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Scholarship application review process

You’ve submitted your application. What’s next? 

In most cases, your submission will first be reviewed by the program/department you have chosen in your application. If it is supported by the department your application is then forwarded to the university-level review where it is assessed based on the evaluation criteria.  

Department-level review

The program/department is responsible for completing a first-level review of your application to  confirm that it is able to support the research you have proposed. They may require early submission of your application to allow for time for review, and may provide you with feedback that will require you to edit your submission before the competition due date. Only applications supported by the department will move forward to the university-level review. You will typically see an update in the online scholarship platform within a week or two of the submission deadline letting you know if your application received department support.

University-level review

Once supported at the department level, your application will be assigned to a university-level review committee depending on the level of the degree you are pursuing, master’s or doctoral, and the alignment of the research you have selected to the categories of Social Science and Humanities, Natural Sciences and Engineering, Health and Medicine.   

Your submission will be evaluated based on the criteria used to guide Tri-agency Canadian Graduate Scholarship master’s and doctoral award competitions. The evaluation is completed by two to three reviewers who fall within your selected research alignment area. You should note that reviewers often do not have discipline-specific knowledge in your area, so it is important to write your proposal and describe the impact of your research in a way which would be clear to someone outside of your specific research area. Scores from all reviewers are compiled, corrected to account for scoring bias between reviewers, and ranked based on the final scores received. Individual feedback on each application will not be provided. 

The number of awards available each year varies. Additional criteria may be taken into account in the final offering of awards, including distribution of awards across programs and departments within the university, diversity of applicants, and available budget. When an offer is intended for an applicant who is still waiting for acceptance into their program, preference will be given to accepted students with an established intended start date.

Consideration of equity, diversity and inclusion

Self-identification information provided in your application is strictly confidential, and will not be shared with your department or broader university-level reviewers. If you have self-identified as a member of the African Nova Scotian, African Canadian or Indigenous communities, and have provided your consent, limited information will be provided to a review committee for awards specifically intended to support your community. The reviewers on these committees are drawn from the Indigenous, African Nova Scotian or African Canadian communities at Dalhousie, depending on the award being considered. 

Dalhousie reserves the right to make additional award offers to applicants from equity deserving groups beyond what would normally be possible based on current budgeting processes.  


Award announcements

Harmonized Scholarship Process 
In February, you will be notified via the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) Scholarship Management Portal if your application was not supported by the department you are applying to. 

Initial award offers are communicated in March and early April, with additional offers released as late as June depending on waitlists and annual scholarship budgets. You will normally be contacted by your program/department during this time to discuss your funding offer based on the results of this competition.

Tri-Agency Awards (CGS-M, CGS-D, Vanier)
Announcements of recipients of Tri-agency awards such as the Canada Graduate Scholarships for master’s (CGS-M) and doctoral (CGS-D) studies, and the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships are typically made in early/mid April. These announcements significantly affect the number of NSGS and Killam offers Dalhousie can make each year, resulting in several waitlisted applicants being contacted in late April after Tri-agency results are known.