University of Toronto, Department of Molecular Genetics

Graduate School Finances

Stipend, Top-ups and Tuition

Student stipend information for 2021-2022: Faculty of Medicine Harmonized Base Funding Agreement

Living on a grad school budget can be hard! Your first pay checks (during your rotation) will come from U of T, after which you will be paid according to your node. For questions about payroll, it is best to contact HR or the Trainee coordinators in your node.

Everyone in the Faculty of Medicine (regardless of department) is guaranteed the same base student stipend, which is supposed to cover your living expenses and your tuition. Keep in mind – you can defer your fall tuition payment until May, at which point you must pay your full tuition (~$8000), which is before you get your summer paychecks. Don’t let this surprise you – try to save up your tuition throughout the year so you aren’t stuck in a tight spot.

If you get a scholarship, you can get a ‘top-up’ which increases your stipend. There are three levels of top-up:

  • Awards totaling less than $10,000 CAD (ex. most OSOTFs, OGS, etc.) will earn you a top-up of $2000.
  • Awards totaling between $10,000-15,000 CAD will earn you a top-up of $3000.
  • Awards totaling more than $15,000 CAD (ex. CGS-M, CGS-D, Vanier Scholarships) will earn you a top-up of $4000.

Award payments can function differently than normal paychecks – many awards are given to you as lump sums at the start of each semester. Make sure you are aware of how your funds are coming in so you can budget appropriately!


The best way to keep up with scholarships is to keep a close eye on your email and watch for award announcements. There may also be additional awards specific to your field- try doing some Googling for foundations or funding agencies that support your research and check if they have graduate awards.  Also, remember that it doesn’t hurt to apply! Even if it seems like a long shot, the likelihood you will get an award you apply for is always higher than if you didn’t submit at all.  Finally- make sure you ask your references for their letters well ahead of time! It is courtesy to give your references at least 3 weeks notice, with a reminder 1 week prior to the deadline. 

If you want help with your writing, there are workshops offered yearly by the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) on writing a proposal for CIHR or NSERC. You can also schedule an appointment with the writing center for help with your application. 

Scholarship schedule


  • Vanier Award
  • Doctoral CIHR and NSERC awards (CGS-D)
  • University of Toronto OSOTF


  • Master’s CIHR and NSERC awards (CGS-M)


  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship

Government Financial Aid

OSAP: Depending on your income and living situation, you may still qualify for grants from OSAP. OSAP offers both grants and repayable loans, but you can opt out of the loan portion if you don’t need it.

Ontario Energy Support: Low-income households may qualify for the Ontario Energy Support Program which can help subsidize your energy bill.

Student Discounts


Metro: 10% student discount Tuesday/Wednesday
Sobeys: 10% student discount everyday with an AirMiles card
Loblaws: 10% student discount on Tuesdays
Bulk Barn: 10% student discount on Wednesday


Arisu: 10% student discount
Art Square Cafe: 13% student discount
FIKA Cafe: 15% student discount
Fresh: 15% student discount
Insomnia: 20% student discount (except during weekend and holiday brunches)
Salad King: 20% student discount (from 2-5pm)
Signs: 10% student discount
Spring Rolls: 15% student discount
Toby’s Pub: 15% student discount (Sunday through Thursday)


storesClub Monaco: 20% student discount on full-price and sale merchandise in stores and online
Curry’s Art Store: 10% discount on regular priced items
Henry’s: 10% student discount on selected merchandise/ 20% student discount on rentals
Rexall’s: 20% off regularly priced Rexall brand products with UTGSU health plan Rexall Exclusive Savings Card and your student ID; 10% off prescription drugs costs (up to a max of $40) with UTGSU health plan Pay-Direct Card
Roots: 20% student discount on regular priced items/10% student discount on sales items
Shoppers Drug Mart: 10% student discount Thursdays
The Fashion District: 10% student discount
Topshop and Topman: 10% student discount on regular priced items

Other Tips

With a Toronto Public Library card, you can get free passes to a number of different museums and the zoo
The UTSU offers of entertainment tickets at discounted rates (CNE, Wonderland, Raptors, Absolute Comedy etc)
Check your node for work-perks (available for Mount Sinai Hospital employees) or similar employee promotions.