The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship stands as a symbol of academic excellence, leadership, and commitment to advancing knowledge. Created by the Government of Canada in 2008, the Vanier Scholarship aims to attract and retain top-tier doctoral students from around the world, empowering them to make significant contributions to their fields and to society at large.
Origins and Objectives
Named after Major-General Georges P. Vanier, who served as Canada’s Governor General from 1959 to 1967, the scholarship program reflects his legacy of leadership, dedication, and humanitarian values. The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship program strives to recognize and support doctoral students who demonstrate exceptional leadership skills, academic achievement, and a deep commitment to advancing research, innovation, and societal betterment.
Fostering Research Excellence
The Vanier Scholarship offers more than just financial support. It provides recipients with the resources and opportunities necessary to excel in their academic pursuits and research endeavors. The scholarship covers tuition, living expenses, and research-related costs, allowing scholars to fully immerse themselves in their studies and investigations without the burden of financial constraints.
By alleviating these financial pressures, the Vanier Scholarship empowers scholars to focus on producing groundbreaking research outputs that have the potential to transform their respective fields. This research is not only academically significant but can also lead to practical applications that address complex global challenges and contribute to Canada’s economic and social progress.
Selection and Prestige
The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship is highly competitive, with a rigorous selection process designed to identify the most promising and innovative scholars. Candidates are evaluated based on their academic records, research potential, leadership qualities, and the potential impact of their research on their chosen fields and on society. The program aims to support research that is not only intellectually stimulating but also has the potential to drive positive change and contribute to Canada’s knowledge economy.
Building a Community of Leaders
One of the remarkable aspects of the Vanier Scholarship is its emphasis on building a community of leaders and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration. Scholars from diverse academic backgrounds come together to exchange ideas, share perspectives, and contribute to a broader intellectual discourse. This collaborative environment nurtures innovation, as scholars draw inspiration from each other and tackle complex challenges from multiple angles.
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship Eligibility
• be enrolled full-time in a doctoral program no later than January 2025.
• be pursuing their first doctoral degree (including joint undergraduate/graduate research programs, such as MD/PhD, DVM/PhD, JD/PhD – if it has a demonstrated and significant research component). Note that only the PhD portion of a combined degree is eligible for funding.
• have completed no more than 20 months of full-time study in their doctoral program as of May 1, 2024;
• have completed no more than 32 months of full-time study in their doctoral program, by May 1, 2024 if enrolled in a joint graduate research program, e.g., MD/PhD, MA/PhD, DVM/PhD. Applicants that fall into this category have access to the 32-month window whether or not they were previously enrolled in a Master’s program; or
• have completed no more than 32 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by May 1, 2024 if accelerated directly from a Bachelor’s to a PhD (no time spent in a Master’s program); or
• have completed no more than 32 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by May 1, 2024 if accelerated from a Master’s degree into a Doctoral program without obtaining the Master’s degree.
• have achieved first-class average (GPA of at least 3.5 on the U of A grading scale) in each of the last two years of full-time study (or equivalent)
• not hold, or have held, a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC to undertake or complete a doctoral program.
Note: Indigenous applicants are highly encouraged to apply. Institutions may nominate applicants who self-identify as Indigenous (First nation, Inuit and/or Métis) without those nominations being counted towards their quota. Applicants who wish to self-identify themselves as an Indigenous (First Nation, Inuit, and/or Métis) have been instructed to complete the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS): Voluntary Self-Identification Form and upload it within their application.
Please visit the Vanier website for complete eligibility details.
Read NSP Scholarship
Application Procedures For Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
New for the 2024 competition: This is a direct application, whereby students apply through Vanier’s on-line portal ResearchNet. After university adjudication, candidates selected to be forwarded to the federal competition will require a support letter from their Department (see Nomination Procedures for additional details). Therefore interested eligible applicants should contact their proposed or admitting Department to notify them of their intent to apply to the Vanier CGS.
Applications submitted this Summer 2023 term are for awards to start May or September 2024, or January 2025.
1) Review the Vanier CGS program website for complete eligibility criteria and requirements:
- Applications that do not meet all of the eligibility criteria will be deemed ineligible. It is the applicant’s responsibility to read all instructions and be familiar with the application process before applying.
- Relevant document attachments (CCV, lay abstract, research proposal, project references, and transcripts) required for online application submission can be written and obtained without access to ResearchNet. Due to tight timelines, applicants are encouraged to start their application early.
2) Start Vanier’s Online Application:
Applicants are to complete an application in ResearchNet by following Vanier’s application instructions. FGSR is the university designate for the Vanier CGS program and thus have access to applications in ResearchNet for institutional review.
- Submission of the application in ResearchNet constitutes students’ intent to apply to the program at the University of Alberta.
- Students should consider requesting their leadership reference letters as early as possible in order to meet the application submission deadline of August 8, 2023. It is highly recommended students give their referees a deadline at least one week prior to any application deadline in order to avoid possible delays/changes.
- Students are responsible for ensuring their reference letters are uploaded to ResearchNet in PDF format; referees cannot submit using the online portal.
- Edits or corrections such as spelling, grammar, formatting, attachments, etc. are the responsibility of the student and will not be checked by FGSR. Students who do not follow Vanier’s application instructions and Presentation standards for attached documents may jeopardize their application.
FGSR Award Services will reach out to applicants to request transcripts after students submit their full application through ResearchNet (see step 4).
4) Application Deadline and Submission:
August 8, 2023: Students must submit their complete application (including leadership letters of reference and other attached documents as described in Vanier’s application instructions) through ResearchNet by the institutional deadline. Late applications will not be accepted.
- It is highly recommended that students submit their application well ahead of the institutional deadline.
- Only completed applications will be reviewed. Changes cannot be made after the application has been submitted and students will not be offered the opportunity to revise their applications. Incomplete applications will automatically be deemed ineligible.
As this is a direct application whereby students apply through Vanier’s on-line portal ResearchNet, Departments are not required to review applications and submit eligible nominees to FGSR. However, Departments will be asked to serve as the ‘Department Head nominating the candidate [equivalent or designate]’ (as outlined in Vanier’s instructions) should their students be selected as candidates for the federal competition. The process is as follows:
- Once the application closes in ResearchNet, Departments will be notified by FGSR of the students who applied. They will be given the opportunity to decide whether or not to support the student in this year’s Vanier CGS competition. Note that applications will not be shared with Departments, but Departments may request copies from the student should they want it for their own internal review purposes.
- FGSR’s Graduate Scholarship Committe (GSC) will adjudicate the applicantions and will select a shortlist of candidates. Departments will be notified by FGSR of the shortlisted candidates selected to be forwarded to the national competition.
- Departments that support their shortlisted candidates for federal review will be required to write a 2 page nomination letter (as the ‘Department head equivalent’). FGSR will provide instructions and deadlines at this time.
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will convene an adjudication committee composed of UBC faculty members to review nominations submitted by graduate programs and select UBC’s nominees to the national competition. This committee is made up of three subcommittees, one for each of the federal funding agencies.
Canadian universities each have a limit to the number of nominations they may submit to the Vanier CGS competition. The deadline for universities to submit their nominations to the national competition is 1 November 2023.
Results of the national competition are to be released to applicants in April 2024. For details about the adjudication process at the national competition level, please see the selection committee guide on the Vanier CGS website.