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Graduate Studies

Autism Scholars Award

The Autism Scholars Awards Program was established with the support of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to ensure that Ontario attracts and retains pre-eminent scholars studying autism.

Value of Awards

One one-year award at the Master’s level and up to two one-year awards at the Doctoral level will be offered by the COU:

  • Master’s Award: $18,000 ($6,000 per term beginning September 2022)
  • Doctoral Award:  $20,000 ($6,666 per term beginning September 2022)

Submission Quota

McMaster can submit two applications per award level (master’s and doctoral) for a total of four applications.

Program Goals

The Autism Scholars Awards Program aims to establish a research community that meets or exceeds internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence in its creation of new knowledge concerning child autism, and its translation into improved health for children through more effective services and products for children with autism, and thereby adds to the province’s capacity in diagnosis and assessment of autism and the quality of its treatment system.

This community will:

  • promote, assist and undertake research into paediatric behavioural sciences and autism within the academic community, and increase advanced research relating to autism, especially its diagnosis and treatment;
  • create a robust autism research environment in Ontario, based on internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence and a rigorous peer review process, that will attract, develop, and keep excellent scholars and provide them with the opportunity to contribute to the improvement of research and treatment in Ontario and the world;
  • address emerging opportunities, threats and challenges and accelerate the discovery of cures and treatments and improvements to autism care, prevention, and wellness strategies;
  • promote the dissemination of knowledge about autism and the application of autism research to improve the health of children in Ontario; and
  • build the capacity of the Ontario autism research community through the development of scholars and the provision of sustained support for scientific careers in autism treatment and research.

Conditions of the Award

  • To be eligible to receive an award, an applicant must be
    • a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada at the time of the application deadline (January 31, 2022), and
    • registered as a full-time student in a master’s or doctoral program at an Ontario university at the beginning of the award period (fall 2022), and remain registered as a full-time student throughout the term of the
  • A master’s student remains eligible until the end of the sixth term of full-time
  • A doctoral student remains eligible until the end of the 15th term of full-time
  • During the year an Autism Scholars Award is held, the recipient is precluded from holding any other award that offers financial support of more than $20,000 for that same year (subject to the university’s own policies).

Application Instructions for Students

School of Graduate Studies deadline is Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

Each applicant must upload to MacDrive the following documents as one PDF (using file name: Autism_Last Name) document.

  1. An application form completed by the applicant.
  2. A curriculum vitae, which should include information regarding the eligibility criteria.
  3. A statement of no more than 1,000 words describing the research to be undertaken during the period of graduate study, and a non-technical summary of no more than 500 words, both written by the applicant (one additional page is allowed for diagrams, bibliography etc.);

The candidate must also provide by Wednesday, December 1, 2021:  

  1. All official undergraduate and graduate transcripts sent directly by the Registrar’s office of the issuing university.

Note: Transcripts are NOT part of the electronic application. They are sent separately to the McMaster University’s School of Graduate Studies in one of two ways:

      1. If the issuing university sends electronic transcripts, have them emailed to
      2. If the university sends official transcripts by mail the must be sent in sealed envelopes by the issuing university to:
        Scholarships – School of Graduate Studies
        McMaster University
        1280 Main Street West, GH 212
        Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L8
  1. Confidential letters from two assessors, signed and on letterhead, which should focus on an evaluation of the applicant’s research to date, and the research being undertaken during the period of graduate study for which the applicant will hold an Autism Scholars Award, if successful.

Note: The applicant must ask each assessor to upload their appraisal electronically (using file name: Autism_ Applicant’s Last Name), directly to MacDrive by Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

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If you have any questions or concerns please contact: