External Scholarships

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Financial support from the three federal (tri-council) agencies is substantially greater than can be offered by the Department. Canadian citizens or landed immigrants may apply to these federal agencies: (1) Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), (2) Canadian Institutes of Health Sciences (CIHR), or (3) Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The nature of your research will determine which of the Tri-Council scholarships you should apply to (some guidelines can be found here).

Ontario residents are considered for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program; students who apply for one of the tri-council scholarships are automatically entered into the SGS central competition for OGS (e.g. a separate application is not required). Details of these and other assistance programs are available from the McMaster University School of Graduate Studies scholarship page.

ALL eligible graduate students are required to apply for external scholarships. The season for submitting most scholarship applications is late summer into the fall term (a few are not available until winter term). This page summarizes the call for applications for the federal tri-council scholarships, and provides approximate internal and external deadlines.

General Preparation

The School of Graduate Studies Scholarships Office does a great job of preparing instructions for each competition. These instructions and relevant forms and internet links are sent by email to departments, and we forward them on to you. Although due dates for most applications are approximately the same from year to year, details change, which is why the carefully constructed instructions and forms are sent out a different times. When you receive an email announcing the competition that is relevant to you, read through the instructions carefully and make note of all the deadlines. There are often different deadlines for the same competition (e.g. PNB department deadlines, School of Graduate Studies deadlines, external funding deadlines).

  • Carefully read the application instructions associated with the fellowship you will be applying for because each agency has different processes. The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Scholarships Office sends instructions as soon as details become available from the government agencies.
  • Check the SGS awards-funding website for updates/changes in scholarship availability, application deadlines, etc.

Prepare a timeline:

  • You are required to obtain all OFFICIAL transcripts (from all your undergraduate and graduate academic institutions) when you apply. This can take time so plan ahead.
  • You will need to request reference letters. Plan ahead and request letters as early as possible. Your letter writers may be writing letters for many students - it will work in your favour to be prepared. Think about providing your letter writers with a summary of information that will assist them when they are thinking about what to write about you! When the due date approaches, don't hesitate to send your letter writers a friendly reminder if they have not yet submitted the reference.
  • Start preparing early and good luck!

To be considered eligible for support for the tri-council masters or doctoral scholarships, as of the application deadline date you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada,
  • have obtained a first-class average (minimum grade of “A-“) in each of the last two completed years of study (or full-time equivalent).
  • read the specific rules for the agency to which you are applying

To be considered eligible for support for the tri-council doctoral scholarships, as of the application deadline date you must:

  • intend to pursue, in the following year, full-time graduate studies and research at the doctoral level in an eligible program (see Eligibility Criteria on each site).
  • read the specific rules for the agency to which you are applying

There are a few scholarships that are open to international students. Search this page for the keyword "international" to find them.

CIHR Doctoral

The School of Graduate Studies has provided information regarding the Fall 2018 CIHR Doctoral Research Award Competition.
There are 2 documents:

(You might want to download the Approval Form because MacDrive does not render it well for online preview.)

Key Dates (see documents for details):

  • Friday September 21 2018 at 12:00 noon McMaster Internal ResearchNet deadline for students to submit applications
  • Wednesday September 19 2018 at 12:00 noon Deadline for Sponsor Assessments to be submitted to ResearchNet
  • Friday September 21 2018 Deadline for Graduate Studies Approval Form-CIHR Doctoral (PDF) (attached)
  • Tuesday October 2 2018 Final Submission Date: McMaster will submit all approved applications to CIHR by this date.

If you have any questions about the Fall 2018 CIHR Doctoral Research Award Competition, please do not hesitate to e-mail the School of Graduate Studies.

You apply through the CIHR website and upload your own transcripts. Please let Nancy Riddell know if you've applied. Nancy does not need a hard copy.

NSERC Doctoral

The SGS Scholarships Office has provided the following application instructions for the:

(You will need to download this one because MacDrive is having trouble rendering it for an online preview.)

Key Dates and Notes (see document for details):

  • Friday September 21 2018 All official transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) are due to Nancy Riddell.
  • Wednesday October 3 2018 On-line NSERC application completed (SGS deadline).
  • Please read page 3 of the instructions carefully for the steps the student must complete:
  • It is the applicant's responsibility to enter Nancy's name and e-mail address (riddeln@mcmaster.ca) in the Transcripts – University page of the application.
  • It is important to give Nancy an up-to-date transcript for each and all of the degree programs listed under your Academic Background. Requesting and receiving transcripts take time so start this process ASAP. If you have questions about how to enter this information, please ask Nancy Riddell.

