Awards & Scholarships

Applying for Funding

We encourage students to start planning their award applications as early as the Summer months.  As is expected in interdisciplinary studies, the content and format of the proposals vary tremendously.

Here are some documents to help get you started:

Information on proposal writing

Resources for Award Applicants

Soliciting Great Scholarship Reference Letters

Tips for Successful Funding Applications

Also check out the Resources for Award Applicants on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) web site.

The sample proposals below are from successful applications, and can give you some ideas about how to present your research, background, and methodology in your upcoming proposals.

*Please note that information on the specific awards may change and the latest updates can be found on the funding agencies web sites.

Adjudication Process

Almost all awards or scholarships applications are submitted to the ISGP Office for internal program-level adjudication. Applications successful at the program-level competition are then forwarded to the university-level (UBC) adjudication, before reaching the final stage of competition at the funding agency-level adjudication.

The ISGP strives to notify applicants on the results at every stage of the competition.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Deadline: 11:59pm, Thursday September 6, 2018 on ResearchNet (online)

For eligibility, please read the “Months of Doctoral Studies” carefully here.

To apply, applicants must do the following:

  1. Notify the ISGP ( that you intend to apply for the Vanier Scholarship.
  1. Check with the ISGP to ensure we have all your official transcripts for all post-secondary studies up to August 31, 2018:
    • Confirm ISGP has all your non-UBC transcripts on file (If ordering additional non-UBC transcripts, they must be submitted to the ISGP, not the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies)
    • Your UBC transcripts will be downloaded by the ISGP to be appended to your application. Your UBC record must show 2017 Winter registration. No need to order UBC official transcripts.
  1. Request letters of support from four referees:
    • two letters from referees assessing the applicant's academic excellence, research potential and demonstrated and potential leadership ability are submitted electronically through ResearchNet by the referee
    • two Leadership Reference Letters (in PDF) are provided to the applicant, who uploads the letters to his or her electronic application file
    • applicants should provide potential referees with the Vanier selection criteria guidelines
  1. Submit a completed Vanier application via ResearchNet by 11:59pm (PST - Vancouver time) on Thursday, September 6, 2018.


  • Additional leadership reference letter - The application package now requires two letters of reference for the leadership criterion. The additional letter will allow the candidate to include a broader spectrum of referees, which will in turn provide the committee more information when assessing the leadership criterion. The leadership letters are to be uploaded by the students in the same fashion as in the past via ResearchNet. However, they will have to, upload one letter at a time under the same task. The letters are a maximum of two pages each. See instructions provided to applicants here.
  • Personal leadership statement (maximum 2 pages) - for applicants to include information about interruptions to their academic career, choice of nominating institution, and mobility. The goal of this change is to eliminate systemic barriers to applying for the Vanier CGS, encourage the committee to understand career interruptions as potentially beneficial to a nominee’s career path, and better align the Vanier CGS with other prestigious international scholarships. See instructions provided to applicants here.
  • Special circumstances (maximum 1 page) - only to be used to outline the calculation of the number of months completed for combined undergraduate and doctoral program. See instructions provided to applicants here.

Complete application instructions can be found here.

Vanier web site

Vanier information on Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) web site

Vanier Selection Criteria

Sample Proposal 1 - Vanier
Sample Proposal 2 - Vanier
Sample Proposal 3 - Vanier

Application_nomination instructions - Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (*Document accurate as of downloaded date. Information may be updated without notice. Check Vanier web site for most current version)

(SAMPLE) Vanier Application (2016)

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

UBC (ORS) Deadline: Wednesday September 26, 2018 @ 8:30am

IMPORTANT NOTE: UBC Office of Research Services (ORS) requires CIHR Routing Slip (pg.1), Signature Page with Supervisor signature (pg.2), and Institutional page - no signature in ink required (pg.3) on September 26 8:30am deadline.

CIHR (ResearchNet) Deadline: Monday October 1, 2018 @ 8:30am PST on ResearchNet (online) 

CIHR Application on ResearchNet

CIHR Application Instructions

CIHR information on Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) web site

ORS Instructions (under “CIHR Doctoral Research Award and Fellowship Award (Institutional e-Approval)”)

Sample Proposal 1 - CIHR
Sample Proposal 2 - CIHR

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

ISGP Internal Deadline: Friday September 28, 2018 @3:30pm (to ISGP Office)

NSERC web site

NSERC information on Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) web site

NSERC Doctoral Scholarships Application (Form 201) Instruction

NSERC Postgraduate (Doctoral) Scholarships Application (Form 201) - SAMPLE

UBC Affiliated Fellowships (Doctoral)

ISGP Internal Deadline: Friday September 28, 2018 @3:30pm (to ISGP Office)

- Both Domestic and International students are eligible
- If you are applying for SSHRC / NSERC, you are automatically considered for the Affiliated Fellowships (no separate application needed), but you must indicate (to ISGP) for which awards you would like to be considered on the list of Criteria-based UBC Affiliated Fellowships.
- If you are applying for CIHR, you must submit separate Affiliated Fellowship application if you want to be considered.

UBC Affiliated Fellowships information on Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) web site

Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship

***Application deadline: MONDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2017 @ 11:59 pm PST on Trudeau Foundation online portal***

Value: $40,000 stipend plus $20,000 travel allowance per year, for up to 4 years

Up to 15 Trudeau Scholarships are awarded each year to support doctoral students pursuing research related to one of its four founding themes: Human Rights and Dignity, Responsible Citizenship, Canada in the World, and People and their Natural Environment. Trudeau Scholars are highly gifted individuals who are actively engaged in their fields and expected to become leading national and international figures.


