How to win a salary


You must have good grades — typically an 85%+ GPA in your last two years  — to have a chance of winning a grad scholarship. If you’re seeking funding for a Masters, previous research experience is useful, while actual authorship on a peer-reviewed publication will put you ahead of the pack (so try and make yourself indispensible to a PI!). If you’re an MSc student looking for doctoral funding, publications are not just helpful, they are essential: you need at least one to be in with a chance (while two or more means you’re likely to do well).


The most likely sources of funding for you are NSERC, followed by provincial scholarships (e.g. an Ontario Graduate Studentship [OGS]). These have September deadlines for PhDs, December deadlines for MScs, and are awarded the following Mar-April, typically for a start date in the fall (thus for PhDs you’re typically applying a year in advance). War Memorial scholarships are another possibility, though very competitive.

For farm animal projects (in my case this typically means mink), OMAFRA HQP studentships are a great source of funding, with year round deadlines.


OMAFRA HQP studentships (see above) are potentially open to non-Canadians too (although if you’re here on a visa rather than as a landed immigrant, you’ll be stung for international fees). Trillium awards are offered annually (March). They are lucrative… but highly competitive. Guelph also offers one Nora Cebotarev scholarship a year, to an outstanding woman from a developing country. Potential candidates should contact me by Feb. NSERC Vaniers are another great scholarship, but again very competitive (deadline: Sept. each year). For other Canadian and Commonwealth scholarships (including ones for short visits), see

Your own country may well have its own scholarships for international grad studies too (e.g. NSF and other US agencies for American students; Canadian Rhodes scholarships for Oxford graduates; and La Caixa scholarships in Spain). But be warned: all these programmes are fiercely competitive …


I welcome visiting fellows (e.g. Canadian holders of NSERC PDFs; and non-Canadian holders of Banting awards or Fyssen Fellowships). I am happy to help you write a fellowship application, and would support all your research and conference costs while in my lab.

For applied projects working with mink, NSERC industrial fellowships are a possibility because the Canada Mink Breeders Assoc. is a recognised NSERC industrial partner. OMAFRA also funds grants (with calls for ‘Letters of Intent’ coming out annually each fall, so please contact me by the summer if interested).MITACS schemes are a great additional way to make any funds won go further.