship is determined by the CUPE agreement. The first TA asignment for each graduate position is an automatic "TA-130 Hour" requirement which offers support equivalent to $3,173 per term.


Killam Scholarships

The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience may nominate outstanding students for a Killam Scholarship. This scholarship recognizes the very best in graduate and postgraduate education. Dalhousie is one of only four universities in Canada to award Killam Scholarships and Prizes, which have made a major difference in the lives and the research of its recipient graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

These scholarships are, as a rule, more competitive than those awarded by government agencies. Killam Scholarships offer up to $20,000 in support to Masters students and up to $30,000 in support of Doctoral students. 

Students holding or being nominated for the prestigious Killam Scholarship must apply for scholarship support from at least one of the External Funding agencies listed below, if eligible to do so.

Students holding an external scholarship who also win a Killam, are topped up to the Killam level (if necessary) and are awarded an Honorary Killam Award.

Note: Students do not apply directly for Killam Awards; nominations are made by the Departments Graduate Program Committee.

Graduate Fellowship

Students admitted to our graduate programs who do not receive external scholarships (e.g., NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR, or Killam Scholarships), meet the conditions of financial support, and who are making satisfactory progress, will receive a Dalhousie Graduate Fellowship (DGF) with a base level (before reimbursement for TAship) minimum of $22,000/year.

 Scholarship Amount  Total Support 
$0 $22,000/year (please contact Department)
< $22,000 Up to $24,000/year
$22,000 - $23,999 Up to $24,000/year
> $24,000 Scholarship Amount



Fellowship Support
Students who have been awarded a scholarship are eligible for a Dalhousie Graduate Fellowship (DGF) top-up. In this case, the scholarship amount has an impact on the total support awarded. 

The "top-up goal" is a calculated amount which is added to the scholarship amount to determine total support. The equation used to determine the total funded amount is as follows:
(Scholarships/DGF) * (“top-up goal”– DGF) + (DGF – Scholarships)

Example: A student entering the first year of a graduate program from an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree received total scholarship support of $17,500:

  • Scholarships = $17,500
  • DGF = $22,000
  • “Top-up goal” = $24,000 

Calculation: ($17500/$22000) * ($24000-$22000) + ($22000-$17500) = $5170
Top-up = $5170
Total Support is $17500+ $5170 = $22670.

On average our students receive about $22,830/year not including TAships. Students are required to pay tuition and fees ($8478 for PhD students) from their support.

External Funding

Students applying for admission as well as students currently in our graduate programs are expected to apply for any external funding for which they are eligible. The primary sources of external funding for graduate training are as follows:

• Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
• Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
• Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)
• Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF)

Information about how to apply for these awards is available online; additional information is available from the Graduate Coordinator or from the Faculty of Graduate Studies in the Henry Hicks Academic Administration Building. Pay particular attention to the deadlines and the application requirements and note that internal deadlines may be several weeks earlier than the deadlines indicated on the websites. Be sure to follow all formatting guidelines and page restrictions.


For Further information on other funding opportunities and scholarships please see: Gradstudies Funding Opportunities


Sessional Instructor

Sessional instructors are employed on a non-contract basis with the department for an agreed number of hours worked within a specified period of time. 

Advanced students might have the option of serving as a sessional instructor in undergraduate classes; however, the approval of the student's thesis supervisor and the Graduate Coordinator are required before such a position can be offered.

Students holding external scholarships should consult the regulations and the conditions associated with their particular scholarship to determine what restrictions (upon the amount of teaching and/or other external work) might apply.

Non-Canadian Student Funding

Foreign students (unless Landed Immigrants) are not eligible for financial support under funds obtained from any Canadian federal granting body. Foreign students may receive funds from University sources, but these are limited. Foreign student applicants are urged to seek funding from their own governmental agencies and private agencies.

Spouses of foreign students are eligible to receive work permits for any occupation. Further information can be obtained at the International Student Centre.

Foreign students can now work in Canada for a certain time period (depending on the length of their degree) at a job related to their studies. For more information, please visit the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website.


Additional Employment

Students who hold a Dalhousie Graduate Fellowship (DGF), external scholarship and/or Killam scholarship are permitted to work while enrolled in their graduate-level program within the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. Psychology and Neuroscience students may work to a maximum of 16 hours/week; and Clinical Psychology students, may work to a maximum of 10 hours/week.

Hours obtained during a Teaching Assistant (TA) assignment must be included when calculating how many additional hours of employment might be undertaken. Students who are not eligible for a DGF (see Section IV.A: Dalhousie Graduate Fellowships) are not limited in the number of hours of "extra" employment they may undertake, but should consult with their supervisor and Graduate Coordinator when the workload is expected to exceed 16 hours/week.