Strategies to Ace the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Fully Funded to Canada)

My posts and videos about scholarships in Canada are the most read with the most views so I know you all are interested in studying in Canada thus this post–Strategies to Ace the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. This scholarship is one of Canada's finest and most prestigious so read this post diligently to learn how you can ace it. This is for current bachelor's, master and Ph.D. students hoping to study in Canada one day.

In this blog post, I will cover three main topics;

1. About the scholarship

2. My theory on how to get scholarships.

3. Lessons from the CVs of the grantees of this scholarship and how you should strategize to get it

4. Application tips for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

About the scholarship

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) was created to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and to establish Canada as a global center of excellence in research and higher learning. The scholarships are towards a doctoral degree (or combined MA/Ph.D. or MD/Ph.D.).

My theory on getting scholarships

In 2014, I was awarded the MEXT Japanese government scholarship, in 2016, I was the 3rd runner-up for the Mandela Washington Fellowship, in 2018, I was awarded the YALA fellowship and in 2021, I was awarded the Clinton Global Initiative Fellowship. Since 2015, I have also spent a lot of time sharing scholarship resources, interviewing scholarship grantees, and worked one-on-one with many scholars who have also ended up getting fully funded scholarships. I tell you all of this because I have been in the scholarship space long enough to have a theory on how to get scholarships.

My theory is that, to get any scholarship, study the profiles of those who have gotten the scholarship and DO WHAT THEY DID

Lessons from Vanier Canada Graduate scholars CVs

In this YOUTUBE video, I take you all through the CVs of two grantees of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship looking step by step at what made them stand out to be chosen for the scholarship. From their CVs, the following things are important for any bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. student to be doing right NOW to get both this scholarship or any other fully funded scholarship.

  1. Your grades matter: While in school, study hard to get good grades because graduating with a 4/4 GPA, having a first-class or being in the 90th percentile in your class goes a long way to help you stand out from the crowd.

  2. Write journal articles in your field: Publish articles in your field because they will go a long way to help you secure fully funded scholarships.

  3. No award is too small: We tend to leave out our small awards thinking they are not outstanding enough to be in our CVs but that is selling yourself short. Apply for any award you can and when you get it, write it in your CV. It boosts your profile.

  4. Certifications matter: There are tons of courses on platforms like Coursera, EDX, Khan Academy, or MOOC, and taking courses in your field will go a long way to boost your profile and help you stand out from the crowd.

  5. Community service matters: These are the extracurricular activities you do within or without your community. These play a great role in showing you as a rounded human who cares about the wider society.

For length's sake, I would not put all the lessons here so please watch the full video below and get all the other lessons and make sure you are doing something each day to better position yourself to get a fully funded scholarship.

Application tips (Vanier Canada Graduate scholarship)

In applying for the scholarship, you will have to write a research proposal, your references, your contribution to research, and your leadership statement. For the sake of length, I will expound on 2. Please watch the full video for the rest

1. your research proposal

When writing your research proposal, three main things matter;

Paragraph 1: State how important your field is

Paragraph 2: Where is the research gap in the current state of the literature

Paragraph 3: How will you fill up this gap through your study

2. your leadership statement

This can be challenging for most applicants but don't think about it, as massive strides you took to be a leader. If you took massive strides, good for you, write it but if you didn't, it is okay too. Just look back at your life, what were the times that you led a situation? Go as far back as elementary school and pull out all those times. You can tell it chronologically e.g when you were in elementary, when you were in junior high school, when you were in high school etc. Be as detailed as possible.