Funding Opportunities / Scholarships

Athabasca University offers a number of awards, scholarships, and other funding to help students succeed in their program. Check the Research Centre’s website for information on funding that is available from external research granting agencies.

A number of graduate awards, scholarships, and bursaries are administered by the Office of the Registrar. You can learn more about the graduate student awards AU co-ordinates and administers by referring to the Masters Level Student Awards page. For more information about doctoral research funding at AU visit Awards for Doctoral Students page.

Check out the student awards offered by Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association.


Ryerson University: CERC in Migration and Integration

Expression of Interest Due By: October 1, 2020 (with participation between October 2020 and April 2021)

Amount: $700 honorarium (inclusive of all expenses) and video publication

This fall, 25 graduate students from across Canada will be selected to participate in an exciting opportunity to capture their creative reflection in a three-minute video exploring their sense of identity and belonging or not belonging. In addition to having the creative expression distributed widely, each successful participant will receive a $700 honorarium (inclusive of all expenses).

Open to graduate students from all Canadian universities, i am… is seeking people who have a story to tell, are open to learning at an accelerated pace, and are available to engage in the project between October 2020 and April 2021. No prior experience or expertise in filmmaking or enrollment in specific academic courses is required.

Visit Ryerson University for information and to apply.


Canada Comeback Challenge

Application Deadline: October 4, 2020

Amount: up to $1,500 per 2-10-person team with up to 10,000 spots available

Canada’s Comeback needs you.

The Canada Comeback Challenge creates opportunities for post-secondary students to contribute to Canada’s COVID-19 recovery while gaining valuable work-integrated learning (WIL) experience. Through a fun, skill-building national competition in an entirely online format, student teams will tackle real-world problems facing employers in Canada’s public, private, and non-profit sectors and compete for a chance to pitch their ideas to an esteemed panel of judges.

Why should students participate in the Canada Comeback Challenge?

Because it will…

  • Provide the kind of WIL experience that kick-starts careers. Up to 10,000 spots will be available through the Challenge for students.
  • Provide students with opportunities to apply their skills, develop new ones, and expand their professional networks.
  • Provide access to curated resources for professional and career development, health and wellness, and diversity and inclusion.
  • Provide access to financial support (up to $1,500 per 2-10-person team) towards the development of ideas and pitch materials.
  • Provide access to a virtual mentorship community and dedicated employer mentors for teams that make it to the final round.
  • Provide opportunities for students to create meaningful solutions to real-world challenges facing Canada’s public, private, and non-profit sectors.
  • Connect students with employers. Top teams will pitch their ideas to professionals in a competition to win prizes.
Apply here!

The 2020-2021 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS) competition is now open

AU’s Internal deadline is midnight (MT), Sunday, October 4, 2020

Value: $50,000 per year for three years during doctoral studies

Note: Students cannot have completed more than 20 months of doctoral studies as of May 1, 2021 and must have achieved a first-class average (A- = 3.70), in each of the last two years of full-time study or equivalent.

See More


Government of Canada: Targeted Engagement Grants Program and Targeted Engagement Grants Program: Young MINDS initiative

Application Deadline: October 13, 2020

Amount: Between $10,000 - $50, 000 maximum

The Targeted Engagement Grant Program provides non-recurring financial support, up to a maximum of $50,000 to fund projects such as conferences, roundtables, workshops, research, and publications.

The Targeted Engagement Grants Program: Young MINDS Initiative – to support undergraduate students interested in defence and security. These grants are valued at $10,000 and must be linked to the MINDS policy challenges.

Visit the Government of Canada for information and to apply.


CCS/CIHR/BC Spark Grants: Novel Technology Applications in Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

Registration due date: August 28, 2020

Full application due date: October 16, 2020

Award amount: Spark Grants will be for up to $150K each over a one-year period. Grants will be non-renewable

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Cancer Research (CIHR-ICR), and Brain Canada Foundation (BC or Brain Canada) have committed a total of up to $2.4M over one year to jointly fund Spark Grants focused on Novel Technology Applications in Cancer Prevention and Early Detection.

Click here to find out more!


NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral program

Application Deadline: October 17, 2020

Amount: $21,000 per year for three years

The NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships – Doctoral (PGS D) program provides financial support to high-calibre scholars who are engaged in an eligible doctoral program (see Eligibility Criteria for Students and Fellows) in the natural sciences or engineering. This support allows these scholars to fully concentrate on their studies and seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields.

Click here to find out more!


Canada Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral Program (CGS-D)

Application Deadline: October 21, 2020

Amount: $35,000 for 36 months

  • CIHR—Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Awards
  • NSERC—Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships
  • SSHRC—Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships

This scholarship is to promote continued excellence in Canadian research by rewarding and retaining high-calibre doctoral students at Canadian institutions. The CGS D program supports high-calibre students engaged in doctoral programs in all academic disciplines

Please advise Vikki Bellerose at the Faculty of Graduate Studies vikkib@athabascau.ca of your intention to apply as there is an internal process required before submitting to the funder.

