Candidates must be nominated by the institution at which they want to study. Candidates cannot apply directly to the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program.
Candidates must be nominated by the institution at which they want to study. Candidates cannot apply directly to the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program.
Candidates should verify institutional internal deadlines with the administrator at the nominating institution.
Candidates should read the Selection Committee Guide prior to commencing their application. This guide lists the three evaluation criteria and has useful information on how the criteria are evaluated.
The Secretariat has curated a list of resources to help applicants, institutions, referees, and evaluators consider equity, diversity, and inclusion in their application. Applicants are encouraged to review the resources before they begin writing their application.
To be considered eligible for funding, candidates must attain an average score of at least 3.1 in each of the three criteria.
- Applications are initiated in one of two ways. Either:
- the student informs the faculty of graduate studies at the selected institution of their intent to apply to the Vanier CGS program; or
- the institution initiates the nomination process by contacting the desired candidate.
- Applications are prepared by the student and submitted to the nominating institution by their internal deadline (set in ResearchNet by the nominating institution) using the ResearchNet application system.
- The nominating institution performs the internal candidate selection process.
- The nominating institution forwards recommended nominations to the Vanier-Banting Secretariat (the Secretariat) by October 31, 2018 (20:00 Eastern Time).
- The Secretariat coordinates the review process.
- The Secretariat presents the recommendations to the Tri-Agency Programs (TAP) Steering Committee.
- The TAP Steering Committee endorses and approves final decisions for the Vanier CGS program.
- Nominated candidates are notified of the competition results in April 2019.
- Students wishing to apply for a Vanier CGS should verify that the institution to which they are applying for doctoral studies has a Vanier CGS quota. They must then inform the institution that they wish to be considered for a Vanier CGS.
- A student who has completed the Vanier CGS electronic application through ResearchNet must submit the application online to the Canadian institution that will be putting forward their nomination. Applications cannot be submitted directly to the Vanier CGS program.
- Each student can only be nominated once. If more than one institution is interested in nominating an individual student for a Vanier CGS, the student must choose one institution to submit their nomination. Multiple nominations will not be accepted.
- Based on its quota, the institution will forward its nominations to the Secretariat.
- The institution is responsible for notifying candidates if their application is not selected for nomination to the Secretariat. The timing for this notification may vary by institution.
- Students are responsible for contacting the institution for more information about selecting the appropriate federal granting agency, finding the appropriate contact person within a department/faculty, and for advice or questions related to content and how best to present the information in their application.
Read the Application instructions carefully before you start writing your application. The Vanier CGS agency-specific selection committees are multidisciplinary; applications should be written with a non-specialist research audience in mind.
Individual application documents can be submitted in either English or French.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete and submitted in advance of the nominating institution’s deadline date, including referee assessments.
NEW: The Secretariat has curated a list of resources to help applicants, institutions, referees, and evaluators consider equity, diversity, and inclusion in their application.
ResearchNet application process: general information
- In ResearchNet, complete all tasks listed for the Vanier CGS application.
- Preview the Full Application Package version of your application in ResearchNet, using the "Preview Application Materials" task, to ensure that your application is complete. Note: What you see previewed is exactly how your application will look when submitted electronically to the Canadian nominating institution and to the Vanier CGS program.
- Print the entire application.
- Save the PDF version of the entire, completed application.
- Submit the completed electronic application through ResearchNet by completing the "Consent and Submit Application" task. Note: The nominating institution cannot accept your application until you complete this task.
- For technical help, call 1-888-603-4178 or 613-954-1968 or email email@example.com from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
- For program-related help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are two deadlines pertaining to the 2018-2019 competition:
- Institution internal deadline: Following the student's identification in ResearchNet of the institution proposed for doctoral study (see Task 10), an additional deadline date and time will appear at the top of each page. This is the deadline by which your application must be submitted to the institution through ResearchNet. This deadline is set and controlled by each institution. You will not be able to submit your application past this precise date and time.
- Program deadline: Institutions must forward their selected nominations to the Vanier CGS program by October 31, 2018 (20:00 Eastern Time).
