Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

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Award Overview

Student Deadline to Unit:

Inquire with your current/proposed graduate unit for their internal deadline​

Application goes offline:

September 25, 2017 at 8:00 pm (the graduate unit deadline may be earlier)

Graduate Unit Deadline to SGS:

October 2, 2017: final day for graduate units to submit nominations to the Graduate Awards Office

Value & Duration:

$50,000 per year for three years

Level of Study:

To support PhD, or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD

Required Legal Status

Domestic or international


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

To be considered for a Vanier CGS, applicants must:

  • be pursuing their first doctoral degree (or 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 March;

  • have completed no more than 20 months of doctoral studies as of May 1, 2018 (calculating months of doctoral studies)

  • have achieved a first-class average (A-) in each of the last two years of full-time study or equivalent;

  • have not already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, SSHRC, or NSERC to undertake or complete a doctoral degree (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD); and

  • be nominated by only one Canadian university, which has received a Vanier C​GS allocation.


Candidates must be nominated by the institution at which they wish to study and hold the award. Candidates seeking institutional nomination must first receive the endorsement of their proposed graduate unit through a local selection process. Candidates seeking this endorsement must submit a completed Vanier CGS application using the ResearchNet application system. Graduate units will receive access to ResearchNet in order to view the submitted applications from candidates seeking endorsement.

Nomination Letters must be completed and signed by the Department Head nominating the candidate (see SGS Instructions to Administrators for guidelines on preparing this letter and candidate selection). 

Application Process

Applicants will need to contact their proposed graduate unit regarding their specific student submission deadline and requirements. Applicants should refer to the Vanier website for application/nomination instructions and step-by step application instructions;

Please note the following:

  • The ResearchNet application will only be accessible to applicants until the published Institution Internal Deadline of September 25 at 8 pm, at which time it will go offline.

  • Applicants should contact their proposed graduate unit regarding internal deadlines and submission requirements.
  • Candidates must complete the entire application process by their unit's student submission deadline (which may be earlier) to be eligible for consideration; this includes:

    1. the online submission of a completed Vanier CGS application via ResearchNet; and

    2. a printed, hard copy submission of the entire application including all original transcripts. REMINDER: Applications which include foreign transcripts must include a U of T evaluation of foreign transcripts. In order to assist with this task, foreign transcripts submitted by the applicant should be accompanied by a grade legend.

  • Graduate units may access those applications that have been completed and successfully submitted on line; applications still in progress by candidates cannot be viewed on the system.
  • 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 process.

  • CHANGES to Student Application:
    Please note that starting summer/fall 2017:
    • Applicants are required to upload two leadership reference letters as two PDF attachments (previously only one was required), in addition to two confidential academic assessments submitted directly to ResearchNet by the referees. Tip: Vanier recommends that the four assessments 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 either in the Personal Leadership Statement or the Research Proposal. The "special circumstances" attachment is to solely be used for calculating the number of months completed in PhD studies by the Vanier Secretariat and will no longer be forwarded to the selection committee.
  • The 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 by the tri-council in advance of submitting their application. Complete guidelines on selecting the appropriate federal granting agency are available at Lastly, if the applicant is applying for both a doctoral award and a Vanier, both applications must be under the same agency.

Contacts & Resources

View the complete guidelines on the Vanier CGS website.

If you have questions regarding the Vanier Awards competition, please contact:
Vanier directly at, or the

Graduate Awards Office at SGS by emailing or calling 416-946-0808.

Vanier program information

ResearchNet technical support