Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS) program helps Canadian institutions attract highly qualified doctoral students.

2017-2018 Vanier CGS winners

The Vanier CGS allows Canadians institutions to attract and retain world-class doctoral students. The scholarship has a value of $50,000 per year for 3 years and is the only scholarship from the Tri-Agencies that is open to Canadian, permanent residents and international students. The Vanier competition is based on the following three selection criteria:

  • Academic Excellence;
  • Research Potential;
  • Leadership.


$50,000 per year

Important notice

The application is completed online on the ResearchNet website


Internal selection: Wednesday, September 5th, 2018, 11:59PM

Internal deadline for submission to program: October 30th 2018, 11:59AM (Noon)


To apply, you have to:

  • be nominated by only one Canadian institution, which must have received a Vanier CGS quota;
  • be pursuing your first doctoral degree (including joint undergraduate/graduate research program such as: MD/PhD, DVM/PhD, JD/PhD - if it has a demonstrated and significant research component). 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 a joint graduate program such as: MD/PhD, DVM/PhD, JD/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, 2019;
  • have achieved a first-class average (to be 8.0/10 (A-), in each of the last two years of full-time study or equivalent.
  • must not hold, or have held, a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC to undertake or complete a doctoral degree.

Note: The Canadian citizens, the Canadian permanent residents and citizens from other countries can apply to the Vanier.

Criteria for selecting applications

Applications will be reviewed against the 3 equally weighted selection criteria, and ranked:

  • Academic excellence, as demonstrated by past academic results and by transcripts, awards and distinctions;
  • Research potential, as demonstrated by the candidate's research history, his/her interest in discovery, the proposed research and its potential contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the field, and any anticipated outcomes;
  • Leadership (potential and demonstrated ability), as demonstrated by the candidate’s personal statement, leadership reference letters, referees assessments and CCV.

For more information, please refer to the selection criteria and detailed guidelines as presented on the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship website.

Submitting an application file

A candidate must complete the following steps:

Access ResearchNet to register and start filling out the application file.

Fill out the following sections and submit through ResearchNet before the September 5th, 2018 internal deadline:

  • Identification of Area of Research and Applicant
  • Degree Information
  • Canadian Common CV (CCV)
  • Personal Leadership Statement
  • Research Contributions
  • Special Circumstances (only if part-time studies or when registered in a combined undergraduate and doctoral program)
  • Seek two leadership reference letters - These letters will be written by people who know the candidate in a non-academic capacity, who can comment on the candidate’s leadership skills, and preferably who have not already provided another assessment of the nomination. Proof of leadership must be demonstrated in these letters. The candidate will be responsible for attaching these letters to his/her application package.
  • Official Transcripts - email them to by the internal deadline, September 5th, 2018
  • Title of Research Proposal
  • Lay Title and Lay Abstract (both are mandatory for the application to be considered)
  • Project Overview
  • Project Details
  • Project Descriptors/Keywords
  • Choice of Institution (justification for, as part of the research proposal)
  • Research proposal (clearly formulated and accessible to a multi-disciplinary committee)
  • Bibliography
  • Through ResearchNet contact two referees who will fill a Referee's Assessment form in ResearchNet by the internal deadline of September 5th, 2018. It is strongly recommended that referees keep a PDF copy of their assessment, as in some cases the internal Vanier Scholarships Evaluation Committee may request that some updates or improvements be made to the assessments. This would be achieved by unregistering a referee in ResearchNet and registering again the same referee (who would then receive a new request for an assessment which he/she will need to refill entirely).
  • The two referees’ assessments must extensively develop on each of the three points defined in the Referee's Assessment form in ResearchNet: Section 1- Assessment of academic excellence; Section 2 - Assessment of research potential; and Section 3 – Assessment of leadership. They must all provide relevant evidence, perspectives, and insight on those topics to support the review of the candidate’s application in light of the three selection criteria.

All Canadian citizens and permanent residents who apply for the Vanier CGS must also submit a separate doctoral scholarship application to the Tri-council appropriate to their research (CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC) for their regular competition.


Important dates
Deadline Date Details
Competition launch June 2018 Official launch of the 2018 internal Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships competition
Information Session July 18, 2018 (1:00pm - 2:25pm) Webinar to provide information and guidance to applicants, supervisors and referees involved in preparing Vanier applications at 129 Louis Pasteur (LPR 154)
Internal application September 5th, 2018

Deadline for candidates and referees to submit their application and through ResearchNet and to send their official transcripts in PDF format by email at No late or incomplete applications will be accepted.

Faculty pre-selection September 6 - September 21, 2018

Faculties will validate eligibility of their applications and proceed to the evaluation and ranking with their own internal selection committee.

