The following is a list of awards, grants, and other funding opportunities that aims to provide financial assistance to student researchers whose work is focused on northern and/or indigenous contexts. It is not exhaustive, but serves to provide an overview of the main focus and requirements of each funding opportunity. The awards and grants listed here are additional to financial support available through federal and provincial funding agencies. The organizations of the Canadian government include the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) while the Province of Québec offers funding through Fonds québecois de recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC), Fonds québecois de recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FQRNT), and Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec. For more information relating to these organizations please visit the following websites:
Funding Agency: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)
Title of Award: Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP)
Number of Awards: Approximately 300 students across Canada
Value: NSTP funds are restricted. They are a supplement meant to offset the additional costs of northern research (e.g. transportation, freight, and living costs and interpreter fees). The NSTP is not intended to be a source of primary support for students pursuing northern research.
Eligibility: You must be enrolled in a degree Program at a Canadian university. Funds are available in support of graduate students. However, senior undergraduate students entering their final year and intending to undertake an honours thesis based on northern fieldwork or research that will be continued in subsequent graduate studies are also eligible. Students supported by training funds must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Summer and winter projects are eligible. Post-doctoral studies are not supported. Training funds support projects on northern topics from all disciplines and in multi-disciplinary fields.
Geographic Focus: The NSTP supports projects that lie north of the southern limit of the discontinuous permafrost zone, with the addition of all of the Southern Yukon in the West; that section of Labrador south to and including Red Bay; and the other seven Arctic countries (Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the U.S.A. - Alaska).
Duration: 1 year, April 1 to March 31, renewable
Deadlines: The deadline for submission to the NSTP Secretariat is December 1st each year. Students should inform themselves of the earlier deadlines set within each university by their respective Northern Studies Committee.
Application format: Online form, accessed by both student and supervisor, to be printed and signed by both student and supervisor and then submitted to university or to NSTP Secretariat directly.
Funding Agency: Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS)
Title Of Award: RCGS Studentship in Northern Geography (Masters), James W. Bourque Studentship in Northern Geography (PhD)
Value: $5,000 CAN
Eligibility: Applications will be accepted from Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada. Students must
be registered in a Masters program with a thesis requirement at a Canadian university, and must propose a research
topic that addresses some substantive element of northern geography of Canada. Any Masters program that allows
for such a focus is acceptable. The Studentship will normally be awarded to a student (full-time or part-time) whose
course work will be completed by the May following the application deadline.
Geographic Focus: Northern Canada
Duration: 1 year, non-renewable
Deadlines: Not available in 2012
Application Format: No online form, and applicants must conform to the guidelines presented by the RCGS.
Submission is made directly to the RCGS. Faxed applications will not be accepted. Confirmation of receipt will be
Funding Agency: Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS)
Title of Award: Canadian Northern Studies Trust (CNST) Awards
• Arctic Co-operatives award (1): Offered to students enrolled in college or university pursuing studies that
contribute to the understanding of the cooperative movement in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions of
Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.
• Caribou Research Award (1): Offered to students enrolled in college or university pursuing studies that
contribute to the understanding of barren ground caribou in Canada and their habitat. Preference will be
given to students who normally reside in the communities of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq range.
• Northern Resident Award (8): Offered to students identified as long-term residents of Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, or the Provincial North, enrolled in full-time, post-secondary programs at the
undergraduate level at a Canadian college or university.
• CNST Scholarship (1): Applications are invited from doctoral candidates who will (a) engage in research
culminating in a thesis (b) include direct northern field research or experience as part of their studies, and
(c) whose programs are relevant to northern challenges or issues.
• Canadian Polar Commission Scholarship (1): Applications are invited from doctoral candidates who (a) will
engage in research culminating in a thesis (b) will have an interdisciplinary emphasis to their research (c)
are enrolled in programs that show excellence in research in the Polar north and (d) are willing to
• Garfield Weston Award for Northern Research (Doctoral) (7): Offered to students enrolled in a doctoral
program in the natural sciences pursuing northern research. Preference will be given to applicants who (a)
have a clearly defined research project that includes significant research time spent in the Canadian north
(b) demonstrate excellence in northern research (c) are able to show the relevance of the research to
northerners and northern scholarship and (d) exhibit a willingness to communicate research results within
the scientific community, and in northern or national meetings.
• Garfield Weston Award for Northern Research (Masters) (7): Offered to students currently enrolled in the
first thirteen months of a masters program in the natural sciences pursuing northern research. Preference
will be given to applicants who (a) have a clearly defined research project that includes significant research
time spent in the Canadian north (b) demonstrate excellence in northern research (c) show the relevance of
the research to northerners and northern scholarship and (d) exhibit a willingness to communicate research
results within the scientific community, and in northern or national meetings.
• Northern Resident Scholarship (4): Offered to students identified as long-term residents of Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, or the Provincial North, currently enrolled in master or doctoral-level programs at a Canadian university.
• Research Support Opportunity in Arctic Environmental Studies (1): accommodation, facilities, and services
at the High Arctic Weather Station (HAWS) at Eureka on Ellesmere Island offered to graduate students at
the masters or doctoral level. Preference will be given to environmental research proposals in the physical
or biological sciences.
Value: $1,500 - $40,000 CAN (varies between awards)
Eligibility: Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, enrolled in full time post-secondary education at a
recognized Canadian University or College, and have an aspect of northern or circumpolar fieldwork included as part
of research that is conducted within the term of award.
Geographic Focus: ACUNS defines "northern" Canada as on or north of the line indicated on the "Northern
Boundary Map". To view the map, please consult: http://acuns.ca/website/awards/northern-boundary-map
Duration: 11-months, non-renewable. Payment will be issued in three installments. First payment will be issued after
proof of September 2012 registration is received.
Deadlines: January 31
Application Format: Form available online, must be completed using PDF writer program. Applications are submitted directly to ACUNS. Faxed or emailed submissions are not accepted.
Funding Agency: International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
Title of Award: Canadian Window on International Development Awards
Number of Awards: 2 or 3 annually, depending on the final budget of the proposals
Value: $20,000 CAN maximum (to cover justifiable field research expenses)
Eligibility: Applicants must: hold Canadian citizenship or permanent residency status in Canada, or hold a
citizenship of a developing country; be registered at a Canadian university; be conducting the proposed research for
a doctoral or Master's dissertation; and must have completed course work and passed comprehensive examinations
by the time of the award tenure.
Duration: Award tenure corresponds to a period of field research, which will be no less than 3 months and, in
general, no more than 12 months.
Deadline: April 1
Application Format: Application submitted by mail to IDRC, full guidelines and requirements available on IDRC
Funding Agency: Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG), Statistics Canada, and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)
Title of Award: Robin P. Armstrong Memorial Prize for Excellence in Native Studies
Number of Awards: 1 annually
Value: $1,000 CAN (Please note: this award also provides the recipient with an opportunity to present a paper during a special Indigenous Peoples Working Group session at the CAG conference (or one of the regional CAG conferences), in addition to a nation-wide publication of the winner's name on the Statistics Canada and CAG Web sites)
Eligibility: All students who, during the current or previous calendar year, have completed a Master's or PhD thesis in native studies or geography related to Canada's aboriginal peoples may apply.
Geographic Focus: The focus of the doctoral or master’s research must be a Canadian aboriginal topic from the perspective of geography or native studies.
Duration: The recipient will hold the title for one year.
Deadline: December 31
Application Format: Application submitted by mail to CAG according to guidelines and requirements available on the CAG website
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