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How To Win PhD Scholarships in Canada

There are a lot of countries where you, as an international student, can acquire your PhD degree. No doubt, Canada is one of them. According to a 2021 survey, Canada was voted the most attractive and multicultural study destination.

Every year, a large number of students apply to Canada for study purposes. This is because institutions or universities in Canada provide quality education. The government of Canada has invested heavily into her system of education, thus, making it a safe haven for study.

Usually, it takes 3-6 years to obtain a PhD degree and that, on its own, comes at a cost. If you are unfortunate to be from a poor country, you will also have travel and living expenses to deal with. In addition to offering world-class education, there are several scholarship opportunities for students from undergraduate to postgraduate level.

If you are looking to study and acquire a PhD degree in Canada on scholarship basis, then this article provides the necessary guide on how to win a PhD scholarship.

There are several reasons why people opt for a PhD degree. Let us observe a few.

Top 5 Reasons Students Pursue PhD Degree

  • To improve and sharpen your knowledge in a particular field
  • To be able to make positive contributions in your field of study
  • To be open to more opportunities
  • To climb higher the academic ladder
  • For personal academic reasons

Obtaining a scholarship to study a PhD program is very pivotal, as it can help you focus much more on your studies without having to worry about funding the program. Usually, these scholarships cover tuition fees. However, you can be fortunate to get a scholarship that covers both tuition fees and general expenses.  Ms/PhD of Arts and Science scholarship of MIT is an example of such scholarships.

How Are PhD Scholarships in Canada Funded?

Usually, most Canadian PhD scholarships are funded via the following means:

Learn More: How To Win A Scholarship To Finance Your Study

  • The Government of Canada
  • Charitable Foundations
  • Public and Private Firms or Companies
  • Charitable Individuals (often times alumni of the school awarding the scholarship)

Is PhD Free In Canada?

Basically, No. To acquire a PhD degree, you must pay to see your education through. However, there are exceptions. You can be fortunate to study a PhD program for free through scholarships.

Below is the cost of studying a PhD program in Canada:

  • Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents: $5,000
  • International Students: About $9,000

What Is The Duration of a PhD Program in Canada?

As earlier stated in this article, it usually takes about 3-6 years to obtain a PhD degree in Canada.

Can I Get Paid As a PhD Student in Canada?

An honest answer will be YES and NO. It all depends on the student (and here is why). Depending on your experience or performance, you can be offered a job in the same institution where you are pursuing your PhD degree. The job offers can include working with the school’s research team, teaching undergraduate students, etc. However, it is up to you to take the offer or not.

What Are The Best PhD Scholarships in Canada?

Basically, there are several outstanding PhD scholarships in Canada. Some cover only tuition fees while others cover both tuition fees and other expenses. Below is a list of some of the best PhD Scholarships in Canada.

  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS)
  • University of Waterloo International Masters Award Excellence (IMAE)
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS)
  • The University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships (UMGF)
  • Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS)

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS)

In 2008, the government of Canada launched the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS). Ever since, it has been offering scholarships per year to students enrolled in one PhD program or the other. The scholarship is worth $50,000, and is awarded for up to three years to only 166 successful applicants.

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must, first of all, be a citizen of Canada, or permanent resident or international student from any country of the world. Secondly, you must be enrolled in an accredited institution in Canada. Finally, you must be a graduate student with outstanding academic and research record.

University of Waterloo International Masters Award Excellence (IMAE)

This scholarship is specifically for PhD scholars enrolled in a research-based program. Usually, there is no special application for this award. All you require, as an international student, is a valid student visa to enroll in the University of Waterloo graduate program. In addition, you must have outstanding academic record as this will be the basis upon which your faculty will award this scholarship. The IMAE scholarship is worth $2500, and can be sustained for up to five years.

Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS)

Every year, prospective students stand the chance to receive the Ontario Trillium Scholarship. However, you must have a valid student visa to study in Canada. In addition, you must be enrolled in a full-time graduate degree program in any accredited university or college within the Ontario region. Successful applicants will be automatically selected. This scholarship is worth $40,000 and can be sustained for at most four years.

Learn Also: Top Ranked Universities To Study PhD

The University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships (UMGF)

If you have been admitted into a full-time PhD degree program at the University of Manitoba, you stand a great chance to receive this scholarship. Both international and domestic students are eligible to receive the UMGF annual scholarship award. In addition, you must have a 3.0 GPA and above. This scholarship is worth $18,000 and can be sustained for about four years.

Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS)

This is a one-off scholarship designed to support students with outstanding achievements in undergraduate and early graduate studies. By “one-off”,  we mean this scholarship cannot be renewed. Unlike other scholarships which lasts for at least two years, Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) is awarded for 12 months. Only 3000 scholars (international and domestic) can receive this scholarship worth $17,500 every year.

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must, first of all, be enrolled in a full-time PhD degree program at an accredited institution in Canada. In addition, you must not have received the Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) in the past.

These are, but a few of, the best PhD scholarships in Canada that graduate scholars can apply to.


How Can I Get A PhD Scholarship In Canada?

As stated earlier in this article, there are several scholarships available to both domestic and foreign students, and you can get one of them, or more, in these three easy steps.

  • Find a university or college in Canada, select a PhD degree program in any field of your choice, and get enrolled.
  • After you have been admitted, enquire about scholarships provided by the school from your school’s admission officer.
  • Having obtained valuable information concerning scholarships, apply to as many scholarships as you can to increase your chances of getting at least one scholarship. Ensure you apply before the deadline.

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