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Scholarships & Bursaries & Financial Aid

For internal scholarship deadlines, please contact for more information.

A complete “Scholarship and Awards” listing and descriptions from the School of Graduate Studies can be reviewed at: SGS Awards and Funding.

For more information regarding Awards and Funding (Financial Aid), also please visit:  School of Graduate Studies – Awards and Funding

For specific information regarding graduate student funding in Biology, please contact Graduate Administrator at

Expandable List

Every academic year, “Biology Travel Scholarships” are offered to Biology Graduate Studies twice a year.

The first competition ROUND 1 duration is:  September 1, 2019 – February 28th, 2020.  The second competition ROUND 2 duration is: March 1 – August 31, 2020.

The Biology Travel Scholarship – ROUND 1 deadline is December 6th, 2019.   For further information, contact

PLEASE VISIT: Banting-Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships provide financial support to elite national and international postdoctoral researchers who will positively contribute to the country’s economic, social and research-based growth. McMaster University strives to attract and retain top-tier postdoctoral talent. The value of the fellowship is $70,000.00 per year for two years, and distributed equally across CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC Agencies. The award does not include the costs of research.

The 2021Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships (Banting PDF) program information and application details are now available on the Banting website

School Of Graduate Studies – Key Deadlines

A two-stage internal review process is in place at McMaster to help identify the strongest applications and to select the most competitive candidates in each research area of CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

  1. The STAGE ONE Letter of Intent (LOI) package is due to the School of Graduate Studies by email on: Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 10:00 .m.
  2. STAGE TWO applications for Stage 1 endorsed candidates are due to the School of Graduate Studies by email on: Thursday, September 5, 2019 a.m.

Banting ResearchNet application submission deadline: Wednesday, September 18 2019 (8:00 p.m. EDT)

For more information about how you qualify to submit a Stage One Letter of Intent package, please contact your supervisor/potential supervisor or your department administrator.

Important Information For Proposed Supervisors/Candidates – Financial Support

It is important that faculty members recognize that the Banting Fellowship is a stipend. The award does not include the direct costs of research or benefits. You are encouraged to please help advertise the Banting competition to your faculty and to raise awareness about the required benefits cost, as outlined in the PDF policy. Banting Fellows are considered outside the collective bargaining agreement but there are still benefits to which they are entitled.

The cost of the benefits is the responsibility of the supervisor. The applicant will be unable to continue the application process unless there is a commitment by the supervisor to pay for the cost of the benefits for the 2 year duration of the award.


For benefits costs, please refer to the appropriate table: McMaster Postdoctoral Benefit table-CUPE

Eligibity Criteria

Important: Eligibility window for degree completion

Applicants to the 2019 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program must fulfill or have fulfilled all degree requirements for a PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree:

  • Between September 15, 2016 and September 30, 2020 (inclusively), and
  • Before the start date of their award
  • Applicants who have not fulfilled all requirements for their degree at the time of application must submit proof no later than October 15, 2020.

Allowable extensions to eligibility window (NEW):

  • The window of eligibility can be extended by a cumulative maximum of two years if the applicant had their career interrupted for the following reasons: parental leave, illness, health-related family responsibilities or mandatory military service, disruptions due to war and/or civil conflicts in the country of residence.

“Career interruption” refers to a period of time when the applicant was not working (full-time or part-time) and when their research output was completely interrupted.

Additionally, for health professionals who have engaged in post-degree non-research related clinical training (e.g. residency), the eligibility window can be extended by the duration of this training.

For other professions that require post-degree, non-research-related training to be certified by a professional body, please consult the “Vanier-Banting Secretariat” to confirm whether an extension to the eligibility window is allowable.

No other exceptions will be allowed.

Interruptions used to extend the eligibility window for degree completion must have occurred after the fulfillment of your degree requirements and before the application submission deadline.

Justification must be provided in the Special circumstances attachment.

Note: “Fulfilled all requirements of the degree” refers to the date that the applicant completed all the steps required for obtaining their degree. Although these requirements may vary by institution and degree type, they normally include thesis defense corrections and thesis deposition. It is not the convocation date.

For full and detailed information on Eligibility Criteria, please visit the Banting website.

Email Contacts

If you have questions regarding the McMaster Banting competition, please send an email to

This Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements (CGS-MSFSS) supports high-calibre Canadian graduate students in building global linkages and international networks through the pursuit of exceptional research experiences abroad. By accessing international scientific research and training, CGS-MSFSS recipients will contribute to strengthening the potential for collaboration between Canadian universities and affiliated research institutions and universities, or other research institutions outside of Canada.

Interested applicants to contact by May 21, 2019.

School Of Graduate Studies Deadline:

Departments will be required to submit complete candidates’ applications by e-mail to by Monday, May 27th, 2019.

Students apply directly for a Canadian Graduate Scholarship-Master’s (CIHR, NSERC AND SSHRC) in the NSERC government portal no later than December 1 of each calendar year. However, this year the deadline is Monday, December 2, 2019 as December 1st is a Sunday.

