Graduate Students

Graduate Students: Applying for Scholarships or Fellowships

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:

Internal funding

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

External funding

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

Internal scholarship opportunities

(Available to enrolled, eligible SMU graduate students)

Application for Conference Travel Funds
~ 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 2023 - 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.
- Enquiries may be sent to the Trust at
- Application Deadline - October 31, 2023

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 - November 7, 2022.
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.

External scholarship opportunities

Mackenzie King Memorial Scholarship Competition for 2023-24

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

Student Research Awards - Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

The Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia is committed to supporting research into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as acknowledging the work of people who have chosen to do research in this field. As a means of honouring this commitment, we are pleased to provide student research awards each year.

As of 2023, the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia is offering:

  • One graduate-level Phyllis Horton Student Research Award valued at $5,000
  • Two undergraduate-level Abe Leventhal Student Research Awards valued at $1,500 each

The deadline for application is Sunday, April 16th, 2023. 

Laura Bassi Scholarship

The Laura Bassi Scholarship was established by Editing Press in 2018 with the aim of providing editorial assistance to postgraduates and junior academics whose research focuses on neglected topics of study, broadly construed, within their disciplines. The scholarships are open to every discipline and are awarded three times per year: December, April, and August. The value of the scholarships are remitted solely through editorial assistance as follows:

Master’s candidates: $750
Doctoral candidates: $2,500
Junior academics: $500

These figures reflect the upper bracket of costs of editorial assistance for master’s theses, doctoral dissertations, and academic journal articles, respectively. All currently enrolled master’s and doctoral candidates are eligible to apply, as are academics in the first five years of full-time employment. There are no institutional, departmental, or national restrictions. 

Deadline: There are several deadlines throughout the year.  Please see the website for more details.

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, 2022 (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, 2022

~ The Department of National Defence (DND) has partnered with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to deliver the Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) scholarship initiative. The MINDS program, which comprises five pillars, is committed to fostering the next generation of security and defence scholars in the Canadian academic community and to encouraging a strong Canadian knowledge base in contemporary defence and security issues.

Interested students must apply via the CGS M application form, and must complete the MINDS supplement module, which includes a personal statement and a statement of thematic relevance. For detailed instructions on how to apply, see the MINDS program description.

Nova Scotia Energy & Mines Innovation Grant
Deadline: June 17, 2022

~ Each year the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables offers up to 4 grants valued at $15,000 to master’s students pursuing an academic research program directly related to the development of Nova Scotia’s oil and gas industry, renewable energy resources, sustainable technologies, energy efficiency or earth sciences. 

Hearth & Stroke Foundation Personnel Awards for Black Scholars Competition
Deadline: May 1, 2023 at 3:00pm (Eastern)
~ The Heart & Stroke Foundation is pleased to announce the inaugural Personnel Awards for Black Scholars research competition.

Amount of Award

  • Up to 5 Masters Students will be eligible for funding of $25,000.00 per year for up to 2 years (maximum $50,000.00 over 2 years)
  • Up to 8 PhD students will be eligible for funding of $30,000.00 per year for up to 3 years (maximum $90,000.00 over 3 years)

Through this award, Heart & Stroke is seeking to increase the representation of best-in-class Black researchers across heart and brain health research fields in Canada. By removing financial burdens, the awards aim to enable outstanding students to focus on their studies, undertake a program of research, and engage with mentors as part of their training and development.

This award will be offered to students accepted to or enrolled in Master’s or Doctoral programs in Canada who identify as Black and who are studying in an area specific to heart or brain health. These multi-year awards will function as salary stipends intended to enable trainees to focus on their studies and advance in their chosen field.

The O'Brien Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: November 1
~ The award of a Fellowship is not based on financial need and is not restricted by age. Awards are made based on academic achievement and/or existing professional standing and character and integrity. The Committee may also give preference to students who intend to return to and remain in the Province of New Brunswick upon completion of their studies. To be eligible, applicants must be current or former residents of the Province of New Brunswick who have graduated from a University. 

Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (NSGS)

Deadline:  Students must submit their application and supporting documents (merged as one document) to FGSR ( by April 10. 

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.

Scotia Scholars Award
~ The Scotia Scholars Award provides financial support to research trainees with exceptional potential who are engaged in health research at participating Nova Scotia institutions.  This award will support the growth, acquisition, and retention of highly skilled individuals who are advancing and translating knowledge in disease detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, strengthening health care delivery systems, caring for vulnerable populations, and promoting better opportunities for future health and wellbeing.  Funding for this award is provided by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.

Research Nova Scotia pursues equity, diversity and inclusion in Nova Scotia’s research enterprise and will integrate these values in designing and implementing its programs and services.

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.

Important Dates
The deadline for applications is Friday, April 22, 2022 at 1:00pm (AST). Applications will not be accepted beyond this date and time.
Reference Letters are due by Friday, April 22, 2022 at 1:00pm (AST).
All applicants will be notified of decisions in June 2022. Funding may begin September 2022.

