The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) is a highly competitive and prestigious scholarship program that provides financial support to exceptional Canadian and international students pursuing doctoral studies in Canada. In this guide, we will take an in-depth look at the Vanier CGS program, including its eligibility criteria, the application process, benefits, and tips for a successful application.
What are the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships?
The Vanier CGS program was established in 2008 by the Government of Canada to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and to establish Canada as a global center of excellence in research and higher education. The scholarship is worth $50,000 per year and is awarded for up to three years.
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Benefits
The Vanier CGS program provides successful candidates with the following benefits:
- A $50,000 annual scholarship for up to three years
- Eligibility for a Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) at the master’s or doctoral level
- Networking opportunities with other Vanier scholars and Canadian leaders in academia, industry, and government
- Opportunities for career development and leadership training
Eligibility Criteria for Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships – How to Apply
To be eligible for the Vanier CGS program, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be nominated by only one Canadian institution, which must have received a Vanier CGS quota.
- You must be pursuing your first doctoral degree, including joint undergraduate/graduate research programs such as MD/Ph.D., DVM/Ph.D., and JD/Ph.D.
- You must have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree with a high academic standing, typically a minimum of A- (GPA 3.67/4.33).
- You must have demonstrated academic excellence, research potential, and leadership skills.
- You must be enrolled in a full-time doctoral program in the natural sciences, engineering, health sciences, social sciences, or humanities.
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Application Process
The application process for the Vanier CGS program involves the following steps:
- Find a Canadian institution with a Vanier CGS quota: You must first identify a Canadian institution that has received a Vanier CGS quota and contact the institution’s graduate studies office for information on the nomination process.
- Submit your application to the institution: You must submit your application to the institution by their internal deadline. The application package typically includes the following documents:
- A research proposal outlining your research project
- A Statement of leadership skills and community engagement
- Three letters of reference
- Transcripts of all previous post-secondary education
- The institution nominates candidates to the Vanier-Banting Secretariat: The institution will nominate the most eligible and competitive candidates to the Vanier-Banting Secretariat.
- The Vanier-Banting Secretariat reviews and selects candidates: The Vanier-Banting Secretariat will review and select candidates based on their academic excellence, research potential, and leadership skills.
Those 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.
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. Vanier CGS application packages submitted through ResearchNet will first be submitted to the Canadian institution that will be putting forward their nomination.
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. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships selection committees are multidisciplinary, and applications should therefore be written with a non-specialist research audience in mind.
You must also review the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion page before beginning the preparation or review of an application.
To be considered eligible for funding, candidates must attain an average score of at least 3.1 in each of the three criteria.
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Tips for a Successful Application
Here are some tips for a successful application:
- Start early: The application process for the Vanier CGS program can be time-consuming and requires careful planning. Start your application well in advance of the internal deadline at your institution.
- Choose your referee carefully: Select referees who know you well and can provide detailed information on your academic achievements, research potential, and leadership skills.
- Write a compelling research proposal: Your research proposal should be clear, concise, and innovative. It should demonstrate your ability to conduct independent research and make a significant contribution to your field of study.
- Demonstrate your leadership skills: The Vanier CGS program places a strong emphasis on leadership and community engagement. Provide concrete examples of how you have demonstrated leadership in your academic, research, and community activities.
Individual application documents can be submitted in either English or French. If another language is required to express a particular idea (e.g., a specialized concept), be sure to provide an explanation in French or English.
A complete Vanier CGS application package includes:
- A ResearchNet application form (includes two letters of reference, each with three sections)
- A CCV (limited entries; please see Completing the Common CV (CCV) for complete information)
- Research Contributions (maximum one page)
- A Personal Leadership Statement (maximum 2 pages for English applications; maximum of 2.5 pages for French applications)
- Special Circumstances (maximum 0.5 page, optional)
- Two Leadership letters of reference (maximum 2 pages)
- A Research Proposal (maximum 2 pages for English applications; maximum of 2.5 pages for French applications)
- Project References (maximum 5 pages)