Link to the portal

For complete instructions, please visit: The NSERC website Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s program page 

If the student would like McMaster to consider his/her CGS-M application, the student must choose McMaster as 1 of the 3 (three)universities where to submit his/her CGS-M application. McMaster will rank the applications submitted and upload the results in the CGS-M portal on April 1st of each academic year as specified by CGS-M.

The NSERC website Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s program page 

DEADLINE: December 2, 2019

Biology CGS-M Scholarship Information Session:  Tuesday, October 6th, 2019 at 6:00 pm in Life Sciences Building, Room 213A.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral Research Awards consist of two programs administered through a single application: The Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Awards (CGS-D) program provides special recognition and support to students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in a health-related field in Canada. The maximum amount for a single award is $35,000.00 for up to three years. The Doctoral Foreign Study Award (DFSA) provides special recognition and support to students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in a health-related field abroad.

Link Canadian Institutes of Health Research website

A national internship program managed by MITACS which connects companies and other organizations with the vast research expertise in Canadas universities from applied sciences, engineering, social sciences and business to arts, life sciences and much more. Accelerate is run in partnership with a consortium of leading Canadian research organizations. The conduit between the partner company and the university is a graduate student or post-doctoral fellow under the guidance of a professor. For each four-month internship unit, the company contributes $7,500.00 which is matched by MITACS through the support of federal and provincial funding partners. Per four-month unit, the intern receives a minimum stipend of $10,000.00 with the remaining $5,000.00 supporting other costs associated with the research.

Link to Mitacs website Accelerate page

  • Value (GCS-D): $35,000
  • Value (PGS-D): $21,000
  • Duration: 2 or 3 years

NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) and NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships (PGS) provide financial support to high-calibre scholars who are engaged in doctoral programs in the natural sciences or engineering. There are two types of NSERC Doctoral Research awards available through a single application:

  1. Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral Program (CGS D) – for study in Canada; without exception, these awards are tenable only at eligible Canadian universities.
  2. NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral Program (PGS D) – for study in Canada or abroad; these awards may be taken up at any eligible Canadian university or an eligible foreign university provided that the applicant has received a previous degree in the natural sciences or engineering field from a Canadian university.

If a student is offered a CGS-D but decides to take the award to an eligible foreign university (provided they are eligible to do so), they must decline the CGS-D and accept a PGS-D instead.

Students are to complete their NSERC doctoral application on NSERC’s On-Line System

For complete instructions, please visit the NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships – Doctoral program webpage

Internal Deadline for Biology students:  Tuesday, September 24th, 2019.

The Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDF) Program provides support to a core of the most promising researchers at a pivotal time in their careers. The fellowships are also intended to secure a supply of highly qualified Canadians with leading-edge scientific and research skills for Canadian industry, government, and universities. NSERC encourages qualified Aboriginal students who are interested in the program to apply. The Postdoctoral Fellowships are valued at $40,000 per year for two years.

Link to the NSERC Website

Ontario Graduate Scholarships and Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology (QEII-GSST)

  • Value: $15,000 ($5,000 per term)
  • Duration: 1 year

Ontario Graduate Fellowships

  • Value: $12,000 ($4,000 per term)
  • Duration:  1 year

If you apply for a CGS-M or CGS-D through McMaster, you will automatically be considered for one of these provincial awards.

For students who are not eligible to apply for a CGS-M or CGS-D, please contact your department.

The School of Graduate Studies is pleased to provide you with information for the upcoming Fall 2019 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral competition.  These prestigious scholarships awarded by CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC help McMaster attract highly qualified doctoral students.

Canadian, Permanent Residents and International students are eligible to be nominated.

Award Value:

  • $50,000.00/year for three (3) years

Biology Deadline:  August 23, 2019

Important Deadlines

two-stage internal review process is in place at McMaster to help identify the strongest applications and to select the most competitive candidates in each research mandate of CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

  • Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 10:00 am. Stage 1 Letter of Intent (LOI) package is due to SGS.
  • Thursday, October 10, 2019, 10:00 am. Stage 2 endorsed candidate applications are due to SGS.
  • Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 11:59 pm McMaster INTERNAL RESEARCHNET DEADLINE (FOR STUDENTS): Stage 2 endorsed candidates will submit a complete application on ResearchNet.
  • Wednesday, November 6, 2019 (8:00 pm Eastern Time) Vanier Deadline McMaster must forward their selected nominations to the Vanier CGS program

In order to submit a Stage 1 Letter of Intent package at McMaster, you will need the support of your McMaster current or proposed department and supervisor.  Please contact your department for complete details on how to submit a Stage 1 Letter of Intent package.

McMaster Quota

Universities have been assigned quotas for the number of applications that can be submitted to each agency.  McMaster’s quotas are as follows:

  • CIHR – 10 applications
  • NSERC – 7 applications
  • SSHRC – 5 applications

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Website

For complete instructions on how to apply to the upcoming Vanier competition, please refer to the Vanier website.