Completing a Vanier CGS application
- Visit the Selection Committee Guide to familiarize yourself with the selection criteria and how the committee will evaluate each criterion.
- Bold text and stars indicate mandatory fields.
- Save any additions or changes before navigating away from the task page(s).
- The status of all tasks must be indicated as complete in order for you to submit your application.
1. Confirm eligibility
Confirm that you meet the Vanier CGS program's eligibility criteria. Applications that do not meet all the eligibility criteria will not be accepted.
2. Contact your desired nominating institution
Select your institution and inform the faculty of graduate studies of your intent to apply to the Vanier CGS program.
Applicants are responsible for supplying their referees with the documents necessary for them to write their respective letters. ResearchNet does not grant the referees access to view the application or its attachments.
3. Register for Canadian Common CV (CCV) and ResearchNet accounts
Make sure you have the following or click the links to register:
- CCV account – a web-based tool that allows you to manage your CV data in a single repository and generate CVs as needed for all member organizations
- ResearchNet account – a web-based application tool and funding opportunity/decision database that is used by the Vanier CGS program
You should have only one CCV and one ResearchNet account. If you have already accessed ResearchNet and/or CCV, do not register for new accounts.
You need a CCV account to create a validated CCV (Vanier-Banting Academic template). See Task 4: Create CCV (Vanier-Banting Academic template) and link to ResearchNet application.
4. Create a CCV (Vanier-Banting Academic template) and link to ResearchNet application
You must create a Vanier-Banting Academic CV on the Canadian Common CV (CCV) website and link it to your ResearchNet application.
Free-form CVs are not accepted. A CCV is required regardless of the citizenship of the applicant.
The CCV website stores data in a secure database that you can access at any time, and from any computer. You may save your CCV (Vanier-Banting Academic template) in progress and return to complete it at your convenience. The data you enter can be reused in future applications that use the CCV.
The CCV website will validate your CV (Vanier-Banting Academic template) and provide you with a confirmation number. You must input the confirmation number in ResearchNet in order to link your CV to your Vanier CGS application.
To create a CCV (Vanier-Banting Academic template) and link it to your Vanier CGS application on ResearchNet:
- Refer to these instructions for some important details regarding your CCV, including entry limits.
5. Start a ResearchNet application
After launching an application in ResearchNet , you will be presented with the ResearchNet login screen. If you login using your ResearchNet account, you will arrive at the main Vanier CGS application menu. This menu lists a series of tasks that must be completed before you are able to submit your application. Information on how to complete these tasks is provided in the sections below.
You should only have one Vanier CGS application. If you have already started an application, login to your ResearchNet account. You will find your Vanier CGS application in the Current Activities tab under the applications heading. Clicking on it will bring you to the main Vanier CGS application tasks list.
6. Identify area of research
This task serves to determine which Selection Committee will evaluate your nomination (application). Nominations related to health research will be channeled to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), those related to natural sciences and/or engineering will be assigned to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and those related to social sciences and humanities will go to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). For more information, refer to Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency. If you are applying to SSHRC, consider the information found on SSHRC’s website.
If your research does not fall under any of the listed categories, choose the closest research area. Be sure to add the area of research to the keywords section of the application/nomination form.
7. Identify participants
In this task, you will enter information about yourself and your nominating institution.
You must also input the confirmation number of the CV you created in the Canadian Common CV (CCV) system in order to link your CV to your Vanier CGS application.
The "Edit" action is a link to the task for attaching supporting documents.
- Signatures are not required on the CCV.
- Education: Include all previous institution studies and their relevant dates (including incomplete degrees).
- The data you enter may not be displayed in the CCV in the proper chronological order.
- Contributions: Updates to this section will not be accepted after the deadline date.
Under this task, you will attach the following documents:
- Personal Leadership Statement
- Leadership reference letters
- Research contributions
- Special circumstances
Content of documents: For questions related to the content of the following attachments, applicants are encouraged to consult with their faculty or department at the nominating Canadian institution.
