Apply for Grants/Scholarships

Apply for Grants/Scholarships

Applying for scholarships or fellowships is a vital endeavour for all graduate students to fund research or career goals.

To aid in this process, the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research divides such opportunities into these general categories:


  • funding opportunities provided by Saint Mary's University, available only to current SMU graduate students


  • funding opportunities from other institutions or agencies, which can be separated into two broad categories:
    • funding from Canadian institutions
    • funding from global institutions



Conference Travel Fund~ up to $500 awarded by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for graduate students with confirmed conference presentations. Application Deadline - April 1 and October 1.

International Travel Funds for Graduate Student Thesis Field Research~ up to $2,000 awarded by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research to help support graduate students travelling for field research. Application Deadline - March 15.

Robin Rigby Trust 2020 Call for Proposals
Proposals are invited from qualified individuals seeking financial support to undertake collaborative research projects that focus on understanding and implementing conservation and sustainable development in coastal areas.
SPECIAL NOTE: Normally, the Robin Rigby Trust supports travel to overseas locations. However, given travel uncertainties with Covid-19, for this year only, proposals from eligible Canadians and others within Canada can be for projects INSIDE CANADA if working with local communities of Indigenous, black or other disadvantaged people. Proposals for projects outside Canada are still welcome. Note that all other criteria described below still apply, subject to logical adjustments to the wording. Enquiries may be sent to the Trust at  Application Deadline - October 31, 2020

Application for International Graduate Student Bursary
~ an opportunity from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research to help international graduate students offset higher levels of program fees compared to domestic graduate students. Application Deadline - October 17, 2019 at 11:00am.
How to: Personal Statement of Financial Need

Vice-President Academic and Research (VPAR) International Mobility Award~ up to $1800 awarded by SMU’s Vice-President Academic and Research to help support graduate student travel.  Application Deadline - March 15 or November 1.


Annual Competitions for All Students

Mackenzie King Memorial Scholarship Competition for 2021-22
Two classes of Mackenzie King Scholarship are available to graduates of Canadian universities: the Open Scholarship and the Travelling Scholarship. Both are to support graduate study.

The Open Scholarship is available to graduates of Canadian universities who pursue graduate study in any discipline, in Canada or elsewhere.  One Open Scholarship is awarded each year. The value has recently been about $8500 but it is subject to change.

The Travelling Scholarship is available to graduates of Canadian universities who pursue graduate study in the United States or the United Kingdom in the areas of international relations or industrial relations.  Recently four scholarships of $10,500 each have been awarded annually, but the number and the amount are subject to change.

Internal Deadline to apply: February 1, 2021


Annual Competitions for Master's Students 

Canada Graduate Scholarships (Master's) Program:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC); and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

Deadline: National deadline December 1, 2020 (8:00pm ET) - Online application 

~ annual scholarships of $17,500 from CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC support and promote high-quality research in a wide variety of disciplines and areas. Applicants must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, and be enrolled in, have applied for, or will apply for full-time admission in a master's program.

MINDS Master’s Scholarships for Indigenous Students
Deadline: December 1, 2020

Annual Competitions for Master's and PhD Students

Global Affairs' Scholarships for Short-term, Visiting Exchange/Research Students (SICS, ELAP, SEED)

~The Canadian government (Global Affairs Canada) is launching a series of scholarships this winter for Visiting international exchange/research students for the 2021-22 academic year. The main programs and their target countries are the following:

  • Study in Canada Scholarships (SICS) – to be launched in Jan 2021 for 2021-22
    • For students from Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, and Ukraine.
  • Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) -- to be launched soon
    • For students from
      • Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos;
      • Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama;
      • North America: Mexico; or
      • South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela.
  •  Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) – launched, deadline for Canadian institutions to apply is March 4 2021
    • For students from Brunei, Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos (Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR)), Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, or Vietnam

In terms of the eligibility criteria for the above:

  • The exchange program applicants must be from Saint Mary’s partner institutions with which Saint Mary’s has a tuition-waiver agreement.
  • The research applicants may or may not be from a Saint Mary’s partner, but must contact a Saint Mary’s faculty member who will act as their research supervisor and obtain a letter of invitation indicating their support.

