Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS): Eligibility, Application Process

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Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS)

To attract and retain world-class doctoral students and to develop Canada as a global centre of academic excellence in science and higher learning, the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) programme was established. In natural sciences and engineering, social sciences and humanities, and health-related areas, Vanier Scholars show leadership qualities and a high level of academic achievement. Scroll through this blog to learn all about Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships 2023 for international students. This blog talks in detail about its eligibility, application process and much more.


About Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships 2023

Under the current three-year quota allocation, institutions are presented with an annual quota. It is the most prestigious of the Federal government’s doctoral scholarships. Canada’s three federal granting departments pick scholarship recipients:

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship is valued at $50,000 a year for up to three years. Successful Waterloo recipients will also collect the President’s Graduate Scholarship! 

Important Application Dates 2023

At Waterloo, the application process for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships is done in two phases. Interested applicants are authorized by the University to seek funding from the UW department where they plan to begin to pursue their doctoral program by 31 July 2023. To proceed with the second phase of the application process, candidates who request departmental assistance are expected to apply their full application within Research Net by 9:00 a.m. On 1 November 2023.


July – November 2023Deadline to apply to the nominating institution. Contact the nominating institution for a specific date.
Internal Deadline (varies)Deadline to submit the application to the nominating institution. Contact the nominating institution for a specific date.
November 1, 2023 (20:00 EDT)Deadline for institutions to submit nominations to the Vanier CGS program.
November 2023 – March 2024Review and evaluation of nominations.
Early April 2024Anticipated notification of results. Nominees will be notified by email when the results are available on ResearchNet.
1 May 2024, 1 September 2024 or 1 January 2024Payments begin.

Also Read: University of Waterloo Graduate Scholarships 2023-24

Selection Process

Involved applicants must be in conjunction with the suggested host Canadian institution at which they are (or will be) conducting doctoral studies and complete the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships submission. It is accessible now on ResearchNet. The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships shall, without question, be kept ONLY at the institution which sponsored the original application.

The maximum number of nominations that Waterloo can send for the Fall 2023 national-level competition is as follows:

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR): 1
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC): 12
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC): 6

Waterloo is expected to be competitive in deciding the number of candidates chosen for institutional endorsement, considering the small quota of awards an organisation may host. The selection process is a comprehensive one within organisations. The following summarises the credentials of recent Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships winners at the University of Waterloo to provide advice on the possibility of success of future candidates.

  • At the master’s degree, the candidate receives a variety of meritorious institutional distinctions and/or a tri-agency or OGS scholarship;
  • The claimant had a good record of publication in the discipline of the candidate;
  • In both of their last two years of full-time undergraduate training, candidates had averages of similar to or greater than 90 per cent.

Also Read: Scholarships in Canada

How to Apply for Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships?

1. Confirm Admissibility

At the university where they plan to pursue their doctoral studies, Canadian nationals, permanent residents of Canada, and foreign students are entitled to qualify for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships. Before starting their submission, interested applicants must check the eligibility requirements and placement criteria on the official Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships website.

2. Message the suggested nominating agency

Prospective Vanier applicants* must email and provide the following to the Graduate Officer/Associate Chair of the department where they plan to keep the Vanier (if successful) by July 31:

  • Written concern and intent shared by them in applying for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships.
  • The name of the member of the faculty with whom they are involved in collaborating and whom they have already been in touch with.
  • A copy (if not already a UW student) of their CV and transcripts and UW student ID number (if applicable).
  • A laid down abstract (maximum one page) of the proposed analysis.

3. Transcription

Applicants currently registered with Waterloo can fill in the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships transcript application page (web form) by 1 November 2023, EDT. Applicants who are not already enrolled with Waterloo but expect to enrol in their doctoral programme and who have not yet qualified for entry are liable to have official protected electronic transcripts submitted to Heidi Mussar ([email protected]) by September 2023 at the latest. Transcripts from facilities such as Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, e-Script-Safe, or Transcripts Network will be approved by the issuing institution. Until final submission to the department, GSPA will ensure that transcripts are submitted to endorsed student applications on Research Net.

4. Read the directions for the submission and nomination

Detailed guidelines on the competition process are given on the official Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships website, including how to build a Canadian Generic CV (CCV), how to launch the ResearchNet application, how to ensure that the proposed research falls under the right tri-agency, the number of referees needed, the free form paper presentation requirements, etc. Applicants must ensure that the application/nomination criteria outlined on the Vanier website are read and followed.

5. Select referees and email them

If departmental assistance has been received, the claimant must contact prospective referees no less than three weeks before the administrative deadline of September, but as soon as possible afterwards.

Also Read: Study in Canada

Leadership References

Two reference letters for leadership are required to apply for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and should be provided by referees who can talk in a non-academic capacity about the candidate and who are willing to illustrate the applicant’s proven leadership qualities and ability. In the application/nomination directions, more information can be found regarding the leadership reference letters. It is not recommended to make the same person who is writing the academic reference letters write the leadership letters according to the directions.

Academic References

Two scholarly references are also required in addition to the leadership references. Applicants must include the selection criterion requirements found on the Vanier website to these referees according to the application/nomination directions (refer to Task 8 in the instructions).

Tips for Selecting Referees

Referees who know the candidates well and are willing to make an educated assessment based on the evaluation criteria should be chosen by candidates for their application for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships.

Referees would not be allowed to see the student’s ResearchNet submission. As such, the claimant should provide them with an information kit which will allow them to write a good letter of support.

A list of accomplishments that the applicant has achieved should be outlined in the letter; applicants are advised to invite referees to discuss the significance of their publications and efforts in the assessment letters (e.g., highlighting that a paper is published in a journal with a high impact factor; acknowledging that a paper has been frequently cited; analysis that has it been recognised

As appropriate, this package should contain the following documents from the applicant:

  1. Curriculum vitae
  2. Transcripts
  3. Research proposal

Also Read: PhD in Canada with Scholarship


How can I get a Vanier Graduate Canada Scholarship?

You can get the Vanier GCS if you get nominated by any of the Canadian Universities that have received the Vanier quota. This scholarship is offered by the Canadian Government to retain international doctoral scholars.

Is the Vanier Graduate Canada Scholarship fully funded?

Yes, the Vanier Graduate Canada Scholarship is a fully-funded scholarship for PhD students. Under this scheme, the candidates receive $50,000 per year.

Is the Vanier Scholarship for international students?

Yes, the Vanier scholarship is also applicable to international students. The Vanier Graduate Canada Scholarship is meant to provide financial aid to permanent residents of Canada, Canadian citizens and international students.

How many Vanier Scholarships are awarded?

A total of 166 scholarships are awarded on an annual basis.

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