How To Win PhD Scholarships in Canada

Seeking a Ph.D. Scholarship in Canada? This article provides essential guidance on securing Ph.D. scholarships in Canada and explores the currently available Ph.D. scholarship opportunities in the country.

Annually, thousands of students choose Canada for their studies, including those aspiring to pursue a Ph.D. degree. Canadian institutions are globally recognized for providing excellent education, and degrees, including Ph.D. certificates from accredited Canadian institutions, are recognized worldwide.

Besides offering world-class education, Canada is renowned for the exceptional scholarship opportunities it provides to students at all levels of study, including undergraduate, postgraduate, and graduate levels.

Through its scholarship offerings, many potential students have been attracted to study in Canada and experience the high-quality education its institutions offer. Additionally, these scholarships, available at all study levels, have enabled students to realize their full potential, achieve their goals, and enjoy successful careers.

Why do students pursue a Ph.D. degree?

Students may choose to pursue a Ph.D. degree for numerous reasons, including:

  1. To contribute positively to their chosen field of study.
  2. To enhance and refine their skills and knowledge in a specific area.
  3. To advance up the academic ladder and become more professional.
  4. For personal academic reasons.
  5. For long-term career objectives.
  6. To access even greater opportunities.
  7. To improve themselves and their lives.
  8. Out of a passion for learning and continuing education.
  9. To become an expert in a field, contributing with authority and practical evidence.

In an ever-changing world, acquiring more knowledge and skills and enhancing them is crucial, as the impact of change can be significant. Advancing up the academic ladder is just one of the many vital ways to keep yourself prepared for any changes.

Securing a scholarship for your Ph.D. degree can significantly help you focus on your studies without worrying about funding.

These scholarships can assist with your Ph.D. tuition fees or living expenses, and in some cases, you may find scholarships that cover both tuition and general expenses, similar to the Ms/PhD of Arts and Science scholarship of MIT (though this one is online).

How are Canadian Ph.D. Scholarships funded?

Ph.D. scholarships in Canada are funded by:

  1. The Canadian government.
  2. Charitable foundations.
  3. Private/public corporations, companies, and organizations.
  4. Generous individuals, often alumni of the institution offering the scholarship.

Thanks to these contributors, many students, including Ph.D. students, have been able to receive a world-class education in Canada through either partially funded or fully funded scholarships.

For government-provided scholarships, here is a complete list of fully-funded Canadian government scholarships that any international student can apply for.

Why do Ph.D. Students need Scholarships?

One significant reason is that many Ph.D. students have an overwhelming workload, ranging from a full coursework schedule to graduate training, leaving them little or no time to work and earn money to cover their Ph.D. tuition fees and other expenses.

Ph.D. students deserve scholarships as much as any other student aspiring to pursue a college or university degree.

Additionally, some students may not have the financial means to afford a Ph.D. education, yet they still wish to earn the degree. These and many more reasons leave students with no choice but to seek scholarships that will help cover essential costs.

Is a Ph.D. in Canada free?

No, obtaining a Ph.D. degree is not free in Canada. Students must pay for their studies and obtain the certificate unless they receive scholarships, which this article provides guidance on.

The financial cost of earning a Ph.D. degree certificate in Canada varies between universities. For Canadian citizens and permanent residents, it is approximately $5,000 per year, while for international students, it is about $9,000 per year, including living expenses.

International students can also receive financial aid from Canadian universities. See the list of Canadian universities that offer financial aid to international students.

How can I get a full scholarship in Canada?

There are several fully-funded scholarships in Canada that students can apply for, available to both domestic and international students. Here is how you can secure these scholarships:

  1. Choose a Canadian university or college, a degree program (undergraduate, postgraduate, or graduate), and a field of study, and gain admission.
  2. Contact your host school’s admissions officer regarding scholarships provided by the school.
  3. Explore other available scholarship sources by conducting necessary research.
  4. Inform those around you about your scholarship search in case they come across information or know of any scholarship programs.
  5. Apply to as many scholarships as possible to increase your chances of securing one, and always adhere to the application deadlines.

There are numerous scholarship opportunities available in Canada, some of which are fully funded. You can check out a list of available postgraduate scholarships in Canada that you can apply for.

You can also explore some of the scholarship opportunities in Canada that are fully funded, provided by the government of Canada and their allies. The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship worth $50,000 is one of the most coveted scholarships in Canada, although it is primarily for Canadian citizens.

