Top 6 Canadian Government Scholarships for International Students

Studying abroad can be expensive. Tuition fees, living expenses, and educational materials can add up, creating barriers for outstanding persons who want to study in Canada. Scholarships assist to alleviate this financial strain, allowing eligible students to focus on their education without being constrained by financial concerns.

The Canadian government understands the value of international students and their positive impact on the country. This is why the government has established a number of famous scholarship programs to recruit and assist exceptional people from all around the world.

These scholarships are intended to give financial support, research opportunities, and educational exchanges that will enable winners to flourish in their chosen disciplines. This post will expose you to eight of the top Canadian government scholarships for overseas students available in 2024.

1. Commonwealth Scholarships And Fellowships In Canada

The Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships in Canada sought to give critical financial assistance to academically exceptional students from Commonwealth countries pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees. These $10,000 scholarships are intended to alleviate the financial pressures connected with transportation, living expenditures, and other fees related to their academic pursuits in Canada.

Students from Commonwealth countries often apply for these scholarships through specific routes or programs established by Canadian government or partner schools. The thorough procedure often includes the submission of an application, generally accompanied by supporting documentation and evidence of academic merit, which is then evaluated for eligibility and potential scholarship award.

2. Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships give an excellent opportunity for postdoctoral researchers, both domestic and international, to conduct cutting-edge research in Canada. Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships enable researchers to make major contributions to their areas, gain leadership experience, and engage with domain specialists. The selection process is rigorous, with an emphasis on research excellence, the quality of proposed research programs, and the possible societal impact of the research.

Annually, 70 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships are offered, with a taxable fellowship salary of $70,000. This financial support is intended to strengthen the scholars’ research efforts, supporting new innovations and societal achievements. The fellowships are evenly allocated among Canada’s three major research agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Eligibility Criteria

For those aspiring to secure a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, it is essential to meet specific eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants should have successfully fulfilled all degree requirements for a Ph.D., equivalent Ph.D., or a health professional degree.
  • Open to both Canadian citizens or permanent residents and international students.
  • Eligibility extends to Canadian universities, foreign universities, affiliated research hospitals, colleges, and not-for-profit organizations.
  • Applicants cannot hold a previous Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship.

3. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) are a prestigious opportunity provided by the Government of Canada to attract and maintain excellent PhD candidates, thereby establishing Canada as a global hub for research and higher education. This highly sought-after award, which provides substantial financial support, is only available for doctoral degree programs or combination MA/PhD or MD/PhD programs.

Vanier CGS provides a considerable financial incentive of $50,000 each year for three years, which helps scholars cover a variety of academic expenses. This financial assistance is an important means of assisting PhD students with their research, allowing them to concentrate on their studies without the stress of financial limitations.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Vanier CGS, candidates must adhere to the following criteria:

  • Nomination by a Canadian institution with a Vanier CGS quota.
  • Pursuing their first doctoral degree, emphasizing the Ph.D. portion of a combined degree.
  • Intent to commence full-time doctoral studies and research at the nominating institution in the summer semester or academic year following the results announcement.
  • Completed at most 20 months of doctoral studies.
  • Achieved a first-class average in the last two years of full-time study or its equivalent.
  • Not currently holding or previously holding a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC for doctoral studies.

4. Canada-ASEAN Scholarships And Educational Exchanges For Development (SEED)

The Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) program demonstrates the Government of Canada’s strong commitment to promoting academic collaboration and development in ASEAN member countries. This program aims to reduce poverty in ASEAN’s poorest countries while also contributing to the global agenda for sustainable development.

SEED scholarships are solely for ASEAN residents, boosting regional collaboration and strengthening national ties. These scholarships grant access to a diverse range of courses offered by Canadian institutions. SEED offers financial assistance of up to CAD 15,900, removing financial barriers and guaranteeing that eligible students can participate in this transformative program.

5. Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program

The Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s (CGS M) program supports and encourages international students to pursue graduate studies in Canada. This program, which is specifically designed for high-achieving students who demonstrate extraordinary talent and a commitment to scholarly success, provides a platform for them to further their study at a Canadian institution.

The CGS M program yearly provides substantial financial support and research opportunities to up to 3,000 scholars from different academic areas. This program is overseen by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents,
  • The candidate’s timeline in their program is crucial; it ranges from 0 to 12 months of full-time studies in various programs, including master’s or doctoral programs, fast-track programs, and others, as specified in the eligibility guidelines.
  • Applicants must be enrolled in, have applied for, or will apply for full-time admission to an eligible graduate program at the master’s or doctoral level at a Canadian institution allocated with CGS M funding.
  • Candidates must have achieved a first-class average in their last two completed years of study (full-time equivalent).

6. Emerging Leaders In The Americas Program (ELAP)

ELAP prioritizes scholarly ties and engagement with Latin American and Caribbean countries. While the program is open to specified countries in North and South America, it is primarily focused on these regions. The term and advantages of ELAP scholarships vary depending on the scholarship received and the student’s academic pursuit. ELAP scholarships often cover a variety of expenses such as tuition, living costs, and educational materials.

One of the main advantages of ELAP is its versatility. These scholarships can be offered at many levels, including undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate programs, making them available to students pursuing a variety of academic goals. This means that students at various stages of their schooling can profit from this curriculum.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates have to be citizens of one of the eligible countries or territories, which include countries in the Caribbean, Central America, North America, and South America.
  • Candidates must be full-time students at post-secondary institutions
  • Candidates must be paying tuition fees to their institution at the time of application


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