External Funding

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All graduate students are encouraged to apply for external funding.  These are funds provided beyond Western through federal and provincial department and agencies, foundations, private companies and other sources.  External funding can provide you additional financial support while you pursue your studies at Western.  They also reinforce your academic resume and may assist in your career development.

Each external funding agency maintains its own policies regarding eligibility and the application process.  Students are encouraged to review the following summaries of the most prominent external awards available to students at Western but are reminded that countless opportunities are available beyond this listing.

Strategic Scholarship Competition Support

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is committed to providing our students with strategic support as they prepare for the rigours of external scholarship competitions.

Our services range from providing students with critical information on processes and eligibility, to connecting students with experts who share their experiences and insights into scholarly excellence.

Preparing for Competition

Millions of dollars are available every year from government agencies and foundations to support the work and research of graduate students across the country. External funding bolsters your resume, enhances your scholarly reputation, and develops your career as a highly qualified researcher. The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is excited to deliver to you an enhanced program of strategic scholarship support designed to hone your skills and talents so that you can secure maximum funding for your studies.

All Disciplines

  • Writing Support Centre for Graduate Students A well-written research proposal persuades reviewers that your project merits funding, and that you have the ability and the plan to complete it. Generally, a research proposal should contain all the key elements involved in the research process and include sufficient information for the readers to easily grasp and evaluate the proposed study. Learn how to write for funding competitions with writing experts Paul Schmidt and Doug Campbell. Make an online appointment via Western Connect well in advance of scholarship deadlines!

 Medical and Health Sciences

  • CIHR Scholarship Information Webinars
    These are interactive webinars offered by CIHR on how to apply. Attendees must register to join here:
    • English: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 starting at 1:00pm EDT 
    • French: Wednesday, September 9, 2019 starting at 10:00am EDT 
    • English: Thursday, September 10, 2020 starting at 10:00am EDT
    • French: Thursday, September 10, 2020 starting at 1:00pm EDT
  • Responsive Research: Competitive Scholarship Applications in the Medical and Health Sciences The CIHR Doctoral Research Awards program provides special recognition and support to students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in a health-related field in Canada or abroad. All applicants are expected to have an exceptionally high potential for future research achievement and productivity. Watch Erin Huner, Research Consultant (Research Western) explain how you can best position yourself for success in competition.

Natural Sciences and Engineering

  • NSERC Scholarships and Fellowships Virtual Information Session! NSERC staff will be offering a presentation on how to prepare a scholarship or fellowship application.
    • August 31, 2020, Time: 12:00 pm (noon EDT)
    • NSERC Scholarships & Fellowships program application tutorials can be accessed HERE.

Social Sciences and Humanities

  • SSHRC invites all applicants to review Imagining Canada’s Future’s 16 future global challenges, and to consider addressing one or more of these areas in their research proposals.
    • Future Challenge Areas 2018-2021 - here 

Faculty-Based Tri-Agency Workshops

Don Wright Faculty of Music

  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship Workshop
    DATE: Friday, September 11, 2020
    TIME: 3:30 p.m.

Faculty of Information and Media Studies

  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship Workshop
    DATE: Thursday, September 10, 2020
    TIME: 10:00 a.m.


Provincial Scholarship Competitions

The Province of Ontario is a very generous supporter and promoter of graduate student excellence and offers a suite of lucrative scholarship programs through annual competitions that are administered by the provincial universities and the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).


National Scholarship Competitions

The Government of Canada promotes high-quality research in a wide variety of disciplines and areas through its three funding agencies – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). National foundations and trusts, created through the philanthropy of renowned Canadians, also offer prestigious scholarship and fellowship programs which aim to advance Canada’s role in knowledge creation, innovation, and global leadership.