External Awards

External Funding Sources

Links to external funding programs and resources

Alberta Learning Information Service
Association for Women’s Rights in Development
Canada-US Fulbright Program
Canadian Bureau for International Education
Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)
Fellowships in Public Service
Foreign Affairs Canada – Scholarship site
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Ontario Council on Graduate Studies
Scholarships Canada
The Shastri Institutue – Programmes and Awards
Soros Foundation Network – Open Society Institute
Student Research Opportunities (through York’s Research Office)
University of New Brunswick external scholarship list
University of Waterloo Graduate Studies Online Scholarship Database Search Engine

Other places to look for awards

  • Scholarships for employees’ dependents
  • Volunteer or interest based organizations – (e.g. Girl Guides of Canada, 4H club, Rotary club)
  • Cultural organizations
  • Professional associations – check out the list on the Charity Village website.
  • Unions – many provide funding for their members or their dependents
  • Essay competitions – search for these on the internet or look specifically at academic journal, magazine or publishing sites. (Why not use essays you have already written to make some extra money?)
  • Poster competitions – usually involve presenting a project or poster at a conference, conference fees and transportation are usually covered and often financial awards for the best project are provided
  • Other university websites (especially those in the town where you grew up) – These often have lists of scholarships that are specific to a certain region
  • Municipalities or cities – often offer scholarships to their long time residents
  • Corporations – many offer financial support or material awards for academic performance, financial need or specific essays or projects
  • Research centers – often have scholarships/funded internships specifically for students to work at these organizations on particular projects or subjects
  • Hospitals – often offer research scholarships to investigate or promote certain issues
  • Societies – such as conservation societies often offer awards for students studying things of interest to them
  • Conferences and events – often offer travel or registration discounts or essay prizes

Major external graduate scholarships – OGS and Tri-council

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 Student Resource Assistant. Applications are then screened first at the Faculty (called Departmental) level, then at the overall University level, then by the granting institution.


Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program (OGS)

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


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 Office of Student and Academic Services.

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)


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.

The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and the FES pass-fail grading system

In early 2008, the Faculty of Environmental Studies reached an understanding with the OGS Selection Committee about our non-graded courses. If you are a student in FES and plan to apply to OGS you can be confident that your work at FES will be included in your overall GPA calculations and that your application will reflect the full breadth of your academic achievement.

If your transcripts include pass-fail grades assigned during your time here at FES, you must submit a written request for a grade assessment to the Office of Student and Academic Services (OSAS). The FES Awards and Academic Review Committee will review your dossier and assign you a grade based on your work. That grade will be forwarded as your average for all of your FES courses.

Please note that the above information is correct for FES students. The notice about pass-fail grades on the OGS website (see the section on Eligibility and Conditions) is intended for other programs that have not come to such an agreement with the OGS Selection Committee.

See an explanation of the grading system used in FES graduate programs, and of the process of assignment of letter grades for the purposes of scholarship competitions and other applications. This process for assigning letter grades is endorsed by the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Selection Board for the purposes of the OGS scholarship competition.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Student Resource Assistant.