Do I have to set up a direct-deposit option so that my stipend can be deposited directly to my account?
Can I opt for payroll deductions to pay for my tuition fees? Are graduate students entitled to any vacation period?
When I bring my personal laptop to the lab, is it possible for me to gain access to the network, as well as to the shared folders?
I am an MSc student. How does transferring to the PhD work?
I have a study permit. How do I get a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?
Some students receive more pay than others. Could you please explain?
Teaching Assistantship – when do we start to TA? Do we have to hold yearly committee meeting?
Does it have to be exactly every twelve months?
Do Graduate students receive maternity/paternity benefits?
Q- Do I have to set up a direct-deposit option so that my stipend can be deposited directly to my account?
A- Yes, direct deposit is now mandatory for all graduate student payments at this time. A completed Direct-deposit form along with a void cheque (or Bank document) needs to be dropped off to the Graduate Program Coordinator office (1362 - 2350 Health Sciences Mall) for stipend and Taship payments.
Q- Can I opt for payroll deductions to pay for my tuition fees?
A- Yes, domestic students complete the Payroll Tuition Deduction Form (by the deadline indicated here) and drop the completed from to Enrolment Services, Brock Hall. You will also need to include a copy of your student appointment form. The Graduate Program Coordinator can provide you with a copy of your student appointment form.
A- International students can use the same form to defer their tuition.
Q- Are graduate students entitled to any vacation period?
A- Students are entitled to 3 weeks of vacation. This arrangement must be discussed and agreed upon between student and supervisor.
Q- When I bring my personal laptop to the lab, is it possible for me to gain access to the network, as well as to the shared folders?
A- Yes, please contact our IT support at: itsupport[at]microbiology.ubc.ca
Please provide your full name, student number, lab, and UBC email account.
Q- I am an MSc student. How does transferring to the PhD work?
A- MSc students can transfer to the PhD without having to complete their MSc program. To transfer you must have completed one year of study in the master program with a minimum 80% average in twelve credits, of which at least nine credits must be at the 500 level or above and at least nine credits must be at 80% or above. Your committee and supervisor must see clear evidence of research ability.
Transfers are done at the start of a term. Schedule a committee meeting and obtain approval from your supervisory committee well before the term starts. Approval to transfer must be recorded on the Committee Report Form and sent to the GPC who will complete the necessary paperwork to start the request through Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies.
Q- I have a study permit. How do I get a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?
A- Bring your Study Permit to the GPC. We will issue you an employment contract which you will need to take to a government office to apply for a SIN. Once you receive your SIN, please provide a copy of the number to the GPC.
Q- Some students receive more pay than others. Could you please explain?
A- All graduate students are supported at a minimum annual amount through combinations of scholarships/awards, TAships, and supervisor contributions. Scholarships reduce or eliminate the faculty's requirement to pay a student's stipend. However, MSc students receive a $2,000 bonus and PhD students receive a $3,000 bonus on top of their guaranteed minimum. TAships will also earn you an additional bonus of $1,500 for a full time TAship.
Q- Teaching Assistantship – when do we start to TA?
A- Current program requirement requires both MSc and PhD students to TA one full time TAship to fulfill program requirements. For most students, the first TAship is assigned during your first or second term of the second year. If everything goes according to plan, most of you will start your first TAship in your second year.
There are three types of TAships:
1) Required: you are TAing to fulfill program requirement. Students will receive $1,500 bonus/full TAship for the term. If you also hold a scholarship on the term that you are doing a TAship, you will get to keep the full TA income as your bonus, on top of the scholarship that you are already receiving.
2) Required by supervisor: this TAship is generally done after you have fulfilled your TA requirement. Since TA is funded by the department, your supervisor may ask you to do another TAship to help offset their financial load. Students doing “required” TAship will receive $1,500 bonus/ full time TAship for the term.
3) Voluntary: after you have fulfilled program requirement, students may want to do an additional TAship, or they may be asked to help fill in open positions → students typically will receive a bonus from the minimum of $1,500/ full time TAship, to the full TA income. The total amount of bonus for the student must be agreed upon between the student and the supervisor.
Q- Do we have to hold yearly committee meeting? Does it have to be exactly every twelve months?
A- Graduate students are expected to hold a yearly committee meeting. The whole idea of a committee meeting is for you to present your work to your committee and at the same time to receive feedback from your committee. It is the students’ responsibilities to remind their committee and schedule a meeting accordingly.
About 4-6 weeks before the meeting, organize a committee meeting time and place. Submit a progress report to your committee members 1 week before the meeting. Progress reports must be prepared according to the Progress Report Outline template.
During the meeting, the Committee Report Form must be filled in by the supervisor. Student and supervisor must sign then forward completed forms to the graduate program coordinator.
As for timing, it would be ideal if you could have a committee meeting every twelve months. However, we are not living in the perfect world, people do have different schedules and various issues happen at different time. As long as you hold a meeting every 12 months or so, give/ take one or two months, you will be fine.
The Graduate Program Coordinator and/or the Graduate Advisor will send reminder emails if you are not holding your committee meetings in a timely manner. Choosing to ignore their request could result in the stopping of stipend payment.
Q- Do Graduate students receive maternity/paternity benefits?
A- Students who hold a tri-council scholarship receive 4-6 months maternity/paternity benefits. Students whose stipend is covered by NSERC or CIHR receive 4 to 6 months coverage from their supervisor which is compensated by the tri-council agency.