To be considered for a Vanier CGS, you must:

  • Be a Canadian Citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or a foreign citizen;
  • Be nominated by only ONE Canadian university;
  • Be pursuing your first doctoral degree (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD).  Note that only the PhD portion of a combined degree is eligible for funding;
  • Intend to pursue, in the summer semester or the academic year following the announcement of results, full-time doctoral (or combined MA/PhD or MD/PhD) studies and research at the nominating university;
  • Not have completed more than 20 months of full-time doctoral studies as of May 1, 2020  (see calculating months of doctoral studies)
  • Have achieved a first-class average which is an A (11.0/12.0 or above) at McMaster, in each of the last two years of full-time study or equivalent; and
  • Must not hold, or have a held a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHRNSERC or SSHRC to undertake or complete a doctoral degree.

For complete Vanier eligibility information, please go to the Vanier website eligibility page:

Instructions/Information For Department Administrators

  • Department Graduate Administrators (or equivalent) must create an account in ResearchNet to receive access as a “Secondary User”
    Link to ResearchNet Website
  • Upon account confirmation from ResearchNet, please notify  The School of Graduate Studies at and include the name and email address that was used to create the ResearchNet account;
  • Graduate Administrators (or equivalent) who already have an existing account with ResearchNet for Vanier are not required to create a new account for this year’s Vanier Competition.
  • The Secondary User access will allow the administrators to review/monitor the candidates’ applications, return the candidate’s application for revisions and to upload all transcripts for their departments’ candidates.

Contact Information

ResearchNet technical help, call 1-888-603-4178 or 613-954-1968 or email from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Eastern Time.

For program-related help, please contact

Vanier Competition information and application process at the Vanier website.

For more information, please visit: School of Graduate Studies Scholarships.

The GSA awards a number of travel awards (up to $500) every semester (Sept-Dec, Jan-Apr, May-Aug) for travel to conferences to present, or to undertake research relevant to their field of study. GSA Travel Awards are funded from the proceeds of the GSA Development Fund, which is sustained by contributions from Graduate Students and the University. Award recipients will be asked to voluntarily contribute a 250-word statement of how this award and travel contributed to their graduate experience, which may be posted on the Graduate Studies and GSA websites and other media sources.

Students can apply through “Aid by Application” in Mosaic.

For complete instruction on how to apply for this award in Mosaic, please visit McMaster’s Aid and Awards page

The Yates Scholarship Fund (up to $500) was established in 1963 by the bequest of William Henry Yates. This fund support upper-level doctoral students with research activities and conference travel when a paper is being delivered. Applicants must have completed their comprehensive exam.

The students can apply through “Aid by Application” in Mosaic – date to be announced.

For complete instruction on how to apply for this award in Mosaic, please go to the Registar Website Aid & Awards page

The China Scholarship Council and McMaster University offer a program of joint support for Chinese PhD students, visiting PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scholars.

Learn more about the China Scholarship Council-McMaster University Joint Funding Program, and how to apply.

The Catherine Jane Stephenson Memorial Bursary was established in 2005 by Jean and Bruce Stephenson in memory of their daughter Catherine Jane Stephenson, a 1978 graduate of McMaster University. To be granted to a student enrolled at the Master’s or Ph.D. level in Biology and who demonstrates financial need. Preference will be given to students whose research is located in Northern Canada, including northern parts of the provinces.

The Howard P. Whidden Graduate Scholarship was established in 1987, and is open to non- Canadian students from countries of the British Commonwealth. This prestigious award is open to students who qualify for admission into any graduate program that extends to the doctorate, although the student’s initial registration may be at the Master’s level. The award is once renewable contingent upon satisfactory academic performance. It will be awarded at the discretion of the School of Graduate Studies.

  • Value: 1 award variable up to $8,500

The Lee Nielson Roth Award was established in 1986 by Judith L. Roth (Nielson ’53) in memory of her son, Lee. The award is made annually to a doctoral student in Medical Sciences, Biochemistry, or Biology of high academic standing who is working in the area of cancer research.

The Monica Scarabello Memorial Bursary was established in 1997 by colleagues and friends in memory of Monica Scarabello.  To be granted to a student who demonstrates financial need and is enrolled in a Master of Science program in the Department of Biology. Preference is given to graduate students who have demonstrated research excellence. This bursary is to be awarded by the School of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Chair of Biology.

The Richard Fuller Memorial Scholarships for Science were established in 1991 with funds from the estate of Henrietta Osborne. The scholarships are renewable up to three years, provided performance in graduate studies is maintained at a high academic level. These scholarships will be awarded annually to incoming or, current Canadian citizens, permanent residents or, international students registered in a master’s and doctoral graduate programs in the Faculty of Science demonstrating high academic achievement.

Update: October 2019