  • Candidates must be applying into the first year of a PhD at UBC, or be registered in the first or second year of a PhD at UBC.
  • Although priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, up to one scholar in four per given year may be a foreign national registered full-time in a doctoral program at a Canadian institution. This applies in particular to students from emerging nations.

Applications are submitted via the Trudeau Foundation application portal:

  • Create an account online at:
    • For University Name, enter "The University of British Columbia"
    • For Faculty or Department, enter "Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program"
  • Registrants will receive a username and password in 2-3 business days (check the spam folder)
  • Once access is granted, complete the application form, request three letters of recommendation, and upload transcripts
  • Verify with ISGP office that all your non-UBC academic transcripts are in file.
  • Order official UBC transcripts and send/bring to ISGP.
  • ISGP will email you a scan of all your transcripts in one PDF file.
  • Letters of Recommendation must be signed and either on letterhead or have referees’ names and contacts within letter.

Detailed application procedures are available here.

Trudeau web site

Trudeau Selection Criteria

Trudeau information on Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) web site

Tri-Agencies CGS-M / UBC Affiliated Fellowships (Master's)

Deadline: Friday December 1, 2017 @ 5:00 pm PST

CGSM Online Application on Research Portal - Step-by-Step Guide

- email the ISGP office to request a scan of all your academic transcripts: you do not need to order official UBC transcripts.

- Confirm with your referees their willingness to submit a reference for you online. Let them know the timeline and when they would receive the email invitation

- Check out the detailed step-by-step application guide above

- Before you begin your online application, work on the following:

1) Outline of Proposed Research (1 pg. max) + bibliography/citation (1 pg. max)

2) Have the transcript scan ready

3) Create/update your Canadian Common CV (CCV) and have the confirmation # ready

Tri-Agencies CGS-M

- Detailed Information

- Application Instructions

- Research Portal (online application)

- With your CGS-M application, you will be automatically considered for the UBC Affiliated Fellowships. There is no need to submit a separate application. You must email the ISGP a list of Criteria-based Fellowships for which you would like to be considered

UBC Affiliated Fellowships (Master’s)

- Detailed Information

- Application form & Instructions

- Reference form

- If you are ineligible to apply to the Tri-Agencies CGS-M, you may still apply to the UBC Affiliated Fellowships (Master’s)

- Application deadline is also FRIDAY, December 1, 2017 at 5:00pm PST to the ISGP office via email

- Only electronic submission (by email) will be accepted

- Referees must use designated reference forms. No free-form letters will be accepted

- 2 references must be signed (e-signature OK) and emailed to the ISGP office directly from referees by the deadline

UBC Spring Graduate Awards Competition

Full details here.


ISGP Internal Deadline: Monday, May 7, 2018 at 4:00pm


Students must be registered, full-time graduate students during the period of the award.

Additional eligibility criteria differ between awards, and students might be eligible for multiple awards. List of awards is available in the Application Form - PART 2. In the Application Form - PART 2, students must clearly address their eligibility as specifically to the award description as possible. To be eligible to receive funding, applicants must meet all the criteria for each award they apply for.

Please read the description for each award carefully, and indicate in detail why you are eligible for each award for which you are applying.

In addition to eligibility requirements specified by each available award, the following criteria apply:

Master's students
  • Applicants must have completed, as of December 31, 2017 between zero and 12 months of full-time Master’s studies (or full-time equivalent). Successful applicants for Master's-level funding will not receive funding past the end of their 24th month in Master's program.
  • Applicants for the Rick Hansen "Man in Motion" Fellowship can be in any month of Master's study.
Doctoral students Applicants must have completed, as of December 31, 2017:

  • between zero and 36 months of full-time doctoral studies (or full-time equivalent). In cases where a student has transferred directly from a Master’s program into a doctoral program without receiving a Master’s degree, eligibility for doctoral funding will be counted from the effective date of transfer to the doctoral program. Successful applicants will not receive funding past the end of their 48th month in doctoral program.
  • between zero and 48 months of full-time studies (or full-time equivalent) in cases where students proceeded directly from a Bachelor’s or equivalent program to their doctoral program. Successful applicants will not receive funding past the end of their 60th month in doctoral program.

Applicants for the Rick Hansen "Man in Motion" Fellowship can be in any month of Doctoral study.

Please note that all previous studies at the graduate level, regardless of institution and discipline, will be included in determining eligibility.


While award recipients will be selected based on academic merits, priority will be given to eligible candidates who do not already hold significant scholarship funding (e.g., external, 4YF, Affiliated Fellowship, etc.)


Applicants must submit (via email) the following materials to the ISGP:

  1. completed application form - PART 1
  2. completed application form - PART 2
  3. Canadian CCV – CGS-Master’s version
  1. (ISGP will provide) academic records for all university-level studies (including studies undertaken but not completed) up to December 31, 2017. For institutions other than UBC, only official transcripts will be accepted. These may be original or certified true copies provided by the applicant's graduate program. For UBC, the applicant's "Academic History" printed from the SISC by the applicant's graduate program will be accepted. Please note that students must request certified true copies of transcripts from their graduate program, not from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
  2. one letter of recommendation/form. Only recommendation forms signed by the person providing the reference are acceptable; original, faxed, and scanned copies sent by e-mail directly to the applicant’s graduate program are acceptable. In some cases, a reference letter submitted for a previous scholarship competition may be used; see the application instructions for details. NOTE: Referees must use reference form rather than submitting free-form letter on letterhead.