This Award Holder’s Guide is based on the 2019-2020 Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program and Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology Program Guidelines provided by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Highlight of Changes:

  • Recipients of a 2019-2020 OGS/QEII-GSST may now concurrently hold an OGS or QEII-GSST, and a MITACS.


Eligible program: An eligible program is defined as a full-time program of study of two or three terms leading to a graduate degree. NOTE: For the QEII-GSST award, a student must also be registered full time in a research-based master’s or doctoral program in a science, technology, engineering or math discipline.

Full time: Waterloo’s description of a full-time student can be found in the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar). 

General regulations

To hold an award, award holders must:

  • be enrolled in, or have been offered admission to a graduate program on a full-time basis at the University of Waterloo;
  • not be enrolled in a qualifying or make-up year, or be on a paid education leave or sabbatical;
  • remain eligible as per the eligibility criteria on the OGS/QEII-GSST web page and immediately inform the Co-ordinator, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards of any changes which could affect their eligibility;
  • be in good standing with the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
    • Recipients cannot receive the award if they have certain restrictions with OSAP. (Students who have never applied for OSAP are in good standing.)
    • If a recipient has an OSAP Restriction, he/she cannot receive the funding until the restriction has been cleared with the MTCU. At the time of disbursement, if Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) finds a restriction on the student’s file, the student would be contacted and advised of a deadline by which the restriction must be cleared with the MTCU otherwise the award must be forfeited. The deadline will be the next disbursement date, which is normally a 4-month time period.

Value, start term and duration

  • Each OGS and QEII-GSST is valued at a maximum of $15,000 per year, or $5000 per term.
  • Recipients who hold their award at Waterloo will also receive the President’s Graduate Scholarship.
  • Successful OGS and QEII-GSST recipients will begin their scholarship in the 2019-2020 year and may choose to start the award in May 1, 2019, September 1, 2019 or January 1, 2020.
  • Recipients must take up their award for a minimum of two terms (receiving $10,000 total) or three terms (receiving $15,000) total. One term awards are not allowed.
  • The awards are non-renewable.

The value and duration of the award will be detailed in the OGS/QEII-GSST award notification sent by the GSPA.

Accepting your award

  • Students who have been offered an OGS or QEII-GSST will be required to complete and submit an OGS/QEII-GSST acceptance form which will be emailed to them as part of the award notification. 
  • The acceptance form is due 3 weeks from the date of offer.
  • An OGS or QEII-GSST can start May 1, September 1 or January 1 following the announcement of results.

IMPORTANT: Students who accept an OGS or QEII-GSST may have their original funding package adjusted by their department. Students are encouraged to speak with their department graduate co-ordinator for more details.

Payment information

Details regarding how an OGS/QEII-GSST are disbursed to students can be found on the Funding payment & information web page.

Other sources of income (employment and other)

  • There are no restrictions on outside sources of employment that recipients may have while holding the award, provided the following regulations are adhered to:
    • Recipients must  adhere to Waterloo’s Full-time student definition
    • Recipients must devote full-time hours to the research or studies for which they were funded
  • Recipients of an OGS/QEII-GSST cannot concurrently receive funding or receive funding for the same competition year (in whole or in part) with any of the following programs:
    • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) – if recipient is already an QEII-GSST awardee
    • Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEII-GSST) – if recipient is already an OGS awardee
    • Ontario Trillium Scholarships (OTS)
    • Tri-Agency Scholarships (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC, Vanier)
    • UW Provost Graduate Scholarship
    • Foreign government sponsorships

Students are also required to check the eligibility of other awards they may be offered to see if an OGS or QEII-GSST can be held concurrently.

Request for change of start date, deferment or interruption of OGS or QEII-GSST

NOTE: In all cases, students must first refer to the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar (specifically General information and regulations) which is the main contractual document between the student and the University to ensure that they are abiding by all university regulations.

Change of Start Date

Before commencing the award, the award recipient may change the start date to any of the dates indicated on the initial acceptance form. To request an available start date other than the one selected at the time of acceptance, an email should be sent to both the Co-ordinator, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards and the Graduate Financial Aid Records Specialist

    Deferment/Interruption Guidelines

    Defermement: an award start date may be deferred beyond the available start dates outlined in the initial acceptance form.

    Interruption: a current award may be interrupted after it has been started.

    • In cases of medical illness an award may be deferred/interrupted for a maximum of two terms (must select "medical/illness" on the Change of Enrolment form)
    • In cases of family obligations an award may be deferred/interrupted to a maximum of two terms (must select "personal/family obligations" on the Change of Enrolment form)
    • In cases of required co-op work term an award may be deferred/interrupted for a maximum of one term (must select "co-op" on the Change of Enrolment form)
    • In cases of parental leave an award may be deferred/interrupted for a maximum of three terms (must select "parental leave" on the Change of Enrolment form)

    To request a deferral or interruption of an OGS/QEII-GSST, students must submit the following forms along with required supporting documentation (see forms for full submission instructions) at least one month prior to the requested leave (where possible):

    General information about deferments/interruptions

    • Consult the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar for all regulations pertaining to your registration status, specifically Enrolment and time limits.

    • Awards may not be deferred or interrupted in order to take up another award, to accept or hold an external research or work opportunity unrelated to the student's thesis (requiring an inactive term), or pursue studies other than those for which the funding was granted.
    • During the deferral/interruption period, students must be devoted full-time to the activity for which the deferment was requested.
    • Decisions made regarding possible repayment of award are made based on appropriate refund period deadlines.
    • For approved deferments or 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 award value will not be affected by the deferment or interruption and the award end date will be extended by the duration of the deferment or interruption.

    Changes to the award

    Changes to department or Faculty

    • Students should contact the Co-ordinator, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards if they are planning to transfer to a different department or Faculty then the one that they applied through and were awarded OGS or QEII-GSST through.
    • A request to transfer will be approved in consultation with the department and Faculty involved and may not be possible.
    • For QEII-GSST recipients, students must remain in a research based program in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) disciplines to remain eligible.

    Change of supervisor(s)

    • Students may change their supervisor without consulting the Co-ordinator, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards, as long as this change does not involve a change to the student’s department or Faculty.

    Changes to the program level, research project or degree

    • Students may change their level (from masters to doctoral), change their research project or degree without consulting the Co-oridnator, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards, as long as this change does not involve a change to a student’s department or Faculty.
    • For QEII-GSST recipients, students must remain in a research based program in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) disciplines to remain eligible.

    Termination of the award

    • If a recipient withdraws, transfers to part-time status or fails to complete the term in which they are receiving the scholarship, repayment of all or some of the award for that term may be required. A change in enrolment status will not require repayment of the award for any previously completed terms.
    • If a recipient completes their degree in a term in which the award is held, the award may be kept for that term providing he/she was registered full time and completed their degree after the 100% refund period. Please refer to Student Financial Services for these exact dates (source: Student Financial Services). The President’s Graduate Scholarship (PGS) central portion (paid through GSPA) will also follow these guidelines, however any department match of the PGS will be paid at the department’s discretion.


    An award must be taken up at the institution where it has been offered. In exceptional circumstances, requests to transfer an award from one institution to another is at the discretion of each institution involved. However, if a student’s request for transfer under special circumstances is denied, the student may request a review of the transfer by writing to the Director of the Student Financial Assistance Branch, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, PO Box 4500, 189 Red River Road, 4th Floor, Thunder Bay, ON  P7B 6G9. 

    May 15, 2019