Scotia Scholars Award


The Scotia ScholarsOM* Awards provide financial support to high caliber research trainees engaged in health research at Nova Scotia universities. The objective of the Scotia ScholarsOM Award is to support the development of the next generation of highly qualified researchers and leaders in the Nova Scotia health research enterprise, and to encourage continued interest in health research careers. Funded applicants have the distinct honour of carrying the designation of Scotia Scholar.

Application Process
Review Process
Assessment Criteria
Resources and Assistance


Award Types

Scotia Scholar Awards are offered at three levels of study:

  • Undergraduate
  • Master's
  • Doctoral

Scotia Scholars Award funding is allocated to each institution. The institution determines annually how many awards at each level of study will be issued.

In 2019-20, participating institutions will accept applications for the following award levels:

  • Acadia University - PhD, Master’s, Undergraduate
  • Cape Breton University - Undergraduate, Master's
  • Dalhousie University – PhD, Master’s
  • Mount Saint Vincent University - Master’s, Undergraduate
  • Saint Mary’s University - PhD, Master’s
  • St. Francis Xavier University - PhD, Master’s, Undergraduate


To apply for a Scotia Scholars Award, the applicant must meet the following criteria at the time of application:

Doctoral Level Awards

  • Have applied to, be accepted in, or, be enrolled in Year 1, 2 or 3 of a full-time thesis-based Doctoral degree program at a participating Nova Scotian university.

Master's Level Awards

  • Have applied to, be accepted in, or be enrolled in Year 1 of a full-time thesis-based Master’s degree program.

Undergraduate Level Awards

  • Be enrolled full-time in and completed at least two full years of an honours or advanced major undergraduate degree program at a participating Nova Scotian university.

The applicant must also:

  • Be engaged in research activities relevant to the NSHRF research priorities.
  • Have achieved a first-class average (as determined by the university) in the last two years of full time study.
  • Be in good standing for enrollment in the upcoming school year.
  • Not be receiving research trainee funding through an NSHRF Scotia Support Grant
  • Not be employed full-time

Special Eligibility Requirements

  • Honourary Scotia Scholars may apply for a funded award at the same level, if their funding no longer exceeds the cap and they meet all other eligibility criteria.

Funding Amount and Duration

Funding is issued to recipients in the following amounts:

  • Undergraduate Level – up to $5,000/ 8 months, non-renewable
  • Master’s Level – up to $10,000/ year, renewable for 1 year
  • Doctorate Level – up to $15,000/ year, renewable for up to 3 years

Holders of NSHRF Scotia Scholar Grants who plan to take family-related leave or medical leave may be able to extend the length of their grant. However, grant holders are not able to request an increase to their funding amount to cover eligible expenses during their leave of absence. To request an extension, please contact your institutional contact for more information. 

Students will not be eligible to receive Scotia Scholars Award funding past the end of Year 4 of an Undergraduate program, Year 2 of a Master’s program or past the end of Year 4 of a Doctoral program, as outlined below:

Award/ Degree Level Enrollment Status at Time of Application Maximum Eligible Funding Available
Undergraduate Award Applied to/ Accepted in program Ineligible to apply
In Year 1 or 2 of program Ineligible to apply
In Year 3 of program $5,000/ 8 months
In Year 4 of program or later Ineligible to apply
Master’s Award Applied to/ Accepted in program $10,000/ year for 2 years
In Year 1 of program $10,000/ year for 1 year
In Year 2 of program or later Ineligible to apply
Doctoral Award Applied to/ Accepted in program $15,000/ year for 4 years
In Year 1 of program $15,000/ year for 3 years
In Year 2 of program $15,000/ year for 2 years
In Year 3 of program $15,000/ year for 1 year
In Year 4 of program or later Ineligible to apply


Student Funding Caps

Scotia Scholars Award applicants may recieve a pro-rated award if their funding would otherwise exceed institutional caps or may be named an Honourary Scotia Scholar (i.e. no funding will be issued) if the applicant holds additional scholarships which exceed institutional funding caps. Participating institutions maintain their own policies for governing total funding caps for Trainee support. For information on the institutional funding cap policies please contact your institutional representative.  

