External Awards

All students are strongly encouraged to apply for any external awards for which they are eligible. Students with external scholarships such as CIHR, NSERC, etc., may have the opportunity to enhance their funding packages with a top-up from their own department, in recognition of their achievement.

International students are encouraged to investigate the possibility that there are awards specifically offered to students wishing to study in Canada (see below).

Some of the major awards available are listed below. A more complete list is in the School of Graduate Studies website of the University of Toronto.  In addition to these scholarships there are special funds to facilitate graduate student research and travel.

Check the School of Graduate Studies for further information regarding external awards

Students may only apply to one of the Federal Tri-Councils (NSERC, SSHRC, or CIHR) in a given academic year.  Applications for federal awards are made through the graduate departments, and each department sets its own deadline. Deadlines and announcements are early in the fall trimester.  ​Students applying to SSHRC or NSERC only need to complete one application for a doctoral award. Top applicants for the doctoral award are offered the CGSD award.  Students may hold a maximum of four years of funding from the federal councils (includes, NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR) at the post-graduate level.

i) Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Doctoral Research Awards are intended to provide special recognition and support to students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in a health related field in Canada. These candidates are expected to have an exceptionally high potential for future research achievement and productivity.  The CIHR Doctoral Research Awards consist of two programs administered through a single application:

 •The Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Awards (CGS-D) program provides special recognition and support to students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in a health-related field in Canada.

•The Doctoral Foreign Study Award (DFSA) provides special recognition and support to students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in a health-related field abroad.

The Doctoral Research Awards is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.  Only those students engaged in full-time research training in a Canadian graduate school are eligible for support. At the time of application, candidates must have completed at least 12 months of graduate study at the Masters or PhD level. Check CIHR website for further eligibility requirements.  Awards will take effect only after the recipient has registered in a full-time PhD program. Awardees will receive an annual stipend of $30,000.  The maximum period of support is three years. The award is not renewable.  A yearly research allowance of $5,000 is provided.  Program guidelines and applications available at CIHR

Persons with a health professional degree who seek support for doctoral research training are eligible to apply and should consult the CIHR guidelines for additional conditions.  Students pursuing a combined MD/PhD program are eligible to apply, but are encouraged to review the guidelines of the MD/PhD Program Grants for MD/PhD students.

CIHR MD/PhD Program Grants support students who are registered in a combined MD/PhD program.  The proposed student(s) must be selected and endorsed by the Director of the MD/PhD program at each institution. Upon being informed of the availability of awards, the Director of the MD/PhD program of the eligible institution must provide supporting documentation to CIHR outlining the reasons for the recommendation.  Awardees will receive an annual stipend of up to $21,000 per year.  The maximum period of support for each recipient is six years. The award is not renewable.  Student Funding/Financial Support for further information.

Vanier CGS - The Vanier CGS program aims to attract and retain world-class doctoral students by supporting students who demonstrate both leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health.  Awardees will receive an annual stipend of $50,000 per year for a maximum of three years​.  Students wishing to apply for a Vanier CGS must do so through the Canadian university to which they are applying for doctoral studies.  Learn more about how to be nominated by the University of Toronto at: Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship or visit the Vanier CGS website at Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's (CGS M) Program - The objective of the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's (CGS M) Program is to help develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies.  The Tri-council allocates CGS M awards to universities specifying the number of awards that each may offer to their students annually. CGS M awards can only be offered to students pursuing graduate studies at eligible Canadian universities, and the award must be held at the university that has made the offer.  Awardees will receive an annual stipend of $17,500 for one year.  Please visit the CGS M website for full details and eligibility criteria. U of T students and prospective students can find more details here: Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Program

CIHR CGS Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements (CGS-MSFSS) – This program supports high calibre Canadian graduate students in building global linkages and international networks through the pursuit of exceptional research experiences at research institutions abroad for masters and doctoral students holding a CIHR CGS award at the Master’s, Doctoral or Vanier level.

ii)  Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

NSERC is an agency of the Government of Canada that offers postgraduate awards of various types to assist students pursuing graduate degrees. Most, but not all, of the awards are restricted to Canadian citizens or landed immigrants. You can contact their web site for further information.

Post-Graduate Scholarships Doctoral (PGSD) - NSERC offers Post-Graduate Scholarships (PGS) at the Doctoral level to outstanding students pursuing a degree in natural sciences or engineering. These awards are valued at $21,000 for 24 or 36 months (depending on eligibility). The NSERC PGSD is open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Please visit NSERC's PGSD website for full details.

Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral (CGSD) - NSERC offers Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) that provides financial support to outstanding graduate students pursuing a doctoral degree in natural sciences or engineering. Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral awards are valued at $35,000 for 24 or 36 months (depending on eligibility). The NSERC CGSD is open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Please visit NSERC's CGSD website for full details.

Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's (CGS M) Program - The objective of the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's (CGS M) Program is to help develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies. The Tri-council allocates CGS M awards to universities specifying the number of awards that each may offer to their students annually. CGS M awards can only be offered to students pursing graduate studies at eligible Canadian universities, and the award must be held at the university that has made the offer. Please visit the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Program for full details and eligibility criteria.

Industrial Postgraduate S​cholarships - Master's (IPS-1), Doctoral (IPS-2):

The NSERC IPS program allows masters and doctoral students to gain research experience in industry while undertaking advanced studies in Canada in an NSERC eligible field. There is no deadline for these awards - students may apply at any time throughout the academic year. Please visit NSERC's IPS website for full details.​

The Master's (IPS-1) has a maximum duration of 24 months and a minimum value of $21,000 per year ($15,000 is provided by NSERC and $6,000 is provided by the sponsoring company).

The Doctoral (IPS-2) has a duration of 24 or 36 months (depending on eligibility) and a minimum value of $21,000 per year ($15,000 is provided by NSERC and $6,000 is provided by the sponsoring company).       

iii)  Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada - Doctoral Fellowships

The SSHRC offers fellowships at the doctoral level to students in the Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines.  Awards are restricted to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Application deadline is set by graduate units in early October.

iv)  The Canadian Bureau for International Education - cbie.ca and destineducation.ca

CBIE has compiled a very useful list of awards to Canadian students to study abroad and international students to study in Canada.

v)  Pivot (University of Toronto)

A comprehensive source of external funding information available on the Web with easy to use search engine.

Students are required to report to their department all income from external scholarships.

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