Application is completed on the NSERC on-line system and Nancy uploads your transcripts. Nancy does not need a hard copy of your application. Please direct questions to Nancy Riddell.

SSHRC Doctoral

The SGS Scholarships Office has provided instructions for the:

Key Dates and Notes (see document for details):

  • Thursday October 25 2018 PNB Department Internal Deadline
  • Please read the instructions carefully as there are some eligibility changes this year for the doctoral award. For example, SSHRC's previous eligibility requirement for applicants to be pursuing their first PhD has been removed.

Application is completed on-line through the SSHRC website. Please provide Nancy with an electronic copy of your application as she needs to upload it to the School of Graduate Studies via MacDrive. Contact Nancy Riddell with any questions.

Tri-Council Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS-M) Masters

The SGS Scholarships Office has provided the following application instructions for students:

The CGS-M Awards Program supports students in all research disciplines and is administered jointly by Canada’s three federal granting agencies: CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC. The selection process and post-award administration are carried out at the university level, under the guidance of the three agencies.

Key Dates and Notes (see document for details):

  • December 3 2018 at 8:00pm (is usually Dec 1st, but this year is Dec 3rd because the 1st is a Saturday)
  • Application is completed through the Research Portal on-line system.

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)

Ontario residents are considered for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program. Students who apply for one of the tri-council scholarships are automatically entered into the SGS central competition for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS). A separate application is not required.

The tri-council and OGS awards are all determined at different times. OGS awards are usually determined earliest; this ordered list included applications from all university departments at McMaster. A student who receives an OGS award may end up receiving a tri-council award. In that case, the student will take the tri-council award and the OGS award will go to the next application on the OGS ordered alternate list; this could be a student from PNB or from another department.
Faculty OGS
There are a limited number of "Faculty" OGS awards each year. This competition is outside of the SGS central competition for OGS. PNB might get 3-5 Faculty OGS's (differs from year to year). These awards are to be used strategically to recruit, retain and support graduate students. An internal competition may be held in some (but not all) years. An example of the nomination form can be viewed here.
April approximate nomination deadline
International OGS
In past years there has been only 1 international OGS available to the Faculty of Science.
Friday March 30 2018 SGS deadline
2018 International OGS instructions and application form - Science

