The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS) program helps Canada’s institutions attract highly qualified doctoral students.
- Valued at $50,000 per year for three years during doctoral studies
- Considers three equally weighted evaluation criteria: academic excellence, research potential, and leadership
The Government of Canada launched the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program in 2008 to strengthen Canada's ability to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and establish Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. Vanier Scholars demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and/or humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health.
Up to 167 scholarships are awarded annuallyFootnote1;
A total of up to 500 scholarships are active at any time.
$50,000 per year
3 years (non-renewable)
Scholarships are distributed equally between the three federal granting agencies:
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
- Footnote 1 Should more funds become available, additional scholarships may be awarded.
Confirm that you and your nominating institution meet all the criteria below before you apply for a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS).
Nominations that do not meet all of the eligibility criteria will not be accepted.
Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and foreign citizens are eligible to be nominated for a Vanier CGS.
To be considered for a Vanier CGS, you must:
- be nominated by only one Canadian institution, which must have received a Vanier CGS quota;
- be pursuing your first doctoral degree (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD). Note that only the PhD portion of a combined degree is eligible for funding;
- intend to pursue, in the summer semester or the academic year following the announcement of results, full-time doctoral (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD) studies and research at the nominating institution; Note that only the PhD portion of a combined degree is eligible for funding;
- not have completed more than 20 months of doctoral studies as of May 1, 2016 (see calculating months of doctoral studies below);
- have achieved a first-class average, as determined by your institution, in each of the last two years of full-time study or equivalent. Candidates are encouraged to contact the institution for its definition of a first-class average; and
- not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC to undertake or complete a doctoral degree.
Calculating months of doctoral studies
All prior doctoral-level studies, regardless of discipline, are considered in the evaluation of eligibility. The Vanier-Banting Secretariat (the Secretariat) will count two months of part-time study as one month of full-time study.
In the case of students who are registered in a combined MA/PhD program, MD/PhD program, a direct-entry doctoral program or who are accelerated from a master's program into a doctoral program without obtaining the master's degree, the Secretariat will not include the first 12 months of graduate study in the evaluation of eligibility.
In the case of students who are registered in a combined MD/PhD degree program, only the PhD portion will be considered in the evaluation of eligibility. For purposes of this calculation, the MD portion will not count towards the number of months at the doctoral level.
All interruptions, delays, part-time studies and MD studies within an MD/PhD degree program must be indicated in the special circumstances attachment.
Example: If you were completing full-time doctoral studies as of January 1, 2015, with no interruptions during this period, the Secretariat will consider you as having completed 16 months of doctoral studies as of May 1, 2016. If, during this period, you were on leave from your program for four months, the Secretariat will consider you as having completed 12 months of doctoral studies. If, in addition to having taken one semester off, you had been registered part-time for one semester (i.e., four months), the Secretariat will consider you as having completed 10 months of doctoral studies.
The nominating institution must have received a Vanier CGS quota.
Eligibility to hold a Vanier CGS
Without exception, the Vanier CGS is tenable only at the eligible Canadian institution that submitted the nomination.
To hold the Vanier CGS, the candidate must:
- be registered as a full-time student at the nominating Canadian institution and be pursuing a doctoral degree (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD); and
- remain enrolled and demonstrate continued satisfactory progress in their doctoral program.
A Vanier CGS may be held by students who are registered part-time because of a disability or family responsibilities. For this purpose, disability is defined as "a functional limitation resulting from a physical, sensory or mental impairment, which, for an indefinite period, affects the ability of the student to perform the activities necessary to participate fully in his or her learning" and family responsibilities is defined as "the primary responsibility for providing personal care to a dependent family member (e.g., pre-school children, infirm spouse or parent) which affects the ability of the student to perform the activities necessary to participate fully in his or her learning". For eligible part-time students, the Vanier CGS will be equivalent to full-time funding spread over a longer period of time.
Canadian federal government employees
Canadian federal government employees are eligible to hold a scholarship only if an unpaid leave of absence is taken (no salary or special allowances permitted).
Candidates may only apply to the same federal granting agency's doctoral scholarship/fellowship program and the Vanier CGS program simultaneously within the same academic year.
Selecting the appropriate federal granting agency
The candidate's proposed research project and doctoral program of study must be eligible within the mandate of the federal granting agency to which the nomination is submitted. If in doubt, institutions should consult with the Secretariat in advance of submitting the nomination. This also applies to nominations involving interdisciplinary fields of research or research areas that span the mandates of two or more of the federal granting agencies.
- Information on CIHRs mandate and subject matter eligibility is available on the CIHR website.
- Information on NSERCs mandate and subject matter eligibility is available on the NSERC website.
- Information on SSHRCs mandate and subject matter eligibility is available on the SSHRC website.
- Additional information on selecting the appropriate federal granting is available at science.gc.ca website.