Note: to be eligible, an applicant must have completed no more than 24 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31 of the year of application.

Click here to find out more!


Graduate Studentships: The Alberta Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research SUPPORT Unit (AbSPORU) in partnership with Alberta Innovates

Application Deadline: October 23, 2020

Amount: $30,000

Information Sessions: September 17, 2020 at 12:00 PM via Zoom, September 24, 2020 at 12:00 PM via Zoom

The Studentships are granted annually through a provincial competition and include a one-year award of $30,000 for first-year students in a thesis-based masters or doctoral degree program whose projects demonstrate a patient-oriented research approach. Online applications for the competition are accepted until October 23, 2020.

Details of the competition and application instructions are available here.

For further information, please email: absporu@ucalgary.ca


Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master’s Program (CGS-M)

Application Deadline: November 1, 2020

Amount: $17,500 for 12 months

  • CIHR— Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships
  • NSERC— Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships
  • SSHRC— Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships

The objective of the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s (CGS M) program is to help develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies.

Information including eligibility requirements is available here.

Please advise Vikki Bellerose at the Faculty of Graduate Studies vikkib@athabascau.ca of your intention to apply as there is an internal process required before submitting to the funder.

Note: to be eligible, an application must have completed, as of December 31 of the year of application: between zero and 12 month of full-time studies in the program for which you are requesting funding.


Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), Arctic Section Scholarship

Deadline: November 20, 2020

In 2020, the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Arctic Section is pleased to offer one scholarship award of C$3000 in memory of John W. Davies, a former Chair of the Section.

The competition is open to any full time graduate student at a recognized University in Canada or the US State of Alaska whose research will assist in providing solutions to problems encountered in the Arctic or in cold ocean environments. The attached letter contains information on research areas and selection requirements. Information is also on the Arctic Section’s website.


Graduate Student Research Fund (GSRF) Funding Opportunities

Application Deadline: Four times per year, February 1, May 1, August 1, November 1

As graduate (master’s and/or doctoral) programs develop at Athabasca University and student enrolment increases, the importance and value of graduate student research proliferate. Students engaging in systematic inquiry not only will be completing important milestones in their respective academic programs of graduate studies, but will also be contributing to their respective disciplines. The quality and reputation of Athabasca University as an academic centre of excellence will be reflected in the extent to which graduate students learn, develop, and apply their research competencies to investigate substantive questions/hypotheses in their respective disciplines.

Click here to find out more!


AUGSA Student Awards

As a graduate student at Athabasca University, you may be eligible for a number of awards and scholarships to help fund your education.

  • Outstanding Distinction Awards – 5 awarded annually – $1125 – Apply by October 15
  • AUGSA Bursaries – 8 awarded annually, twice a year – $1000 -Apply by March 1 & November 1
  • Computer Bursaries – 5 awards of a computer valued up to $700
  • Travel Bursaries – 4 awarded annually up to $1000
  • Emergency Bursaries – 5 provided up to $700 maximum

Further information is available at the AUGSA website.


AU Access to Research Tools Award

These awards are intended to facilitate the research conducted by AU graduate program students to assist in partially covering the costs incurred while completing a thesis/dissertation or major project. Examples of anticipated expenses that a student may incur include purchasing licenses for statistical software such as SPSS, NVIVO, mileage to conduct interviews for the research, or obtaining copyright permission to use a particular research tool/instrument.

Click here to find out more!


AU Student Travel Awards

As a reminder, AU Student Travel Awards Program offers the following two awards to support dissemination/presentation opportunities for AU graduate students:

Click here to find out more!


Graduate Student Access to Data Management/Analysis Software

Funds are available through the Research Centre for research conducted by Athabasca University graduate program students' to assist in partially covering Data Management/Analysis Software costs incurred while completing their thesis/dissertation.

Click here to find out more!


HQP Leadership Awards

Application Deadline: Ongoing Applications Accepted

Amount: Varies

In light of the continued impacts of COVID-19, IC-IMPACTS is offering an online version of our HQP Leadership Awards, dedicated to supporting university students in achieving their strategic goals while maintaining social distance during the pandemic.

This award offers students the opportunity to design, manage, and lead online seminars, workshops, short conferences, or projects in areas related to their research program and aligned with building Canada-India research collaborations in:

  • Safe and sustainable infrastructure, including smart cities
  • Public health, including detection and prevention of diseases;
  • Integrated water management, including renewable, off-grid energy as a source of power for water treatment;
  • Allied digital management and commercialization initiatives; and
  • Other emerging areas of interest, including sensors to monitor civil structures and water pollution.

Check with your University to determine if you have access to a University Skype for Business, Zoom, or another online conference plan.

Further information is available at HQP Leadership Awards – Online