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 the Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship, Killam Predoctoral Scholarships, Eliza Ritchie Doctoral Entrance Scholarship for Women, James Robinson Johnston Graduate Entrance Scholarship for African Canadians, Nova Scotia Black and First Nations Graduate Entrance Scholarships, the Vitamin Scholarship and the Abdul Majid Bader Graduate Scholarship.

Students, please consult your intended program of study for their internal deadline, which generally occurs in early December.

All required application material should be submitted to your program of study by this internal deadline. Late submission may result in your application not being eligible for review.

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 require a strong justification from their nominating department (i.e. exceptional scholarly record, or eligibility for diversity-oriented scholarships). 

For students: how to apply

1. Only one Harmonized Scholarship application will be accepted per student in a given year.

2. 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.

3. Consult your intended program of study for its internal deadline (generally occurs in early December). All required application material should be submitted to your program of study by this internal deadline. Late submission may result in your application not being eligible for review.

4. 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.

5. Submit the following to your intended program of study:

a. Completed application: Master’s Competition [PDF - 188kb] or Doctoral Competition [PDF - 188kb].

b. Transcripts from each university attended – unofficial transcripts may be used for review purposes. All award offers are conditional upon receipt of official transcripts from universities other than Dalhousie prior to acceptance of an award. Discrepancies between official and unofficial transcripts will normally result in a student becoming ineligible for their award.

c. Up to two reference letters – see Standard Reference Form [PDF - 33kb]. 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.

d. If eligible for the James Robinson Johnston Graduate Entrance Scholarship for African Canadians or Nova Scotia Black and First Nations Graduate Entrance Scholarships, please include a community support letter.

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 JRJ or NS 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.

For departments: receiving applications and submitting to FGS

1. Receive HSP applications and accompanying documents or CGS-M opt-in form (master's applicants only). Please ask students who submit opt-in forms to also forward to you a copy of the email they receive from the agency acknowledging receipt of their CGS-M application.

2. Receive completed CGS-M applications from FGS.

3. Review all HSP and CGS-M applications - no rankings required.

a. Complete a departmental assessment form [PDF - 69kb] for each supported HSP application.

b. Complete a departmental assessment form [PDF - 69kb] for each CGS-M application, indicating whether application is supported by department or not.

4. Assemble HSP applications into one PDF file per applicant with the title: Department_lastname, firstname (e.g. Chemistry_Curie, Marie) in the following order: departmental assessment/application/transcripts/reference letters

5. Upload supported HSP applications and all CGS-M departmental assessment forms to OneDrive folder and share with fgs.slo@dal.ca by the following deadlines

a. Deadline for master's applications: January 16, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

b. Deadline for doctoral applications: January 23, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.


  • Unofficial academic records from Dal Online may be submitted in lieu of official transcripts if validated by departments.
  • Electronic reference letters may be accepted if they are sent directly to departments from an institutional email address.

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.