Scotia Scholars Award
Deadlines - The deadline for receipt of applications is April 15, 2020.  The deadline for receipt of reference letters is April 30, 2020 at 2:00pm AST.

Research Nova Scotia is proud to announce its 2020/21 Scotia Scholars Award competition is now open for Master's and PhD students.

The Scotia Scholars Award provides financial support to research trainees with exceptional potential who are engaged in health research at participating Nova Scotia institutions.  The award is designed to support the growth, acquisition, and retention of highly skilled individuals who are advancing and translating knowledge in the areas of health innovation, mental health, continuing care, accessible health services, or the well-being of Nova Scotians.  For the 2020-21 academic year, funding for this award is provided by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.

Funding Amount and Duration
PhD: Up to $15,000/year, renewable for 3 years.
Master’s: Up to $10,000/year, renewable for 1 year.

To learn more, visit:

Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada - Post-Graduate Research Scholars Program
Deadline - February 28, 2021
~The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) is committed to fostering the next generation of Asia Pacific researchers and analysts. To this end, it offers up to four one-year Post-Graduate Research Scholarships (PGRS). Successful applicants will have a background in Asia-related research in Asian studies, political science, economics, history, business, international relations, or related humanities or social science program. The selection of candidates will be based on abilities, academic excellence, and fit with the Foundation's research priorities.

The London Goodenough Association of Canada (LGAC)

Deadline - January 22, 2021

~a scholarship provided to Canadian graduate students, who are studying full-time in London and living at Goodenough College, the pre-eminent residential college for international graduate students in London.


Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship
Interested applicants can apply any time.
~ this fellowship provides a long-term funding and internship option for master’s and PhD students. Recipients can also access professional development training that helps them ensure project success and gain in-demand career skills.

Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (NSGS)
Deadlines: April 10 to graduate program coordinator; May 1 to FGSR office.

~ graduate scholarship program created by the Province of Nova Scotia to help advance the economic and social wellbeing of Nova Scotians by investing in graduate thesis research in defined priority sectors. Scholarships are valued at up to $10,000 per year for up to two years at the Master’s level, and up to $15,000 per year for up to four years at the PhD level.

Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements (CGS-MSFSS)
Deadline: February 1, 2021

CANADA GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS: Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements Program
Internal Deadlines: June 1, 2021 and October 1, 2021
~ up to $6,000 available to Canadian citizens or permanent residents who hold a Joseph-Armand Bombardier, an Alexander Graham Bell, or a Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) at the master’s or doctoral level, or a Vanier CGS at the doctoral level.

FULBRIGHT CANADA - Traditional Fulbright Student Awards 
Competition open from May 15 - November 15

Annual Competitions for PhD Students

CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC Doctoral Scholarships
SMU Internal Deadline: October 16, 2020 (8:00pm ET) - Online application

~ The Canada Graduate Scholarships - Doctoral (CGS D) program is a federal program of scholarships awarded through national competitions by the granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
~ Please note - Heather Gray ( is the “University Designate” for uploading official transcripts to NSERC applications.

CIHR - Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Awards
NSERC - Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships
SSHRC - Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Agency-specific doctoral awards

In addition to the CGS D, each agency has its own doctoral awards.  Refer to the appropriate literature for CIHRNSERC and SSHRC for further details.

Meritorious CGS D applicants may also be eligible for agency-specific doctoral awards.  Applicants complete and submit one application to be considered for both a CGS D scholarship and an agency doctoral award. CGS D scholarships are offered to top-ranked eligible applicants.

Intent to apply deadline: October 1; Application deadline: November 1
~ The IODE War Memorial Scholarships support PhD scholars whose research makes important contributions to Canada and the world in medicine, science, business, politics, and academia.  Applicants are judged on academic excellence and potential.  Applicants must be Canadian citizens and in at least their second year of a doctoral programme at a Canadian or Commonwealth university.

The Scholarship has a value of $15,000.  A maximum of three (3) IODE War Memorial Scholarships will be offered for the 2021 - 2022 academic year. 

Application deadline is January 5, 2021

NSERC: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowships
The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) has established the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships for Foreign Researchers. A limited number of promising early-career researchers are given the opportunity to conduct research in Japanese universities and in designated research institutions and laboratories. NSERC is responsible for recommending Canadian nominees for JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships.
Application deadline is February 1, 2021

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