Information for Current Graduate Students > Money Matters: Funding Your Education > Awards
The University of Guelph attracts millions of dollars in funding each year from the federal and provincial government as well as private donors and organizations. This page was created to centralize all sources of scholarships, fellowships, grants, and awards for easier access to graduate students in this department. Tips to prepare a well-rounded application have also been included to encourage you in applying for large external grants such as the Tri-Council Scholarships.
All of the following can be obtained from funding allocations given to the University of Guelph, respective of each college. Note: the University reserves the right to amend awards subject to the availability of funds.
- Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs)
- Entrance Awards (automatically considered awards for first-semester students)
- In-course Awards (awards requiring applications for students beyond their first semester of study)
- Travel Research Grants
- ACCESS Awards
ALL of the above items' information can be found in the Graduate Calendar, with information on their terms and conditions, as well as eligibility. Forms specific to select award considerations can be found in the Forms and Documents page at the Office of Graduate Studies.
Entrance and In-course awards/scholarships can be searched via the Graduate Award Search. Happy hunting!
NEW! Click the table below to enlarge and view the Graduate Awards Eligibility Chart (courtesy of the Office of Graduate Studies), which summarizes the following information:
Funding through fellowships and scholarships are granted from the government both at the national and provincial level, in addition to several private organizations. It is advised that you browse each of the source's external website for details on their conditions, eligibility, and application process. General information on each award can be found both in the Graduate Calendar and via the Office of Graduate Studies. These are very useful links that provide a thorough overview of your choices in applying for external awards.
Be attentive to deadlines, as some of these awards close their application process for the year as early as mid-October. Keep a lookout for reminder emails from the Graduate Secretary!
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Frederick Banting & Charles Best Doctoral Research Award
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Doctoral Scholarships
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships & SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships
- Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Tri-Agency)
Other External Awards:
Other award searches and funding from private organizations can be found in the External Awards page at the Office of Graduate Studies.
Written by our Graduate Coordinator Dr. Georgia Mason, the following will provide you with a rough idea of what these organizations are expecting of a tri-council scholarship candidate.
These awards are very competitive, and to succeed you need to score well in four areas:
- Academically: your past performance in class and in the lab.
- Obviously your grades need to be above the cut-off (80% for OGS, 85% for NSERC), but unless your grades are outstanding, on its own that's not enough. Presentations at research meetings, prizes or awards for your work, and authorship on publications are all looked for here too. If your grades are only just above the cut-off, then you need to have publications or prizes or else you don't have a chance (sorry - it is just the truth). Also, the further along you are in your graduate career, the more important is evidence that your research to date has been presented and/or published in national or international arenas.
- The research statement: your proposed future plans.
- The research proposal must be clear, concise, and immediately understandable to the reader. It must sound interesting/exciting/important/useful: it should be clear as to why it is worthwhile, and why you want to do it! It needs to be focused and hypothesis-led too. It cannot be vague and exploratory - your precise research questions and your hoped-for outcomes need to be obvious. It also needs to sound feasible: it should be clear that the work can be done within the timeframe of your degree, and that if it's really expensive, that the money needed is already there. Ambition is good, however crazily risky is bad! Last but not least, you must convey all this to a scientist outside your field. The people judging you probably won't be in your discipline. They might not even be biologists. So don't just assume that the problem you're tackling is obviously interesting - put it into context for the reader; and don't use jargon that you don't elaborate. Imagine trying to convince a chemist, a neuroscientist, a plant scientist, or your family doctor to give you this scholarship!
- The personal statement: the value of your skills and past experience.
- Here you're summing up your Curriculum Vitae in words, and conveying why your abilities and past experiences make you ideal for this Master's or Ph.D. Here is where you explain what drew you to research, and what evidence you have that you are or will be good at it. You want to come across as well-rounded, but you should use your other experiences to illustrate what a great grad student you will be as well. For example, if you play flute in an orchestra, that's inherently very impressive - but if it also shows how dedicated you are to achieving excellence, how good you are at managing your time, and how much your enjoy teamwork (all skills that are transferable to research), then say so!
- The references: what others say about your research potential.
- Your referees need to be able to talk about your communication abilities & interpersonal skills, so they should know you. They must also be able to speak in a convincing, evidence-based way about your academic excellence and research potential. This is really important. It means you need to pick your referees accordingly, and not be scared of giving them information about you that will help them to write a good reference. Your referees also need to be willing to address the specific questions that NSERC or OGS will ask of them, even though this takes a bit of time and work.
This guide from York is great: http://www.yorku.ca/gradspth/FGSGuidetoOGSfor2014-15.htm, as are these guidelines from NSERC itself: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/_doc/STudents-Etudiants/SF-process_eng.pdf . Try googling "how to get a graduate scholarship" for other useful sites.
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