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Major external graduate scholarships

As part of their efforts to support high-level research, provincial and federal governments offer substantial scholarships to graduate students. Although processes vary according to the particular award and student circumstance, in most cases FES students submit their applications to the Awards Office in the Student and Alumni Resource Centre. Applications are then screened first at the Faculty (called Departmental) level, then at the overall University level, then by the granting institution.

Provincial

Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program (OGS)

  • $15,000 over 3 consecutive terms (i.e. one full year)
  • Need A- average to apply

Federal

The majority of federal academic research funding comes from these three research councils, known collectively as the “Tri-Council”. If you are unsure which agency to apply to, contact the Awards Office in the Student and Alumni Resource Centre.

Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

  • Promotes and supports research and research training in the social sciences and humanities in Canada
  • Need A average to apply
  • Master's level: Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS), valued at $17,500 for 12 months, non-renewable
  • Doctoral level: CGS Doctoral Scholarship or SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship (one application for both), valued between $20,000-$35,000, most are renewable
  • CGS applications are weighed on the basis of: 
    Academic excellence (60%) – As demonstrated by academic transcripts, awards and distinctions.
    Research potential (30%) – Quality of analytical skills, ability to think critically, ability to apply skills and knowledge, judgment, originality, initiative and autonomy, determination and ability to complete projects within an appropriate period of time – as demonstrated in the description of the program of study and by work experiences, research contributions, letters of appraisal, and, if applicable, the departmental appraisal.
    Communication skills (10%) – As demonstrated in the description of the program of study and, if relevant, by work experience, community involvement and other extracurricular activities, as well as by letters of appraisal, the quality of presentation of the application, and if applicable, the departmental appraisal.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)

Important

If applying, be sure to follow the links above and read and adhere to all application instructions provided by the granting institution. Failing to follow instructions – even regarding margin width and font size – can result in your application being disqualified.

Since deadlines for these scholarships are similar across the University, the Office of the Registrar receives many transcript requests at once. To ensure you receive your transcripts in time, order them well in advance of the scholarship deadline. A final deadline for transcript requests may be circulated.

Remember, everyone applying for these scholarships will have an A average. To make your application stand out, you need to focus on your plan/program of study, getting strong references, and listing all applicable accomplishments and awards. Please see the strategies for successful funding applications.