Other Scholarships

U21 Graduate Collabortive Research Awards
McMaster recently became a member of the Universitas 21 (U21) group. The group offers a scholarship for collaborative research.
Important deadlines:
August 3 2018 Application due
More information: U21 Graduate Collabortive Research Awards
Vanier CGS-Doctoral Competition
This award is open to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and international students. Go here for complete Vanier eligibility information.
Important Deadlines for the 2018 competition:
As Soon As Possible: Note that PNB is allowed to submit only 2 Vanier applications, so it is critical that you let the Graduate Chair and Nancy Riddell know that you are intending to apply. If more than 2 students are going to apply we will need to have an internal review to determine the top 2 applications in the department.
A two-stage internal review process is in place at McMaster to help identify the strongest applications and to select the most competitive candidates in each research mandate of CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.
Tuesday September 11 2018 at 10:00am Stage 1 Letter of Intent (LOI) package is due to SGS.
Thursday October 11 2018 at 10:00am Stage 2 endorsed candidate applications are due to SGS.
Wednesday October 24 2018 at 11:59pm McMaster Internal ResearchNet deadline (for students): Stage 2 endorsed candidates will submit a complete application on ResearchNet.
Wednesday October 31 2018 at 8:00pm EDT Vanier Deadline McMaster must forward their selected nominations to the Vanier CGS program.
Seven documents for the fall 2018 application: Vanier tips sheet; Vanier application process; Vanier announcement; Vanier presentation; SGS Vanier approval form; Vanier Stage 1 checklist; Profile of a competitive Vanier applicant.
Canada Graduate Scholarships - Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements (CGS-MSFSS)
Graduate students who hold a Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) from one of the Tri-Council Agencies (Vanier, CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC) may apply for a Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement (CGS-MSFSS).
Tuesday September 25 2018 School of Graduate Studies Deadline
CGS-MSFSS Announcement and guidelines
The Bill Carment Memorial Scholarship in Social Development
To be awarded by the School of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Chair of the Department of Psychology to a graduate student who has demonstrated excellent progress in his/her research training and who is pursuing a career in the area of social development. Value: 1 award variable up to $500. There will not necessarily be an email notification for these kinds of awards - browse the SGS Scholarships website for this and other available awards.
December 1 2017 application due to Nancy Riddell.
2017 Application Form.
SSHRC Impact Awards-Talen Award
McMaster is able to submit 1 Talent Award nomination to SSHRC. As this is a very competitive competition and prestigious award, McMaster reserves the right not to submit any applicant.
The Talent Award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual who, on March 6, 2018, holds a SSHRC doctoral or postdoctoral fellowship or scholarship (including, but not limited to, a Canada Graduate Scholarship, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship or Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship).
Stage 1 Letter of Intent package is due on Monday January 22 2018.
Two documents: 2018 SSHRC Impact application process; 2018 SSHRC Impact SGS approval form.
Harvey E. Longboat Graduate Scholarships and OGS-Indigenous Applications
This award is intended as a means to recognize and acknowledge the academic achievement and exceptional promise of an Indigenous graduate student or students at McMaster University. Consideration is also given to Indigenous scholars who have demonstrated mentorship within community settings. Indigenous students who are applying to a McMaster Graduate program, as well as returning Indigenous grad students, are eligible to apply.
Deadline to apply for both Longboat and OGS-I: February 21 2018
For Eligibility and Application Instructions, please see here.
If you have any questions about these awards, please email Andrea Cole.
Ontario Trillium Scholarships (OTS)
The Ontario Trillium Scholarships (OTS) program is a significant initiative to attract more of the best qualified international students to Ontario for doctoral studies.
Nominations are due by Monday March 5 2018 by emailing graduatescholarships@mcmaster.ca.
Two documents: OTS instructions; OTS nomination letter template.
Harry Lyman Hooker Sr. Fellowships
The Harry Lyman Hooker Sr. Fellowships are made possible through a bequest from the estate of Harry Lyman Hooker. The awards are given to Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada who are entering their first year of a Master’s or Doctoral program, effective May or September 2018 of the award year, at McMaster University in those disciplines that receive funding primarily from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. The research mandate must be SSHRC.
Note that because the research has to be SSHRC fundable, there are very few nominations for these awards in the Faculty of Science - that means that we have a good chance of getting these awards for our nominees. If your student is doing SSHRC fundable research but you are not sure whether they might be eligible for this award, Nancy and Judy will help you evaluate. If you would like to nominate your student, please contact Nancy Riddell in advance of preparing the nomination package because each Department may submit only 1 Masters and 1 Doctoral nomination.
The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) nomination deadline is Thursday March 15 2018.
2018-19 Harry Lyman Hooker Sr. Fellowship instructions
2018-19 Harry Lyman Hooker Sr. Fellowship nomination form
CAGS/Proquest-UMI Distinguished Dissertation Awards
The CAGS/PROQUEST-UMI Distinguished Dissertation Awards recognize Canadian doctoral dissertations that make unusually significant and original contributions to their academic field.
Monday March 26 2018 nomination deadline
2018 CAGS/PROQUEST-UMI nomination instructions
2018 CAGS/PROQUEST-UMI check list

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship Competition
The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships provide financial support to elite national and international postdoctoral researchers who will positively contribute to the country’s economic, social and research-based growth.
Important Deadlines for 2018 competition:
Tuesday August 7 2018 at 10:00am Stage 1- Intent Package due to the SGS
Thursday September 6 2018 at 10:00am Stage 2 - Endorsed candidate applications due to SGS
Wednesday September 19 2018 at 8:00pm EDT Banting ResearchNet online application submission
Four documents: 2018 Banting announcement; 2018 Banting application process; 2018 Banting checklist; 2018 Banting approval form.
H.G. Thode Postdoctoral Fellowship
In commemoration of the late Dr. Harry Thode's achievements as a nuclear scientist and as a visionary university president, McMaster University is pleased to invite applications from outstanding candidates for an endowed postdoctoral fellowship in the general areas of Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Sciences or Nuclear Engineering.
Deadline: April 27 2018
Contact Judith Shedden for forms.