University-Wide Awards

Award Overview

Purpose

The School of Graduate Studies offers between 15–20 awards annually through it’s University Wide Award (UWA) competition. Awards vary in terms of the specific eligibility criteria (merit, financial need, student citizenship, area of research etc.) Accordingly, applicants are encouraged to review the award-specific criteria outlined within each award description, to ensure they are eligible before submitting their application. See description of each award below.

Eligibility

At minimum, all applicants must:

  • Be currently registered to a full-time U of T graduate degree program; and
  • Demonstrate one or both of the following as per the specific award criteria:
    • ​academic merit / excellence
    • ​financial need

Additionally, students must meet the award-specific eligibility criteria as described within each award description (see list below).

Academic Merit Awards

Several awards within the University Wide Competition require that applicants demonstrate academic excellence. These awards are categorized as Academic Merit Awards.

Eligibility for academic merit awards requires that applicants:

  • Have achieved at least A- (“A-” = 80%) or equivalent in each of the last two completed years of study (full-time equivalent); or
  • Demonstrate an overall average of at least A- (“A-” = 80%) or equivalent on all graduate courses completed, if the student has completed two years or more of graduate studies at the time of application; and
  • Meet the award specific eligibility criteria, as outlined within the individual award.

Your academic record will be verified by your Registrar or Graduate Unit Administrator. If the graduate unit is not able to certify/validate a transcript, applicants may be asked to obtain and provide an original official transcript that was issued by the appropriate institution.

Academic Merit with Financial Need Awards

Several academic merit awards require that students demonstrate both academic excellence and financial need for the current academic year, in addition to any other requirements stated for the specific award. All awards that include demonstration of financial need in the award criteria, require that students upload a completed SGS Financial Need Assessment Form (PDF) and provide any necessary supporting documents to their UWA online application.

Eligibility requires that applicants must:

  • Demonstrate academic merit (as above);
  • Demonstrate financial need through the completion of an SGS Financial Need Assessment Form (PDF); and
  • Meet the award specific eligibility criteria, as outlined within the individual award.

OSOTF Awards: Some academic merit awards are reserved for Ontario residents who demonstrate financial need. These awards are categorized as “OSOTF awards” (Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund) and are open to applicants who meet the following criteria in addition to any other requirements stated for the award.

  1. Demonstrate academic merit (as above);
  2. Demonstrate financial need for the current academic year through the completion of the SGS Financial Need Assessment form; and
  3. Are Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada or protected persons under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) at the time of the application; and
  4. Are residents of Ontario at the time of the application, as defined by one of the following criteria:
    • Student has always lived in Ontario; or
    • Ontario is the last province in which student has lived for 12 months in a row without being a full-time postsecondary student; or
    • Student lives in Ontario now and has lived in Canada for less than 12 months in a row
    • Married / common-law, students can be considered an Ontario resident if:
      • Spouse has always lived in Ontario; or
      • Ontario is the last province in which spouse has lived for 12 months in a row without being a full-time postsecondary student; or
      • Both of these statements are true: student lives in Ontario now; and student and spouse have lived in Canada for less than 12 months in a row
    • Students who qualify as a dependent student is considered an Ontario resident if:
      • Ontario is the last province in which parent(s) have lived for at least 12 months in a row; or
      • Both of these statements are true: Student lives in Ontario now; and Student and parent(s) have lived in Canada for less than 12 months in a row

The above requirements are established by OSAP to determine Ontario residency for student financial aid purposes. See OSOTF webpage for more information.

Need Based Awards

Need based awards (grants or bursaries) are available to students who meet the specific-award criteria and demonstrate financial need for the current academic year. Students are not required to demonstrate academic excellence for these type of awards. To determine for which need-based award(s) you may be eligible, review the “Award Descriptions” section below.​ Awards that include demonstration of financial need in the award criteria, require that students upload a completed SGS Financial Need Assessment form and provide any required supporting documents to their UWA online application.

Application Process

  1. Review the list of awards and specific eligibility requirements for each award to determine your eligibility;
  2. Complete the online SGS University-Wide Awards Application and select each award for which you would like to apply;
  3. Upload the following supporting documents. All documents must be combined and saved as one PDF before uploading.
    • A Personal Statement for each award selected on your application. The Personal Statement will describe why you should be considered and how you meet the award criteria required for the specific award (each Personal Statement should be no more than one page in length);
    • One letter of reference (one page maximum); the letter must address the applicant’s academic merit from an academic supervisor / advisor or a faculty member familiar with the applicant’s academic work. The letter must be dated and clearly state the referee’s name and complete contact information;
    • One Plan of Study / Research Proposal (one page maximum) in non-technical language. Students who have an OGS Plan of Study / Research Proposal may use it for this application; and
    • One Curriculum Vitae;

And, if you have selected awards that require the demonstration of financial need:

Unfortunately, ineligible or incomplete applications cannot be considered.