Format of documents: Applicants must prepare their Vanier CGS application and supporting materials using specific formatting standards. Refer to "Presentation standards for documents" for the required format.
Attachment: Personal Leadership Statement (maximum 2 pages)
This document should present to the committee a clear statement of what challenges and opportunities have shaped your doctoral research.
Before crafting your Personal Leadership Statement, take a moment to review the instructions for the selection committee on evaluating this criterion.
When crafting your Personal Leadership Statement, consider the following:
- Leadership can take many forms. When crafting this statement, be sure to outline not just your accomplishments for the committee, but how those accomplishments required you to leverage your leadership skills to achieve your goals.
- The selection committee considers that volunteerism, outstanding achievement in sports or the arts, and employment in leadership positions do not demonstrate leadership in and of themselves. When including leadership in these and other areas in your Personal Leadership Statement, be sure to outline how you have gone above and beyond the expected norms in those areas in order to overcome obstacles, foster others, spearhead change, or otherwise demonstrate leadership.
- Define your career goals and trajectory, and outline for the committee the ways in which you have created opportunities for yourself and others, how you have overcome obstacles to your vision, and how your PhD research, knowledge dissemination and mentorship activities will help accomplish those goals.
- How have you fostered your ability to lead others, and how have you leveraged that skill?
- What led you to doctoral research? How have your life experiences and personal circumstances (which may include administrative responsibilities, maternity/parental leave, childrearing, illness, cultural or community responsibilities, socio-economic context, trauma and loss, or health-related family responsibilities) shaped your academic, research, and leadership choices, challenges, and successes?
- How has your life driven you to share and disseminate your research?
- How does your nominating institution provide an environment that nurtures your leadership skills?
Your academic transcript, your CCV, and your reference letters will provide details of your commitments and accomplishments, but this essay gives you the opportunity to present the overarching narrative about your life, leadership accomplishments, and research goals.
Attachment: Two Leadership reference letters (maximum 2 pages each)
The Leadership Reference Letters should ideally be written by references who know you in a non-academic capacity and can speak to how your personal trajectory reflects the Leadership evaluation criterion. In order to facilitate this, you may wish to share your Personal Leadership Statement with these letter writers.
Ask your leadership reference letter writers to respond to the following:
Referencing the student’s life and research trajectory, provide an assessment of demonstrated and potential leadership ability. Because there is no opportunity for the committee to interview nominees, elaborate on how the candidate has gone above and beyond the opportunities presented in order to achieve a goal, contribute to their community, or how they have taken on responsibility for others. Note that high achievement, while admirable, does not necessarily constitute leadership. Be sure therefore to provide context for the committee that illuminates how the candidate’s participation in activities (be they volunteer, work, sport, art, or any other participation) goes above and beyond active participation and becomes leadership.
Note: Faculty members may provide this letter, as long as they know you in a non-academic capacity and are addressing your leadership in a non-academic environment. It is recommended that applicants request the Leadership Reference Letters from an author that has not provided an assessment of the nomination; however, applications that contain Leadership Reference Letters and a Referee Assessment written by the same faculty member are accepted.
- Candidates are responsible for procuring and uploading these letters in PDF format in ResearchNet. They cannot be submitted by the letter-writer via ResearchNet.
- Both Leadership Reference Letters must be attached individually. Note that the field to upload the second Leadership Reference Letter will only appear after the first is uploaded.
- These letters should be provided on institutional letterhead (where available) and must contain a signature.
- Each letter can come from only one reference. Letters containing more than one author will not be forwarded to the selection committee for consideration.
Attachment: Research contributions (maximum 1 page)
From the research contributions listed in your CCV (Vanier-Banting Academic template), choose up to five that you judge to be the most significant and relevant to your research proposal. For each of these contributions:
- describe your role in the research, including by clarifying your contribution to collaborative research and to the actual writing of joint publications;
- discuss the reasons for selecting the medium (e.g., journal article, conference presentation, etc.) for mobilizing the research, if appropriate;
- indicate any collaboration with other researchers and/or with other knowledge users from outside academia;
- discuss the significance, relevance and impact of your work in relation to the social sciences and humanities, to the natural sciences and engineering, or to health-related fields and processes, if appropriate;
- describe their significance in terms of demonstrating your research leadership and sphere of influence at the institutional level and beyond; and,
- discuss the impact and importance of these activities in terms of your career aspirations.
