1. Student Funding includes Scholarships (performance-based), Bursaries (need-based) and Employment. 
  2. Competitive funding packages are pivotal to recruiting doctoral and thesis-based master’s students. 
  3. Competitive funding packages require multi-year commitments that align with minimum times to completion. 
  4. Scholarships are essential to recruiting students to course-based master's programs. 
  5. Student funding provides access to programs. 
  6. Student funding is meant to allow students to focus on their program 
  7. Scholarships should reward excellence; there are various ways to define excellence.
  8. Scholarships and awards need to keep pace with rising costs, especially tuition. 
  9. Competitive funding requires top-ups to external scholarships that track with tuition increases. 
  10. Nimble funds are required for recruitment that is offered at the time of admission.
  11. Centrally adjudicated scholarships should be more prestigious and therefore competitive, than those allocated to units. 
  12. Eligibility for scholarships or funding packages must be transparent. For example, if scholarships and/or Assistantships exclude those working full-time outside the university or in alignment with TriAgency awards categories of university employees (e.g. faculty members) it must be clear for all applicants. 
  13. A minimum funding guarantee provides predictability for students and helps to support mental well-being.
  14. There is a responsibility for supervisors to financially support students where students provide an intellectual contribution to the research program of their supervisor.
  15. Incenting college/department/faculty behaviour through matching schemes must be counterbalanced by both the unit and CGPS administration; while not expecting one funding stream to incentivize too many different things.

Adopted by CGPS stakeholders in the winter of 2021. 

Robust graduate student supports underpin the success of a research-intensive university.  CGPS stewards annually just over $10 million from general operating funds for graduate awards and scholarships as well as funding for graduate teaching assistantships.  

A complex system has evolved over many years and is hybrid in terms of allocating a portion of the funds to eligible units under individual agreements (devolved funding) and several centrally adjudicated scholarships.  There are also many small streams of special-purpose funding, some of which are allocated to Colleges/Schools.  The requirements in terms of eligibility and requirements to match are onerous to administer for both units and CGPS. There is general dissatisfaction due to the complexity of the system and challenges in using the Dean’s Scholarship funds effectively in the recruitment of top students due to timing.  

A working group was formed in 2021 to analyze the existing funding streams and to propose a better and simplified system while retaining the fundamentals desired to provide prestigious scholarships and base support for graduate students.  

Scholarship and Bursaries from endowed funds administered through CGPS and funds administered by Schools and Colleges are not within the scope of this project. 

Funding streams

The CGPS council approved (October 27, 2022) to reduce the number of funding streams, and allocate at least 50% of the funds to units. Key themes:

  1. The Student Support Fund (SSF) is designed to be highly flexible, providing stable and easy-to-use base funds to support graduate students with stipends, and allows units to award funding as a non-competitive stipend without applying scholarship criteria. e.g. funding can be used to offset graduate teaching, assistantship, top-ups, etc.

  2. CGPS75th Recruitment Scholarship is designed as a prestigious CGPS-branded entrance scholarship that enables units/programs to recruit top masters and doctoral talent to USask. Annual allocations are calculated by leveraging Tri-Agency success from both the supervisor and graduate student perspectives. Why is this important? Tri-Agency success is a key metric for USask and the U15.


  3. New Dean's Doctoral Scholars funding is restructured to incent outstanding doctoral research in three key areas 1) recruitment: attract top quality USask master's students into our doctoral programs, 2) attrition: allow high achieving doctoral students to focus on their thesis research 3) institutional impact: incentivize high calibre applications to the Tri-Agencies.

  4. Specialty Funding Programs administered by the CGPS, specialty programs include the Indigenous Graduate Leadership Award, Teacher-Scholar Doctoral Fellowship, Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarships, Bring the World to Saskatchewan, Training Grant Matching, Graduate Internship, New Graduate Faculty Support, and general college initiative (e.g. Pandemic Bursary) funding.

PhD Minimum Funding Guarantee

As of May 1, 2023, the majority of USask's PhD programs provide all newly admitted PhD students with a funding package of at least $20,000 per year for 4 years. In many departments where the terminal thesis-based degree is at the Master’s level, minimum funding guarantees may be provided. Additional information on individual program funding levels is available through the Find a Program page.

The following is a list of programs that have opted-in to CGPS' 75th Anniversary Scholarship Program and thus provide a 4-year minimum funding guarantee to PhD students effective May 1, 2023.

Agriculture & Bioresources
  • Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Applied Economics
  • Plant Science
  • Soil Science
Arts & Science
  • Anthropology & Archeology
  • Art & Art History
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • English & Writing
  • Geography & Planning
  • Geological Sciences
  • History
  • Indigenous Studies
  • Language, Literature, & Cultural Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics & Statistics
  • Music
  • Physics & Engineering Physics
  • Political Studies collab. with Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
Edwards School of Business
  • Dept. of Finance and Management Science
  • Dept. of Management and Marketing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Civil, Geological & Environmental Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology
  • Community Health and Epidemiology
  • Health Sciences
Pharmacy & Nutrition
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Large Animal Clinical Sciences
  • Small Animal Clinical Sciences
  • Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
  • Veterinary Microbiology
  • Veterinary Pathology
School of Environment & Sustainability
School of Public Health
School of Public Policy

How has the Dean's changed?

What we used to call the Dean's looks very different now titled Dean's Doctoral Scholars Scholarship and is summarized below:



  • January 9, 2024 is the deadline for applications (in the 23/24 academic year)
  • Must be continuing students in a doctoral-level program at USask as of Dec 1, 2023
  • Must have completed no more than 24 months in a doctoral program at the time of application
  • Must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 80%
  • The scholarship amount is $24,000/year for two years
  • Not an open competition. Doctoral students must have applied in October for a Tri-Agency Canada Graduate Scholarship-Doctoral (CGS-D) competition to be eligible.
  • Open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents
  • Applications for this competition will be taken from those Tri-Agency CGS-D applications that are recommended to the national competition but were not awarded at the national level 
  • The scholarship amount is $24,000/year for two years





New and revised policies were approved by CGPS Council on
October 27, 2022, to support Reimagine Graduate Funding processes.

Visit the CGPS PAWS channel (sign-in required) to access a variety of templates and guidance documents.

Graduate committee guidelines

New Policy 18.7 provides guidance for the roles and responsibilities of Graduate Affairs committees in departments/schools/colleges including distribution and adjudication of scholarships and awards. A key principle with respect to scholarship and admissions is to ensure that the awarding of recruitment scholarships and funding packages is done through a robust process with more than a single person making decisions and are fully coordinated with the admission process.

Scholarships and Awards Policy

Revised Policy 10 is a set of regulations and guidelines in the awarding and administration of centrally provided graduate scholarships, awards, and bursaries.  The policy is intended to support equitable adjudication for scholarships and awards and applies to institutional and endowed funds administered through CGPS. Each type of funding has specific terms of reference that must also adhere to these general regulations.

Endowed and non-centralized graduate funding opportunities remain unchanged.