Western Graduate & Postdoctoral  Studies

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (VCGS)

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Value and Duration

  • $50,000 per year for three years.

Timelines and Deadlines

  • June 2016: Competition launches nationally
  • September 30:
      • Deadline for applicants to submit applications in ResearchNet
      • Deadline for Graduate Programs to submit the following to SGPS (pmenzies@uwo.ca) for each application:
        • University Nomination Letter (PDF)
        • Official transcript file (single PDF)
        • two eligibility averages in % scale
  • October 3-4: Applications made available in GradNet for University Committee access
  • October 5-31: University Vanier Selection Committee convenes to review and select applications according to agency quotas
  • November 2: Deadline for universities to submit nominated applications to the Vanier-Banting Secretariat
  • March 31: Results released by the Secretariat to universities under a public announcement ban

Invitation to Apply

A candidate for the Vanier CGS must be invited to apply by the Graduate Chair. This process may be initiated in two ways:

  • An interested student approaches the Graduate Chair seeking an invitation to apply
  • The Graduate Chair invites a competitive student, or applicant for admission, to apply

The following points must be clearly addressed in the University Nomination Letter:

  • Rationale for the choice of candidate
  • Research Training Environment
  • Potential Benefits to Western by Recruiting the Candidate
  • Recruitment and Student Mobility

Eligibility

  • Academic Eligibility: At Western, an eligible applicant must have achieved a minimum of 80% in each of the last two completed years of full-time study, or equivalent to full-time study. Eligibility averages for competitive scholarship are rounded ONLY to the nearest decimal place. The eligibility averages are based on grades on the transcript(s) up to August 31st of the year of application.
  • Important Note: Vanier nominees must apply separately to the agency-specific doctoral scholarships program if they wish to be considered for both. 
  • Eligibility for Nomination
    • Basic Criteria
    • Calculating Months of Doctoral Study

Application

  • How to Apply 
  • Online Application Note: The Research Institution Deadline will only appear once the applicant selects the 'Canadian University Proposed for Doctoral Study' using the search option in the 'Project Details' subtask on the 'Enter Proposal Information' task. 
  • Referee Assessments 
  • Important Reminders when Requesting Assessments:
    • Candidates must not complete the 'Identify Referees' task before completing the 'Enter Proposal Information' task. See Note above.
    • It is the responsibility of the applicant to follow up with their Referees in a timely manner to ensure they are aware of the Research Institution Deadline for candidates and the earlier Referee Assessment completion deadline.
    • Referees face an automatic 48-hour earlier deadline than the candidate's Research Institution Deadline.
    • Candidates will not be able to submit their applications until the Referee Assessment tasks are complete.

Administering the Competition - Roles and Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the Graduate Chair to:

  • Invite candidates to apply. There is no limit on the number of candidates a Graduate Chair can put forward, however it is the expectation of SGPS that only those students who meet the Vanier CGS program’s standard of achievement will be invited to apply.
  • Monitor each candidate’s progress in the application phase to ensure timely submission of documents.
  • Have the Department Chair complete/sign the 2-page University Nomination Letter addressed to the members of the Vanier-Banting Secretariat, which incorporates all elements required by the agency.
  • Assign a rank order if multiple applications are submitted

It is the responsibility of the Invited Candidate to:

  • Ensure that before the September 30 deadline official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, including an official current Western University transcript, (if currently registered, and regardless if grades appear or not) are available to the nominating graduate program,
  • Submit the completed Vanier application in ResearchNet by midnight September 30.

It is the responsibility of the Graduate Program Coordinator to:

  • Verify the candidate’s eligibility, and calculate the two (2) required eligibility averages
  • Ensure that all official post-secondary transcripts have been received from the candidate by the deadline
  • Create a single PDF file containing a complete record of the candidate’s transcripts as follows:
    • Each transcript set (i.e. a set of all pages belonging to one university) must include a scan of each page, in order, followed by a scan of the legend at the end
    • Combine all transcript sets, starting with the most recent transcript
    • Rotate all pages for optimal viewing (Document>Rotate Pages>Save)
    • Save the PDF following this example: LastnameFirst_NSERCV_txpt.pdf
    • Save the University Nomination Letter (Word) drafted by the Graduate Chair following this example: LastnameFirst_SSHRCV_ltr.doc
    • Enter the candidate’s application into the External Funding Portfolio’s tracking record:
    • Enter the eligibility averages (in % scale only)
    • Enter a rank and pool number if more than one candidate is being put forward
    • Leave the status as NEW.
  • For each candidate, send SGPS (pmenzies@uwo.ca) an email stating the two eligibility averages (%), and a rank if applicable, and attach the corresponding transcript PDF and university nomination letter (PDF). Enter the Subject line according to this example: Vanier CIHR -Biochemistry -LastnameFirst

It is the responsibility of the Faculty to:

  • Promote the nomination of competitive Vanier applications and remind graduate programs of the September 30 deadline for submission of complete nomination files
  • Prior to the application submission deadline, conduct a thorough review of all applications for revisions. A complete application consists of:
    • University Nomination Letter on official letterhead signed by the Department Chair
    • Complete Vanier application
    • Transcript file 

It is the responsibility of SGPS to:

  • Communicate the Vanier program information and university process instructions to all participating units at Western
  • Update each applicant’s status in the External Funding Portfolio’s tracking record as appropriate
  • Make applications available in GradNet 
  • Review the eligibility of all recommended and ranked candidates submitted to the university competition
  • Convene the University Vanier Selection Committee
  • Ensure strategic use of the Vanier triennal allocation and annual quotas in the selection of nominations per agency and make recommendations for file corrections
  • Electronically submit the nominated applications to the Secretariat by the November deadline
  • Communicate an update on the university competition results to the graduate community, and run notifications in Student Center.

