Wilfrid Laurier University Graduate Calendar - 2009/2010
Canadian Excellence

Fellowships and Scholarships

Information regarding graduate funding opportunities (bursaries, fellowships and scholarships) is posted on the Student Awards website, and on the Student Funding section of the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website. Further information, application forms and advice may be obtained from the Graduate Studies Office.

The success of a scholarship application depends on more than high marks, although an A standing is usually required. Letters of recommendation are extremely important. They should be written by faculty who have taught and know the student's plans, ability and potential. It is necessary that applications be complete in every detail and that the supporting documentation be forwarded by the stated deadline.

Students should apply early in the fall for external scholarships which are tenable in the following year. Most deadlines are in October or November, with notification in April and awards commencing in September. Consult the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website each fall for upcoming application deadlines.

Awards Policy

Since there may be a maximum amount of funds that can be awarded and held by a student, full-time graduate students who accept an award that is not directly administered by WLU must immediately inform their department chairperson and the dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, in writing. This requirement applies to any awards or assistance offered by any agency or institution.

To be eligible for WLU Graduate Scholarships and Teaching Assistantships, which are awarded on a competitive basis, students must be full-time graduate students in good standing who are taking a normal full-time course load as defined by the requirements of their program. If, following admission, students are placed on academic probation, they may, on the recommendation of the department or faculty, be deemed ineligible to receive these awards.

 
Teaching Assistantships

All teaching assistantships (TAs) are conditional on registering as a full-time student and on maintaining a full-time courseload, as defined by the department, during the term in which the assistantship is held. To ensure that a graduate student is able to actively pursue his/her graduate program on a full-time basis, no other teaching-related activity may be assigned for the term in which the teaching assistantship is held (e.g., CAS appointment).

Assistantship contracts may be cancelled due to unsatisfactory performance, withdrawal from full-time registration, or holding a CAS letter of appointment. Wilfrid Laurier University reserves the right to reduce the employment responsibility of a student who holds a major external award for the year in which the award is held.

Teaching responsibilities will be assigned by the Department, and may not exceed 130 hours per term. Responsibilities to undertake work in support of an ongoing research project may be assigned only with the approval of the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Teaching assistants are paid on the bi-weekly payroll dates (or monthly, in certain circumstances). Payment is made by direct deposit. Questions regarding payroll, deductions, etc. should be directed to the Payroll Office.

Students with Teaching Assistantship contracts are eligible to receive both employment earnings for services performed, and a Fellowship to recognize the advancement of their education and the further development of their skills through the Graduate Teaching Assistantship experience.

The employment earnings will be based on an hourly rate and subject to all statutory deductions, and will include 4% vacation pay. The Fellowship available to students undertaking TA contracts and performing TA duties as specified by the department is tax-exempt, and will be reflected on a T4A at year end. Students not undertaking TA duties are ineligible for the Fellowship.

Assistants are required to serve the university in teaching for no more than the hours specified for the contract period. Please note that full-time graduate students may not be gainfully employed more than 10 hours per week on average within the university.

Guidelines for Teaching Assistantship Responsibilities

An assistantship is awarded from university operating funds to enable departments with graduate programs to provide (a) assistance to faculty with their teaching responsibilities, and (b) graduate students with teaching experience. As a result, TAs might be expected to provide informal and formal advice to students; assist in the grading of tests, papers, lab reports and final exams; and conduct tutorial or lab sessions. Assistantship functions shall not include clerical, technical or administrative work not related to teaching.

A teaching assistant cannot work more than an average of 10 hours per week or a maximum of 130 hours per term. To ensure that there is a fair, equitable and consistent interpretation of this regulation, the following guidelines are to be employed:

  1. The definition of the number of hours per week includes: compulsory attendance at lectures, preparation time if a teaching assignment (e.g., tutorial, lab, lecture, seminar); meeting time with the instructor; formal office hours. Voluntary attendance at lectures or professional development workshops and seminars does not count toward the maximum number of hours per week or term.
  2. In some weeks an instructor may require a TA to work more or less than 10 hours per week because of the scheduling of such course requirements as mid-term exams, term papers, lab reports or final exams. 
  3. A TA cannot be required to work more than 15 hours in any one week, or more than 10 hours per three-day period, regardless of the urgency of the task. Any exceptions to this maximum must be agreed to, in writing, by the TA at least three weeks in advance of the particular week in which the 10- or 15-hour limits are to be exceeded.
  4. All TA responsibilities should be completed by the official last day of term.
  5. Hours not required in one term cannot be carried forward to a subsequent term. 
  6. Where disputes arise, the TA shall consult with the immediate supervisor and the graduate officer in an attempt to resolve the matter. Should this process fail to resolve the dispute, written correspondence on the matter should be addressed to the department chairperson by both faculty and TA.  If the above consultations should fail to resolve the dispute, a ruling will be sought from the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

 
WLU Graduate Scholarships

Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to full-time entering or continuing graduate students who achieve high academic standing in their program. All qualified students meeting the current "scholarship" standard for the academic unit are automatically considered. Application is not required. A scholarship is awarded on academic merit, not financial need. WLU Graduate Scholarships have a minimum value of $1,000 and are tenable for study at WLU while enrolled as a full-time student completing coursework and/or research. Normally, scholarships are paid in three equal instalments over three terms. Students awarded a WLU scholarship must sign and agree to abide by the terms indicated on the Graduate Scholarship Contract form.