Scholarships & Bursaries & Financial Aid

For information, regarding current scholarship competitions and internal departmental deadlines, please visit:

Biology Graduate Scholarship Information (Date of application “Fall 2018”, exception: Vanier doctoral – August 2018)  Please contact for more information.

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

Update:  September 2018

For more information regarding Awards and Funding (Financial Aid), please visit:

School of Graduate Studies – Awards and Funding

For specific information regarding graduate student funding in Biology, please contact Barb Reuter at

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program

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.

Canada Graduate Scholarships - Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements Program

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 Wednesday, September 19th, 2018.

School of Graduate Studies Deadline:

Departments will be required to submit complete candidates’ applications by e-mail to by Tuesday, September 28th, 2018.

Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master’s Program

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 3rd, 2018 as December 1st is a Saturday.

Link to the portal:

For complete instructions, please visit:

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.

DEADLINE:  December 3, 2018.

Scholarship Information Session to be announced – for October 2018.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral Research Awards

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.

MITACS Accelerate

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.

NSERC - Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships and NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships (Masters and Doctoral)

  • 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:

Internal Biology Dept Deadline:  Friday, September 14th, 2018. Official transcripts are required, including proof of registration with a McMaster University transcript is to be submitted to the Academic Program Assistant (Graduate).

NSERC - Postdoctoral Fellowships Program

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.

Ontario Graduate Scholarships and Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology

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.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

The School of Graduate Studies is pleased to provide you with information for the upcoming Fall 2017 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 13th, 2018

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 11, 2018, 10:00 am. Stage 1 Letter of Intent (LOI) package is due to SGS.
  • Thursday, October 11, 2018, 10:00 am. Stage 2 endorsed candidate applications are due to SGS.
  • Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 11:59 pm McMaster INTERNAL RESEARCHNET DEADLINE (FOR STUDENTS): Stage 2 endorsed candidates will submit a complete application on ResearchNet.
  • Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 (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 2017 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, 2019  (see calculating months of doctoral studies)
  • Have achieved a first-class average which is anA (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:

Instructions/Information for Department Administrators

  • Department Graduate Administrators (or equivalent) must create an account in ResearchNet to receive access as a “Secondary User”

  • 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:

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

GSA Travel Assistance Grants

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 Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.

The Yates Scholarship Fund

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:

China Scholarship Council-McMaster University Joint Funding Program

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 Jean Stephenson Memorial Bursary

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

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

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

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

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.