A message from your student representatives about our funding

Dear DNS Students,

Student leaders from the 9 basic science departments under the Faculty of Medicine (FoM), called the Graduate Representation Committee (GRC), have been working on various initiatives this past year to:

  1. Inform students about how our funding works (see attached Funding Explainer),
  2. Collect award, supplemental income and other relevant data, and listen to concerns students have about their funding/living situation (survey distributed September 2017), and
  3. Advocate for our students based on data collected from the survey (see attached Student Finance and Living Report 2017, which summarizes the data and puts forth recommendations for change).

We want to sincerely thank the students who filled out the survey and provided feedback.

In October 2017, the Chairs from each FoM basic science department, along with Vice Dean Allan Kaplan, had their annual meeting to negotiate amendments to our Harmonized Student Stipend Agreement (HSSA) – the document which dictates how much money we receive every year (including top-up practices). They had all received the Student Finance and Living Report 2017 prior to the meeting. As you can see from the attached FoM Harmonize Base Funding Agreement for 2018-2019 (new title for the HSSA), there have been significant changes that will benefit students, including a 2% increase in our living allowance and a simplification of top-up practices. Importantly, OSOTF awards are no longer treated differently than other awards; top-ups are distributed based on dollar amount of the award (this excludes University of Toronto Fellowship (e.g, UTF Open), Doctoral Completion Awards, and bursaries). Please familiarize yourself with this important document.

The GRC is excited by these new changes to our funding practices, and view this as the beginning of an ongoing and collaborative process between FoM students and faculty to best serve our students’ needs. As part of this process, our group has been invited to participate in the annual HSSA negotiations to directly represent our students.

If any student wants to discuss this further or is interested in getting involved in future initiatives, please contact Sara (NSGSA FoM Representative)

Sincerely,
FoM Graduate Representation Committee (GRC) and the NSGSA