The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS) program, which was launched in the year 2008, aims to attract qualified doctoral students to study in any of Canada’s top institutions. Named after the first Francophone Governor General of Canada Major Gen. Georges P. Vanier, the competition is launched to help establish Canada’s role as a global center for research excellence.

The Vanier CGS program is overseen by 3 of Canada’s research-granting agencies, namely the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). In this article, we will be looking at the Vanier scholarships for international students.

Scholarship Amount: Vanier Scholarship

The Vanier CGS, which has a value of $50,000 a year for 3 years of doctoral studies, is open to a total of 166 applicants. Eligible applicants should be planning on researching in the fields of Health, Natural Science and/or Engineering, and Social Science and/or Humanities.

Regardless of the field, the applicant’s research should seek to follow/promote the tenets of:

  • Equality, diversity, & inclusion
  • Limitation of unconscious bias
  • Respectful research for studies involving/engaging indigenous communities,

Check Also: Canada Programs for International Students

Eligibility Criteria: Vanier Scholarship

To qualify for the Vanier scholarships, the student should meet the following eligibility requirements:

1. Citizenship

Canadian citizens & permanent residents, as well as foreign students, may qualify for this scholarship. Regardless of citizenship, the student may only qualify if he/she is nominated by a Canadian institution.

Should the student be nominated by multiple universities, he/she should only pick one institution to process the application form.

2. Degree

The applicant must be pursuing his/her first doctoral degree. Joint dual degrees (MD/Ph.D., JD/Ph.D.) are considered but only funding towards the Ph.D. program will be given.

Only full-time students will qualify, although those who are studying part-time due to disability or family responsibilities may apply.

Students who have a faculty appointment (unless he/she tenders a leave of absence) will not be considered for the Vanier CGS.

3. Grades

The student must have obtained a high first-class average in the last 2 years of full-time study.

4. Other Scholarships

The applicant should not hold a training or doctoral-level scholarship from either the SSHRC, NSERC, or CHIR.

How to Apply: Vanier Scholarship

According to the Vanier CGS application page, the process can start in 2 ways:

  • The student informs the faculty regarding his/her intent to apply
  • The university informs the student regarding his/her nomination

Once any of these 2 is accomplished, the student may prepare his/her application packet. It should be either in English or French.

Students need to be mindful of the application period, which starts in July and ends in November.

The first task for the student is to create a Canadian Common CV that follows the Vanier-Banting Academic template. The research contributions stated here should be limited to only one page.

After this, the student can proceed to create a ResearchNet account where he/she will complete the rest of the application requirements.

Other documents needed for the packet include:

  • 2-page personal leadership statement

This should provide a clear statement of the opportunities and challenges that have helped mold the student’s doctoral research.

  • 2 letters of reference containing 3 sections each

Vanier CGS prefers non-academic referees who can explain how the applicant’s personal trajectory affects his/her leadership talent.

The committee recommends referees undergo the 19-minute Tri-Agency unconscious bias training module before accomplishing this portion.

  • Research proposal, maximum 2 pages

Based on the Canadian Common CV, the student should pick the 5 most significant projects relevant to the proposal. For each, the applicant should describe his/her role in the research, collaborations with other researchers (if any), the impact/significance of the work – and how it contributes to his/her career aspirations.

  • Project references, maximum 5 pages

This should include all the citations, bibliography, and references of the project proposal.

  • Research proposal, maximum 2 pages

This detailed description should include the project background, objectives, hypothesis, research question, and role/responsibilities of the researchers.

Applicants are advised to use specific, non-technical words if possible as Vanier CGS members come from diverse backgrounds.

  • Transcript of records and doctoral studies timeline
  • Special circumstances – optional, limited to 1 page

With regards to the format, the documents must be in PDF style, using a font size 12 – with a maximum of 6 lines per inch. Charts, graphs, or figures should be included as needed.

The documents should measure 8 ½” x 11″ and should not exceed a size of 30MB each.

After completing these documents for Vanier scholarships, the student may finally submit the packet to the university well within the internal deadline (to be established by the institution).

When submitting a ResearchNet application, the applicant should make sure that he/she has completed the form. This can be done by clicking the ‘Preview Application Materials’ option.

The student is advised to print the application form as well as save it as a PDF file. To submit the latter through the portal, click on the ‘Consent and Submit Application’ button.

The institution will then pick out the nominee, in case several students intend to apply for the Vanier CGS.

After finishing the selection process for the Vanier scholarship, the university will forward the nomination to the secretariat before the program deadline date (often early November).

The secretariat will then coordinate the review and present the recommendations to the steering committee.

The latter will endorse and approve the decision according to 3 criteria, namely academic excellence, research potential, and potential/demonstrated leadership. The evaluation process takes several months, usually from November to March.

Based on the said criteria, the selection committee will pick and inform the students who will be awarded the Vanier CGS. The announcement is usually done in early April.

Payments will start in May, September, or January, depending on when the start of the awardee’s term.


After being awarded the Vanier scholarship, scholars are expected to:

  • Participate in surveys, audits, workshops, and studies
  • Provide data and reports to assess program outcomes
  • Contribute to studies that evaluate the long-term impact of the scholarship

Additionally, scholars should accomplish an end-of-award report to help measure the program. This info will also be used to publish the applicant’s success story.


We hope that this article on Vanier scholarships for international students was helpful. Check out the Canada Programs for International Students to learn more information!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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