Student Awards

The NSHRF offers three student awards selected from Scotia Scholars Master’s and PhD applicants. For more info about the awards and their application requirements, please click below:

On behalf of Building Research for Integrated Primary Healthcare (BRIC NS), the NSHRF hosts the following student award:

Dates and Deadlines

Master's / Doctoral Competition

Application Criteria Available: January 25, 2019
Application Available in GMS: February 5, 2019
Application Deadline: April 12, 2019 2:00 p.m. AT
Results Available: June 2019
Funds Available: September 2, 2019

Undergraduate Competition
Application Available in GMS: TBD
Deadline: TBD
Results Available: TBD
Funds Available: TBD 


Application Process

Step 1:
Confirm Eligibility

Consider whether you meet the eligibility criteria (outlined above) and confirm your institution is offering the award level for which you are eligible to apply.

If applicants have any questions related to their eligibility, they are encouraged to contact their institution.

Step 2:
Review Application Requirements

Be sure to carefully review all application requirements, as outlined in the document below:

Note: You are required to submit two letters of reference and all academic transcripts. Please ensure you arrange for these documents well in advance of the application deadline.

Step 3:
Register in NSHRF’s Grants Management System (GMS)
Applications must be submitted through NSHRF’s online Grants Management System (GMS).

Please visit and click "sign up here" to create an account.

Step 4: Ensure Letters of Reference are Submitted

Ensure your academic and leadership letters have been submitted by the referees to Trish Cormier, Corporate Assistant ( prior to the application deadline. Letters provided via the applicant will not be accepted. (This is the only component of the application completed outside of the Grants Management System.)

Step 5: Complete Application

To apply, login to GMS to access the application, where information will be either entered directly into GMS or uploaded as PDF documents.

Be sure to refer to the Application Requirements (See Step 2) for detailed instructions.

Review Process

  1. Each institution will assess applications to determine whether they are complete and meet the eligibility criteria.
  2. Complete and eligible applications will be reviewed by each institution in accordance with their review practices and the assessment criteria outlined below.
  3. Institutions will submit to NSHRF a list of applicants recommended for funding and a list of alternates, if applicable.
  4. NSHRF will notify applicants of funding decisions and implement the process for award acceptance and payment for funding recipients.

Assessment Criteria

The following criteria will be used by each institution to assess Scotia Scholar Award applications:                                           

Criteria Weighting Undergrad Weighting Master's Weighting PhD

Academic Excellence

  • Strength of academic record
  • Quality of academic abilities outlined in academic reference letter
  • Funding, duration and prestige of received scholarships and awards
  • Clarity of explanation for any academic interruptions and delays
60% 50% 30%

Leadership Qualities

  • Extent to which past and current employment, volunteer, extracurricular experiences and research contributions demonstrate leadership skills
  • Quality and potential impact of leadership abilities outlined in leadership reference letter
  • Relevance of future plans to career in health research
30% 20% 20%

Research Potential

  • Relevance of academic training and work experience to research activity
  • Funding, duration and prestige of received scholarships and awards
  • Quality and extent of contribution to research activity
  • Quality and potential impact of research abilities outlined in academic reference letter
  • Relevance of research activity to the health research priorities of the NSHRF
  • Potential for impact of research activity on the health of Nova Scotians and the economy, clinical practice, health policy and/or health services in Nova Scotia
10% 30% 50%


Resources and Assistance

Application Support

Applicants should contact their institution well in advance of the application deadline with questions related to application content and eligibility:

Institutional Contacts
Acadia University

Theresa Starratt
Graduate Studies Officer

Barb Baker
Research Office Administrator
Tel: (902) 585-1498

Cape Breton University

Zuzana Ištvanková
Research Administration Officer: Major Initiatives
Scholarships Liaison Officer

Dalhousie University Courtney Collins
Scholarships Liaison Officer
Mount Saint Vincent University Cathy Lantos
Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies
Saint Mary’s University Heather Taylor
Graduate Studies Officer
St. Francis Xavier University

Marie Gillis
Research Administrative Coordinator
Research Services Group

Grants Management System (GMS) Support 

Please click here to download a step by step guide for applicants outlining how to navigate the Grants Management System. 

For technical questions regarding the GMS (including password resets, system navigation), contact the NSHRF Helpdesk at 902-424-4043 or

Please allow 1-2 business days for a response.

Canadian Common CV (CCV) Support

Looking for your CCV/NSHRF PIN? Your PIN is the email address you used to register with GMS. 

Please click here to download a step by step guide for validating your PIN and submitting your CCV. 

For technical questions regarding the CCV (including password and account resets, PINs, CCV submission, etc.), contact the CCV Centralized Helpdesk at 1-888-603-4178 or