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Current Awards Competitions

2021 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) | DEADLINE: AUGUST 23, 2020 BY 11:59PM

Award Overview

Student submission deadline:

August 23, 2020 by 11:59pm

Deadline for Referees:

Date set by applicant (but must references letters must be submitted before the student submission deadline)


$50,000 per year for three years

Level of study:

To support PhD or MD/PhD

Required Legal Status:

Domestic or International


Early April 2021 directly from Vanier


The 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 social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health. The Vanier CGS program strongly encourages candidates to pursue their studies beyond the university that granted their previous degree(s).

Eligibility to Apply:

Please refer to the Vanier website for complete eligibility requirements.

To be considered for a Vanier CGS, applicants must:

  • be nominated by only one Canadian university, which has received a Vanier CGS allocation.
  • be pursuing their first doctoral degree (including the PhD portion of a joint program including MD/PhD, JD/PhD) full-time at the nominating university in the academic year immediately following the of release of results in April;
  • have completed no more than:
    • 20 months of full-time study in their doctoral program as of May 1, 2021;
    • 32 months of full-time study in their doctoral program, by May 1st, 2021 if enrolled in a joint graduate research program, e.g., MD/PhD, MA/PhD, DVM/PhD. Applicants that fall into this category have access to the 32-month window whether or not they were previously enrolled in a Master’s program; or
    • 32 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by May 1, 2021 if accelerated directly from a Bachelor’s to a PhD (no time spent in a Master’s program); or
    • 32 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by May 1, 2021 if accelerated from a Master’s degree into a Doctoral program without obtaining the Master’s degree.
    • See number of Number of months of doctoral studies
  • have achieved a first-class average (A-), in each of the last two years of full-time study or equivalent;
  • not hold or have held a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, SSHRC or NSERC to undertake or complete a doctoral program (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD)

Note: Applicants may apply to both the Vanier CGS program and another doctoral-level scholarship/fellowship program (e.g. PGS D) under the same or different federal granting agency in the same academic year, provided that the research proposed in each application falls within the mandate of the federal granting agency to which the application is submitted. Applicants being considered for a Vanier CGS may not apply for a CGS Master’s award in the same year.


Applicants must be nominated by the institution at which they wish to study and hold the award. Applicants seeking institutional nomination must first receive the endorsement of their proposed graduate unit through a local selection process. Applicants seeking this endorsement must submit a completed Vanier CGS application using the ResearchNet application system. Graduate units will view the submitted applications from candidates seeking endorsement via ResearchNet.  The graduate unit (IMS) will submit nomination letters on behalf of candidates who move on to the central competition.


Application Process:

Applicants should refer to the Vanier website for step by step application/nomination instructions. The ResearchNet application will only be accessible to applicants until the published Institution Internal Deadline of Sept 21st at 8pm, at which time it will go offline.

Applicants must complete the entire application process by August 23, 2020 (which is earlier than the institution deadline) to be eligible for consideration.  Any applications received after this date will not be assessed and will be considered ineligible. The application process consists of the following:

  • submitting a completed Vanier CGS application via ResearchNet; and all original official transcripts to the graduate unit in electronic format saved as a single PDF.  Please send the transcripts by email to Ms. Kaki Narh Blackwood at sf.medscience@utoronto.ca .  (Reminder: Institutions will be required to include an evaluation/summary of all foreign transcripts. In order to assist with this task, foreign transcripts submitted by the applicant should be accompanied by a grade legend.)
  • New: Applicants currently registered at U of T, or have completed previous studies at U of T, may submit an unofficial ACORN U of T transcript in lieu of an official one during the initial departmental adjudication.  Those students who move forward to the central U of T competition will be contacted and instructed to order an official transcript through the ACORN.  Please note that students will need to ensure that their GEMS agreement is submitted and approved, have paid or deferred their fees and confirm they are registered prior to ordering transcripts.
  • New: Applicants are now required to submit a completed Doctoral Studies Timeline form as a PDF file, along with the Official Transcripts to the IMS.
  • New: Vanier now requires 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).

Please note the following reminders:

  • Students are strongly encouraged to complete the “Identify Referee” task on ResearchNet well in advance as referee assessments must be completed and submitted by the referee before the student can complete the submission by the graduate unit deadline (August 23rd). New this year, applicants will be able to determine individual deadlines for their referees on ResearchNet. As a result, there will no longer be a single deadline for all referees.
  • Applicants are required to upload two leadership reference letters as separate PDF attachments under the same task (the ability to upload the second letter will appear after the first one has been uploaded). In addition, two confidential academic assessments will be requested and submitted through ResearchNet. Applicants will not be able to submit their application until the referees have submitted their assessment and this task is completed. Note: Vanier recommends that each of these come from four individuals but letters from the same sources will not be declared ineligible.
  • All information about interruptions to a student’s academic career, choice of nominating institution, and mobility must be included the Personal Leadership Statement instead of a “special circumstances” document.
  • The students’ proposed research project and doctoral program of study must be eligible within the mandate of the agency to which the nomination will be submitted. If there is any doubt (especially for those applying to SSHRC or NSERC whose subject matter touches upon health in any capacity), students are urged to email the granting agency directly with a one page summary of their research to seek written confirmation in advance of submitting their application. Complete guidelines on selecting the appropriate federal granting agency are available at www.science.gc.ca.


Questions regarding the Vanier Awards competition can be directed to Vanier at info@vanier.gc.ca 


For more information visit:

Vanier website

U of T Vanier website