This nomination element speaks directly to the following selection criterion: Research potential and leadership (potential and demonstrated ability).
Special circumstances (maximum 1 page)
If you are registered in a combined undergraduate and doctoral program (e.g., MD/PhD), use this document to provide a timeline of your undergraduate versus doctoral program studies, broken down by semester. This calculation must be consistent with the transcripts provided. For purposes of this calculation, the undergraduate portion will not count towards the number of months completed.
If you have been enrolled part-time during your PhD studies, specify which semesters.
Note: No other information included in this document will be forwarded to the committee. All information about interruptions to your academic career and choice of nominating institution should be included either in the Personal Leadership Statement or the Research Proposal.
8. Identify referees
Before you complete this task, ensure that you have identified your nominating institution (Task 10) in order to display the correct deadline date.
Refer to the Information for Referees section in order to see the instructions provided to referees.
This task seeks to collect information on the two referees whose assessments will accompany your application. Note that when identifying referees, the language specified will determine the language in which they will receive their assessment form; the assessments must be completed in either English or French.
Applicants should contact their selected referees to seek their agreement to provide an assessment well in advance of the application deadline date. Applicants are required to enter the name and contact information for each referee in ResearchNet. ResearchNet will then send email requests to the referees providing a secure link to each referee to complete their assessment online.
- Because the email requesting assessment is automatically generated by ResearchNet, it may be filtered into junk mail. Be sure to advise your referees of this possibility.
- If the email requesting assessment is misplaced, you may generate another unique URL by resending the invitation. Resending the invitation, or deleting and re-inviting a referee, will render all URLs contained in previously sent emails inactive.
You are responsible for supplying your nominating institution and referees with the documents necessary for them to write their respective letters. ResearchNet does not grant the referees access to view the application.
You will not be able to submit your application until your referees have submitted their letters and this task is completed. It is important to note that it is the applicant's sole responsibility to follow up with referees to ensure the assessments are submitted prior to the internal institution deadline date and thus ensure the application's completeness. If a referee informs you that a report cannot be submitted before your deadline, you may delete that referee from your list and add a new referee to your list.
Once an assessment is submitted, it will automatically attach to your application. Applicants do not have access to the content of the assessment submitted by referees. However, you may follow the status of the assessment under this task and are encouraged to follow up with your referees if the task is not completed shortly before the Institution internal deadline.
Applicants are encouraged to consider the full range of potential referees, including experts who could best provide relevant evidence, perspectives, and insight to support the review of the applicant's application in light of the selection criteria. It is recommended that applicants request these assessments and the two Leadership reference letters from different authors; however, applications that contain letters from fewer than four sources will not be declared ineligible.
Note: The Leadership reference letters are not part of this Task. See Task 7 for instructions on how to attach the Leadership reference letters.
9. Enter degree information
This task collects information on any degrees, qualifications, certificates and/or licenses in progress, as well as on the degree for which support is being requested. Include all previous institution studies with their relevant dates (including incomplete degrees) in the common CCV.
In order to complete this task, you must indicate whether there is a degree in progress and specify at least one degree for which support is being requested.
10. Enter proposal information and supporting documents
This task has four sub-tasks to collect information related to your research project.
The Title of Research Proposal is used by the Vanier CGS program to identify your research project. (maximum of 640 characters)
The Lay Title is used to inform the public and Parliament about the valuable research supported through public funds. Provide a title that is accessible to a lay audience. (maximum of 200 characters)
The Lay Abstract is for promotional purposes outside the research community to inform the public and Parliament about the valuable research supported through public funds. Provide a summary of your research proposal written in clear, plain language. It should be written in non-technical terms that can be clearly understood by reviewers/readers with various areas of expertise (i.e., minimal academic terminology and references to methodology). The selection committee will use this section to help evaluate your communication skills, which can contribute both to your Leadership score and your Research Potential. Do not copy and paste aspects of your 2-page research proposal in this section.
