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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
September 4, 2015
Canadian Excellence

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies


Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship Program

The Vanier scholarship program was launched by the Government of Canada to attract and retain world-class doctoral students.  The following is for general information only. Complete details of the Vanier program can be found at on the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships website.

This competition encourages students to pursue their doctoral studies at institutions different from those where they completed a previous degree in order to broaden research horizons and seek new challenges. Candidates nominated by a university at which they have completed a previous degree will be asked to provide a compelling rationale as to why they have chosen to remain or return.

Highly-qualified international candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. All interested candidates are encouraged to contact their proposed academic unit/program to discuss this opportunity (regardless of whether application for admission has already been made).

Value and Duration of Award
  •     $50,000 per year for three years
  • must be nominated for a Vanier by one Canadian university; if awarded, applicant MUST hold the award at the institution that submitted the nomination
  • must be pursuing the first doctoral degree
  • open to students who have completed 0-20 months of doctoral study as of May 1, 2016
  • open to international and Canadian doctoral students studying at Canadian institution
  • have achieved a first-class average in each of the last two years of study
  • have not previously been awarded a scholarship or fellowship from SSHRC, NSERC or CIHR at the doctoral level
  • eligible Vanier CGS candidates should apply to the same agency's doctoral or fellowship awards program
Selection Criteria
  • academic excellence (transcripts, awards and distinctions)
  • research potential (research history, interest in discovery, proposed research and potential contribution, potential benefit to Canadians, anticipated outcomes)
  • leadership* (potential and demonstrated ability in personal achievement, involvement in academic life, volunteerism/community outreach, civic engagement) 

*Leadership will be assessed against the following personal and social skills:  goal achievement, self management, integrity, other characteristics, social skills).  Referees should address the student's leadership potential and elaborate on the impact of the activities and accomplishments mentioned in the self-assessment section.  One reference letter must be written by someone who knows the student in a non-academic capacity.  This letter should describe how the student has demonstrated, and will potentially continue to demonstrate, leadership. 

Application Process
  • applicants submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to no later than September 25, 2015, by 4:30 PM (NOI must include: a CV; all postsecondary education transcripts (copies accepted at this stage); a 300 word statement that identifies research and fit with intended Wilfrid Laurier University Advisor and a 300 word statement that highlights demonstrated leadership ability - refer to Selection Criteria section above)
  • FGPS will notify candidates by October 5, 2015, if their application will be supported
  • supported candidates complete full application using ResearchNet by October 29, 2015
  • university selection committee review supported applications (October 30 to November 3, 2015)
  • recommended applications forwarded to the national competition by November 4, 2015
  • nominations reviewed by peer review selection committee at the agency (each agency forwards top 70 candidates)
  • if recommended by the agency committee, it is forwarded to the Vanier Peer Review committee (167 awardees each year)

Questions? Contact Cherie Mongeon, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards Officer in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.