The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program stands as a beacon of excellence and support for aspiring scholars in Canada. Recognizing the immense potential and remarkable achievements of graduate students, the Vanier CGS offers prestigious and generous scholarships to those pursuing doctoral studies across a broad spectrum of disciplines. This highly competitive program, funded by the Government of Canada, not only provides financial assistance but also fosters a vibrant community of intellectual growth and innovation. In this article, we cover the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships.
Named in honor of Major-General Georges P. Vanier, the inaugural francophone Governor General of Canada, the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS) program plays a vital role in facilitating Canadian institutions’ ability to attract and engage exceptionally qualified doctoral students. By providing substantial financial support, the Vanier CGS program empowers these bright minds to pursue their academic pursuits with unyielding dedication. This esteemed program not only enhances the research capacity of Canadian universities but also fosters a diverse and inclusive academic community, nurturing the next generation of leaders and innovators.
- $50,000 per year for three years during doctoral studies
- Canadian citizens
- Permanent residents of Canada
- Foreign citizens
Areas of research:
- Health research
- Natural sciences and/or engineering
- Social sciences and humanities
To be eligible for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS), you need to meet the following criteria:
- Nomination: You must be nominated by only one Canadian institution that has received a Vanier CGS quota.
- First Doctoral Degree: You should be pursuing your first doctoral degree, which includes joint programs like MD/Ph.D., DVM/Ph.D., or JD/Ph.D., as long as there is a significant research component.
- Intent to Pursue Full-Time Studies: You must intend to pursue full-time doctoral studies and research at the nominating institution either in the summer semester or in the academic year following the announcement of results.
- Study Duration: As of May 1, 2023, you should have completed at most 20 months of full-time study in your doctoral program. The doctoral program should begin after completing a Master’s degree, and the months of study completed are counted from the doctoral enrollment date.
- Maximum Study Duration: By May 1, 2023, you should have completed at most 32 months of full-time study in your doctoral program. However, if you are enrolled in a joint graduate research program like MD/PhD, MA/PhD, or DVM/PhD, you can access the 32-month window regardless of whether you were previously enrolled in a Master’s program. The months of study are calculated from the date of official registration in the joint program, including the Master’s portion.
- Academic Excellence: You must have achieved a first-class average, as determined by your institution, in each of the last two years of full-time study or its equivalent. It is recommended to contact your institution for their specific definition of a first-class average.
- Scholarship/Fellowship Restrictions: You must not hold, or have held, a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC to undertake or complete a doctoral program.
To meet the eligibility requirements, a doctoral program must have a substantial research element that culminates in the completion of a thesis, major research project, dissertation, scholarly publication, performance, recital, and/or exhibit. These research outcomes must undergo evaluation and review by experts at the institutional level, serving as a requirement for program completion.
Additionally, joint graduate research programs that combine a professional degree (such as MD/PhD, DVM/PhD, JD/PhD) and clinically-oriented programs like clinical psychology can also be considered eligible if they contain a significant independent research component.
The Vanier CGS has the following conditions and requirements for its recipients:
- Institution Affiliation: The Vanier CGS can only be held at the Canadian institution that nominated the candidate. No exceptions are made in this regard.
- Program Enrollment: The candidate must be registered in a full-time doctoral program at the nominating Canadian institution. This includes joint graduate research programs such as MA/PhD, MSc/PhD, or MD/PhD.
- Faculty Appointment: Candidates holding a Vanier Scholarship cannot simultaneously hold a faculty appointment, unless they arrange for a leave of absence from the appointment.
- Satisfactory Progress: Recipients must remain enrolled in their doctoral program and demonstrate continued satisfactory progress in their academic pursuits.
- Scholarship Restrictions: Candidates should not have received a doctoral-level scholarship from CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC for the purpose of undertaking or completing a doctoral program.
- Concurrent Awards: Recipients should not be holding any other training award from SSHRC, NSERC, or CIHR concurrently, with the exception of the Michael Smith Foreign Studies Supplement.
- Award Start Date: The recipient must begin their Vanier CGS within 12 months of the earliest possible start date and commence their studies on either May 1, September 1, or January 1 following the offer of the award.
- Part-Time Eligibility: Students who are registered part-time due to disability, parental or medical reasons, or family-related responsibilities can hold the Vanier CGS.
- Equivalent Funding: For eligible part-time students, the Vanier CGS will provide funding equivalent to full-time funding, but spread out over a longer period of time.
To be considered for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, candidates need to be nominated by a Canadian institution that has a quota to host Vanier scholars.
- Evaluation and Selection Committee: All eligible nominations for the Vanier CGS program will undergo evaluation by a selection committee. This committee is composed of representatives from the three federal granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
- Competitive Review Process: The Vanier CGS scholarships are awarded through a competitive review process. Nominations are rigorously evaluated based on their alignment with the program’s criteria and requirements.
- Three Selection Criteria: Nominations are reviewed against three equally weighted selection criteria. The evaluation is based on the average score derived from these criteria.
- Ranking of Nominations: After the evaluation, nominations are ranked based on their scores and overall merit.
- Approval by TAP Steering Committee: The ranked list of all nominations is then submitted to the Tri-Agency Programs (TAP) Steering Committee for their approval. The TAP Steering Committee consists of the presidents of the three federal granting agencies, as well as the deputy ministers of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and Health Canada.
- Final Selection of Vanier Scholars: The TAP Steering Committee approves the final slate of Vanier Scholars. Each year, up to 166 Vanier Scholars are chosen based on their exceptional qualifications and contributions to their respective fields.
The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) is a prestigious scholarship program in Canada that aims to attract and retain top-tier doctoral students in various fields of study.
The Vanier CGS is open to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and international students who wish to pursue doctoral studies in Canada. Applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria, including academic excellence, research potential, and fulfillment of program-specific requirements.
Part-time students facing specific circumstances, such as disability, parental or medical reasons, or family-related responsibilities, may be eligible for the Vanier CGS. In such cases, the scholarship funding is adjusted accordingly, providing support spread over a longer period.
Yes, international students are eligible to apply for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. The program welcomes applications from outstanding international students who wish to pursue their doctoral studies in Canada.
The Vanier Scholarship is highly competitive, and it can be challenging to secure this prestigious award. The selection process involves rigorous evaluation, considering factors such as academic excellence, research potential, leadership skills, and contributions to the field. Applicants face strong competition from exceptional candidates, making it a difficult scholarship to obtain.
Vanier CGS applicants should not have held, or currently hold, a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC to undertake or complete a doctoral program. However, there may be exceptions to this rule based on specific circumstances, and it is recommended to review the official eligibility guidelines for detailed information.
Nominations for the Vanier CGS undergo a rigorous evaluation process by a selection committee composed of experts from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Recipients are selected based on their academic excellence, research potential, leadership skills, and contributions to their respective fields.
Vanier CGS recipients receive a prestigious scholarship that provides financial support for three years of their doctoral studies. The scholarship includes a generous financial award covering various expenses such as tuition fees, living costs, and research-related expenses. Additionally, being a Vanier CGS recipient enhances the recipient’s academic and professional profile, opening doors to numerous opportunities and networks within the educational and research community.