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 the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, engineering, and health.
Both Canadian and international students are eligible to be nominated for a Vanier CGS.
In an effort to support students in broadening their research horizons and seeking new challenges, the Vanier CGS program strongly encourages candidates to pursue their studies beyond the university that granted their undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Eligibility for Nomination
To be considered for a Vanier CGS, you must:
- be nominated by only one Canadian university, which must have received a Vanier CGS allocation;
- be seeking financial support to pursue your first doctoral degree (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD). Note that only the PhD portion of a combined degree is eligible for funding;
- intend to pursue, in the summer semester or the academic year following the announcement of results, full-time doctoral (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD) studies and research at the nominating university; Note that only the PhD portion of a combined degree is eligible for funding;
- have completed no more than 20 months of doctoral studies as of May 1, 2013 (see Calculating Months of Doctoral Studies below);
- have achieved a first-class average, as determined by your university, in each of the last two years of full-time study or equivalent. Applicants are encouraged to contact the university for its definition of a first-class average; and
- not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC to undertake or complete a doctoral degree.
Calculating Months of Doctoral Studies
All prior doctoral-level studies, regardless of discipline, will be considered in the evaluation of eligibility. The granting agencies will count two months of part-time study as one month of full-time study.
In the case of students who are registered in a combined MA/PhD program or a direct-entry doctoral program, or who are accelerated from a master’s program into a doctoral program without obtaining the master’s degree, the agencies will not include the first 12 months of graduate study in the evaluation of eligibility.
In the case of students who are registered in a combined MD/PhD degree program, all months of doctoral-level study within the combined degree program will be considered in the evaluation of eligibility.
All interruptions, delays, part-time studies and MD studies within an MD/PhD degree program must be indicated in the Special Circumstances section of your application.
Example: If you were completing full-time doctoral studies as of January 1, 2012, with no interruptions during this period, the agencies would consider you as having completed 16 months of doctoral studies as of May 1, 2013. If, during this period, you were on leave from your program for four months, the agencies would consider you as having completed 12 months of doctoral studies. If, in addition to having taken one semester off, you had been registered part-time for one semester (i.e., four months), the agencies would consider you as having completed 10 months of doctoral studies.
Eligibility to Hold an Award
Without exception, Vanier CGS awards are tenable only at the eligible Canadian university that submitted the nomination.
To hold the award, the candidate must:
- be registered as a full-time student at the nominating Canadian institution, and be pursuing a doctoral degree (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD); and
- remain enrolled and demonstrate continued satisfactory progress in their doctoral program.
A Vanier CGS may be held by students who are registered part time because of a disability. For this purpose, disability is defined as “a functional limitation resulting from a physical, sensory or mental impairment, which, for an indefinite period, affects the ability of the student to perform the activities necessary to participate fully in his or her learning.” For eligible part-time students, Vanier CGS award funding will be equivalent to a full-time award spread over a longer period of time.
Canadian federal government employees
Canadian federal government employees are eligible to hold a scholarship only if on an unpaid leave of absence (no salary or special allowances permitted).
Vanier CGS candidates may only apply to the same agency’s doctoral or fellowship awards programs within the same academic year. They may not submit applications to more than one agency or concurrently hold more than one agency scholarship or fellowship.
Selecting the Appropriate Granting Agency
The candidate’s 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 in doubt, universities must consult with the agencies in advance of submitting the nomination. This also applies to nominations involving interdisciplinary fields of research, or research areas that span the mandates of two or more of the federal research granting agencies.
Information on CIHR’s mandate and subject matter eligibility is available on the CIHR website.
Information on NSERC’s mandate and subject matter eligibility is available on the NSERC website.
Information on SSHRC’s mandate and subject matter eligibility is available on the SSHRC website.
Additional information on selecting the appropriate federal granting is available at science.gc.ca website.