vanier cgs tips to win scholarships

Vanier CGS: Tips To Win The Scholarship


The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program is valued at $50,000 per year and awarded for a three-year duration, with no renewals. Up to 166 scholarships are distributed evenly between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Moreover, to hold Vanier CGS, candidates must demonstrate leadership skills and high scholarly achievement in graduate studies pertaining to natural sciences and/or engineering, health, and social sciences and humanities. Here are tips to win the scholarship!



The Vanier CGS program accepts candidates that are Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, and foreign citizens as long as they are nominated by a Canadian institution that has a Vanier CGS quota. 

Areas of Research:

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research
  • Natural Sciences and/or Engineering Research
  • Health Research


To be eligible, your doctoral program must require a significant research component for its completion that is merit/expert-reviewed at the institutional level:

  • Thesis
  • Dissertation
  • Scholarly Publication
  • Major Research Projects
  • Performance
  • Recital and/or Exhibit

Additionally, a clinically-oriented program of study or a joint graduate research program (JD/PhD, MD/PhD, or DVM/PhD) that requires a significant autonomous research component is also eligible.

What will deem you ‘ineligible’?

  • Holding a faculty appointment concurrently with a Vanier Scholarship (unless they arrange for a leave of absence from the appointment).
  • Holding, or have held, a doctoral-level scholarship to undertake or complete a doctoral program from:
    • SSHRC – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
    • NSERC – Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
    • CIHR – Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Concurrently holding any other SSHRC, NSERC, or CIHR training award. (The exception is the Michael Smith Foreign Studies Supplement.)

Multiple Applications

Can eligible candidates apply to both the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship program as well as other agency-specific doctoral-level scholarship and/or fellowship programs in the same academic year? (Whether it’s the same or a different federal granting agency)

Yes. However, the proposed research in each application must fall within the mandate of the federal granting agency to which they are submitting. For more information on this, please visit hereFurthermore, candidates who win both competitions must choose which award to accept.

Tips To Win

Contact the Nominating Institution

Ensure that you contact the nominating institution you wish to attend and inform them of your interest in applying for Vanier CGS. Basically, confirm that they hold a Vanier CGS quota and find out any important details.

Review the Selection Criteria

Every nomination is evaluated and selected based on:

  • Academic Excellence
  • Research Potential
  • Leadership 

Also, during evaluations, the stage and nature of a candidate’s academic career will be considered alongside the prestige of the Vanier CGS.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Page

Review the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion page before you prepare or review your application. The Tri-Agencies actively promote equity and diversity, so the Secretariat has curated a list of resources for the Selection Committee members regarding this consideration. 

Verify Deadlines

Contact the appropriate people in your nominating institution’s faculty of graduate studies to verify institutional internal deadlines that must be met. Additionally, submit the Vanier CGS application package through ResearchNet to the institution that will be forwarding their nomination.

Writing Tips To Win

Since the selection committee is multidisciplinary, applications should be written with a non-specialist research audience in mind. 

Furthermore, for more information on the Vanier CGS Application Package, the competition process, and general Vanier CGS application inquiries, visit Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships: How To Apply and Win.