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.

    *Please note that recipients of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship at UAlberta will also receive Top-Up funding in the form of the President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction.
  • Eligibility

    Both Canadian and international students are eligible to apply. All applicants must:

    • be enrolled full-time in a doctoral program no later than January 2020
    • not have started that doctoral program earlier than September, 2017 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 being switched to a doctoral program without completing the master’s degree), not have started their master’s program earlier than September, 2016
    • not have completed more than 20 months of doctoral studies as of May 1, 2019
    • 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 (including joint undergraduate/graduate research programs, such as MD/PhD or JD/PhD) degree
    • 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

    In order to submit a successful Vanier application, students and Departments are responsible for making sure that all instructions are followed. The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research’s (FGSR) U of A Vanier Application Process document and the Vanier Application and Document Checklist outlines details and instructions to complete a Vanier application package in its entirety. Students are to also refer to the Vanier Scholarship website for complete Application details.

    The U of A Vanier Application Process document is to be referenced for further instruction where annotated (**) below. Failure to follow each step may result in applications being withdrawn from the competition:

    1) Verify eligibility as stated above under “Eligibility” and by using the criteria provided by Vanier.

    2) Review the application deadline and timeline information as stated below under “Deadline”, and as provided by Vanier.

    3) **Students must notify their Department of their intent to submit an application. Departments may set an internal deadline, as they are required to provide a nomination letter as part of student’s applications (mandatory). Nomination letters must be sent directly from Departments; specific guidelines are outlined in the 2019 Vanier memo to Departments listed under Nomination Procedures.

    4) **Students are to ask individuals to write letters of reference well in advance of the application deadline date, or if applicable, Departmental internal deadline.

    5) **Review transcript requirements. FGSR (U of A) must have all original, hard-copy, post-secondary transcripts well in advance of the Institutional Internal Deadline. It is students’ responsibility to order and ensure the timely delivery of any outstanding transcripts to FGSR before this deadline.

    6) Register online for ResearchNet and Canadian Common CV (CCV) accounts.

    7) **Students are to prepare and submit their application using the ResearchNet application system. Review Vanier’s Application/nomination instructions in addition to the U of A Vanier Application Process document.

    8) Complete application package is to be submitted to FGSR (U of A) by the Institutional Internal Deadline. All required application documents include:

    • Vanier application (including all references) and CCV submitted in ResearchNet
    • All required transcripts
    • Nomination letter (sent to FGSR directly from Department [email to gradvani@ualberta.ca])

  • Nomination Procedures

    FGSR’s Awards Services and Graduate Scholarship Committee will review submitted applications and finalize the list of applicants to be recommended to the Vanier-Banting Secretariat. Short-listed applicants will be given the opportunity to finalize their applications, including working with professional editors.

    2019 Vanier Memo to Departments

  • Timelines and Deadlines

    Departments may have their own internal deadline to collect student’s information to prepare a Departmental nomination letter. Students are to check with their Department for information.

    August 15, 2018 (12:00 - 2:00 PM)
    - 2019 U of A Vanier Workshop for prospective applicants
    - Location: CCIS 1-140, U of A North Campus

    Mid to late August 2018 (Exact date and time TBA)
    - Bootcamp for Vanier applicants. Writing tutors will be available to give generic tips on written segments of the Vanier Application.


    September 17, 2018 (11:59 PM Mountain Time/ 01:59 AM September 18, 2018 Eastern Time)

    - Institutional Internal Deadline: Deadline for students to submit completed application package to FGSR via ResearchNet (including all attachments) and for receipt of all official, post-secondary transcripts at FGSR, and deadline for Departments to send the nomination letter. Students are to review Application Procedures regarding a completed application package, and Departments are to review 2019 Vanier Memo to Departments.

    September 18, 2018 to October 30, 2018
    - FGSR accesses all applications via ResearchNet and reviews all applications for completeness, accuracy, and eligibility. Students whose applications are incomplete or ineligible will be notified by FGSR, and their application will be withdrawn from the competition.

    - The FGSR Graduate Scholarship Committee adjudicates all complete and eligible applications and selects nominees to be forwarded to the national competition.

    - FGSR notifies applicants of their “forwarded” or “not forwarded” status via ResearchNet.

    - All forwarded nominees will be offered professional editing services (paid for by FGSR). FGSR will return the applications of forwarded nominees to their owners via ResearchNet, and will reopen them for additional editing/modification. Students are to then send revised applications before the Program Deadline.

    - FGSR uploads all transcripts and department nomination letters to the forwarded nomination packages on ResearchNet.

    October 31, 2018 (6:00 PM Mountain Time/ 8:00 PM Eastern Time)

    - Vanier Program Deadline: FGSR submits recommended nomination packages to the Vanier-Banting Secretariat. Vanier adjudicates the nomination packages from all Canadian institutions at the national competition level.

    April 2019
    - All U of A nominees forwarded by FGSR will be notified of the national competition results via ResearchNet.