Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) | Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS)

The Vanier CGS program was created to strengthen Canada’s ability to retain and attract world-class doctoral students and establish Canada as a global center for 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 humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health-related fields.

Eligible institutions are provided with a yearly quota of applications that can be forwarded for further consideration in the national competition. It is the most prestigious of the doctoral scholarships offered by the Federal Government. The program is administered and scholarship recipients selected by Canada’s three federal granting agencies: CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC. 

Without exception, the Vanier CGS can only be held at the institution that is providing the endorsement; students can only be nominated by one university. To support students in broadening their research horizons and seeking new challenges, the Vanier CGS program strongly encourages candidates to pursue their studies beyond the institution that granted their undergraduate and/or previous graduate degrees.

Eligible candidates may apply to both the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship program and agency-specific (CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC) doctoral-level scholarship/fellowships programs in the same academic year. Eligible candidates must submit Vanier and agency-specific applications to the same federal granting agency, and must meet all eligibility criteria to be considered.


The Vanier CGS is valued at $50,000 per year for up to three years.


There are two deadlines for candidates applying to the Vanier CGS at the University of Guelph: 

  1. Deadline to submit a University of Guelph Intent to Apply form is August 9, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). 
  2. Deadline to submit a completed application in ResearchNet is September 19, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. (EDT).

Application Steps

  1. Confirm Eligibility

Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and foreign citizens may be nominated by the institution where they wish to pursue their doctoral studies or are currently pursuing their doctoral studies. Candidates are responsible for confirming that they satisfy all the eligibility criteria before beginning the Vanier CGS application. Additionally, candidates are strongly encouraged to read the selection criteria prior to commencing their application. This guide lists the three evaluation criteria and has useful information on how the criteria are evaluated.

Vanier applicants must have achieved a first-class average, as determined by the nominating institution, in each of the last two years of full-time study or equivalent. The University of Guelph defines a first-class average as a minimum A- (80%). Applicants who have attended institutions outside of Canada are encouraged to refer to the International Credential Evaluation page to determine how your international grades will equate to the Ontario grading scale, as this is the guide we will use to evaluate your grades.

  1. Contact the proposed nominating department and complete the Intent to Apply form - deadline August 9, 2023, 11:59 p.m. (EDT)

Candidates interested in applying should contact the proposed nominating department to seek endorsement well in advance of the application deadline, and then proceed with completing the Intent to Apply form, due August 9, 2023, 11:59 (ET).

First Nations, Inuit and Métis applicants are encouraged to self-identify on the Intent to Apply form

After this deadline, the Graduate Awards Officers will provide the Graduate Program Coordinator with the information collected in the Intent to Apply form, and will seek confirmation that the Department will support the nomination. The Graduate Program Coordinator will inform candidates if they will or will not support the nomination before/by August 24, 2023. 

Only those candidates that are endorsed by a department at the University of Guelph will be considered by the Graduate Awards Committee. For those candidates that are endorsed, the department will be responsible for providing the Graduate Awards Officers with a nomination letter by October 3, 2023

  1. Order Transcripts

Deadline to order Guelph transcripts at no charge (refer to Tools and Resources for details).

If the nominating department agrees to endorse the application, the applicant should proceed with ordering official transcripts. Applicants are responsible for ordering transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.  Transcripts should either be dropped off in the original, sealed envelope or mailed directly from the issuing institution to the attention of the Graduate Awards Officers in the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies. Transcripts must be received by September 19, 2023, at 4:30 p.m. (EDT).

  1. Complete Application in ResearchNet

Applications are prepared by the student and submitted using the ResearchNet application system. Before beginning an application please read the application instructions carefully. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete, including referee assessments. A complete application must be submitted to ResearchNet by September 19, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. (EDT).

  1. Selection Process

The Graduate Awards Committee will meet in October to select the applications that will be forwarded to the Vanier CGS agency for further consideration in the national competition. If the Graduate Awards Committee selects a candidate’s application, the Graduate Awards Officers will electronically approve and submit a nomination letter to the Vanier CGS program on their behalf. Acknowledgement of receipt by email will be sent shortly after the agency deadline date. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by the Graduate Awards Officers after the agency deadline.

If you have questions about the application process, please contact the Graduate Awards Officers by e-mail at