Vanier CGS 2021-2022 competition launch

The 2021-2022 Vanier CGS competition has been launched. This memo is to inform you of program news for this competition.

I) 2021-2022 Vanier CGS competition timelines

Key dates are highlighted below:

2021-22 Vanier CGS competition timelines
Competition launch June 23, 2021 – Posting of updated program literature on program website, including application guide and activation of ResearchNet (electronic application system)
List of Indigenous applicants for institutions October 19, 2021
Nomination deadline November 2, 2021 (8:00 pm EST)
Funding decision release Early April 2022

II) Vanier CGS program news and updates

NEW – Indigenous applicants

Institutions may recommend applications from self-identified Indigenous applicants to the Vanier CGS competition above and beyond their institutional quota. Indigenous applicants must agree to their personal information being used for this purpose by making the appropriate selection in the application form by attaching the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS): Voluntary Self-Identification Form to their application in ResearchNet.

Applicants who wish to self-declare themselves as an Indigenous applicant have been instructed to complete the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS): Voluntary Self-Identification Form [ PDF (147 KB) ] for Indigenous Applicants and upload it within their application. This form may be used by Research Administrators to identify self-declared Indigenous applicants.

Should the institution wish to request a quota above and beyond the institutional quota, it is the responsibility of the Research Administrators to list which applicants will be included as self-identified Indigenous applicants and send it via email to the Vanier-Banting Secretariat (

Institutional deadlines

Note: Substitutions for ineligible or rejected applications will not be permitted.

*“Indigenous Peoples” is a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. “Aboriginal Peoples” is also sometimes used as a terminology. For the purposes of this program, the tri-agencies use the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982 definition of Aboriginal Peoples as including the First Nations, Inuk (Inuit) and Métis Peoples of Canada.

NEW (Optional) – International transcripts

(Optional) If a nominee has international transcripts:  They may attach a 250-word summary to describe the variations in the grading system from the country of the transcript and the Canadian level equivalents, and/or explain international credentials and equivalencies. The summary should be a PDF document attached at the beginning of their transcripts.

UPDATE – Doctoral studies timeline form

The Doctoral Studies Timeline form is no longer required in a Vanier CGS application.

REMINDER (updated) – Equity, diversity 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.

An important component ensuring EDI is reflected in our selection process is the careful consideration to each applicant’s career interruptions and personal circumstances. The review of an applicant’s track record will take into consideration the availability of research and leadership opportunities.  Applicants are thus encouraged to identify any circumstances that may have delayed or interrupted their academic and/or career advancement (if applicable) in the Personal Leadership Letter attachment of their application.

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 the way we can work together to 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.

Tri-Agency Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council are committed to excellence in research and research training. Read more in the Statement from the Tri-Agency Presidents.

REMINDER – 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 (updated) – Research respectfully involving and engaging 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 with Indigenous communities have been or will be developed and provide details corroborating information included in the research proposal.

In order to be funded, research involving and engaging with Indigenous communities must fulfill the pillars for respectful research engaging with Indigenous peoples.

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.

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.

Number of months of doctoral studies:

REMINDER – Internal deadlines at institutions

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 (2020-2021), 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 – 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

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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