Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

April 30, 2009 15:30 ET

Minister of State Gary Goodyear Announces Inaugural Recipients of Canada's Highly Prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

166 of the world's leading doctoral students from Canada and abroad awarded $50,000 annually for up to three years to pursue studies at Canadian universities

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 30, 2009) - Gary Goodyear, minister of state (science and technology), today announced the selection of the inaugural 166 recipients of the new Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships-the most important, prestigious and sought-after scholarships for doctoral students. Scholarship recipients will receive $50,000 each year for up to three years. A total of 166 scholarships will be awarded in 2009. Once at full capacity, the program will support up to 500 new students annually. These scholarships are awarded to the world's leading doctoral students hailing from across Canada and abroad.

"The Government of Canada recognizes the important role that research excellence plays in furthering innovation and competitiveness in addition to stimulating our economy," said Minister of State Goodyear. "The recipients of these scholarships are the world's leading doctoral students and the next generation of researchers, professors and industry leaders who will make considerable economic and social contributions in Canada and abroad. As evidenced through this program, Canada is a magnet for top intellectual talent and a global centre of excellence in university education and research."

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program was launched by the Government of Canada in Budget 2008, with an initial $25 million investment, and is administered by Canada's three federal research granting agencies-the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). When fully operational, the program will support 500 graduate students per year.

"The value and prestige of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships put them on par with such highly renowned scholarships as the Rhodes scholarships in the United Kingdom and the Fulbright scholarships in the United States," said Chad Gaffield, president of SSHRC. "We are delighted to offer these bright students an opportunity to pursue their studies within Canadian universities. They will enrich our campuses now and into the future."

"These most promising researchers in the natural sciences and engineering, the social sciences and humanities, and health will become an important resource for all Canadians over the course of their doctoral education and beyond," said NSERC president Suzanne Fortier. "Many Vanier scholars will remain in Canada, making Canada intellectually richer, educating the next generation of knowledge workers, and strengthening the economy through their research and innovation. Those Vanier scholars that return to their home countries after their studies will forge global networks for international relations, intellectual exchange and business development."

"The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program is a significant investment in world-class research and innovation. It is a huge boost to our universities' ability to attract the best talent in all fields of study," added Alain Beaudet, president of CIHR. "We are particularly excited about the strong cadre of young, emerging health researchers who will receive the scholarships this year."

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships nominees were evaluated by multi-disciplinary peer-review committees and selected by a blue ribbon selection board composed of world-renowned Canadian and international experts, including Laurent Beaudoin, chair of the board of Bombardier Inc., and Martha Piper, former president of The University of British Columbia.

"The selection process was extremely competitive, and the results show that Canada is a destination of choice for the best and brightest university students and researchers," said Beaudoin.

"Receiving a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship is a great privilege. Coming to Canada to pursue my doctoral studies with such generous support is an opportunity of a lifetime," said Noorjehan Johnson, a Vanier scholar from McGill University.

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program aims to attract and retain world-class doctoral students by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health, as well as leadership skills. Both Canadian and international students are eligible to be nominated for a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

For more information, or for the full list of scholars, please visit

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear,
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft, Director, Communications
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
    Trevor Lynn, Manager, Communications
    Cell: 613-302-9879