Award Descriptions

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit and Financial Need (OSOTF)
  • Value & Duration: Up to $3,000 CAD; five recipients annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s
  • Year of Study: First year of graduate studies
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic student with Ontario residency
  • Other: Identify as female
  • Donor(s): Estate of Agnes M. Ireland

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

  • Be a first year, full-time graduate student who identifies as female;
  • Be within one year of having completed an undergraduate honours degree in the Faculty of Arts & Science or Medicine or equivalent faculty at another institution prior to commencing their graduate program at the University of Toronto;
  • Demonstrate academic merit (as above);
  • Be eligible for OSOTF awards: See OSOTF webpage to confirm eligibility:

Several merit and need-based awards are available for students who self-identify as Black and / or Indigenous persons from Turtle Island/North America, e.g. First Nations (status or non-status), Inuk (Inuit), Métis, Alaska Native, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Native Mexican.

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit and Financial Need
  • Value & Duration: Up to $5,000 CAD; five to ten recipients annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic / International
  • Donor(s):
    • Edith M. McCuaig Estate (McCuaig-Throop Fund)
    • Friends, Colleagues and Former Students of Professor George Sidney Brett (George Sidney Brett Memorial Fund)
    • Estate of Sir Joseph Flavelle (Sir Joseph Flavelle Fellowships)
    • Estate of Eleanor Cate Allen (Eleanor Cate Allen Fellowship)
    • Estate of Donald M. Springer (Norman Stuart Robertson Fellowship)
    • Margaret and Nicholas Fodor (Margaret and Nicholas Fodor Fellowship)

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

  • Self-identify as a Black and / or Indigenous person;
  • Demonstrate one or both of the following:

Award Details

  • Award Category: Financial Need
  • Value & Duration: Up to $6,000 CAD
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic / International
  • Donor(s): Estate of Joseph Bazylewicz

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of Poland;
    • Students who have registered with the university under another citizenship (i.e. have dual citizenship) should include a proof of citizenship (e.g., passport)
  • Demonstrate financial need through the completion of an SGS Financial Need Assessment Form (PDF);

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit
  • Value & Duration: Up to $2,000 CAD; one to three recipients annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s
  • Year of Study: First year of graduate studies
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic / International
  • Donor(s): Estate of Mrs. Jeanne F. Goulding

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

  • Be pursuing research to benefit the environment in the fields of conservation, pollution control, and / or ecology;
  • Demonstrate academic merit (as above);

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit
  • Value & Duration: Up to $5,000 CAD; one recipient annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s (Research Stream)
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic / International
  • Donor(s): Estate of Mrs. Jeanne F. Goulding

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

  • Be conducting research related to the development of government, civil society, and / or the private sector in Africa, Asia, the Americas, or the Middle East;
  • Demonstrate academic merit (as above);

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit
  • Value & Duration: Up to $2,000 CAD; one to two recipients annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s
  • Required Legal Status: International
  • Donor(s): Mr. and Mrs. Kwok Sau Po

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of Hong Kong or China;
    • Students who have registered with the university under another citizenship (i.e.  have dual citizenship) should include a proof of citizenship (e.g., passport)
  • Demonstrate academic merit (as above);

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit and Financial Need
  • Value & Duration: Up to $4,000 CAD; one to four recipients annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic / International
  • Donor(s): Arthur and Susan Scace

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of South Africa or the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales);
    • Students who have registered with the university under another citizenship (i.e.  have dual citizenship) should include a proof of citizenship (e.g., passport)
  • Demonstrate academic merit (as above);
  • Demonstrate financial need through the completion of an SGS Financial Need Assessment Form (PDF);

This fellowship is designed to honour outstanding PhD students who are conducting research that addresses issues crossing traditional faculty boundaries.

Established by Colleagues and Friends of Professor R. Paul Young, this fellowship recognizes Professor Young’s significant contributions during his seven-year term as Vice-President, Research and Innovation at the University of Toronto (2007 to 2014). During his appointment, Professor Young led a major University-wide planning effort that resulted in the University’s Excellence, Innovation, Leadership Strategic Research Plan. The success of this project is a testament to his passion for research and his ability to build consensus on complex challenges.