Using simple terms, briefly describe the nature of the work to be done. Indicate why and to whom the research is important, any anticipated outcomes, and how the research will contribute to your field (maximum of 2000 characters).
NEW: If your proposed research involved or impacts Indigenous communities are asked to include “This research involves Indigenous Peoples” (in bold) at the beginning of their lay abstract. The program administrator for each selection committee (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) will then endeavour to make recommendations to ensure that the primary or secondary reviewer on these nominations has expertise in Indigenous research.
Enter information on your nominating institution for proposed doctoral studies, your expected Start Date to take up the award and the Language in which your Research Proposal is written. Selecting your nominating institution will display the institution’s internal deadline.
- If ResearchNet displays October 31, 2018 as your deadline date, you have not selected your nominating institution. If you proceed to task 8 before selecting your nominating institution, your referees will not be provided with the accurate deadline date . In order to ensure that your referees have the information necessary to provide adequate time for their contribution to your nomination, and because you will not be able to submit your application until your referees have completed their letters, do not proceed to Task 8 before selecting your nominating institution.
Provide descriptors/keywords to describe your research project, the techniques and the methodologies it will employ, and the areas of interest and complete any subsequent project descriptor fields using the drop-down menus. If you cannot find an exact descriptor, choose one that most closely matches your project.
Under this sub-task, you will attach the following documents:
Research proposal (maximum 2 pages including graphs and images)
If you are proposing to conduct research involving Indigenous Peoples, the research proposal should reflect that you and your host institution are aware of and are referring to the relevant principles and protocols established for this type of research.
Provide a detailed description of your proposed research project for the period during which you are to hold the Vanier CGS.
- Provide background information to position your proposed research within the context of the current knowledge in the field.
- Be as specific as possible while keeping in mind that Vanier CGS selection committees are multi-disciplinary. Wherever possible, use non-technical terms and avoid jargon. Define any technical or discipline-specific terms.
- State the objectives, hypothesis, research question and your specific role.
- Outline the experimental or theoretical approach to be taken (citing literature pertinent to the proposal), the methods and procedures to be used and the contribution of the project to the advancement of knowledge.
- Describe the benefit conferred by undertaking your research at the nominating institution (e.g. supervisor/departmental specialization, lab facilities, funding opportunities, support structures offered/in place).
- If your research proposal includes human subjects (including interview processes), address how you have / will comply with your institution’s Ethics Review Board processes.
- If your potential or current PhD supervisor is unable to provide you with a reference letter, briefly explain why.
You are also encouraged to indicate, when applicable, how diversity (gender, sex, age, culture, religion, etc.) has been taken into account in your proposed research. While accounting for diversity is not an evaluation criterion, doing so has the potential to increase the rigour and usefulness of the research. Refer to the list of resources intended to help applicants, institutions, referees, and evaluators consider equity, diversity, and inclusion in their application.
As you write your research proposal, employ the citation style common to your field of research. Do not use more than one citation style. Footnotes or endnotes should be employed for citation purposes only, and should not elaborate on the information contained in the 2-page research proposal. For guidance on how to best present your Research Proposal to the selection committee, we recommend consulting with your supervisor, mentor, department, or faculty.
Project references (maximum 5 pages)
Enter the references/bibliography/citation of your research proposal. Limit the document to five pages. You must use this section to list publications and other works/sources that are cited in your Research Proposal.
11. Confirm documents sent
This task requires a confirmation that all official transcripts have been sent to the proposed nominating institution. Certified true copies of official transcripts from the university are accepted. A certified true copy is defined as a copy of the original document (or of the original translated document if official transcript is not in either English or French). Your nominating institution can certify a copy of an official transcript for inclusion in your nomination package.
