Harmonized Scholarship Process

The Harmonized Scholarship Process allows for a current/prospective student to be considered for several FGS-managed scholarships using a single application, including: NSGS, Killam, Eliza Ritchie, JRJ, NS Black and First Nations, Vitamin, and Bader Scholarships.

Applications and supporting material should be submitted to the department no later than Early December

Minimum GPA Eligibility

Departments are encouraged to only support applicants who have a minimum GPA of 3.7/4.3 on a Dalhousie Grade Scale. Applications with a GPA at or below this level requires a strong justification from their nominating department (i.e. exceptional scholarly record, or eligibility for diversity-oriented scholarships). 

How to Apply

Note that only one Harmonized Scholarship application will be accepted per student in a given year.

  1. Complete an Application Form for the Master’s Competition [PDF - 188kb], or Doctoral Competition [PDF - 188kb], checking eligibility for each of the awards listed in the application form.
  2. Submit the following to your intended program of study:
    1. Completed application: Master’s Competition [PDF - 188kb] or Doctoral Competition [PDF - 188kb].
    2. Transcripts – Unofficial transcripts may be used for review purposes. All award offers are conditional upon receipt of official transcripts prior to acceptance of an award. Discrepancies between official and unofficial transcripts will normally result in a student becoming ineligible for their award.
    3. Up to two (2) Reference letters – See Standard Reference Form [PDF - 69kb]. Note that while admission reference letters may be re-used for scholarship evaluation purposes, applicants are strongly encouraged to request letters from their referees specifically for scholarship evaluation.
    4. If eligible for the JRJ, NS Black or First Nations scholarships, a community support letter.

Please consult the list of graduate programs to identify the appropriate contacts who will receive your application. Note that not all listed programs are eligible for research-oriented scholarships.

For Canadian Graduate Scholars-Master’s program (CGS-M) Applicants Only

If you are entering your Master’s program at Dalhousie in January 2020 or later, have applied to the current year’s Canadian Graduate Scholars-Master’s program (CGS-M) and have identified Dalhousie as a proposed host institution, you can choose to re-use your application for the Harmonized Scholarship Process.

The CGS-M application includes equivalent content to the Master’s Competition application form, official transcripts and reference letters. As a result, you may apply through the following simplified process:

  1. Complete a CGS-M Opt-in Form [PDF - 144kb]
  2. Submit the following to the same program of study you identified on your CGS-M application
    1. Completed CGS-M Opt-in Form [PDF - 144kb]
    2. Copy of the confirmation receipt/email you received following submission of your CGS-M application in the tri-agency research portal (REQUIRED).
    3. If eligible for the JRJNS Black or First Nations scholarships, a community support letter

Note that only one Harmonized Scholarship application will be accepted per student in a given year. If you choose to submit a full application rather than re-using your CGS-M application, the two will be evaluated independently.


Deadline for Students: Early December
Submit required application material to your intended program of study. Late submission may result in your application not being eligible for review.

Deadline for Departments: Mid/late January
Programs forward supported applications to the Faculty of Graduate Study for review. No late submissions accepted.

Initial award offers sent to departments, who coordinate contact with students to confirm acceptance and receipt of official transcripts.

April to August
Additional award offers sent out to waitlisted candidates as funding becomes available.

Evaluation Criteria

All scholarships managed through the Harmonized Scholarship Process follow Tri-Council guidelines for evaluation of academic excellence, research ability or potential, and communication, interpersonal and leadership abilities.

For applications in the Master’s Competition:

  • Please review CGS-M Evaluation Criteria, which form the basis for ranking applications.
  • Written in clear, plain language, avoiding the use of jargon.
  • Consider reviewing the “Outline of proposed research (attachment)” section of the CGS-M instructions for recommendations on what to include in a strong research proposal.

For applications in the Doctoral Competition:

Accepting/Managing Your Award(s)

  • Award offers to successful candidates are conditional upon acceptance of all awards.
  • Offers are typically communicated to each Department, who will coordinate confirming acceptance with successful applicants (Requires B00 number confirmation).
  • Awards must be taken up in the first academic term for which a student is eligible. Successful applicants who start their program while the competition is in progress (i.e. January 2020) will have an award start date in the summer term (i.e. May 2020).
  • Total funding from multiple FGS-managed scholarships is typically limited to $20,000/year for Masters, and $30,000/year for PhD students. These funding caps are managed automatically in the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
  • FGS-managed scholarships normally cannot be held beyond the end of the 2nd (Masters) or 4th (Doctoral) year of study.

Additional Forms and Guidelines

Departmental Assessment Form [PDF - 69kb]
Complete HSP Competition Guidelines and Policie s {Available Early Fall}