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Ontario Graduate Scholarship

In 2012 the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities (MTCU) changed the administrative process for adjudicating and awarding an OGS. 

Please note that this information pertains to Waterloo’s OGS application process.  Each university will have its own.

2014-2015 OGS Competition Overview

The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program encourages excellence in graduate studies at the master’s and doctoral levels. It is a merit-based scholarship and is available to students in all disciplines of academic study. Students must refer to the information below for complete details regarding the application process and eligibility criteria.

An Ontario Graduate Scholarship can be awarded for a minimum of two terms and a maximum of six terms; it is anticipated that the majority of scholarships will be awarded for three terms. One-term awards are not granted.  The duration of the scholarship is up to the Graduate Operations Committee and is dependent upon where the applicant is in their program at the time of adjudication and is also subject to provincial guidelines. 

Students must apply for the OGS at the institution where they want to hold it. The OGS is not transferrable; it must be held at the institution that awarded it. 

The value of an OGS for one year is $5,000 per term. Therefore, students may receive $10,000 (split over 2 terms) or $15,000 (split over 3 terms).

Students who are successful in the OGS competition will also receive the President's Graduate Scholarship valued at up to $10,000/year (paid across 3 terms); the award value will be pro-rated based on the number of terms for which the OGS is awarded and will be paid in a manner in which your department chooses.

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Fall 2013 application process for the 2014-2015 academic year

OGS Applicant Cohorts
Cohort #1 - OGS Separate Applicants - *registration status as of Fall 2013
  • Current domestic UW grad students who are continuing in the same program and are ineligible for tri-council scholarships (due to averages,  time in program, or because program is MAcc/MTax/MBET)
  • Current domestic UW grad students who applied for CIHR Doctoral Scholarship in Fall 2013
  • UW AFM undergrad  students applying for the MAcc program in Winter 2015.
  • Current international UW graduate students continuing in their program or applying for admission to a graduate program
  • Current international UW undergraduate students applying for admission to a graduate program
  • Current international students applying for Vanier in Fall 2013

*the University is provided with a very limited number of awards to be allocated to international students

Application Process
 
Cohort #2 - Tri-Council Applicants (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR and Vanier) - *registration status as of Fall 2013
Tri-Council Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master’s  (CGS-M) Applicants
  • Current UW undergraduate students applying for graduate admission at Waterloo
  • Current UW graduate students applying for admission to a new graduate program at Waterloo
  • Current UW graduate students continuing in their program at Waterloo
  • Students external to Waterloo who are applying for admission to an eligible graduate program at Waterloo
Application Process
Tri-Council Canada Graduate Scholarships - Doctoral (CGS-D) Applicants
  • Students applying for the NSERC Doctoral competition through Waterloo
  • Students applying for the SSHRC Doctoral competition through Waterloo
  • Students applying for the CIHR Doctoral competition (see OGS Separate App)
Application Process
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships - Doctoral (CGS-D) Applicants
  • Domestic students applying for Vanier through Waterloo
  • Current UW international students applying for Vanier in Fall 2013 (see OGS Separate Applicants)
Application Process
   
Cohort #3 - Domestic Students applying for admission to Graduate Studies at Waterloo (for Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015)
  • Current UW undergrad students who are ineligible for tri-council scholarships (due to grade averages) and are applying for a graduate program at Waterloo
  • Current UW graduate students who are ineligible for tri-council scholarships (due to grade averages) and are applying for a new graduate program at Waterloo
  • Students external to Waterloo, who did not apply for a tri-council award at all, and are applying for admission to a master’s or doctoral program at Waterloo
  • Students external to Waterloo, who did not apply for a tri-council award through Waterloo, and are applying for admission to a master’s or doctoral program at Waterloo
Application Process
   
Cohort #4 - International Students applying for admission to Graduate Studies at Waterloo (for Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015)
  • Due to restricted quota of OGS awards for non-domestic students, international students external to Waterloo will have limited opportunity for OGS consideration at the time of applying for graduate admission.  Other awards that students may be eligible for can be found on our International funding web page.

Eligibility criteria

Immigration requirements

In order to be considered for an OGS, students must be:

  • a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident, or Protected Person [under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protections Act (Canada)] at the time of the OGS application deadline date
  • an International student studying in Ontario under a temporary resident visa - student study permit, under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) are eligible for the allotted visa student awards – approximately 5.
  • enrolled in, plan to be enrolled in or applied for admission to a graduate program on a full-time basis at Waterloo at the time of holding the award
  • taking an eligible program on a full-time basis:
    • an eligible program is defined as a full-time program of study of two or three terms at an eligible institution leading to a graduate degree. Eligible programs must be approved as eligible for funding by MTCU.
    • Waterloo’s description of a full-time student can be found in the graduate calendar at http://gradcalendar.uwaterloo.ca/page/GSO-Definitions-Students

Minimum academic requirements

The applicant must, at minimum, meet the following OGS academic requirements:

  • if entering the first or second year of graduate studies at the time of application the student must have an overall average of at least A-, or the equivalent, on the last 20 one-term/semester credits, or the equivalent, completed
  • if the student is entering the third year of graduate studies at the time of application the student must have an overall average of at least A-, or the equivalent, on all graduate courses completed
  • if you are unsure of your academic eligibility please speak with your Scholarship Coordinator.

