Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

The Government of Canada launched the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program in 2008 to strengthen Canada's ability to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and establish Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. Vanier Scholars demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health.

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 2022.
    • 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, 2021;
    • have completed no more than 32 months of full-time study in their doctoral program, by May 1, 2021 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, 2021 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, 2021 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.

    Please visit the Vanier website for complete eligibility details.

    (Updated June 24, 2020)

  • Application Procedures
    Applicants wishing to apply for the 2021-2022 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 all required attachments in stipulated order.

    4. One Letter of Reference to Support Application for Graduate Awards Form must be completed and signed by each applicant's current graduate supervisor (or equivalent).

    *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
  • Timelines and Deadlines (Vanier Preliminary Competition)

    Departments set their own internal deadline to receive student's preliminary packages. Students must check with their Department regarding deadline.

    July 15, 2020 by 4:00 PM - Deadline for departments to submit Vanier preliminary packages and ranked/signed list of Vanier nominees to FGSR via email to Signed list of nominees must be sent at the same time as the preliminary packages but as a separate pdf.

    July 16-31, 2020 - FGSR review for Eligibility/Completion

    August 1-31, 2020 - FGSR Graduate Scholarship Committee (GSC) Review

    Early September 2020 - 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.