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:


  • 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 2021 - 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, 2021

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 3, 2021.
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.


Mackenzie King Memorial Scholarship Competition for 2022-23

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, 2022

Laura Bassi Scholarship

The Laura Bassi Scholarship, which awards a total of $8,000 thrice per annum, 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. The scholarships are open to every discipline and the next round of funding will be awarded in December 2020:

     Winter 2020
     Application deadline: 25 November 2020
     Results: 20 December 2020

All currently enrolled master’s and doctoral candidates are eligible to apply, as are academics in the first five years of their employment. Applicants are required to submit a completed application form along with their CV through the application portal by the relevant deadline. Further details, previous winners, and the application portal can be found at:

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, 2021 (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, 2021

~ 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. 

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 Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (AST). Applications will not be accepted beyond this date and time.
Reference Letters are due by Monday, April 12, 2021 at 11:59 pm (AST).
All applicants will be notified of decisions in May 2021. Funding may begin September 2021.

To learn more, visit:

BRIC NS Student Research Award

BRIC NS is Nova Scotia’s Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations Network, funded through CIHR’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research. 

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 15 to May 14, 2021.


Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada - Post-Graduate Research Scholars Program
Deadline - February 23, 2020
~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 for the 2020-21 academic year will be posted on the website in the Fall of 2019.

~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.


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 Program
Internal Deadline to submit applications to FGSR:  September 24, 2021 and May 27, 2022
~ 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


2021-2022 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, 2021

2021-2022 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 2021-22 competition was launched in April 2021 and the application deadline is September 22, 2021 (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 21, 2021 at 5:00pm (Eastern)

2021 Betram Scholarships

Application Deadline - May 27, 2021

~ 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 15, 2021 (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.  

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

Share: Page Feedback