By | January 25, 2024
How to Apply for PhD Scholarship in Canada

PhD can involve great costs since it takes on average three to four years to complete; if you are an international student, from a country with less global spending power, living and travel costs, will add up too.

Fortunately, Canada has several scholarships that can help alleviate these, offered by provinces and universities alike – both provincial and university-specific ones. We round up a list of six Canadian PhD scholarships to help you start your application for the 2022 academic year.

Ontario Trillium Scholarship – Western University

The Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS) aims to attract outstanding candidates to come to Ontario for their PhD studies. Particularly, if you want to apply to Western University, you should express your interest to the graduate programme chair (Director or Associate Dean) of your admitting programme in order to be nominated for the OTS.

To be eligible for applying, you should be an international student, be willing to be physically present at the university at the time of studies, is not registered with any other Canadian institution, have an excellent academic record and research experience, and need to have achieved a minimum of 80% in two of your most recent years of full-time study. You may be required to demonstrate English language proficiency as well.

Successful applicants starting their PhD programme will get 40,000 Canadian dollars each year, which can be renewed for up to four years.

University of Alberta

Next on the list of Canadian PhD scholarships is the University of Alberta Graduate Entrance scholarship. Located in Alberta, the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at University of Alberta disburses around CA$26 million in scholarships every year. 

If you plan to register for doctoral studies at the University of Alberta, you are eligible for this one-off Graduate Entrance scholarship worth CA$21,000. This may commence either on Jan. 1 or Sep. 1, and cannot be renewed at all.

You are allowed to hold any number of University of Alberta awards concurrently with this scholarship but not the Tri-Council Top-up awards at the same time. Examples include the Walter H Johns Graduate Fellowship and President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction and the Graduate Entrance 14 Scholarship tuition fee top up at the same time.

University of Montreal

The third Canadian PhD scholarship offering is administered by the University of Montreal in Quebec. Ranked 88th in the world (Times Higher Education ranking 2022) and fourth in Canada for volume of research activities, this university attracts over 45,000 students out of which 8,500 are international.

In addition to the Doctoral Scholarship (CA$7,000 – renewable once, for students who have done their master’s degree at this university), you can apply for the Mackenzie King Scholarship (CA$8,500 for one year – application deadline is Feb. 1, 2022). You can submit an application for the University of Montreal exemption grant (ranging from CA$2,078.10 to CA$12,465.60 depending on your academic record, no separate application needed) as well.

For more information on other scholarships, you may check out the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies page.

University of British Columbia

One of the top 20 public universities in the world, the University of British Columbia is ranking 37th by the Times Higher Education rankings 2022, and one of three Canadian universities to make it to the top 50. Over 56,000 students study at the University’s two campuses in the Okanagan Valley and Vancouver.

For students wanting to do a PhD at this University, the Four Year Doctoral Fellowship (4YF) is an outstanding choice. You will receive CA$18,200 as your annual stipend, and full tuition coverage for up to four years of your PhD studies.

You can apply to your preferred Graduate Programme; all PhD applicants are qualified to apply for this Scholarship. Upon selecting the best applicants, the Graduate Programme will inform Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies about their choices.

University of Lethbridge

Located in Southern Alberta, the University of Lethbridge is one of Canada’s top three research universities, a record they have held for the past four consecutive years. The University is ranked among the 6% of world universities for research performance as well.

That is why the University of Lethbridge Graduate Research Award has been designed for incoming graduate applicants of all disciplines except Education. With a value up to CA$21,000, you can combine this Award with the Graduate Assistantship and/or any Research Stipend provided by a Faculty Member, but not with other scholarships such as the Dean’s Scholarship.

University of Windsor

The University of Windsor is the final university on this list of Canadian PhD scholarships. As a comprehensive university located in Canada’s southernmost city overlooking the Detroit River, the University of Windsor offers their 16,000 students a wide variety of courses.

PhD applicants can apply for the Graduate Entrance Scholarship worth CA$7,500 for up to four years. This Scholarship has three application deadlines: the first day of January, May and September – you must have achieved a minimum of 80% average as well.

Other awards for international PhD applicants include the Ontario Graduate Scholarship. Depending on how many months you have completed your PhD studies at the time of application, you may receive up to CA$15,000 (three terms of CA$5,000 each) of funding – the application deadline is Jan. 12, 2022.

How to Apply

1. Need Some Research First

Find out a suitable university that offers a fully funded scheme to students. That could be more than one institution. It is better to apply to multiple universities. Then there is a higher possibility of getting a scholarship. Many are entitled to multiple scholarships too. So, always be on the safe side.

2. Collect CV/ Essay

Applying for any scholarship, candidates must submit a CV, essay, reference letter etc. That should explain your overall situation. Why are you applying for the scholarship? Who referred it to you? Before writing, be advised with seniors or see some samples. That will help to understand how to write it down.

Then you need a reference letter from your teachers. On the other hand, academic results are all needed to be submitted. Every institution has a different GPA requirement. Make sure your GPA meets them. Besides, if you are an international student, you must have a good score in IELTS/TOEFL.

3. Provide Additional Documents

Everyone knows that scholarships have various kinds and rules. For need-based programs, one must submit a financial statement too. Why do you need the scholarship? If it is satisfactory, there are chances of getting the scheme.

For merit-based scholarships, candidates must be active in voluntary work. So, they must submit additional papers regarding their extracurricular activities. This is very important for applying for a scholarship besides education.

4. Submit All On Time

After arranging all necessary documents, email them all to chosen universities. Before sending them, check the deadline. One should not apply or email them after the particular application time. So, start processing in advance. Even it requires time to apply for a scholarship scheme.

5. Wait For Feedback

After sending them all papers and application forms, wait for their response. It may take a few weeks to a month for their feedback. They can call for an interview for a final decision.

After a good meeting, one can be rejected. But being invited for a face to face meeting means you are selected for 50%. So, take the interview seriously and try to impress them.

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