Lifetime maximums

Master’s students can receive the scholarship for a maximum of two years and doctoral students for a maximum of four years, subject to a lifetime maximum of six years per student. 

In addition, lifetime maximums of six (6) years of government-funded student awards must have not have been exceeded by the applicant. Awards under the following programs will be counted toward this lifetime maximum:

  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program (OGS)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEIIGSST)
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarships (OTS)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)                                  

Applicants cannot hold an OGS scholarship and an award from any of the following programs, concurrently:

  • Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEIIGSST)
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarships (OTS)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

Recipients must remain enrolled as a full-time student in an eligible program. Recipients who withdraw, transfer to part-time status, or fail to complete the term, will be required to repay the award.

Evaluation and adjudication

Applicants will be evaluated based on the following:

Academic Excellence

As demonstrated by academic transcripts, list of scholarships, awards, honours

Research Ability/Potential and/or Achievements

As demonstrated by publications, conferences, presentations, originality, artistic performance and creations broadly defined (where relevant to field of study); identified through a written/research statement and letters of reference

Communication and Leadership Abilities

As demonstrated by relevant professional/community involvement, extracurricular activities, relevant work experience; identified through written/research statement and letters of reference

Ranking and awarding

  • Award decisions will be made beginning in December 2013 and will continue until Waterloo’s allocation has been used. 
  • The GSO may communicate results in early Winter 2014, however the majority of communications to our applicants will take place in Spring 2014.

Accepting the award

Students offered an OGS will be required to complete and submit a document of declaration to the Graduate Studies Office confirming that they meet the eligibility and conditions of the award and that they are in good standing with OSAP.

Request for deferment or interruption of award

Deferment of award

  • Normally, the OGS can be started in May, September or January following the announcement of results.
  • In exceptional cases, recipients may request permission to defer their OGS award for a maximum of two terms (only for medically documented illness or health-related family responsibilities) or three terms (for parental leave).  The deferment of the award should be submitted in conjunction with the Change of Enrolment Status/Voluntary Withdrawal Form and requires appropriate approval to inactive or part-time registration status.
  • Awards may not be deferred in order to take up another award, to accept or hold employment or pursue studies other than those for which the funding was granted
  • During the deferral time period, the student must be devoted full time to the activity for which the deferment was requested
  • OGS Award Acceptance and Applicant’s Consent & Declaration Form must be completed and submitted to the Graduate Department Coordinator no later than one month prior to the start date of award

The OGS Request for Deferment or Interruption of Award form must be completed and submitted to the Graduate Department Coordinator no later than one month prior to the scheduled deferment.  Supporting documentation (e.g. birth, adoption or medical certificate) confirming the reason for deferment must be attached to this form.

Interruption of award

  • Current awards may be interrupted only for reasons of parental leave, medical documented illness, health-related family responsibilities, or required co-op work term.  The interruption of the award should be submitted in conjunction with the Change of Enrolment Status/Voluntary Withdrawal Form and requires appropriate approval to inactive or part-time registration status.
  • Awards may not be interrupted in order to take up another award or to pursue studies other than those for which the funding was granted
  • Approval must be obtained from the graduate supervisor or graduate officer (if there is no graduate supervisor)
  • Interruptions may only be for a maximum of one year from the initial start date of the award; interruptions exceeding one year will require the remainder of the award to be forfeited
  • For approved interruptions, future payments of the remaining award will be suspended until the student returns to full-time study (students only able to register part-time due to medical reasons will have their award pro-rated); the interruption will not reduce the total amount of support available to the student
  • During the interruption period, the student must be devoted full time to the activity for which the interruption was requested

The OGS Request for Deferment or Interruption of Award form must be completed and submitted to the Graduate Department Coordinator as soon as the student knows that they require the award to be interrupted.  Supporting documentation (e.g. birth, adoption or medical certificate) confirming the reason for deferment must be attached to this form.  Decisions made regarding possible repayment of award will be made based on appropriate refund period deadlines.

Questions about the OGS program can be sent to Julie MacMillan, in the Graduate Studies Office.

Last updated: September 9th, 2013

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