Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS)
The Ontario Trillium Scholarships (OTS) program is an important initiative to attract top international students to Ontario for PhD studies. Students interested in the Ontario Trillium Scholarships are encouraged to express their interest in the competition to the graduate program chair when applying for admission to Western University. A qualified international applicant must be nominated for the scholarship by the Graduate Chair of the admitting program.
Value and Duration
- $40,000 per year renewable for up to 4 years, and will begin concurrent with the start of the recipient’s PhD program.
- Eligible start dates are May 1 or September 1 immediately following the annual SGPS call for nominations.
- OTS Terms and Conditions
Timeline and Deadlines
- January 1: SGPS opens the annual call for nominations
- January 1 - March 31: University Selection Committee adjudicates and scores nominations; offers of award are made to top-scoring nominees
- After April 1: SGPS offers any remaining awards to the ranked alternates on the waitlist until all 7 awards are offered and accepted.
Academic Eligibility : An eligible applicant must have achieved a minimum of 80% in each of the last two most recently completed years of full-time university study, or equivalent to full-time study. Eligibility averages for competitive scholarship are rounded ONLY to the nearest decimal place.
To Be Eligible for Nomination by the Graduate Chair, an applicant must also:
- Be an international student at the time of application and when taking up the award
- Intend to be present on campus to undertake full-time PhD studies in any discipline at Western at the start of either Summer Term or Fall Term immediately following the annual call for nominations
- Not have previously been registered, or not be currently be registered, in a university degree program at an Ontario university
- Have exceptional research experience and potential combined with an outstanding university academic record
To Be Eligible to Hold the Award, the recipient must:
- Have received a valid temporary resident visa as a member of the student class under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) by the start date of the PhD program
- Be present and registered full-time in the PhD program at Western by the start date of the award and for its full duration
- Not have concurrently accepted a scholarship or fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), or the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), or be in receipt of an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) or a Queen Elizabeth II - Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEII-GSST)
- Maintain satisfactory progress in the program which will be verified by the recipient’s completion of an annual progress report in conjunction with his/her supervisor
N.B. A recipient may continue to hold the Trillium should he/she become a permanent resident of Canada during the tenure of the award.
Administering the Competition - Roles and Responsibilities
The Nomination File:
International candidates must be nominated by their admitting Graduate Chair (Director or Associate Dean), and the candidate’s complete admission application is used as the basis of assessment along with a Nomination Letter written by the Graduate Chair (Director or Associate Dean.
Remember that when applying for admission, applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language. Please refer candidates as appropriate to the information on English Language Proficiency on our website.
Initial Considerations for the Graduate Chair
- Am I satisfied that the student meets the criteria for nomination i.e. does the student have an established record of high research potential and academic excellence, as well as strong interpersonal and communication skills?
- Does my graduate program’s research training environment offer the candidate the right opportunities and facilities, and do the candidate’s research interests align with our priorities?
- Am I familiar with the quality and reputation of the candidate's previous university or of the department from which they recently completed their degree program?
Graduate Program Responsibilities
- Recruit a competitive candidate(s) and have them complete and submit an Online Application for admission, or identify a competitive candidate(s) from the pool of PhD admission applications already submitted.
- Confirm that the candidate has performed at a first-class level over the two most recent years of full-time study;
- Calculate two eligibility averages, one for each of the last two years of full-time study. See rule above.
- Notify the candidate(s) that they are being considered for the scholarship
- Write the Nomination Letter (max. 2 pages), addressed to the Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, that provides a rationale for the choice of candidate, clearly articulating the excellence of the candidate according to the four selection criteria outlined in the Trillium Scoring Rubric
- Academic excellence
- Research potential and experience
- Interpersonal Qualities of the Candidate
- Quality and reputation of previous university and/or degree program
- Prepare the nomination file (single PDF) in this order:
- Nomination Letter
- Admission Application which normally includes: summary, academic intent, letters of reference, transcripts, supplementary documents
- Submit the PDF nomination to SGPS (firstname.lastname@example.org) any time after January 1st until SGPS closes the annual call.
- Receive nominations from graduate chairs, select the seven (7) recipients in a timely manner, and determine a ranked waitlist of alternate candidates by April 1st.
- Communicate the offers to the Ontario Trillium Scholars-elect via the admitting graduate programs
- Update the External Funding Portfolio on an ongoing basis with the results of the annual competition
- Make offers to waitlisted candidates in the event of declined offers
All information updated January 1, 2018