To learn more, visit:

2022-2023 MSSU Studentship Awards

This funding opportunity is open to trainees engaged in patient-oriented health research and entering or enrolled in a Master’s, Doctoral, or Postdoctoral Fellow program at universities in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

Please note that this revised award program replaces the NBHRF & CIHR-SPOR-MSSU Studentship/Fellowship Awards and the MSSU Student Awards. This program will provide consistency in eligibility requirements, the application review process, and funding levels for trainees in all three Maritime provinces.

Funding Amounts and Duration:

Non-renewable awards will be available in the following amounts:

  • Master’s Level – $10,000 for 1 year
  • Doctorate Level – $15,000/year for 2 years
  • Post Doctoral Level – $20,000/year for 2 years 

Deadline to apply: April 8, 2022 at 2 p.m. AT

Visit the MSSU website for a program overview with more details, including links to the online application forms.

Information sessions:

Two information sessions will be hosted for prospective applicants and/or supervisors about the requirements and process:

To register, email Sharon Skaling at

BRIC NS Student Research Award

The BRIC NS Student Research Award is offered annually to a minimum of two participants.  In addition to receiving this prestigious recognition, BRIC NS will contribute an award of $1500 (non-renewable) to assist the recipient in furthering their research.  Applications are open from March 14 to May 13, 2022.


To be considered for this award, applicants must:

1. Be a member of BRIC NS (membership is free and can be obtained on our website)
2. Be a Master’s Student, Doctoral Student, or Medical Resident attending a Nova Scotia post-secondary institution
3. Be engaged in research in BRIC NS’ priority areas

All details and the application form available here.
All questions about this award can be sent to


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. 

CANADA GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS: Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements Program
Internal Deadline to submit applications to FGSR:  June 1 and October 1
~ up to $6,000 available for a period of research study abroad. The Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements (CGS-MSFSS) support high-calibre Canadian graduate students in building global linkages and international networks through the pursuit of exceptional research experiences at research institutions abroad.

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


IMFG Richard M. Bird Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Application Deadline: June 5, 2023

The $60,000 Richard M. Bird Post-Doctoral Fellowship supports researchers who have recently completed their PhD or will have completed it by September 1, 2023. Fellowship recipients will prepare two original research papers for publication by IMFG and present their research through two seminars. Depending on the recipient’s interests and IMFG’s research agenda, the recipient may also develop and organize IMFG conferences, events or roundtables and engage in various other research projects at the Institute.  

2022-2023 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program

The Government of Canada launched the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program in 2008 to strengthen Canada's ability to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and establish Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. Vanier Scholars demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health.

Internal Deadline - September 30, 2022

2022-2023 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDF) program

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program is designed to support world-class postdoctoral researchers. The fellowship provides $70,000 per year for two years. The program is open to both Canadian and international researchers who have recently completed a PhD, PhD- equivalent, or health professional degree. Applications must be completed in full collaboration with the proposed host institution.

The 2022-23 competition was launched in April 2022 and the application deadline is September 21, 2022 (20:00 EDT). Please note that institutions may have internal deadlines.

Please click here to access the launch memo, and kindly consult our website at for further details on our program, including how to apply.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship Competition (DOCTORAL)
The PETF Scholarship offers a three-year leadership program designed to train Engaged Leaders, equipping doctoral candidates with the skills to translate their ideas into action, for the betterment of their communities, Canada, and the world.
Application deadline is December 2, 2022 at 5:00pm (Eastern)

2023 Betram Scholarships
Application Deadline - May 19, 2023

~ In recognition of the growing importance of good governance to all Canadian institutions, the Canadian Foundation for Governance Research is offering up to three annual Bertram Scholarship of $15,000 to PhD students registered at Canadian universities. The scholarship will support the work of students who are conducting research into governance as part of their doctoral research project.

To be eligible for the scholarship, the doctoral research project should focus on a topic directly related to governance, including for example:

  • The importance of effective boards in enabling good decision-making and improving the functioning of Canadian institutions;
  • Governance issues of interest to Canadian boards of public, private, government-agency and not-for-profit organizations;
  • The role of corporate governance in enabling positive societal impacts;
  • Governance best practices through the Canadian perspective.

CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC Doctoral Scholarships
SMU Internal Deadline: October 17, 2022 (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).

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.

PhD students who have been working towards their degree for at least a year are encouraged to apply for one of the three $15,000.00 scholarships offered across Canada. 

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

IMFG Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Application Deadline - May 1, 2023

~ IMFG offers a $60,000 Richard M. Bird Post-Doctoral Fellowship to support researchers who have recently completed their PhD or will have completed it by September 1, 2023. Fellowship recipients will prepare two original research papers for publication by IMFG and present their research through two seminars. Depending on the recipient’s interests and IMFG’s research agenda, the recipient may also develop and organize IMFG conferences, events or roundtables and engage in various other research projects at the Institute.

The recipient is expected to live in Toronto, Canada while pursuing their research, where they will have the opportunity to participate generally in the larger U of T community during the 2023-2024 academic year. IMFG is situated within U of T’s School of Cities, allowing the recipient to benefit from the broad network associated with the School and its affiliates.