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Funding Your Graduate Studies at Concordia

Financing Opportunities and Best Practices for Grad Students
September 3, 2015
By GradProSkills

GradProSkills’ Funding Your Graduate Studies series kicked off this week with workshops about “Funding Opportunities for Grad Students” and “Fund Writing Strategies.” Spots filled up fast for these two sections, so if you couldn’t attend, here are some useful tips and information that came up during the meetings.

Funding Opportunities for Graduate Students

There are a number of funding opportunities available to graduate students at Concordia, both internal and external. 

Internal awards

The following internal awards are awarded by the appropriate faculty/department. There are two types of internal awards:

  • Entrance awards are offered to students upon admission; students cannot normally apply for these awards, but rather are automatically considered for them. Most of the available in-course awards are for thesis programs. They are sent to students by departments as they are announced. 

The School of Graduate Studies also offers the following awards directly:

  • Funding for conference presentations: Students are eligible for to apply for funding to travel to a conference at which they are presenting. Funding is pre-approved (meaning students should apply before travelling to the conference). The amount allocated usually varies between $250 to $1,000. 
  • Full-time doctoral students can apply for a Concordia Accelerator Award, valued at $5,000, between their 9th and 14th term. The award was created as an incentive for students to graduate faster. 
  • Concordia Standout Graduate Research Awards are intended to recognize exceptional research projects published in the seven months prior to the award deadline (Feb. 1 and Sept. 1 of every year). They're valued at $1,000 each. Click here for the application form.
  • The Concordia International office facilitates funding for the following two sources of funding:
    • The Ministère de l'Éducation, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche (MEESR) bursary, valued at between $750 and $1,000, is offered to permanent Quebec residents who are studying full-time at Concordia. It is intended for students who will study outside of Quebec; as such, the student must have a host organization or institution. The bursary supports internships, student exchanges, and independent study abroad programs. There is no deadline for the bursary. For more information about the MEESR bursary, click here.
    • The Graduate Student Mobility Awards are available to all graduate students, regardless of citizenship. The awards are also intended to support graduate students in research and study abroad, field work, or independent projects. For more information, click here
External awards

Major awards are given out both at the provincial and the federal level. Students are advised to submit their applications well in advance of the deadlines listed below. We've included a suggested timeline for preparing grant applications below.

If you're not sure which award to apply for, consult this funding source chart. The chart also provides a list of more funding opportunities than listed here.

Provincial awards

The provincial awards provided by the FRQSC, FRQNT, FRSQ, and IRSST are offered at both the MA and the doctoral levels. Applicants must be Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Quebec.

The Fonds de recherche Société et culture Québec (FRQSC) is intended for the social sciences and the humanities. 

  • Successful MA applicants are offered $15,000 a year for a maximum of 6 sessions. 
  • The value of the award at the doctoral level is $20,000 a year for up to three years. 
  • Apply directly through the agency website.

The Fonds de recherche Sante Québec (FRSQ) is open to applicants in the field of health science.

  • Successful MA applicants are offered $15,000 a year for two years.
  • At the doctoral level, the award is valued at $20,000/year for three years.
  • Apply directly through the agency website.

The Fonds de recherche Nature et technologies (FRQNT) is open to applicants in the fields of science and technology.

  • Successful MA applicants are offered $15,000 a year for two years.
  • At the doctoral level, the award is valued at $20,000 a year for three years.
  • Apply directly through the agency website.
Federal awards

The federal awards provided by the SSHRC for the humanities and social sciences, NSERC for science and tech, and CIHR for health sciences are offered at both the MA and the doctoral levels. These awards are open to Canadian citizens.

  • At the Master's level, awards for the SSHRC, the NSERC and the CIHR are valued at $17,500 for 12 months, on a non-renewable basis.
  • The SSHRC Doctoral is valued at $20,000/year (for up to 48 months) or, for the SSHRC CGS Doctoral, at $35,000/year (for 36 months).
  • At the doctoral level, the NSERC award is valued at $21,000/year (up to 3 years) for the PGS Doctoral and $35,000/year (up to 3 years) for the CGS Doctoral.  
  • At the doctoral level, the CIHR award is valued at $35,000/year for three years. 
  • For information on how to apply for awards at the doctoral level, consult the funding source chart.
Doctoral awards

Doctoral candidates are also eligible for the following awards: 

  • The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships are valued at $50,000/year for 3 years. Candidates must submit their application online via ResearchNet. For information on how to apply, click here. The Vanier Scholarship is open to Canadian and international students.
  • The Trudeau Foundation Scholarships are valued at $60,000/year (for up to 3 years). Applicants must submit their Pre-Selection Documents to the Graduate Awards Office, GM 930-01. If and once nominated by the internal selection committee and notified by the Graduate Awards Office, candidates must submit a hard copy of the online application and all supporting documents to the Graduate Awards Office. For more information on how to apply, click here. The Trudeau Scholarship is open to Canadian and international students.

Fund Writing Strategies

If you're intimidated by the prospect of tackling an application for an award, consider following the timeline set out in our GPSC465 - Fund Writing Strategies for Graduate Students workshop.

STEP ONE: Start now!

This timeline is intended for completing applications in 8 to 12 weeks. Adjust as necessary according to the deadline of the award(s) you are applying for.

  • Narrow down which agencies you will apply to. If you're not sure which award(s) are applicable to your field of studies, consult the funding source chart.
  • Begin or continue your draft of proposal/statement of purpose.
  • Consider who you will reach out to for academic references.
  • Review/update/edit your CV and formulate short narrative paragraph outlining your educational and professional highlights, to draw the attention of references.
  • Put in your order for transcripts (if for Concordia transcripts, fill out and submit this form to the Graduate Awards Office.)
  • Register online for your applications.
  • Contact your referees (the people who will be giving you references) to set up meetings to review your proposal/statement of purpose, for input.
  • Invite your referees to register online
  • Circulate proposal draft to peers for input
  • Read over your final proposal
  • Incorporate feedback
  • Confirm the submission deadline with your referees
  • Review the funding body website for any information you may have missed
  • Complete and submit application!

Resources for Students

  • Consult the School of Graduate Studies and Concordia International for more information about funding opportunities. 
  • Concordia International also offers weekly information sessions for students interested in studying abroad.
  • You can find a list of competition deadlines here.
  • Click here for a funding source chart which breaks down major awards by field of research, citizenship and degree. 
  • GradProSkills' Funding Your Graduate Students workshop series can help you finesse your applications. Check our page for upcoming sessions.


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