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Laptop funding (Canada)


jakeopolis
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Hey all,

I'm a PhD student and will soon need a new laptop. Does anyone have any tips for getting funding specific to a new computer / piece of technology? Would be great to NOT have to spend that money out of pocket...

Thanks!

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The only thing you can really do is ask nicely and hope for the best.

You could ask your department or your supervisor to buy the computer for you. Usually this means that the school / the prof owns the computer, not you, so you cannot use it for personal things and you'll give it back to them at the end of the program. At both of my graduate programs, my supervisor/advisor purchased a work computer (desktop not laptop) for me to do work on. 

Another thing you could do is to ask your department for additional funding in order to make this purchase. This works best if you already have an external award and will save the department some money anyways. You can then mention this award and ask if they could increase your funding package by $2000 (or something) in the first year so that you can buy a computer. This would be your own money so it would be your own computer, not theirs. Note that this tactic only works if the school isn't already giving you extra funding for bringing in an external award (if so, then use that extra money!). 

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15 minutes ago, TakeruK said:

The only thing you can really do is ask nicely and hope for the best.

You could ask your department or your supervisor to buy the computer for you. Usually this means that the school / the prof owns the computer, not you, so you cannot use it for personal things and you'll give it back to them at the end of the program. At both of my graduate programs, my supervisor/advisor purchased a work computer (desktop not laptop) for me to do work on. 

Another thing you could do is to ask your department for additional funding in order to make this purchase. This works best if you already have an external award and will save the department some money anyways. You can then mention this award and ask if they could increase your funding package by $2000 (or something) in the first year so that you can buy a computer. This would be your own money so it would be your own computer, not theirs. Note that this tactic only works if the school isn't already giving you extra funding for bringing in an external award (if so, then use that extra money!). 

Thanks, that's helpful. I guess it's too much to hope/look for some specific award/scholarship that is 1) small and 2) easy to obtain? 

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5 minutes ago, jakeopolis said:

Thanks, that's helpful. I guess it's too much to hope/look for some specific award/scholarship that is 1) small and 2) easy to obtain? 

There's no general award like this for students in Canada. Maybe your specific field or school has some, but an award like this seems unlikely (i.e. everyone would want to apply for it and I'm not sure if it would even make much of an impact compared to using the same money to fund stipends etc.)

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