Scholarships and Awards

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program aims to attract and retain world-class doctoral students by supporting students who demonstrate both leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies.

The Vanier Scholarships were named in honour of former Governor General Georges Vanier – statesman and hero. The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program is administered by the Vanier-Banting Secretariat on behalf of Canada's three granting agencies - Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The Secretariat is housed within CIHR.

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  • Value

    Awarded at $50,000 a year for three years, the Vanier is one of Canada’s most prestigious graduate awards.

  • Eligibility

    Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and international students are eligible to apply. All applicants must:

    • be enrolled full-time in a doctoral program no later than January 2021
    • not have started that doctoral program earlier than September, 2018 if they are already enrolled full-time in a doctoral program
    • if currently enrolled full-time in a master’s program (with the intention of transferring to a doctoral program without completing the master’s degree), not have started their master’s program earlier than September, 2017
    • not have completed more than 20 months of doctoral studies as of May 1, 2020
    • 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)
    • be pursuing their first doctoral degree (including joint undergraduate/graduate research programs, such as MD/PhD or 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
    • not have already received a doctoral scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC.

    See the Vanier Scholarship website for complete eligibility details.

  • Application Procedures

    NEW THIS YEAR: Applicants wishing to apply for the 2020-2021 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship Competition must first complete a Vanier Preliminary Assessment package. Students must:

    1. Verify eligibility as stated above under “Eligibility.”

    2. Notify your Department of intention to apply for Vanier competition, and determine departmental deadline for submission of application.

    3. Complete the Vanier Preliminary Assessment package and submit to the department by departmental deadline date. FGSR will not accept packages submitted directly by applicants. Ensure inclusion of required attachments i.e. up-to-date official transcripts and Vanier-Banting Academic CV on the Canadian Common CV (CCV).

    *The completion and submission of the Vanier Preliminary Assessment Package is a mandatory component for all students wishing to be considered for the Vanier competition. The purpose of this package is to identify outstanding Vanier applicants. Packages will be reviewed by members of the FGSR Graduate Scholarship Committee (GSC), and students selected by the committee will proceed to the next level of completing the full application package. Students (and their departments) will be advised by early September of committee decisions. Please do not complete a full Vanier application package unless you are directed to do so by FGSR.

    **Applicants who fail to submit the Preliminary Assessment Package by the departmental deadline date will not be considered for the Vanier competition. As well, applicants who circumvent the Preliminary Assessment process and proceed to complete a full Vanier application will be automatically rejected.

    For any Vanier correspondence, please email

  • Nomination Procedures

    Please refer to the 2020 Vanier Memo to Departments

  • Timelines and Deadlines (Vanier Preliminary Competition)

    Departments may have their own internal deadline to collect student’s preliminary packages. Students are to check with their Department for information.

    July 22, 2019 by 4:00 PM - Deadline for departments to submit preliminary packages and signed list of Vanier nominees to FGSR via email to

    July 23, 2019 - August 2, 2019 - FGSR review for Eligibility/Completion

    August 2, 2019 - August 30, 2019 - FGSR Graduate Scholarship Committee (GSC) Review

    Early September 2019 - Applicants for whom preliminary packages have been forwarded to FGSR will be advised, via email, as to whether they have been selected to complete the full Vanier package. FGSR will also advise those students who were not chosen to proceed in the competition. Departments will be copied on these emails.

    Further information and deadlines will be announced at a later date.