Financial Support

As one of Canada's highest ranked Geography programs, we aim to attract excellent graduate students who fit our research-oriented graduate program.  Through the Faculty of Graduate Studies, we offer basic funding packages with minimum guarantees with respect to annual income that are designed to be equivalent to those offered by other Canadian universities.  We guarantee funding for two years for Masters students and six years for PhD students.

If you have an excellent academic transcript, you also have a good chance of obtaining scholarships in addition to the basic funding.  Finally, there are many opportunities to do paid work on various projects, or find funding to support fieldwork. So while being a student may not be a lucrative occupation in terms of income, we are able to provide a lot of basic financial support to help you through your studies.

Information on our basic funding package is available on the website of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The funding for this year provides a rough guide to what will be available next year.

This year the net income for PhD students, after the payment of tuition, with the basic funding package (ie, no additional scholarships and awards such as SSHRC) was about $17,500.  This would include work as a Teaching Assistant, or an equivalent position as a Graduate/Research position.

MA/MSc students who do not work as Teaching Assistants, Graduate Assistantships, or Research Assistantships have a total income after tuition of $5,784 this year.  In the past most of our MA students have had additional income through TA positions or other work, or from scholarships.   Please contact the program for more details.

Most of our graduate students will be TAs.  Teaching Assistantships at York are, we believe, the highest paid in Canada and includes a good package of health and other benefits negotiated by CUPE 3903 – the union representing teaching and graduate assistants at York.

Students who are awarded external scholarships may have an increase in their income.  Information on scholarships is available on the FGS website (above), or you can contact the Geography Graduate program administrator for more information.

Financial Support for international visa students is slightly different, and the number of funded positions for visa students is limited.  Please contact the program for more information.

Faculty Research Projects

Faculty who currently have research grants that can support student research include (ordered by when the grant started):

Professor Alison BainQueering Canadian suburbs: LGBTQ2S place-making outside of central cities (2016-2020).  MA and PhD students.  The research addresses key knowledge gaps regarding the lives, service needs, and place-making practices of suburban Canadian LGBTQ2S (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, and Two-Spirit) populations in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Professor Ranu BasuSubalterity, public education, and welfare cities: Comparing the experience of displaced migrants in three cities [Havana, Toronto, Kolkata] (2015-2020).  MA and PhD students, must have familiarity with either Cuba or India. Historically traces the geopolitical impacts on cities and schools through questions of conflict and displacement in Havana, Toronto and Kolkata.

Professor Raju DasNeoliberal industrialization, the rural periphery, and uneven development in India (2016-2020).  MA and PhD students are welcome.  This research project will examine how India's neoliberal-capitalist industrialization causes new forms of class inequality and new forms of geographically uneven development. Faculty contact:  Raju J. Das. Email:

Professor Philip Kelly: Canada-Philippines Alternative Transnational Economies (2015-2019). MA and PhD students.  The project explores the ways in which non-capitalist economic transactions and practices link Canada and the Philippines through networks forged by transnational migrants. These practices include diaspora philanthropy, humanitarian and disaster relief, gift economies, fair trade networks, unpaid transnational care chains, and alternative development advocacy by transnational activist groups. MA and PhD students will benefit from a team of collaborating researchers in Toronto, Vancouver and Manila, and fieldwork opportunities in both countries. For more information:

Professor Steve TuftsSpaces of labour in moments of urban populism (2015-2021).  MA and PhD students.  The research explores labour's response to and role in shaping urban populism in four North American cities and will involve students as part of the research team.

Professor Elizabeth LunstrumCanadian Conservation in Global Context (CCGC): Intersections with Asia and Africa.  MA and PhD students (2013-2019).  The project examines the politics of Canada's changing conservation landscape and places it in global comparative context with my long term research sites in sub-Saharan Africa and Robin Roth's long term research sites in Southeast Asia.
As part of a separate project, I am looking to work with students interested in the links between conservation and security and/or militarization.  For more information see

Professor Peter VandergeestNew Directions in Environmental Governance: Remaking Public and Private authority in Southeast Asian Resource Frontiers (2013-2019).  Some fieldwork and other support for MA students, limited support for PhD fieldwork given the end date of the project.   The project explores the effects of new environmental governance mechanisms in Southeast Asia through fieldwork-based research of diverse programs and projects, and involves a network of researchers in Southeast Asia, the Netherlands, and Australia.  For more information see

The following faculty members have active research that has supported support students, but financial support next year is contingent on available funding sources:

Professor Jennifer Korosi:   Multiple stressors and long-term environmental change in Canadian lakes.  Potential graduate student opportunities to work on several projects related to long-term environmental change in lakes, including the effects of permafrost thaw or legacy contamination from mining activities in the Northwest Territories, and disentangling the effects of multiple stressors (shoreline development, food web shifts) on urban lakes in southern Ontario. Interested students can contact me directly (jkorosi@yorkuca.) for information about potential opportunities, which are contingent on available funding.

Professor Kathy Young: I am seeking a PhD student interested in evaluating the impact of tephra (dust and volcanic ash) on the hydrologic dynamics of diverse wetland landscapes in Iceland. This student should be willing to camp and conduct field research for about 3-4 months at a time. Besides field experience, knowledge of hydrologic modeling platforms or willingness to learn is an asset. Funding is pending.
I am seeking a MSc student to evaluate the utility of smart sensors in monitoring water levels, soil moisture across a wetland site in southeast Iceland. This student should be willing to camp and conduct field research for about 3-4 months (May-August). Knowledge of GIS and remote sensing would also be an asset. Funding is pending.

Some faculty members conduct research programs that do not have funding, but provide opportunities for students to be involved, sometimes drawing on other sources of financial support.   These include:

Professor Justin PodurSpatial patterns of human-wildlife conflict in the city.

Professor Glen NorcliffeThe impact of the privatization of ice hockey rinks and training on where elite players are recruited in BC.

A few faculty have projects without current funding for students, sometimes because they have already recruited student researchers, or because the project close to finishing.  We list them here to give you an idea of the range of research that involve graduate students.

Professor Linda PeakeUnderstanding Geographies of Gendered Insecurities in Georgetown, Guyana.   Investigation of gendered urban insecurities in Georgeotwn , Guyana.

Professor Tarmo K. RemmelForest change morphology among biomes, jurisdictions, and vectors of change.

York Research Funding

Many of the research activities at York happen through research centres.   Because their mandate is to support research at York, they often prioritize supporting graduate student research.   Geographers are active in many of these research centres.

For a full list of research centres, you can go to the following link:

Some of the research centres that offer support to graduate students, and/or where Geographers are particularly active, include:

As members of CUPE, students may also apply for the following funding to support their field research or conferences.