Results

The agency indicates that the release of funding decisions will take place on March 31st. Nominated applicants are notified individually of their results via ResearchNet. Shortly after, each university receives its own results via the Tri-Agency Secure Site. SGPS updates each nominated candidate’s status in Student Center which prompts individual notifications to be sent to them.

The Vanier-Banting Program, similar to the other Tri-Agency scholarship programs, implements a ban on any form of public announcement until the federal government makes the annual public funding announcement. A press release normally takes place in the late summer/early fall.

Access to Results

Graduate Chairs and Deans

  • Access GradNet using Western personal computer account information
  • Under the Launch Menu, select External Scholarships
  • For Vanier, select the agency-specific competition (CIHRV, NSERCV or SSHRCV), the Aid Year (2018 for results that will be released in April 2017), and the status (Awarded, Not Awarded or Waitlisted)

External Scholarship Coordinators

  • Access Student Center
  • Select Financial Aid > Awards > External Funding > External Assessment
  • Select the criteria to view the desired competition results (i.e. Competition, Aid Year, Cohort)
  • Select “Populate Students”

Holding the Award at Western

Acceptance and Activation

A new Vanier Scholar must:

  • Accept the offer of award from the agency following the instructions provided in the letter of offer, and then activate it for payment by completing the required agency forms.
  • Initiate the payment process at Western by following these steps:
    • Access the Student Center
    • Select ‘Self Service’ from the main menu, then 'Campus Finances'
    • Select ‘My External Scholarships’ and follow the activation steps for the Vanier CGS
    • Choose the start date that matches the date stipulated by the agency in the offer

Method of Payment

SGPS administers the payment of Vanier CGS awards to Western recipients. The annual value of the award is divided into three equal installments and applied to the recipient’s Student Center account at the start of every term (September, January and May).

Terms and Conditions

NEW! The Tri-Agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) have harmonized their post-award policies (where possible) for research training programs and have incorporated these policies into a harmonized Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder's Guide. These policies are effective as of September 1, 2016 and the Guide is available on NSERC's website. The Guide applies to Tri-agency directly-funded training award holders. It contains all the forms that training award holders and the University need to facilitate post-award activities allowed by the Tri-Agencies.

Your responsibilites:

  • Access and review your Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder's Guide and comply with the regulations governing use of the award
  • Complete an annual SGPS Progress Report Form
    • Submit the form by the deadline specified by SGPS in the annual notification email
    • Annual deadlines will vary for each Vanier Scholar depending on the anniversary of the award start date, but will annually fall in either August, December, or April
    • A Progress Report can be submitted no earlier than 60 days prior to the anniversary date
    • Failure to submit the annual Progress Report will result in the suspension of further payments

Resources

Contact

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program aims to attract and retain world-class doctoral students by supporting students who demonstrate both superior leadership skills and an outstanding record of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and/or humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health. International and domestic candidates are eligible to be nominated for a Vanier CGS.

The two primary aims of this federal scholarship program are:

  • International Recruitment – in order to build strong brand recognition for the Vanier CGS, comparable to the world’s most valuable, prestigious, and sought-after awards, universities are strongly urged to strengthen their efforts to nominate new foreign candidates

  • Student Mobility – in an effort to support students who choose to broaden their research horizons and seek new challenges, the Vanier CGS program strongly encourages candidates to pursue their studies beyond the university that granted their undergraduate and/or graduate degrees.

NEW! The Tri-Agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) have harmonized their post-award policies (where possible) for research training programs and have incorporated these policies into a harmonized Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder's Guide. These policies are effective as of September 1, 2016 and the Guide is available on NSERC's website. The Guide applies to Tri-agency directly-funded training award holders. It contains all the forms that training award holders and the University need to facilitate post-award activities allowed by the Tri-Agencies. 

On September 1, 2016, Western University launched the Doctoral Excellence Research Awards.

The Doctoral Excellence Research Awards represent a new investment in graduate student support, in addition to the funding already invested by the University and Faculties in this area. The awards recognize outstanding academic achievement to nurture the potential of our best and brightest scholars.

A new doctoral student, who is also a new Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (VCGS) recipient, will receive up to $15,000 during their first year, and up to an additional $10,000 for each subsequent year of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (VCGS).

A continuing doctoral student, who is a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (VCGS) recipient, will receive up to an additional $10,000 for each remaining year of their Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (VCGS).

Western’s new Doctoral Excellence Research Awards represent an additional investment of approximately $2 million annually, underlining our overall commitment to supporting Canada’s future leaders.

Spotlight on a Western Vanier Scholar:

Updated September 1, 2016.