Selection committee guide


This document is a guide for members of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) selection committees of the three federal granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). It describes the review process for members and chairs of these selection committees, as well as the policies, guidelines and deliverables that define each stage of the review process.

Members of the Vanier CGS selection committees are appointed from the Canadian and international academic communities, and are familiar with the mandate, structures and programs of the federal granting agencies. New members and those appointed from other sectors, should refer to Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency for more detailed information regarding federal granting agency mandates.

Although this Selection committee guide strives to be comprehensive, committee members may still have questions after reading it. Members are asked to direct all questions to the program administrator responsible for their selection committee.

Table of contents

  1. Overview of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program
  2. Roles and responsibilities
  3. The review process
    1. 3.1. Selection Criteria
    2. 3.2. Prior to the selection committee meeting
    3. 3.3. During the selection committee meeting
    4. 3.4. After the selection committee meeting
  4. Policies and guidelines
    1. 4.1. Confidentiality of nomination material
    2. 4.2. Confidentiality of recommendations
    3. 4.3. The Privacy Act and Access to Information Act
    4. 4.4. Gender-neutral and gender-inclusive language in reviews
    5. 4.5. Official Languages
    6. 4.6. Ethical considerations
    7. 4.7. Responsible Conduct of Research
    8. 4.8. Open access and data management
  5. Selection committee membership
    1. 5.1. Recruitment process
    2. 5.2. Selection committee recruitment criteria
    3. 5.3. Term of membership

1. Overview of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship program

The Government of Canada launched the Vanier CGS program in 2008 to strengthen Canada's ability to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and establish Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. Vanier Scholars demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering, and health.

Students wishing to apply for a Vanier CGS must do so through the Canadian institution to which they are applying for doctoral studies. Based on their quotas, Canadian institutions will forward a limited number of nominations to the Vanier CGS program.

Up to 166 Vanier Scholars are awarded each year and are divided among the three federal granting agencies, who each offer 55 awards annually. The additional award is rotated annually between NSERC and CIHR.

The Vanier-Banting Secretariat, which is housed within CIHR, is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the program.

2. Roles and responsibilities

Communication of secure documents

Throughout the competition cycle, the Secretariat staff may need to provide selection committee members with documents that contain sensitive information. In most cases, these documents will be shared by posting them on the appropriate pages within ResearchNet – the electronic web portal used for submitting reviews.

3. The review process

The review process consists of the following stages, which are further described below:

A complete nomination consists of:


4. Policies and guidelines

In addition to the conflict of interest guidelines noted above, keep in mind the following policies and guidelines when reviewing nominations.

5. Selection committee membership

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