2020-21 Faculty of Medicine Harmonized Base Funding Agreement

1.  Total Base Funding

The student living allowance is increased by 5.0% in 2020-2021


2020-2021 Student Base Funding for doctoral-stream Masters and PhD  
Domestic   International
MSc PhD   MSc PhD
20,634.66 22,917.94 Living Allowance * 20,634.66 22,917.94
7,769.08 7,769.08 2020-21 Tuition Fees * 26,519.08 7,769.08
NA NA UHIP 720.00 720.00
28,403.74 30,687.02 Total (Base Funding) 47,873.74 31,407.02
  • * To maintain the same total base funding, the living allowance in the Winter 2021 session is increased by $89.57 to account for tuition incidental fees decrease of $89.57 in the Winter 2021 session.
  • If a student opt-out of health and dental fees or UHIP, the graduate unit or supervisor will still maintiain the same base funding stipend.
  • Effective Fall 2018, International PhD students are subject to the same tuition fees as domestic PhD students.
  • On January 17, 2019, the Ontario Government announced a 10% cut to domestic tuition fees beginning in 2019-20, and a freeze at that level for 2020-21.
  • Tuition Fees include: Mandatory and Selectable Incidental, System Access & Ancillary Fees, and UHIP for international tuition are included.

Note:  For the 2020-21 Agreement, it was agreed to provide a 5% increase in living allowance stipend to support MSc and PhD students.  The increase meets one of the requests by the Faculty of Medicine Graduate Representation Committee (GRC) for PhD students and it is more than double the Ontario CPI average rate of 2% over the first 8 months of 2019 to cover the increased cost of living in Toronto.

2.  Merit-based Entrance Scholarships (MES)

Merit-based Entrance Scholarships, valued at no more than $2,000 each, can be offered to up to 20% (based on previous year’s enrollment) of the most highly rated applicants as determined by the participating graduate units. A student who receives such an Entrance Scholarship, approved by the Graduate Unit offering admissions, will be eligible to retain the full amount over and above his/her base funding . No other “admissions” or “recruitment” incentive scholarships may be offered by individual graduate units. Doing so would be considered a violation of the Harmonized Base Funding Agreement.

3.  Top-Up Practices

All awards that require student applications are eligible for a top-up from their supervisor.  The top-up amounts are as follows:

Award amount top-up*
$0.00 to $2,000 There will be no top-up but the student gets to keep the award(s), up to a combined maximum of $2,000.  The amount of the award will not be deducted from the base funding.
Between $2,001 to $9,999
(cumulative awards)
Award goes towards the base funding and the student receives a $2,000 top-up over their base funding.
Between $10,000 to $15,000 (cumulative awards) Award goes towards the base funding and the student receives a $3,000 top-up over their base funding.
Over $15,000 (cumulative awards $15,001 and up) Award goes towards the base funding and student receives a $4,000 top-up over their base funding.


  • Within an academic year (or 12 months period), the total cumulative top-up maximum is $4,000. That is, if a student holds an award of $5,000 and another award of $17,500, their total top-up is $4,000.
  • The top-up is only provided in increments of $2,000, $3,000 or $4,000 per year (does not exceed 12 months) and is added above the base funding amount.
  • A student, who receives award(s) exceeding the amount equivalent to the base funding and  maximum top-up of $4,000, will not be eligible to receive a top-up for these award(s).
  • Payment of top-ups will occur annually for the duration of the award. Thereafter, the student will revert back to the appropriate base graduate student funding package amount.
  • Top-up eligibility excludes University of Toronto Fellowship (e.g. UTF Open), Doctoral Completion Awards, travel awards, and bursaries.

4.  Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Funds (OSOTF) Awards

Students who receive funding from needs-based and merit awards, such as OSOTFs, are required to consider such funds as part of their base funding. See above for top up policy for such awards

5.  Bursaries

Non-repayable grants, such as the UTAPS and SGS Emergency Grant, which assists students with sudden and/or unexpected financial need, are not part of the base funding outlined above. A student under these circumstances is therefore eligible to retain the entire amount of such an award.

6.  Funding Terms

In general, provided that he/she remain “in good standing”, a doctoral stream student will be funded for his/her thesis-based program. There are four basic principles that guide these funding terms, as follows:

  • MSc students are guaranteed base funding for their first 2 years.
  • PhD students admitted with completed master's degree are guaranteed base funding for a minimum of 4 years.
  • Transfer students (i.e. transfer from MSc to PhD students), are guaranteed minimum base funding for their first 5 years, which includes 1 year as an MSc student.
  • Direct-entry PhD students admitted with a bachelor's degree are guaranteed base funding for a minimum of 5 years.

Amended: 18-Jan-2021