Petition to the Government of Canada
Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars are the lifeforce of discovery and innovation, providing the critical ideas, talent, and labour necessary for the majority of post-secondary research conducted in Canada;
Much of the science and research in Canada is funded by the Tri-Council Funding Agencies;
Yet, the majority of these federally funded graduate and postdoctoral scholarships amount to less than minimum wage, forcing some of the brightest minds in Canada into poverty, or to seek better funded positions abroad; and
As the cost of living has steadily increased over time, the unchanged values of graduate student and postdoctoral scholarships and fellowships provide inadequate support for these researchers, who often have families, prior student loans and other financial responsibilities.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Increase the value of graduate scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships awarded by the Tri-Council agencies by 48% to match inflation since 2003, and index it to the consumer price index, which will ensure awards, especially the Postgraduate Scholarships – Doctoral and Canadian Graduate Scholarships – Master’s, are internationally competitive, and increase with costs of living.
2. Increase by 50% the number of graduate scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships awarded by the Tri-Council agencies, which will improve equity in access to education, and ensure Canada attracts and retains high-quality researchers.