African Nova Scotian Graduate Scholarship

Dalhousie University offers graduate scholarships valued at $15,000/year, awarded annually to an African Nova Scotian who has either recently started or is planning to pursue graduate studies at Dalhousie.  The objective of these scholarships is to reduce systematic barriers and increase representation of African Nova Scotians in the university's wide diversity of graduate programs and in advanced professional occupations. The graduate program may be at the master's or doctoral level, and may include professional, course-based or thesis-based programs.

Successful applicants will be encouraged to connect with a mentor from Dalhousie’s African Nova Scotian faculty, and to get engaged with peer mentorship programs within the University.

African Nova Scotian Eligibility Criteria

African Nova Scotians (who also self-identify as Indigenous Black, Africadian, Afri-Scotian or Scotian) are descendants of free and enslaved Black Loyalists, Black Refugees, Maroons and other Black people who were settled across 52 indigenous (original) land-based Black communities.

In addition to lineage, indicators of connection may include, but are not limited to, any one or all of the following:

  • Being born in Nova Scotia;
  • Being raised in Nova Scotia;
  • Residing in an Indigenous Black community;
  • Having family members who reside in one or more of the communities;
  • Having been raised in the culture of the historical Black churches of Nova Scotia;
  • Attending African Nova Scotian community events;
  • Participating in organizations or other activities connected to one or other of the African Nova Scotian communities;
  • Self-identifying as Indigenous Black/African Nova Scotian

Duration of the award

The scholarship may be held for a maximum of two years of full-time studies.  For students who are in-program at the time of application, the award will begin in May following the competition.  In-progress master's students may only hold the award up until the end of their second full-time year in program.  Eligible in-progress doctoral students can typically hold the award for the full two-year duration.  Part-time students may hold the award at 50% value until the original eligible award amount is reached.

The scholarship is renewed annually subject to good academic standing and completion of annual progress reports in Dal Online (thesis students only).

Eligibility and award criteria

  • Applicants must self-identify as African Nova Scotian and provide their consent for Dalhousie to use this information for considering them for this award. 
  • Self-identifying applicants will be asked to describe their connection to the African Nova Scotian community and how they meet the definition provided above.  Applicants will also be asked to provide the name and contact information of a reference within the community who is familiar with their contributions and connections.
  • Applicants must either intend to begin their graduate studies at Dalhousie between May and the following January, or must have started their degree no earlier than the previous May (i.e. less than eight months in program as of December 31st of the current year). 
  • Candidates who hold other scholarships managed by FGS will receive this award as a "top-up award" to their other scholarship, up to the funding caps detailed in the Maintaining your Graduate Funding page.
  • This award may be held by full-time or part-time students.  Part-time students will receive the award at 50% of its value for an extended duration until the original eligible award amount is reached.
  • Applications will be considered by a special scholarship committee constituted by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. This committee will typically include member(s) of the Dalhousie African Nova Scotian Advisory Council and Black Student Advising, the Director of African Nova Scotian Engagement, and when possible, faculty and/or students from the African Nova Scotian community.
  • While there are no GPA minimums required to apply, decisions of the committee will consider academic merit, community connection and potential impact of support when selecting successful applicant(s).
  • Award and renewal decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

Application process

Applications are received through Dalhousie's Harmonized Scholarship Process. Applicants must self-identify in the application form as African Canadian - African Nova Scotian, and provide their consent for Dalhousie to use their self-identification information for the purpose of considering them for this award.

Applications for thesis-based programs should be submitted by early December (Please check with your department for internal deadlines).  Applications for course-based students may be submitted up to February 19th, 2021.