University-Wide Award: Vivekananda Graduate Prize (OSOTF)

Award Overview


At the time of application, an applicant must:

  • Exemplify Vivekananda’s ideal of education:
    • Vivekananda (1863-1902), a philosopher and saint, said, “Education … is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested all your life.”
    • ​He did not consider people as educated just because they could pass some examinations and deliver good lectures. In his words, “the education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life, which does not bring out strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and the courage of a lion–is it worth the name?…We must have life building, make-making, character-making assimilation of ideas.”​
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person, under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada)
  • Be a resident of Ontario, as defined by OSOTF requirements​​ (see Need Based/OSOTF Awards section of University-Wide Awards web page)
  • Be registered full-time in a graduate degree program ​​
  • Demonstrate financial need – through the completion of an SGS Financial Need Assessment form
  • Demonstrate academic merit – have achieved at least A- (or equivalent) in each of the last two completed years of study (full-time equivalent); or if the student has competed two years of graduate studies at the time of application, the student must only demonstrate an overall average of at least A- (or equivalent) on all graduate courses completed

Note: Recipients must maintain full-time registration throughout the academic year immediately following the current competition.

Application Process

The Vivekananda Graduate Prize (OSOTF) is one of the endowed awards within the SGS University-Wide Awards competition. Review the full Application Process on the University Wide Awards web page.

Each applicant must ensure that a complete application package (including their referee’s letter) is provided to their graduate unit by the unit’s specified deadline. ​

Application Package

A completed application will include all of the following items (no other supporting documentation will be accepted):

  1. Completed and signed University-Wide Awards application form;
  2. ​Original or certified copies of official transcripts from all universities attended in the last two years of full-time studies or if the student has competed two years of graduate studies at the time of application, the student must include transcripts for all graduate studies;
    • ACORN print-outs are sufficient for the U of T transcript
    • Certification/validation may be performed by the graduate unit. If the graduate unit is not able to certify/validate a transcript, it is each applicant’s responsibility to obtain and provide within their application package an original official transcript that was issued by the appropriate institution
    • Grading legends must be provided with every transcript. Copies of unofficial transcripts from other institutions will not be accepted. Transcripts should not be separately mailed to the Graduate Awards Office
  3. One copy of resumé / CV;
  4. Statement written by the applicant that clearly addresses the relevance of their application with regard to Vivekananda’s ideal of education;
  5. One letter of reference addressing the applicant’s academic merit from an academic supervisor/advisor or a faculty member familiar with the applicant’s academic work (one page maximum); letter must clearly state the referee’s name and contact information; and
  6. If applying for an award that requires the demonstration of financial need, a completed and signed SGS Financial Need Assessment form​ must be included​.

Additional Info

Donor: The Vedanta Society of Toronto