Skilled People Make the Agricultural Sector Successful

 images of students side by side: woman using a piece of technical equipment and a man holding handful of soil

The Partnership funds the Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) program to support the development of highly skilled graduates who can meet the changing demands of the agri-food and rural sector. The health of these sectors depends on a vibrant talent pool of skilled, forward-thinking learners. The Partnership is dedicated to supporting advanced skill development and learning to enhance the intellectual capacity of our citizens to solve current and future problems.

HQP Scholarships

The OMAFRA-U of G Partnership is committed to reaping social, economic, environmental and public health benefits through its programs. Through the Partnership, HQP scholarships are awarded to support future generations of researchers, policy-makers and innovators in agri-food.

Masters and PhD students complete research that meets OMAFRA’s research priorities and learn firsthand how forward-thinking research can be mobilized to have a positive impact on society.

The program provides $2.5 million over five years for graduate scholarships in OMAFRA-U of G research theme and priority areas, and has provided specialized agri-business and workplace experience for over 125 graduates to-date. 

HQP scholarships are awarded to support future generations of researchers, policy-makers and innovators in agri-food. Master’s students (thesis based) receive $17,300 per year for a maximum of six semesters, and Doctoral students receive $21,000 per year for a maximum of nine semesters.

Students receive specialized in-class training in business, agriculture and commercialization, and have meaningful employment experiences during the work semesters that are included as part of their graduate studies. 

Industry partners are integral to the success of the HQP Scholarship Program. We value the role of our industry, government and community partners, who provide valuable experience for the students during work semesters. Some partners who have hosted students include: Chicken Farmers of Ontario, OMAFRA, DRDC-CRTI, Martin Mills, BIOMIN Canada, Nutreco, Wallenstein Feed and Supply, C&M Seeds, Pioneer Hi-bred, Rural Ontario Institute, Monsanto, Aqua-Cage Fisheries, Alltech Inc. and Kraft. 

Call Status

Applications are not being accepted at this time. 


The HQP Scholarship Program provides financial support for students entering an established graduate program at the University of Guelph. Your academic studies will be governed by the guidelines and regulations of your home department. 

To be eligible for the HQP Scholarship Program you:

  • are entering into your first semester of a Master's (thesis-based) or PhD program at the University of Guelph (students who have already started their graduate degree for which they are seeking support are ineligible);
  • are a Canadian citizen, landed immigrant, or are studying under an international visa;
  • will be registered for a full-time graduate program at the U of G.

Please note: current OMAFRA employees or individuals receiving a major student stipend, such as an award from NSERC, OGS, SSHRC or CIHR, are not eligible to receive an HQP Scholarship.