Top universities in Canada offer scholarships annually. We have an article compiling all the information that could assist in your search for scholarships in top Canadian institutions, which you can access for free at Canadian universities that offer scholarships annually.

Do Ph.D. students get paid in Canada?

Whether Ph.D. students get paid in Canada depends on the individual. The answer is both yes and no; here’s why:

Ph.D. students may be employed within the same school where they are pursuing their Ph.D. degrees, but it is up to the student to decide whether to apply for the job. A Ph.D. student may also be offered a job in their institution based on experience and performance, but it is the student’s choice to accept the job.

Ph.D. students can work with the school’s research team, teach undergraduate students, or undertake other suitable job allocations, for which they get paid. In fact, the average salary for a Ph.D. student in Canada is CA$24,000 per annum, which is a substantial amount.

How long is a Ph.D. in Canada?

Generally, a Ph.D. in Canada takes about four to six years. Depending on the field of study and institution, it takes approximately four to six years to complete a Ph.D. degree in Canada.

Is a Ph.D. worth it in Canada?

Obtaining a Ph.D. from an accredited institution in Canada is worth every penny and other resources spent on it. As a student at a higher level of study, you learn advanced topics and conduct your own research to find answers or solutions that could contribute to the world, potentially making significant contributions that could change many lives.

Additionally, if you aim to enter full-time research or join a privately or governmentally funded research group, you will need a Ph.D. to secure a position in a research facility or organization, making the degree in Canada worthwhile.

Is there a Ph.D. in Canada with a stipend?

Yes, most top Ph.D. scholarships in Canada include monthly stipends for beneficiaries. These stipends are typically provided for students to manage their personal expenses.

Can I Get a Ph.D. in Canada with a scholarship?

For those looking for a way to obtain a Ph.D. in Canada with a scholarship, I have listed some available scholarships in Canada that you can apply for, along with their respective application links.

Best Ph.D. Scholarships in Canada

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

1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS)

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) was launched by the Canadian government in 2008 and has since been providing Ph.D. scholars with an annual scholarship amount of $50,000 per year for three years of doctoral studies at an accredited Canadian institution.

The Vanier CGS is open for application to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and foreigners, and 166 students are eventually selected for the scholarship award. The scholarship is awarded to graduate students with excellent academic and research records, leadership skills, and significant involvement in extracurricular activities.

Fortunately, we have a well-detailed article providing all the information, including eligibility requirements and essential tips a Ph.D. student might need to win a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

2. University of Waterloo International Masters Award of Excellence (IMAE)

This award is only for international students entering a research-based doctoral program at the University of Waterloo, Canada. The IMAE scholarship is awarded to graduate students based on academic performance and is valued at $2,500 per term for a total of five terms.

This scholarship does not require a special application process; all you need to do is be an international student with a valid Canadian study permit (student visa) entering the University of Waterloo graduate program for the first time and possess exceptional academic performance, which is what your school will use to select you for the award.

We have prepared a guide on how you can obtain the Canadian student visa, which contains tips and requirements to help you secure a valid Canada study permit.

3. The Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS)

The Ontario Graduate Scholarship is awarded annually to both international and domestic graduate students in Canada who wish to pursue a doctoral degree program at an accredited university or college in Ontario. Winners are selected based on exceptional academic performance.

The scholarship is valued at $5,000 per session for up to six years or until the end of the graduate program, and the awardee must maintain their academic performance. All nationalities are encouraged to apply for the scholarship program as long as you have a valid student permit and wish to pursue a graduate program in an Ontario university.

4. Ontario Trillium Scholarships (OTS)

This is a $40,000 value scholarship offered annually to a new incoming international student, with a valid Canadian study permit, who is registered in a full-time graduate degree program at an accredited university or college in the Ontario area.

To win the OTS, the recipient must have achieved an excellent average (A-/80% Ontario equivalent) in each of the last two years of full-time study, and winners are automatically selected based on their application for the graduate program.

The scholarship is worth $40,000 per student and will continue for an additional three years (totaling four years) as long as students maintain excellence in their academics.

5. The University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships (UMGF)

UMGF is an annual scholarship award offered to graduate students (international & domestic) who have been admitted into a full-time doctoral degree program at the University of Manitoba.

To be eligible for this award, students must have a minimum admission GPA of 3.0 and above and have demonstrated superior intellectual ability and academic achievement. Additionally, the scholarship is worth $18,000 per year for up to four years of doctoral studies.

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