External Funding


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.

Scholarship Library

The Scholarship Library website was developed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and resources to put forth an excellent funding proposal for external competitions. The architecture and content of the site was built using a student-centred approach and is accessible only by current Western students through our secure Grad Portal. Visitors are able to access a wealth of knowledge surrounding the application process and proven recommendations and strategies for success. Furthermore, past applications and successful research proposals are available for students to consult (these have been donated to SGPS by scholars who have been successful in past competitions).  The Scholarship Library can be accessed by both current undergraduate and graduate students.

All visitors to the Scholarship Library must adhere to strict policies in regards to viewing past research proposals, and all information pertaining to students’ identity and sensitive research is censored.

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

  • Getting People to Care about Your Research: Writing for Competitive Scholarships 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 evaluate the proposed study. Learn how to write for funding competitions with Paul Schmidt (The Writing Centre). No registration required.
    • Health and Medicine – Wednesday, August 29, 2018 from 1:30pm-2:30pm EDT in AHB (OLD Ivey) Classroom 1B04
    • NEW START TIME! Natural Sciences and Engineering – Wednesday, September 5, 2018 from 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT in AHB (OLD Ivey) Classroom 1B04
    • Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities – Wednesday, September 12, 2018 from 1:30pm-2:30pm EDT in the IGAB Classom 1N05 
  • The Rhodes Scholarships: The Path of Preparation  for all interested students from 1st year undergraduates to 1st year graduate students; presented by Dr. Carolyn Ford, Director, International Undergraduate Student Recruitment, Western International. No registration required.
    • September 12, 2018 in the Chu Centre (2nd floor IGAB) 4:00-5:00pm EDT

  • Tri-Agency Canada Graduate Scholarships- Master’s (CGSM) Information Sessions! SGPS staff will give a presentation on the internal process of application at Western. This is a one-hour session offered on four different days in the IGAB Classroom 1N05. No registration required.
    • Tuesday, October 9, 2018 from 11:30am-12:30pm EDT
    • Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 1:30pm-2:30pm EDT
    • Monday, October 15, 2018 from 11:30am-12:30pm EDT
    • Wednesday, October 17, 2018 from 1:30pm-2:30pm EDT
    • Monday, November 12, 2018 from 1:30pm-2:30pm EDT

 Medical and Health Sciences

  • 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.
  • The Art of Writing a CIHR Application 
  • CIHR Scholarship Information Webinars
    These are 2-hour interactive webinars offered by CIHR on how to apply for CIHR Scholarships. Attendees must register to join:
    • English: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 starting at 11:00am EDT Register here
    • French: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 starting at 11:00am EDT Register here

Natural Sciences and Engineering

  • NSERC Scholarships and Fellowships Information Session! NSERC staff will be visiting Western to give a presentation on how to prepare a scholarship or fellowship application. This two-hour event will be held in the IGAB ATRIUM, and will include Q&A. No registration required.
  • NSERC Scholarships for Doctoral Study Information Sessions! SGPS staff will give a presentation on the internal process of application at Western. This is a one-hour session offered on two separate days in the IGAB Classroom 1N05. No registration required.
    • Tuesday, September 18, 2018 from 11:30am-12:30pm EDT
    • Friday, September 28, 2018 from 1:30pm-2:30pm EDT

Social Sciences and Humanities

  • SSHRC Scholarships and Fellowships for Doctoral Study Information Sessions! SGPS Staff will give a presentation on the internal process of application at Western. This is a one-hour session offered two separate days in the IGAB Classroom 1N05. No registration required.
    • Tuesday, September 25, 2018 from 11:30am-12:30pm EDT
    • Wednesday, October 3, 2018 from 1:30pm-2:30pm EDT
  • SSHRC Resource Video: How do you apply for a SSHRC Doctoral Award?


Scholars to Leaders Speaker Series

The Scholars to Leaders Speaker Series is a unique initiative of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies that is open to all students and scholars across all careers at Western – undergraduate, graduate, professional, and postdoctoral. The Series brings students together with university leaders who are uniquely skilled in mentoring candidates as they prepare for next stages of academic competition and global careers. The monthly luncheon events showcase guest speakers who share valuable insight and expertise on critical aspects of leadership from their own career experiences. Pizza is available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis but feel free to bring your own lunch.

The Series runs from September to March (except December) and each event is held on the last Wednesday of every month from 12:30-1:30pm in the Atrium of the International and Graduate Affairs Building (IGAB). No registration is required.

The 2018-2019 Guest Speaker Schedule (Schedule available after August 31 annually)

Date Guest Speaker Title Topic

September 26, 2018

Professor Brock Fenton

Canada’s “Batman” and world-recognized authority on bats; Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biology and past chair of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships National Selection Committee

"Bats as Magic Wells"

October 31, 2018

Professor Mary Crossan

Distinguished University Professor of General Management at the Ivey School of Business; one of the most highly cited faculty members at lvey, earning the Academy of Management Review Paper of the Decade Award (1998-2008)

“What I Know Now That I Wish I Knew Then”: Activating and Developing Character for Sustained Excellence

November 28, 2018

Mr. Robert Collins

Director, Workforce Development at London Economic Development Corporation

“Transferring Your Skills from Academia to the Workplace: Trends, Tips and Traps"”

January 30, 2019

Dr. Jason Winders

Western’s Director of Editorial Services; transitioned from a 20-year newspaper career to a PhD in Kinesiology specializing in Sports History

"Not that kind of doctor": How to ruin your career in 10 easy steps

February 27, 2019

Dr. Mark Daley

Western’s Associate Vice-President (Research), and Associate Professor in the Computer Science, Biology and Statistics & Actuarial Science Departments; holds a SHARCNET Research Chair in biocomputing and is chairman of the board of directors of Compute Ontario

"Leadership....or service?"

March 27, 2019

Lisa Cechetto, MBA, MSc

Executive Director of WORLDiscoveries, former Director of Business Development and Intellectual Property at Institut Pasteur Korea; holds a master’s from McMaster University, as well as dual executive MBA degrees from Indiana University and Sungkyunkwan University.

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”:  How to Get Where You Want to Be.

VIEW Scholars to Leaders Speaker Series videos.

Please email Paula Menzies Cameron for more information.

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.