All post-secondary transcripts must be transferred to your nominating institution as part of your nomination package. If your transcripts include credits earned at a college or CEGEP (college of general and professional education) that have been transferred for credit, include the college or CEGEP transcript only if the grade earned does not appear on the university transcript.
For students including foreign transcripts, consult the awards administration team at your nominating institution about how to best present your academic track record to the committee. If the international transcripts are not presented in one of Canada’s two official languages (English or French), include a certified translation, separated from the original transcripts by a blank page.
Unofficial transcripts will be accepted from nominating institutions only for programs completed or in progress at the institution nominating the student, and only where the institution will be able to provide an official copy of the transcript upon request. Note that all transcripts must be easily legible for the selection committee, and must include the institution’s name and/or logo. Otherwise, the Secretariat will only accept official transcripts from your nominating institution.
The nominating institution will attach your transcripts should your nomination be forwarded to the Vanier CGS program.
12. Preview application materials
Review your application. If a task is incomplete, you must provide the missing information to successfully submit your application.
Note: If any of the documents provided (including attachments) do not conform to the requirements and/or exceed the page limit, the additional pages will be removed from the nomination prior to selection committee's review. Refer to "Presentation standards for documents" for the required format.
13. Consent and submit application
You must indicate your consent to the terms listed in ResearchNet before you submit your application.
You must click "Submit" to send your application to your nominating institution. You will be prompted to confirm that this is what you wish to do. If you accept, you will receive a confirmation screen with a ResearchNet confirmation number (this is not your application number, but a unique ResearchNet identifier). You will also receive a confirmation email that your application was submitted to the nominating institution's faculty of graduate studies.
14. Presentation standards for attached documents
All attachments to your application must be prepared according to the standards provided. Applications submitted that are not prepared according to the instructions provided may be deemed ineligible.
If you have supporting documents written in a language other than English or French, you are required to submit a certified translation of these documents.
Formatting instructions to prepare your documents:
- Pages must be 8 ½" x 11" (216 mm x 279 mm).
- Insert a minimum margin of 2 cm (3/4 inch) around the page (top, bottom and sides).
- Use a minimum font size of 10-point Arial font, black type. Maximum of six lines per inch. Do not use condensed/narrow font sizes, type density, or line spacing. Smaller text in tables, charts, figures, and graphs is acceptable as long as it is legible when the page is viewed at 100%.
- Photo-reduce the supporting documents if the originals are larger than 21.25 x 27.5 cm / 8.5" x 11".
- Any images, diagrams, technical drawings, or any other image must be contained within allowable page limits.
- Attachments must be uploaded in PDF format (unprotected).
- The size of the attached document(s) cannot exceed 30 MB per document.
- For documents prepared by the applicant: At the top of each page, indicate your name and the title of the document as it appears in the instructions.
- For documents prepared by the institution: These must all be on institutional letterhead.
- For multi-page attachments, number the pages sequentially.
After you have submitted your application to the nominating institution, the activity will move to your "Completed Activities" tab. You will not be able to make any changes to your application.
The nominating institution will review your application and either return it to you with comments or approve it. Note that it will not yet have been forwarded to the Vanier CGS program. Only authorized representatives can view submitted applications. Faculties of graduate studies have read-only access and cannot make any changes to your application.
If application is returned to you by the institution
If the faculty of graduate studies returns the application to you, you will receive an email from ResearchNet containing their comments. You will be given a revised institution deadline by which you must re-submit your application. Your application will move back to the "Current Activities" tab so that you can modify your application and re-submit it to the faculty of graduate studies. The institution will not be able to view your application while you are editing it.
Once you have completed all changes, you must resubmit your application to the faculty of graduate studies for review before the institution deadline.
If application is selected to be nominated
If the institution selects your application, the institution officials will electronically approve and submit your nomination to the Vanier CGS program. You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt by email shortly after deadline date. If you do not receive this confirmation email, you should contact the faculty of graduate studies to determine the status of your application/nomination.
Post-competition notification of results
Once the results from the Vanier CGS competition have been approved by the TAP steering committee, candidates nominated by an eligible Canadian institution will receive notification of the results using ResearchNet.
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