Doctoral Studies Support Program

Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario) conducts a program of financial support for Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) pursuing doctoral studies, which will prepare them for a career in teaching and research in Ontario in governance, strategy and risk management; performance management; Canadian or International assurance; finance; Canadian or International financial accounting; or Canadian taxation. The program was established in 1979 and is now in its 42nd year. 

The program has the following objectives:

  • to help assure a continuing supply of qualified teachers in governance, strategy and risk management; performance management; Canadian or International assurance; finance; Canadian or International financial accounting; or Canadian taxation in Ontario post-secondary institutions
  • to enhance the long-run research capabilities of the accounting profession
  • to encourage the development of accounting doctoral programs in Canada

Upon completion of all obligations under the Doctoral Studies Support Program agreement, a candidate shall receive the designation "Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario Doctoral Fellow'' (CPA Ontario Doctoral Fellow) and shall be entitled to cite the support program completed as "Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario Doctoral Fellowship''. To date, 32 candidates have become Doctoral Fellows.

The deadline for 2022-2023 applications is January 31, 2022, for support commencing in the fall of that year.

Eligibility for the program

To be considered for assistance under the program, a candidate must:

  • Be accepted in a doctoral program and be pursuing full time coursework, which typically occurs in years 1-3 of a doctoral program. Applicants who have not yet been accepted into a doctoral program may still apply, however, funds will only be released upon acceptance into a recognized doctoral program. An applicant who is entering the 4th year of their doctoral program can contact CPA Ontario for further details regarding their eligibility.
  • Demonstrate that the planned course of studies will prepare him/her for a career in teaching and research in Ontario in governance, strategy and risk management; performance management; Canadian or International assurance; finance; Canadian or International financial accounting; or Canadian taxation, and that his/her studies include a concentration in one or more of these fields.
  • Have one year of full-time teaching experience at the post-secondary institution level or have demonstrated ability and interest in teaching.
  • Be a Chartered Professional Accountant in good standing in Ontario.

Candidates already in a doctoral program may apply, provided they meet the eligibility requirements and are prepared to accept the conditions of the program. Those applicants applying for funding for the 4th year of their doctoral program can contact CPA Ontario for further details on eligibility.

Nature of assistance

The program provides for financial and other assistance.

Financial

CPA Ontario will provide forgivable loans to a maximum of $15,000 per annum for each new candidate selected.

It is the intention of CPA Ontario to provide continuous assistance, for a maximum of three years, throughout the candidate's coursework stage of the doctoral program (typically years 1-3 of a doctoral program). Therefore, a candidate's progress will be reviewed in terms of his or her financial needs and academic performance each year.  Financial needs will be reviewed in light of available alternative sources of financial assistance for each candidate.

The loans will be forgivable under the following conditions:

  • The candidate must, after completion of the doctoral program, obtain a full-time teaching position in an Ontario post-secondary institution and teach predominantly governance, strategy and risk management; performance management; Canadian or International assurance; finance; Canadian or International financial accounting; and/or Canadian taxation.
  • The required period of such teaching will depend on the amount of the loan and the period of support. As a guideline, for each $15,000 awarded, the candidate will be required to teach one academic year immediately following the completion of the doctoral program.
  • It is expected that the candidate will not commence a full-time teaching position before they have completed all requirements for the degree and that they will complete all requirements for the degree within five years of commencing the doctoral program.

Failure to satisfy any of the above conditions may require the candidate to immediately repay any loan(s) granted. If the candidate withdraws from the doctoral program, for whatever reason, they may be required to repay the loan(s) immediately.

Member Due Reduction

If you are enrolled in a full-time accounting PhD program at a recognized post-secondary institution for at least seven months in a single 12-month period, you may qualify for a 100% member due reduction. Please click here for further details.

Administration and selection of candidates

The guidelines for the selection of candidates include the following:
  • evaluation of the candidate's academic and professional preparation for a program of studies at the doctoral level; as evidence, CPA Ontario will examine transcripts of academic work, letters of reference concerning academic and professional accomplishment and potential, and standing in professional examinations
  • assessment of the candidate's background to determine interest, ability and suitability as a teacher and researcher at the post-secondary institution level. As evidence, CPA Ontario will review letters of reference from academic and professional colleagues concerning the candidate's ability and accomplishments
  • consideration of the candidate's available alternate sources of financial assistance for the doctoral program

Application for support

As a first step, to see if you qualify for financial support, please take our pre-qualification questionnaire.

Once you have successfully completed the pre qualification questionnaire if eligible to apply for the Doctoral Studies Support Program you will be directed to the online application form.

Candidates will be required to arrange for at least three references to provide academic and/or employment references to CPA Ontario. The reference letters should come directly from the referees, and each letter should include the name and contact information of the referee. All application supporting documentation must be emailed to [email protected].

The deadline for 2022-2023 applications is January 31, 2022, for support commencing in the fall of that year. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Funding decisions will be communicated by the end of May.