External Awards

If eligible, graduate students in Chemistry must apply to all scholarships, awards, bursaries and fellowships. The most important of these are the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Postgraduate Scholarship and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS).

View the OGS & NSERC Information Presentation.

Please note that all scholarships, awards, fellowships and selected bursaries are considered part of a student's funding package. Review the Graduate Funding Structures at the School of Graduate Studies (SGS).

Students submit applications to the Chemistry Graduate Office annually by a prescribed deadline for adjudication. In the case of OGS, all eligible applications are ranked and forwarded to the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development for final competition. In the case of NSERC, the top ranked applications are forwarded first to the School of Graduate Studies for University-wide competition. The best applications are then forwarded to NSERC in Ottawa for the final competition. Results are released by NSERC and OGS in the spring.

The general selection criteria in order of significance are as follows:

  1. Research ability/potential
    • Contribution to research (number of refereed publications, type of authorship, paper reviews, patents, citations)
    • Research proposal - originality, significance, critical thinking, initiative, application of knowledge, judgement, enthusiasm for research
  2. Academic Excellence
    • Academic record
    • Previously held competitive scholarships
  3. Leadership Abilities

Graduate students can receive a lifetime maximum of six years of government-funded student awards. Awards received under the following programs are counted toward this lifetime maximum:

  • the Ontario government, through the Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program
  • the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEII-GSST)
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS)

Since total scholarship support is limited to a maximum of six years full-time equivalence, scholars are encouraged to complete their studies in an expeditious manner.


The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) offers Post-Graduate Scholarships (PGS) at the master's and doctoral levels to outstanding students pursuing a degree in natural sciences or engineering. These awards are valued at $17,300 at the MSc level for 12 months and $21,000 at the PhD level for up to 3 years. The competition is open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

The Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) are offered to highly exceptional PGS applicants. There is no separate application form for the CGS program. The highest-ranked PGS applicants will automatically be considered by NSERC for a CGS. They are valued at $17,500 at the MSc level for 12 months and $35,000 at the PhD level for up to 3 years.

The Julie Payette - NSERC Research Scholarships are offered to 24 of the top-ranked CGS/PGS M candidates. Winners display first-class academic standing, demonstrate outstanding research ability and potential, excellent leadership skills, and a broad range of outside interests. These are valued at $25,000 for 12 months.

The NSERC André Hamer Postgraduate Prizes are offered to 2 outstanding CGS recipients, one at the master's and one at the doctoral level. These prizes are presented to these 2 awardees, in addition to their existing CGS, and recipients are selected from the pool of the top CGS applicants who intend to conduct their research at a Canadian university.

Learn more about eligibility for NSERC scholarships.

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program helps Canadian institutions attract top-tier doctoral students. This prestigious program awards 500 international and Canadian doctoral students with three-year scholarships. Students nominated by their department demonstrate a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in natural sciences and engineering, and health; as well as leadership skills. Both Canadian and international students are eligible to be nominated for a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. A Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship is valued at $50,000 per year, for up to three years.

The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) offers scholarships in graduate studies at the master's and doctoral levels. The value of the OGS is $15,000 for both the MSc and PhD levels for 12 months. The province of Ontario contributes two-thirds of this amount and the university provides one-third. The competition is open to Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and international students