Walter C. Sumner Memorial Fellowships

In accordance with the terms of the wills of the late Emma E. Sumner and John R. Sumner, Fellowships, to be known as "Walter C. Sumner Memorial Fellowships" are available from the Walter C. Sumner Foundation.

Application Instructions

  • Applicant must complete PART 1 of this application, save it as a PDF and send it via email to
  • Applicant must forward PART IIA (pages 9 and 10) to the faculty member who supervised their most recently completed thesis. This individual should complete that section and return it directly to
  • Applicant must forward PART IIB (pages 11 and 12) to the proposed or current supervisor. This individual should complete that section and return it directly to
  • Applicant must forward to PART IIIA (page 13) to the department chair or graduate coordinator of the department in which the applicant is undertaking doctoral studies. This individual should complete that section and return it directly to
  • All documents must be received by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, April 5, 2021.


To qualify, an applicant (who may be either male or female) must:

  • Be engaged in or about to start doctoral studies in either Chemistry, Physics, or Electronics (including Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) and at one of the following institutions: Dalhousie University, McGill University, Queen's University at Kingston, the University of Toronto, the University of Saskatchewan or the University of British Columbia. If a participating university is unable to supervise a research area of interest to an applicant from that university, he/she may submit an application to the Foundation with an explanation/justification to be allowed to study at another university while holding a Walter C. Sumner Memorial Fellowship. Alternatively, a participating university may recommend a candidate for a fellowship but, being unable to find a supervisor for a project, may send that candidate to a university where the research can be undertaken;
  • Be a Canadian citizen;
  • Live in Canada, although at the time of application a candidate may be studying outside the country;
  • Hold a degree from a Canadian university other than the one at which the doctoral studies will be conducted during the tenure of the fellowship;
  • If only a degree at the Bachelor's level is held, the applicant must have at least two years experience in either teaching or industry in the chosen field of study; and
  • If awarded a Canada Graduate Scholarship, a participant must inform the Walter C. Sumner Foundation.

Amount and Duration of Fellowships

At the discretion of the Foundation, approximately 40 fellowships, valued at $6,000 will be awarded each year. Candidates must be nominated by one of the participating universities. Recommendations for the award of fellowships will be made to the Foundation by a selection committee of senior scientists who are not from the participating universities. The fellowships may be distributed unevenly among the participating universities. Preference will be given to those born in Nova Scotia, followed by those born in any of the other Atlantic Provinces.

Fellowships will be awarded at the discretion of the Foundation. Fellowships will initially be for one year, but may be extended for a second year. Second-year applicants do not have to submit an application form, but the following documentation must be provided. The student must submit a one-page report with information on: (a) the research completed, (b) any papers in press or published, (c) a transcript showing results of any course work, (d) papers or posters presented, and (e) any other relevant information. In addition, the student must submit a letter from their research supervisor, indicating that in their view satisfactory progress has been made by the student. This letter must also be signed by the Dean of Graduate Studies for the applicable university. Finally, the letter must disclose whether the applicant has been awarded a Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGSD) for his or her second year of study.

Awards and Payment

Those awarded fellowships will be notified by the Foundation by the 30th of April each year. The successful applicants must indicate acceptance of the fellowship by the 20th of May and failure to respond may result in cancellation.

The remuneration associated with each fellowship will be paid to the university where the fellow will be studying. The university will be responsible for disbursement of the fellowship on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Cancellation of Fellowships and Conditions of Tenure

A fellowship may, at the discretion of the Foundation, be cancelled with or without the advice of the university where the fellow is studying; particularly if the fellow fails to achieve or maintain research progress or otherwise becomes ineligible. Any un-disbursed funds held by the university for the account of the fellow shall be returned to the Foundation.

It is a condition that any research done during the tenure of a fellowship that is published, presented orally, or given as a poster, must include an acknowledgement to the effect that the author held a Walter C. Sumner Memorial Fellowship.