Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program is designed to support world-class students pursuing doctoral degrees at Canadian universities. The program is open to both Canadian and international students.

In order to attract more external candidates, the Research Management Services is organizing a webinar on July 11, 2019 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 129 Louis Pasteur LPR-284. The webinar will be an opportunity to provide information and guidance to applicants, supervisors, as well as referees involved in preparing an application to the Vanier competition. Here is the Adobe Connect link for the webinar

For detailed information on the competition, please consult the different sections below.

2018-2019 Vanier Award winners
2017-2018 Vanier Award winners

The scholarship has a value of $50,000 per year for three years. The Vanier competition is based on the following three selection criteria:

  • Academic Excellence;
  • Research Potential;
  • Leadership.

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, 2020;
  • 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.


Criteria for selecting applications

Applications will be reviewed against the following three 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, 2019 internal deadline:

  • Identification of Area of Research and Applicant
  • Degree Information
  • Canadian Common CV (CCV)
  • Personal Leadership Statement
  • Research Contributions
  • Special Circumstances (only if necessary)
  • 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.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, 2019
  • 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
  • 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, 2019. It is strongly recommended that referees keep a PDF copy of their assessment, as in some cases the 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: Section 1- Assessment of academic excellence; Section 2 - Assessment of research potential; and Section 3 – Assessment of leadership.



Important dates
Deadline Date Details
Information Session July 11, 2019 (10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.) Webinar to provide information and guidance to applicants, supervisors and referees involved in preparing Vanier applications at 129 Louis Pasteur (LPR 284)
Internal application September 5th, 2019

Deadline for candidates and referees to submit their application in ResearchNet and send their official transcripts by email at

No late or incomplete applications will be accepted.

Faculty pre-selection September 9 to 26, 2019

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

Internal selection September 30 - October 17, 2019 The internal Evaluation Committee evaluates the files and determines the applications to be nominated to each Agency.
Selection results October 21, 2019

RMS informs the candidates of the evaluation committee decisions, and provides to selected candidates feedback to further improve their applications.

RMS informs the vice-deans (graduate studies) about the selected files for nomination and invite them to solicit letters of nomination from the Department Heads to support the recommended applications.
Application revision October 21 - November 4, 2019

The selected candidates submit their revised applications on ResearchNet. RMS reserves the right to confidentially ask referees to revise their letters of recommendation.

Faculties and Department Heads submit their signed nomination letters to RMS.

Final revision November 5, 2019 RMS reviews applications and letters of nomination to ensure that the applications continue to meet the Vanier eligibility.
Institutional submission November 6, 2019 RMS submits the applications through ResearchNet for the national competition.
Results Early April 2020 Results 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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