The following information is intended to provide details about the various forms of scholarship support available at McMaster. Students with questions regarding financial support should contact their department or graduate program (hereafter referred to as the department) directly for assistance.
All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of information of awards on the School of Graduate Studies website. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of fellowship and award applicants themselves to verify program deadlines and/or requirements with external agencies. The School of Graduate Studies cannot be held responsible for any error or omissions, but would appreciate being informed of these, for correction or addition in the next edition.
8.1.1 General Regulations
Graduate students at McMaster University are expected to apply annually for external funding opportunities that may be available to them and as directed by the department.
Scholarships (including fellowships, prizes, medals and awards) and bursaries may be cancelled without notice if the conditions under which they are granted are violated. To hold an award at McMaster University, students must:
- Have been unconditionally admitted into the eligible graduate degree program for which funding was granted;
- Be registered full-time and progressing satisfactorily in the eligible graduate degree program; part-time students are normally not eligible to receive scholarship support;
- Accept the terms and conditions of the award;
- Comply with all academic regulations of McMaster University and the requirements of the scholarship and/or award;
- Not hold or accept full-time employment while holding the award; and
- Agree to have McMaster University administer the award in accordance with its policies and procedures.
In accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and McMaster University’s Statement on the collection of Personal Information and the Protection of Privacy, where notice is given, the University is permitted to publish an individual’s name, Faculty, program and award information. McMaster University publishes the names of recipients of most scholarships and awards, in the University’s convocation program and other award publications.
8.1.2 Value and Duration of Award
The value and duration of scholarships and awards are detailed in the terms of letter of offer or award letter. Should a successful applicant receive an internal scholarship or external award subsequent to the letter of offer, McMaster’s normal practice is to adjust the contributions to the applicant’s offer in such a way that the applicant benefits from the additional award, but not to the extent that it simply adds the value of the award to the original offer. The fractional financial benefit of an internal scholarship or external award varies by program but is consistent within a given program.
Any approved change in degree, program, registration, supervisor or research area must be reported to the School of Graduate Studies and may result in a change to the value and/or duration of the award. The value of some external awards must be refunded if conditions of the awards are not met.
8.2 Graduate Scholarships
Upon admission to McMaster, graduate students are automatically considered for funding by the various departments. Offers that include funding will state the amount and duration of funding, conditions for renewal (if any), terms of continued funding, and other relevant details. Continued funding for graduate students from the University or from individual programs will be based on satisfactory progress of the student in his/her program as determined by academic criteria or as specified in an offer of funding. If the student has been awarded a Graduate or Departmental Scholarship, he/she should be aware that the funds for this scholarship might come from funds awarded by the School of Graduate Studies and/or from the department. The student may also receive a Research Scholarship provided by funds from the supervisor. If the student has been awarded an Entrance Scholarship, he/she should realize that it is for the first term of study only and is not renewable.
8.2.1 Internal Scholarships and Bursaries
Internal scholarships (including fellowships, prizes, medals and awards) and bursaries (hereafter referred to as awards) support students registered in a specific program or Faculty through the generous contributions of our benefactors and donors, and initiatives from the School of Graduate Studies. Selection is based on academic merit, research excellence and potential or financial need. Adjudication for internal awards normally occurs at the department level. Departments forward their recommendations to the School of Graduate Studies for final approval. It is critical that students consult with their departments regarding eligibility, application procedures and deadlines as each department will have its own process for internal review. Deadlines for the various internal awards vary and are explained in more detail on the School of Graduate Studies website, which are listed alphabetically by their complete official names.
The University reserves the right not to grant an award in the absence of a suitable candidate, or to limit the number of awards where too few suitable candidates exist. Where the terms of such awards become impossible to fulfill, the University may amend the terms of an award to carry out the nearest possible intent of the donor, while still ensuring that the benefit of such award continues. The University also reserves the right to withdraw and/or to suspend granting of an award, or to adjust the stated value and/or number of awards in years in which insufficient income is available due to fluctuations in investment markets.
Additional bursaries or financial assistance may be available through the Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships (Gilmour Hall, Room 120).
8.2.2 External Awards Tenable at the University
External awards tenable at the University are given by federal and provincial government agencies and other private organizations that rely on McMaster University to recommend candidates, facilitate payments, and ensure compliance of terms and conditions of the award. Examples of these agencies include the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS). Applicants must be invited by their department to submit an application to these competitions and verify eligibility requirements with the external agencies.
Awards from external agencies are sometimes renewable. The application process for the majority of these awards is usually held one year in advance of receipt of the award (for example, competitions are held in October for awards starting in May, September or January of subsequent year). Applications and eligibility requirements are usually indicated on respective government agency web sites by late August. Deadlines vary but can occur in early October of each academic year.
As the recipient of a CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC, OGS or similar award, the student may be required to complete additional acceptance/refusal forms, and provide copies to the department. If the student changes his/her status, or is granted a leave of absence, the student may be required to notify the external agency as outlined in the guidelines (or terms and conditions) of the award. It may also be the case that the external award is subject to restrictions that require altered terms of the original letter of offer, or forfeit the award.
8.3 Funding Application Deadlines
Students interested in applying for scholarships and awards should contact their home departments for specific details on the application process and department internal deadlines. Dates and information from external agencies may be updated periodically and without notice. Changes to internal due dates within departments or programs, and the School of Graduate Studies, will be updated accordingly.