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit
  • Value & Duration: Up to $3,000 CAD; one recipient annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral (Research Stream)
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic / International
  • Donor(s): Colleagues and Friends of Professor R. Paul Young

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

  • Be conducting research that addresses a problem which crosses traditional Faculty boundaries (e.g., Music and Medicine; Education and Exercise Sciences);
  • Demonstrate academic merit (as above);

Note: The reference letter should attest to the applicant’s academic excellence and describe how the applicant’s thesis addresses a problem that crosses traditional Faculty boundaries.

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit and Financial Need (OSOTF)
  • Value & Duration: Up to $1,000 CAD; one recipient annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic student with Ontario residency
  • Donor(s): The Vedanta Society of Toronto

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants 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 eligible for OSOTF awards: See OSOTF webpage to confirm eligibility:
  • Demonstrate academic merit (as above);

Note: Personal Statement written by the applicant should clearly addresses the relevance of their application with regard to Vivekananda’s ideal of education.

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit and Financial Need (OSOTF)
  • Value & Duration: Up to $5,000 CAD; one to two recipients annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s (Research Stream)
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic student with Ontario residency
  • Donor(s): The University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA)

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

Note: Personal Statement should detail the applicant’s demonstrated leadership and contributions to graduate student life at the University of Toronto.

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit and Financial Need (OSOTF)
  • Value & Duration: Up to $3,000 CAD; one recipient annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s (Research Stream)
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic student with Ontario residency
  • Donor(s): Canadian Council of Christians and Jews (CCCJ)

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

  • Be writing a research paper on one of the following two topics (preference is given to research relevant to the Canadian experience):
    • Exploration of issues related to cultural diversity identifying prejudice
    • Exploring its incidence and / or mode for its elimination
  • Be eligible for OSOTF awards: See OSOTF webpage to confirm eligibility:
  • Demonstrate academic merit (as above);

Note: The donor organization requests for its library a copy of the award recipient’s final paper or thesis, which it may distribute through one of its publications.

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit and Financial Need (OSOTF)
  • Value & Duration: Up to $3,000 CAD; one to two recipients annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s (Research Stream)
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic student with Ontario residency
  • Donor(s): Hungarian Helicon Foundation (Ontario)

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

  • Be pursuing advanced studies in any aspect of Hungarian studies (e.g. Hungarian language, literature, ethnology, culture, history or society);
  • Be a registered student in a University of Toronto graduate degree program;
  • Be eligible for OSOTF awards: See OSOTF webpage to confirm eligibility:
  • Demonstrate academic merit (as above);

Note: The donor organization requests for its library a copy of the award recipient’s final paper or thesis, which it may distribute through one of its publications.

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit
  • Value & Duration: Up to $4,000 CAD; one to three recipients annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic / International
  • Other: Program must be in the Physical Sciences (Division 3)
  • Donor(s): Various donors inspired by Professor Lachlan Gilchrist

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

  • Be registered in a graduate program within the Physical Sciences (Division 3);
  • Be conducting studies / research focused in the area of fundamental physics​;
  • Demonstrate academic merit (as above);

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit and Financial Need (OSOTF)
  • Value & Duration: Up to $4,500 CAD; one to ten recipients annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral (Research Stream)
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic student with Ontario residency
  • Other: PhD in Health Sciences
  • Donor(s): The Connaught Committee

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit and Financial Need
  • Value & Duration: Up to $3,000 CAD; one recipient annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic / International
  • Other: Cancer studies / research in Biochemistry
  • Donor(s): Estate of Lorne F. Lambier, Q.C.

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

Note: Preference given to applicants studying in the field of biochemistry.

Award Details

  • Award Category: Academic Merit
  • Value & Duration: Up to $4,000 CAD; one to two recipients annually
  • Level of Study: Doctoral, Master’s
  • Required Legal Status: Domestic / International
  • Other: Radioactivity studies / research in Division 3 or 4
  • Donor(s): Friends of Ara Mooradian

Eligibility

At the time of application, applicants must:

  • Be conducting studies / research specifically related to radioactivity;
  • Be registered in a graduate program in any discipline of Physical Sciences or Engineering (Division 3) or Life Sciences (Division 4);
  • Demonstrate academic merit (as above);

Results

Applicants will be contacted directly by SGS regarding the outcome by April 30, 2023.

Award Holder Information

Payment

Payments will be processed through students’ ACORN account. Please review the How to Activate & Maintain Your Award web page for further information.

Deferrals / Leaves of Absence

Award holders should contact the Financial Aid and Advising Office about any potential changes to their registration status and/or program.

Contacts & Resources

Financial Aid & Advising Office
School of Graduate Studies

sgs.financial.assistance@utoronto.ca