Internal selection September 21 - October 16, 2018 The internal Vanier-Banting Scholarships Evaluation Committee will evaluate the files and study the rankings submitted by the faculties and will determine the applications to be nominated to each Tri-Agency (as per our quotas).
Selection results October 19, 2018 RMS will inform the candidates of the internal evaluation committee decisions, and will provide to selected candidates feedback to further improve their applications.
Application revision October 19 - October 29, 2018

The selected candidates will be given until October 29th at 12:00PM (noon) to revise their application on ResearchNet. RMS also reserves the right to confidentially ask referees to revise their letters of recommendation if they have not addressed all the criteria required by the Vanier competition.

Department Head Nomination Letter October 19 - October 29 2018 RMS will also inform the vice-deans (grad studies) about the selected files for nomination and invite them to solicit letters of nomination from the Department Heads to support these applications that have been selected through the institutional competition. Faculties and Department Heads will be given until October 29th at 12:00PM (noon) to submit their signed nomination letters to RMS, which will append them to the applications.
Internal submission of application October 29, 2018

Hard deadline for the applicants and referees to revise their applications or assessments and resubmit them through ResearchNet

Hard deadline for Faculties/Department Heads to submit their signed nomination letters to RMS.

Final revision October 30, 2018 RMS reviews application packages to ensure that the applications continue to meet the Vanier CGS eligibility
Institutional submission of application October 31, 2018 RMS will submit the applications electronically through ResearchNet for the national competition.
Results March 31, 2019 Funding decisions expected to be released.

I am interested in applying to the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program through the University of Ottawa. How can I find a research supervisor?

You have to identify and contact directly a professor in your area of interest. To identify potential research supervisors you can use the search engines found in the Quick Links section of this webpage.


I currently hold Tri-Agency funding for my doctoral program. Am I eligible to apply to the Vanier Scholarship?

No. Students who have held or are holding Tri-Agency scholarship funding for their PhD program are not eligible for the Vanier Scholarship.


Can we get a Vanier Scholarship if we want to do our studies outside Canada?

No. The Vanier scholarship is only tenable at Canadian Universities.


Can I apply to the Vanier Scholarships through the University of Ottawa if I already am a student there?

It depends. If you are a master’s student or a PhD student who also received your Master’s degree from the University of Ottawa, you must have very good reasons to stay at the University of Ottawa because this scholarship aims to recruit students from other universities and support mobility. Only exceptional candidates with a strong justification for lack of mobility will be considered for this prestigious scholarship.

If you are already a PhD student at the University of Ottawa but received your Master’s degree elsewhere, there is no problem for you to submit a Vanier Scholarship application through the University of Ottawa.


I am interested in applying to the Vanier Scholarships competition through the University of Ottawa. Can I have an example of a successful application?

We are sorry. For confidentiality reasons, we can’t provide an example of a successful application. However, if you have any question related to the best practices for preparing an application, do not hesitate to contact the program coordinators at


I am interested in applying to the Vanier Scholarships competition through the University of Ottawa. Where should I send my transcripts?

Applicants should send their official transcripts by email to the Vanier program coordinators at


I have transcripts from the University of Ottawa. Should I also send them to the program coordinators?

No. The Vanier program coordinators will get your University of Ottawa official transcripts for you.


I am a student from the University of Ottawa and I am preparing a Vanier Scholarship application to another university. Who can help me prepare my application?

You must get in contact with the university where you wish to hold your doctoral scholarship to learn about their Vanier scholarship internal selection process. They will be able to support you. In addition, you will have to contact InfoService here at the University of Ottawa to obtain the required official transcripts.


How can I upload the 2nd Leadership Reference Letter?

Both Leadership Reference Letters must be attached individually. Note that the field to upload the second Leadership Reference Letter will only appear after the first letter has been uploaded.


The Evaluation Committee recommends that one of my referees change his document. How do we proceed?

You first unregister that referee in ResearchNet then you register him again. The referee would receive a new request for an assessment by email regarding a report to complete. The referee will have to write the assessment again, therefore, it is imperative that the referees keep a copy of their original assessment.


I haven’t been selected as a University of Ottawa candidate. Can I have the reviewer’s comments?

No. As it is the case for the national program, we only provide reviewers’ comments to selected candidates.


I have problems filling the application in ResearchNet. Who can help me?

If you have technical problems, you can contact the system support team by email at or by phone at 613-964-9080.

If you have problems understanding the program guidelines, you can contact the program coordinators at the University of Ottawa by email at or by phone at 613-562-5800 (7751 or 2771).


I am a Vanier Scholarship recipient. What are the next steps for me?

First, you need to accept the offer of the scholarship in ResearchNet and inform the Research Management Services at once it is done.

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