Harmonized Scholarship Process

Submission deadlines

Applicants currently enrolled in, or with an intent to apply for a thesis-based program of study: Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. AST.


Important: Several programs require earlier submission to enable feedback and review. Applicants can withdraw, edit and resubmit their applications up until the January 15th deadline. Edits and resubmission are not permitted after the January 15th deadline.

Dalhousie’s excellence depends on the perspectives and histories that are reflected in our classrooms and research. To ensure our community is diverse and inclusive, Dalhousie maintains several merit-based scholarships for historically under-represented communities, including the James Robinson Johnston Graduate Scholarship for African Canadians, African Nova Scotian Graduate Scholarship and Indigenous Graduate Scholarship. These opportunities are also open to eligible non-thesis applicants. The submission deadline for non-thesis applicants for these opportunities is February 15, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. AST.

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, African Nova Scotian Graduate Scholarship, Indigenous Graduate Scholarship,  Vitamin Scholarship and the Abdul Majid Bader Graduate Scholarship.

New applicants are not required to be accepted into a graduate program to apply for these scholarships. However, students must be accepted into an eligible graduate program at Dalhousie University before accepting scholarship offers. These scholarships are not transferrable between institutions.  Currently-enrolled master's students expecting to transfer or fast-track to a doctoral program in January or May of the current year academic year or in September or January of the next academic year are encouraged to apply for doctoral-level awards.

The scholarship application submission process is described in the steps below. It is important to note that the scholarship application and the admission application involve two separate and distinct processes.  Each has its own individual online portal, eligibility and review criteria and document submission requirements. 

Scholarship application instructions

  • Log into the FGS Scholarship Management Platform. If you already have a Dalhousie NetID, please select “Use Dalhousie NetID” to log in. If not, please enter an email address and create a password. It is only necessary to create one account, even if you intend to apply for multiple opportunities.
  • Create a new scholarship application or edit an existing one by selecting from the “My applications” list on your home page. Only one application per competition will be accepted by each applicant, so please do not submit multiple Harmonized Scholarship applications.
  • Master’s applicants who have applied for the Tri-Agency CGS-M competition may choose to opt-in to use their CGS-M application within the Harmonized Scholarship Process. To do so, please select “Master’s Level – CGS-M Opt-In” as the submission category and proceed through the application.  The Faculty of Graduate Studies will link your CGS-M application to your opt-in form, including reference letters and transcripts submitted for the Tri-Agency CGSM competition. The deadline to Opt-in is December 1st (coinciding with the CGS-M application deadline set by Tri-Agency).  If you do not opt-in with your CGS-M application, you must complete a full Harmonized Scholarship Application to be considered for other awards.
  • All applicants are encouraged to complete the self-identification questionnaire found in the Online Scholarship Platform. This allows administrators to ensure applicants are sorted into the review process for award opportunities with specific eligibility criteria. Information provided in this questionnaire is not visible to reviewers and will remain strictly confidential.
  • Click “Next” at the bottom of each page to move through the application. Clicking “Save” will allow the applicant to close the application and return to it later to edit or update it. 
  • Official transcripts must be obtained and uploaded by the applicant directly in the scholarship portal as per the instructions found in the application. FGS will not provide copies of transcripts from admission applications. Transcripts from multiple institutions must be combined into a single PDF before uploading. Unofficial grade reports for current Dalhousie students may be used in lieu of official transcripts for the harmonized scholarship process.
  • All reference letters must be submitted in the portal by the January 15, 2022 deadline (or February 15 in the case of non-thesis applicants).  The application portal will close to applicants and referees after this date and incomplete applications will not be forwarded for review.  Reference letters will not be accepted by email or in hard copy.  It is highly recommended that applicants advise their referees of a deadline a few days to one-week prior to January 14 in case of unforeseen emergencies or technical issues.  Applicants will receive an email notification from the portal and a “received” notation will appear in red by each referee’s name once their reference has been completed.  Please check the status of references frequently prior to the deadline.
  • Agree to terms and conditions and click “Save and Finalize” to complete and submit the application. 
  • You may withdraw your application to make changes up until the January 15 deadline, including updating your transcripts with fall grades or making edits based on feedback received from your department.  If you withdraw your application, it must be resubmitted by the January 15th deadline to be considered.

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 2021) will have an award start date in the summer term (i.e. May 2021).
  • Total funding from multiple FGS-managed scholarships is typically limited to $20,000/year for master's, 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 (master's) or 4th (doctoral) year of study.
  • For more details, please see Maintaining Graduate Funding.