Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research

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.

International Graduate Student Bursary (application coming soon)
~ 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 - October 1.

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.


Annual Competitions for All Students

Robin Rigby Trust - Call for Proposals
Proposals are invited from qualified individuals (undergraduate or graduate students, or recent graduates) seeking financial support to undertake collaborative research projects that focus on understanding and implementing conservation and sustainable development in coastal areas.  (see Call for Proposals for definition of qualified individuals; applicants do not need to be Saint Mary’s University students or employees) Deadline to apply: Oct. 31, 2019

Annual Competitions for Master's Students 

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 - 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.

Annual Competitions for Master's and PhD Students

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 Deadlines: May 27 and September 26
~ up to $6,000 available to Canadian citizens or permanent residents who hold a Joseph-Armand Bombardier, an Alexander Graham Bell, or a Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) at the master’s or doctoral level, or a Vanier CGS at the doctoral level.

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

Annual Competitions for PhD Students

Canada Graduate Scholarships (Doctoral) Program
SMU Internal Deadline: October 17 - 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).

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
~ three scholarships of $15,000 will be awarded for research projects in Canada or within the Commonwealth for academic year 2020-21. Applicants must be a Canadian citizen with a first degree from a Canadian university, who are in at least the second year of a doctoral program. 

The SMU internal deadline for receipt of on-line applications is February 3, 2020