Tools and Resources
Awards Information Sessions
Information sessions for the 2018/19 external government funded scholarship competitions, intended for students who are enrolled in or planning to pursue graduate studies, were held in mid-September 2017. Please click on the appropriate link below to access an outline view of the content of the Fall 2017 presentations.
For a copy of the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC) presentation, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scholarship Application Tips
External award applications often require both undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all previous and current institutions.
If you are applying for the Vanier, CIHR Doctoral, NSERC Doctoral, Trudeau Doctoral, SSHRC Doctoral or CGS-M at the University of Guelph you may order your University of Guelph transcript free of charge providing that you specify to the Transcript Clerk that it is for one of the above mentioned scholarships (it will be noted on the transcript) and arrange to pick up the transcript in person from Enrolment Services, 3rd floor, University Centre. A rush fee of $25 will apply if the University of Guelph transcript is ordered after the date listed below.
The University of Guelph will not provide students with copies of transcripts from previous institutions, unless you have transcripts from institutions outside of North America. For transcripts from outside of North America, we will accept copies of the final and official transcript if they are certified by your home department/school. Ensure that transcripts are ordered from all other institutions early to allow time for delivery.
- Start preparing your application early! Know deadlines and applications requirements for each scholarship that you plan to apply.
- Give yourself time. Completing an application takes a lot of time and effort. Hastiness will be reflected in the quality of your submission.
- Don’t get discouraged if you are not successful. Each competition is different so apply each year if eligible.
- Make sure your application is complete. If not included with the application, make a check list and use it.
- Only provide what is asked for. Respect page limits and word counts; additional pages will be removed.
- Use 12 point font size and plain font such as Times New Roman or Arial. Set margins. No part of the application should be handwritten!
- Pay close attention to grammar and spelling.
- Have someone who knows you well, like your Advisor or a peer from your program review your application. They may notice inaccuracies or omissions.
- Have a friend or relative who knows you, but not necessarily your research, review your application. They will be able to evaluate your application in an objective way without any prior assumptions.
- Take a break! Look over your application a few days later with fresh eyes and a refreshed mindset.
- Choose your referee carefully. Request letters from referees who know you well and who you know will provide a positive reference. Some scholarships require letters from specific types of referees. Reference letters from faculty tend to carry more weight.
- The endorsement from a referee is a huge part of any awards application and can help you to stand out from everyone else. Letters that seem like templates, or do not substantiate their claims about your abilities and experience can be harmful to your application.
- Choose a referee who has strong communications skills. If you know the referee, you will know from experience if they communicate well.
- Provide the referee with all required information including a list of your research contributions, the appropriate form or link to the referee form if applicable, a copy of your program of study, the deadline to submit the letter. The more tools you give the referee to work with the better!
- If the reference letter must be mailed, give each referee an envelope, postage paid, so they can easily mail the letter by the deadline.
- Most importantly, give them time! The best referees are probably very busy people so be cognizant of their time.
- Carefully read the application instructions regarding the research proposal/summary section. Provide the adjudicators with the information they are looking for; no more, no less.
- Write in a clear, concise way, avoiding use of jargon. Say what you mean in an accessible and dynamic way so that anyone reading it will be engaged and understand your point.
- Organize your ideas efficiently. You don’t have a lot of space to work with, so make every word count. Make sure you are relating your research to the mandate of the specific award, providing evidence of your connection to that mandate.
- Emphasize what makes your proposal special/original, and how it will contribute to your specific field of study.
- Take the time to write, and re-write. This is the part where you sell yourself to the adjudicators. Every applicant will have a top notch GPA, but if you can sell yourself on paper, you will stand out from the rest.