Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

Award Overview


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).


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, 2020 (see 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 CIHRSSHRC 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 CGS allocation.

NEW: Applicants may apply to both the Vanier CGS program and another doctoral-level scholarship/fellowship program (e.g. PGS D) under the same or different federal granting agency in the same academic year, provided that the research proposed in each application falls within the mandate of the federal granting agency to which the application is submitted.​

Application Process

Applicants should refer to the Vanier website for step by step application/nomination instructions. The ResearchNet application will only be accessible to applicants until the published Institution Internal Deadline of Sept 23 at 8pm, at which time it will go offline.

Applicants must complete the entire application process by their unit’s student submission deadline (which may be earlier than the institution deadline) to be eligible for consideration, this includes:

  • contacting their proposed graduate unit regarding their specific student submission deadline and requirements;
  • submitting a completed Vanier CGS application via ResearchNet; and all original official transcripts to the graduate unit. (Reminder: Institutions will be required to include an evaluation/summary of all foreign transcripts. In order to assist with this task, foreign transcripts submitted by the applicant should be accompanied by a grade legend.)

Please note the following reminders:

  • ​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.
  • Applicants are required to upload two leadership reference letters as separate PDF attachments under the same task (the ability to upload the second letter will appear after the first one has been uploaded). In addition, two confidential academic assessments will be requested and submitted through ResearchNet. Note: Vanier recommends that each of these 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 be solely used for calculating the number of months completed in PhD studies by the Vanier Secretariat and is no longer be forwarded to the selection committee.
  • The students’ 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 in advance of submitting their application. Complete guidelines on selecting the appropriate federal granting agency are available at ​

Nomination Process

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

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 to be distributed in July).

Award Holder Information

To arrange for payment of a Vanier CGS please complete the following steps:

  1. Submit a Response of Offer to Vanier directly to accept your award.
  2. Once processed, a Confirmation of Commencement Form will appear on your ResearchNet account for you to complete
  3. Email the completed Confirmation of Commencement form to the Vanier Secretariat at
  4. Complete the online SGS Payment Activation Form and submit it to your graduate unit (Dept) where you intend to take up the award.

Your graduate unit will then forward the form to the Graduate Awards Office at the School of Graduate Studies for processing.

Please submit the completed form at least 6-8 weeks before you expect to receive your first installment. For students electing to start the award in May (summer session), please note that funds may not be transferred from the granting agency in time to administer the first payment by May 1st. Rest assured that once funds have been received, it will be paid retroactive to the May 1st start date.

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

Vanier program information

ResearchNet technical support