The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) 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 in the social sciences and/or humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health.
Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and foreign citizens are eligible to be nominated for a Vanier CGS.
In an effort to support students in broadening their research horizons and seeking new challenges, the Vanier CGS program strongly encourages candidates to pursue their studies beyond the university that granted their undergraduate and/or graduate degrees.
Eligibility for Nomination
To be considered for a Vanier CGS, you must:
- be nominated by only one Canadian university, which must have received a Vanier CGS allocation;
- be seeking financial support to pursue your first doctoral degree (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD). Note that only the PhD portion of a combined degree is eligible for funding;
- intend to pursue, in the summer semester or the academic year following the announcement of results, full-time doctoral (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD) studies and research at the nominating university; Note that only the PhD portion of a combined degree is eligible for funding;
- have completed no more than 20 months of doctoral studies as of May 1, 2014 (see calculating months of doctoral studies below);
- have achieved a first-class average, as determined by your university, in each of the last two years of full-time study or equivalent. Candidates are encouraged to contact the university for its definition of a first-class average; and
- not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC to undertake or complete a doctoral degree.
Calculating months of doctoral studies
All prior doctoral-level studies, regardless of discipline, are considered in the evaluation of eligibility. The Vanier-Banting Secretariat will count two months of part-time study as one month of full-time study.
In the case of students who are registered in a combined MA/PhD program, a direct-entry doctoral program or who are accelerated from a master’s program into a doctoral program without obtaining the master’s degree, the Vanier-Banting Secretariat will not include the first 12 months of graduate study in the evaluation of eligibility.
In the case of students who are registered in a combined MD/PhD degree program, all months of doctoral-level study within the combined degree program are considered in the evaluation of eligibility.
All interruptions, delays, part-time studies and MD studies within an MD/PhD degree program must be indicated in the special circumstances attachment.
Example: If you were completing full-time doctoral studies as of January 1, 2013, with no interruptions during this period, the Vanier-Banting Secretariat will consider you as having completed 16 months of doctoral studies as of May 1, 2014. If, during this period, you were on leave from your program for four months, the Vanier-Banting Secretariat will consider you as having completed 12 months of doctoral studies. If, in addition to having taken one semester off, you had been registered part-time for one semester (i.e., four months), the Vanier-Banting Secretariat will consider you as having completed 10 months of doctoral studies.
Eligibility to Hold a Vanier CGS
Without exception, the Vanier CGS is tenable only at the eligible Canadian university that submitted the nomination.
To hold the Vanier CGS, the candidate must:
- be registered as a full-time student at the nominating Canadian university and be pursuing a doctoral degree (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD); and
- remain enrolled and demonstrate continued satisfactory progress in their doctoral program.
A Vanier CGS may be held by students who are registered part-time because of a disability or family responsibilities. For this purpose, disability is defined as “a functional limitation resulting from a physical, sensory or mental impairment, which, for an indefinite period, affects the ability of the student to perform the activities necessary to participate fully in his or her learning” and family responsibilities is defined as “the primary responsibility for providing personal care to a dependent family member (e.g., pre-school children, infirm spouse or parent) which affects the ability of the student to perform the activities necessary to participate fully in his or her learning”. For eligible part-time students, the Vanier CGS will be equivalent to full-time funding spread over a longer period of time.
Canadian federal government employees
Canadian federal government employees are eligible to hold a scholarship only if an unpaid leave of absence is taken (no salary or special allowances permitted).
Candidates may only apply to the same federal granting agency’s doctoral scholarship/fellowship program and the Vanier CGS program simultaneously within the same academic year. Applications to more than one federal granting agency are not eligible. In addition, concurrently holding more than one federal granting agency scholarship/fellowship is not permitted.
Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency
The candidate’s proposed research project and doctoral program of study must be eligible within the mandate of the federal granting agency to which the nomination is submitted. If in doubt, universities must consult with the Vanier-Banting Secretariat in advance of submitting the nomination. This also applies to nominations involving interdisciplinary fields of research or research areas that span the mandates of two or more of the federal granting agencies.
Information on CIHRs mandate and subject matter eligibility is available on the CIHR website.
Information on NSERCs mandate and subject matter eligibility is available on the NSERC website.
Information on SSHRCs mandate and subject matter eligibility is available on the SSHRC website.
Additional information on selecting the appropriate federal granting is available at science.gc.ca website.