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Graduate Studies

Vanier Canada Graduate Doctoral Scholarships

2024 Vanier Information Session – Wednesday, July 17, 2024, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Registration is not required for this session. Please join us on Zoom! (

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program aims to attract and retain world-class doctoral students by supporting students who demonstrate both leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health.

These prestigious scholarships awarded by CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC help McMaster attract highly qualified doctoral students.

2024 Vanier Information Session Powerpoint slides

Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada or foreign citizens are eligible to be nominated.

Award Value

$50,000.00/year for three (3) years

Important Deadlines

A two-stage internal review process is in place at McMaster to help identify the strongest applications and to select the most competitive candidates in each research mandate of CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

  • Wednesday, September 4, 2024, 10:00 am. Stage 1 Letter of Intent (LOI) package is due to SGS.
  • Thursday, October 3, 2024, 10:00 am. Stage 2 endorsed candidate applications are due to SGS.
  • Wednesday, October 16, 2024, 11:59 pm McMaster Internal ResearchNet deadline (for students): Stage 2 endorsed candidates will submit a complete application on ResearchNet.
  • Wednesday, October 30, 2024 (8:00 pm Eastern Time) Vanier Deadline McMaster must forward their selected nominations to the Vanier CGS program.

You will find complete application instructions in the Fall 2024 Vanier Application Process document, located in the Vanier Quick Forms section on the righthand side of this webpage.

McMaster Quotas*

Universities have been assigned quotas for the number of applications that can be submitted to each agency.

CIHR – 9 applications
NSERC – 7 applications
SSHRC – 4 application

*Indigenous applicants – Institutions may recommend applications from self-identified Indigenous applicants to the Vanier CGS competition above and beyond their institutional quota


There are reminders and new procedures for applicants and institutional administrators this year. Please read ALL instructions BEFORE beginning your application.

Selection Criteria

Candidates are evaluated and selected on the basis of the following three criteria, which are weighted equally: Academic Excellence, Research Potential and Leadership (potential and demonstrated ability).

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Website

For complete instructions on how to apply to the 2024 Vanier competition, please refer to the Vanier website.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The Vanier CGS program encourages equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), as part of the Tri-Agency’s broader commitment to excellence in research and research training in Canada. The EDI page of the Vanier CGS website provides guidelines and resources geared towards applicants, host institutions, referees, and reviewers and readers.

The EDI page of the Vanier CGS website provides guidelines and resources geared towards applicants, host institutions, referees, and reviewers and readers, and addressing the following topics: research respectfully involving Indigenous communities; reducing unconscious bias, and promoting equity, diversity and inclusion.

An important component ensuring EDI which is reflected in our selection process is the careful consideration of each applicant’s career interruptions and personal circumstances. The review of an applicant’s track record will take into consideration the availability of research and leadership opportunities. Applicants are thus encouraged to identify any circumstances that may have delayed or interrupted their academic and/or career advancement (if applicable) in the Special Attention attachment of their nomination.

Sex- and Gender-based Analysis Plus (SGBA+)

In order to ensure the research we fund is impactful and relevant to the diversity of the population, we now require applicants to systematically examine how differences in identity factors (such as sex, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age and mental or physical disability) affect the outcomes of research and the impacts of research findings. Applicants are now encouraged to take SGBA+ principles into account in their proposed research (see Application/nomination instruction – Task 10).

Research Respectfully Involving and Engaging Indigenous Communities

The proposed research must be in accordance with the policies and principles outlined in the following three main documents:

Nominating institutions must describe how collaborations with Indigenous communities have been or will be developed and provide details corroborating information included in the research proposal.

In order to be funded, research involving and engaging with Indigenous communities must fulfill the pillars for respectful research engaging with Indigenous peoples.


(Complete Vanier eligibility information can be found on their website)

To be considered for a Vanier CGS, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or a foreign citizen;
  • Be nominated by only one Canadian institution, which must have received a Vanier CGS quota;
  • Be pursuing your first doctoral degree (including joint 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 May 2025, September 2025, or January 2026, 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;
  • At McMaster you must have achieved a first-class average which is an A- (10/12, 80%) or above, in each of the last two years of full-time study or equivalent; and
  • Must not hold, or have a held a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC to undertake or complete a doctoral degree.


Eligibility: Calculating months of doctoral studies

Regardless of disciplines, all prior doctoral-level studies that started in Canada or abroad, are considered in the evaluation of eligibility, and are considered to be continuous, full-time, and uninterrupted unless otherwise confirmed by the institution (including the summer months, unless on official leave). The Vanier-Banting Secretariat will count two months of part-time studies as one month of full-time studies.

Number of months of doctoral studies:

  • Have completed no more than 20 months of full-time study in their doctoral program as of May 1st, 2025;
    • The doctoral program would begin after the completion of a master’s degree. The months of study completed are calculated from the doctoral enrolment date.
  • Have completed no more than 32 months of full-time study in their doctoral program (i.e. joint graduate research program, directly from bachelor’s, previously enrolled without obtaining master’s degree), by May 1st, 2025 if:
    • Enrolled in a joint graduate research program, e.g., MD/PhD, MA/PhD, MS/PhD, DVM/PhD. Applicants in this category have access to the 32-month window whether or not they were previously enrolled in a master’s program;
      • The months of study are calculated starting from the date on which an applicant is officially registered in the joint graduate program (For MA/PhD or MS/PhD this will be the master’s registration date).
    • Enrolled directly from a bachelor’s to a PhD program (without having been previously enrolled in another graduate program);
      • The months of study completed are calculated from the doctoral enrolment date.
    • Previously enrolled in a master’s program without obtaining the degree and subsequently transferring to a doctoral program.
      • The months of study completed are calculated from the original master’s enrolment date.

Please note that only the PhD portion of a joint program is eligible for funding.

Instructions/Information for Department Administrators

  • Department Graduate Administrators (or equivalent) must create an account in ResearchNet to receive access as a “Secondary User”
    • Upon account confirmation from ResearchNet, please notify The School of Graduate Studies at and include the name and email address that was used to create the ResearchNet account;
    • Graduate Administrators (or equivalent) who already have an existing account with ResearchNet for Vanier are not required to create a new account for this year’s Vanier Competition.
  • The Secondary User access will allow the administrators to review/monitor the candidates’ applications, return the candidate’s application for revisions and to upload all transcripts (in order of least recent to most recent) for their departments’ candidates. Note: Transcripts cannot be uploaded until after Wednesday, October 16, 2024 (the McMaster Internal ResearchNet deadline for students).
    • Graduate Administrators must upload their students’ transcripts no later than Wednesday, October 23, 2024.

Contact Information

For ResearchNet technical support, email:
For program related help, please contact:
For Vanier Competition information and application process, please refer to the Vanier website.
School of Graduate Studies email: