Vanier CGS 2020-2021 Competition Launch

The 2020-2021 Vanier CGS competition has been launched. This memo is to inform you of program news for this competition.

I) 2020-2021 Vanier CGS Competition Timelines

The timelines are similar to the last competition. Key dates are highlighted below:

2020-21 Vanier CGS Competition Timelines
Competition Launch June 24, 2020: Posting of updated program literature on program website, including application guide and activation of ResearchNet (electronic application system)
Application Deadline November 3, 2020 (8:00 pm EDT)
Funding Decision Release Early April 2021

II) Vanier CGS program news and updates

NEW - Doctoral Studies Timeline form

Applicants are now required to submit the Doctoral Studies Timeline form with the Official Transcripts to the nominating institution.

The nominating institution must upload the following documents with the applications being nominated to the Vanier CGS program:

  1. Official Transcript
  2. Doctoral Studies Timeline

Upload the applicants Doctoral Studies Timeline form under the document type on ResearchNet: Transcripts – using Description: Doctoral Studies Timelines.

NEW - Sex- and Gender-based Analysis Plus (SGBA+)

In order to ensure the research we fund is impactful and relevant to the diversity of the population, we now require applicants to systematically examine how differences in identity factors (such as sex, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age and mental or physical disability) affect the outcomes of research and the impacts of research findings. Applicants are now encouraged to take SGBA+ principles into account in their proposed research (see Application/nomination instruction - Task 10).

REMINDER - Research respectfully involving and engages Indigenous communities

The proposed research must be in accordance with the policies and principles outlined in the following two main documents:

Nominating institutions must describe how collaborations are developed and provide details corroborating information included in the research proposal.

REMINDER - Eligibility: Calculating months of doctoral studies

All prior doctoral-level studies, regardless of discipline, are considered in the evaluation of eligibility, and are considered to be continuous, full-time, and uninterrupted unless otherwise confirmed by the institution (including the summer months, unless on official leave). The Vanier-Banting Secretariat will count two months of part-time studies as one month of full-time studies.

The Vanier-Banting Secretariat will start all calculations of the number of months completed from the date on which an applicant is officially registered in the doctoral program with the following exceptions: Fast-track and combined programs

For those registered in a Master’s program that subsequently transferred to a doctoral program (fast-track), the months of study completed are calculated from the original Master’s enrolment date.

For those registered in a doctoral program in which a Master’s degree is obtained as part of the program (e.g., MA/PhD), the months of study are still calculated starting from the date on which an applicant is officially registered in the combined program (including the Master’s portion of the program).

PhD studies calculation:

REMINDER - Internal deadline at institution

Nominating institutions should adjust the internal deadline date in ResearchNet as soon as possible for the Vanier CGS competition. Remember to allow enough time for the internal review of nominations. Currently, the internal deadline date is the same as the final submission deadline for the Vanier CGS competition.

Instructions can be found in the Electronic Approval for Research Institutions- Administrator’s Guide, available in the support section in ResearchNet, under the Manage Internal Deadline task.

Institutions are also reminded to update the ResearchNet Electronic Approval Tool Users to avoid any further delays to the submission of nominations. If the Access Administrator (AA) of the Vanier CGS program on ResearchNet has changed since the last competition (2019-2020), please send an email to so that we can update our system with the new AA.

For more information on user roles and responsibilities, please refer to the updated Electronic Approval Guide.

REMINDER - Diversity, equity and inclusion

The Vanier CGS program encourages equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), as part of the Tri-Agency’s broader commitment to excellence in research and research training in Canada. EDI considerations must be taken into account throughout the Vanier CGS competition, including during the selection committee member recruitment process and during the selection, endorsement and review processes of an application.

The EDI page of the Vanier CGS website provides guidelines and resources geared towards applicants, host institutions, referees, and reviewers and readers, and addressing the following topics: research respectfully involving Indigenous communities; reducing unconscious bias; and promoting equity, diversity and inclusion more generally.

With the competitive nature of the program in mind, we would like to remind you to continue to be highly selective in your endorsement of nominations. In this way we can work together to control the quality of candidates to help ensure that the program is indeed supporting world-class doctoral scholars who will become the research leaders of tomorrow and without adding undue strain on the review system.

REMINDER - Subject matter eligibility (research area)

The onus is on the applicant and their supervisor to carefully consider which selection committee should review the application. For more details, please consult the Application/nomination Instruction – Task 6: Identify area of research

REMINDER - International recruitment

In keeping with the aim of attracting doctoral students to Canada, we encourage you to continue to strengthen your efforts to recruit new foreign doctoral students to your respective institutions. Your collaboration is essential in achieving the goal of building strong brand recognition for the Vanier CGS program as Canada’s most valuable, prestigious and sought-after doctoral scholarship. By attracting international candidates to Canadian institutions, we will enrich our campuses now and into the future.

NOTE – Accessing updated webpage

If you have not cleared your cache since the last time you accessed the Vanier CGS webpage, your browser may display a cached version of the page. In order to see the updated webpage, simply hit the “refresh” logo in your browser (or hit the F5 key)

For any questions, please contact the VBS at

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