Learn how to apply for graduate scholarships

Are you interested in applying for scholarships to support your future or current graduate degree? Did you know you need to apply several months in advance? Resources are available to support you in pursuing graduate funding.

The major federal and provincial scholarships provide financial support to high-caliber graduate students who demonstrate strong academic excellence, research ability/potential and outstanding professional or personal achievements. 

Each competition has its own specific eligibility criteria. Prior to applying, you are encouraged to visit each scholarship website to confirm your eligibility. After your review, if you have specific scholarship questions, contact your department graduate co-ordinator. If you are a prospective graduate student and have questions, please connect with the program contact as identified on each graduate program page.

Fall 2023 scholarship events:

The major federal and provincial scholarships are highly competitive. We strongly encourage you to attend the scholarship events below to learn more about the application processes, and have your questions answered!

Additional scholarship events will be added below as they are confirmed.

Event Details

September 11, 2023
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Virtual Event - Zoom
Registration required - Registration is now closed

Applying for Graduate Scholarships - Insider Academic Advice webinar:

  • Includes insider academic advice for master’s and doctoral students, featuring Prof. Jeff Casello, Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs
  • Before registering, review the specific competition websites.

This event has already occurred. A recording of the webinar is available below.

September 12, 2023
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Virtual Event - WebEx
No registration required

NSERC Q&A session for doctoral and postdoctoral applicants: 

September 19, 2023
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
In-person event
Registration required - Registration is now closed

Tri-Agency Doctoral Scholarship Workshop: 

Students planning to apply to one of the tri-agency doctoral scholarships (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) in the upcoming competitions are encouraged to attend. The workshop will provide an opportunity for applicants to receive advice/feedback from faculty members in regard to their CV, lay abstract, and/or research proposal. Attendees should review the Applying for graduate scholarships: Insider Academic Advice webinar prior to the workshop so they can be prepared to seek feedback.

October 26, 2023
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Virtual Event - Zoom
Registration Required  - Registration is now closed

Funding Your Graduate Education: 

This event is intended to provide an overview of internal funding, financial need funding, external scholarships, support for applying for major scholarships, award payments and OSAP/loans for new and prospective graduate students. For more information and registration details, please visit the Funding Your Graduate Education event web page.

This event has already occurred. A recording of the webinar is available below. Visit our event page to view the links shared during the presentation. 

November 2, 2023
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Registration Required – For more information and registration details, please visit the GSPA event listing.

Funding your Graduate Education - live chat: 

Are you a new or prospective graduate student with questions about funding your graduate education? Our funding experts will be available virtually to respond to your questions via a live chat.

The following Q&A sessions will be held in November for information regarding the CGS-M competitions. These sessions will be hosted as live Q&A Webex events. No registration required. Participants should watch the informational videos and review Waterloo’s CGS M webpage in advance, and come to the Q&A session with specific questions in mind.

English sessions:

November 7, 2023
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Join meeting

November 14, 2023
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Join meeting

November 23, 2023
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Join meeting

French sessions:

November 9, 2023
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Join meeting

November 21, 2023
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Join meeting

Checklist for applying - critical steps in the application process

Each scholarship application requires you to follow the steps below. It is important to start the process as soon as possible!

  • Confirm your eligibility and read the application instructions.
  • Familiarize yourself with the transcript instructions and determine if you need to order transcripts. If you do, order them now.
  • Talk to prospective referees about reference letters, provide them with the appropriate deadline and detailed information to assist them with writing an informed assessment.
  • Work on your research proposal/program statement.
  • Apply for admission to a graduate program at Waterloo, if applicable.
  • Complete the application and all components/attachments and submit it by the deadline.

Academic input of your research proposal and/or CV drafts

If you have drafted your proposal and want to have it reviewed by an academic in your area, we encourage you to reach out to:

  1. Your current/prospective supervisor
  2. Your department graduate chair/officer
  3. A faculty member in your area of research as suggested by the graduate chair/officer

Writing and Communication Centre (WCC)

The Writing and Communication Centre (WCC) is a hub of communication and writing practice, support, and research on campus. Students are encouraged to utilize the services offered by the Centre which include one-on-one appointments, workshops, writing cafes, etc.

Revised October 27, 2023