2016-2017 Vanier Competition – Eligibility rules‏

Please do not apply for this scholarship if you do not have a first class average (80% or higher over last two years of study) or you have completed more than 20 months of  PhD study as of May 1, 2016.


Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and foreign citizens are eligible to be nominated for a Vanier CGS.

To be considered for a Vanier CGS, you must:

  • be pursuing your first doctoral degree (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD). Note that only the PhD portion of a combined degree is eligible for funding;
  • intend to pursue, in the summer semester or the academic year following the announcement of results, full-time doctoral (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD) studies and research at the nominating institution; Note that only the PhD portion of a combined degree is eligible for funding;
  • not have completed more than 20 months of doctoral studies as of May 1, 2016 (see calculating months of doctoral studies below);
  • have achieved a first-class average, as determined by your institution, in each of the last two years of full-time study or equivalent. Candidates are encouraged to contact the institution for its definition of a first-class average; and
  • must not hold, or have held, a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHRNSERC or SSHRC to undertake or complete a doctoral degree.

Calculating months of doctoral studies

All prior doctoral-level studies, regardless of discipline, are considered in the evaluation of eligibility. The Vanier-Banting Secretariat (the Secretariat) will count two months of part-time study as one month of full-time study.

In the case of students who are registered in a combined MA/PhD program, MD/PhD program, a direct-entry doctoral program or who are accelerated from a master’s program into a doctoral program without obtaining the master’s degree, the Secretariat will not include the first 12 months of graduate study in the evaluation of eligibility.

In the case of students who are registered in a combined MD/PhD degree program, only the PhD portion will be considered in the evaluation of eligibility.  For purposes of this calculation, the MD portion will not count towards the number of months at the doctoral level.

All interruptions, delays, part-time studies and MD studies within an MD/PhD degree program must be indicated in the special circumstances attachment.

Example: If you were completing full-time doctoral studies as of January 1, 2015, with no interruptions during this period, the Secretariat will consider you as having completed 16 months of doctoral studies as of May 1, 2016. If, during this period, you were on leave from your program for four months, the Secretariat will consider you as having completed 12 months of doctoral studies. If, in addition to having taken one semester off, you had been registered part-time for one semester (i.e., four months), the Secretariat will consider you as having completed 10 months of doctoral studies.

If you are planning to apply for this competition, please let me know by August 4thso I can plan how to best facilitate the process. If you want me to read over and give you any suggestions on your application, you need to send the application to me by August 24th.



Dear graduate program faculty and staff,

Please note below some important changes to the Vanier competition this year.

1. Due to where Labour Day falls in 2015, and because of a change in the procedure for nomination letters, the deadline for students will fall earlier than in recent competitions.

·         Deadline for applicants to submit to ResearchNet: 11:59pm on 31 August, 2015 

·         Deadline for graduate programs to submit nominations to G+PS: 4:00 pm on 18 September, 2015

2. In previous years, G+PS has been responsible for producing the final nomination letters to accompany each of the 60+ Vanier applications forwarded to the Tri-Agencies. This letter is given a great deal of consideration by the national adjudication committees as part of the application package, and was composed from the material submitted by graduate programs on the G+PS nomination form. Editing and supplementing this material to produce a letter of the quality suitable for applications to the most prestigious doctoral competition in Canada has represented more than 90 hours of work at G+PS in the two weeks leading up to the national competition deadline (frankly, in part because the content for the letters has not always arrived at G+PS in Vanier shape).

This year, the Tri-Agencies are requiring that this nomination letter be composed/signed by Department Heads for each applicant, in an attempt to improve the quality of nomination letters that have arrived at the national competition in very different shape from different universities. Because we are interested in ensuring that this important application element continues to be of the highest quality for UBC applicants, we will offer several kinds of support to facilitate this transition of responsibility:

·         G+PS will create and post a letter template that includes several headings with question prompts to ensure that your letter addresses the items the Vanier committee is looking for

·         G+PS will post some of the most excellent examples of successful applicants’ letters from each agency

·         G+PS will schedule workshops for letter writers in late August and early September; we strongly encourage at least one representative from your program with letter-writing responsibility to attend one of these workshops

·         G+PS may require revisions to letters following university-level adjudication (late October)

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