The Scotia ScholarsOM Awards provide financial support to high caliber research trainees engaged in health research at Nova Scotia universities. The objective of the Scotia ScholarsOM Award is to support the development of the next generation of highly qualified researchers and leaders in the Nova Scotia health research enterprise, and to encourage continued interest in health research careers. Funded applicants have the distinct honour of carrying the designation of Scotia Scholar.

Award Types

Scotia Scholars Award funding is allocated to each institution. The institution determines annually how many awards at each level of study will be issued.

Participating institutions accept applications for the following award levels:

InstitutionAward level
Acadia UniversityPhD, Master’s, Undergraduate
Cape Breton UniversityMaster’s, Undergraduate
Dalhousie UniversityPhD, Master’s
Mount Saint Vincent UniversityMaster’s, Undergraduate
Saint Mary’s UniversityPhD, Master’s
St. Francis Xavier UniversityPhD, Master’s, Undergraduate


To apply for a Scotia Scholars Award, the applicant must meet the following criteria at the time of application:

Education levelEligibility Criteria
Doctoral Level AwardsHave applied to, be accepted in, or, be enrolled in Year 1, 2 or 3 of a full-time thesis-based Doctoral degree program at a participating Nova Scotian university.
Master’s Level AwardsHave applied to, be accepted in, or be enrolled in Year 1 of a full-time thesis-based Master’s degree program.
Undergraduate Level AwardsBe enrolled full-time in and completed at least two full years of an honours or advanced major undergraduate degree program at a participating Nova Scotian university.

The applicant must also:

  • Have achieved a first-class average (as determined by the university) in the last two years of full time study.
  • Be in good standing for enrollment in the upcoming school year.
  • Not be receiving research trainee funding through an RNS Scotia Support Grant
  • Not be employed full-time.

Special Eligibility Requirements

Honourary Scotia Scholars may apply for a funded award at the same level, if their funding no longer exceeds the cap and they meet all other eligibility criteria.

Funding Amount and Duration

Funding is issued to recipients in the following amounts:

Education levelAmount/Duration
Doctoral Level AwardsUp to $15,000/ year, renewable for up to 3 years
Master’s Level AwardsUp to $10,000/ year, renewable for 1 year
Undergraduate Level Awards Up to $15,000/ year, renewable for up to 3 years

Holders of RNS Scotia Scholar Grants who plan to take family-related leave or medical leave may be able to extend the length of their grant. However, grant holders are not able to request an increase to their funding amount to cover eligible expenses during their leave of absence. To request an extension, please contact your institutional contact for more information. 

Students will not be eligible to receive Scotia Scholars Award funding past the end of Year 4 of an Undergraduate program, Year 2 of a Master’s program or past the end of Year 4 of a Doctoral program, as outlined below:

Award/ Degree LevelEnrollment Status at Time of ApplicationMaximum Eligible Funding Available
Undergraduate AwardApplied to/ Accepted in program
In Year 1 or 2 of program
In Year 3 of program
In Year 4 of program or later
Ineligible to apply
Ineligible to apply
$5,000/ 8 months
Ineligible to apply
Master’s AwardApplied to/ Accepted in program
In Year 1 of program
In Year 2 of program or later
$10,000/ year for 2 years
$10,000/ year for 1 year
Ineligible to apply
Doctoral AwardApplied to/ Accepted in program
In Year 1 of program
In Year 2 of program
In Year 3 of program
In Year 4 of program or later
$15,000/ year for 4 years
$15,000/ year for 3 years
$15,000/ year for 2 years
$15,000/ year for 1 year
Ineligible to apply

Student Funding Caps

Scotia Scholars Award applicants may recieve a pro-rated award if their funding would otherwise exceed institutional caps or may be named an Honourary Scotia Scholar (i.e. no funding will be issued) if the applicant holds additional scholarships which exceed institutional funding caps. Participating institutions maintain their own policies for governing total funding caps for Trainee support. For information on the institutional funding cap policies please contact your institutional representative.  

Application Process

Step Process
Step 1:
Confirm Eligibility
Consider whether you meet the eligibility criteria (outlined above) and confirm your institution is offering the award level for which you are eligible to apply.If applicants have any questions related to their eligibility, they are encouraged to contact their institution.
Step 2:
Review Application Requirements
Be sure to carefully review all application requirements, as outlined in the document below: 2019-20 Scotia Scholar Award (Master’s and PhD) Application Requirements / 2019-20 Scotia Scholar Award (Undergraduate) Application Requirements 

Note: You are required to submit two letters of reference and all academic transcripts. Please ensure you arrange for these documents well in advance of the application deadline.
Step 3:
Register in RNS’s Grants Management System (GMS)
Applications must be submitted through RNS’s online Grants Management System (GMS). Please visit and click “sign up here” to create an account.
Step 4: Ensure Letters of Reference are SubmittedEnsure your academic and leadership letters have been submitted by the referees to Trish Cormier, Corporate Assistant ( prior to the application deadline. Letters provided via the applicant will not be accepted. (This is the only component of the application completed outside of the Grants Management System.)
Step 5: Complete ApplicationTo apply, login to GMS to access the application, where information will be either entered directly into GMS or uploaded as PDF documents.Be sure to refer to the Application Requirements (See Step 2) for detailed instructions.

Review Process

  1. Each institution will assess applications to determine whether they are complete and meet the eligibility criteria.
  2. Complete and eligible applications will be reviewed by each institution in accordance with their review practices and the assessment criteria outlined below.
  3. Institutions will submit to RNS a list of applicants recommended for funding and a list of alternates, if applicable.
  4. RNS will notify applicants of funding decisions and implement the process for award acceptance and payment for funding recipients.

Assessment Criteria

The following criteria will be used by each institution to assess Scotia Scholar Award applications:                                           

CriteriaWeighting UndergradWeighting Master’sWeighting PhD
Academic ExcellenceStrength of academic recordQuality of academic abilities outlined in academic reference letterFunding, duration and prestige of received scholarships and awardsClarity of explanation for any academic interruptions and delays60%50%30%
Leadership QualitiesExtent to which past and current employment, volunteer, extracurricular experiences and research contributions demonstrate leadership skillsQuality and potential impact of leadership abilities outlined in leadership reference letterRelevance of future plans to career in health research30%20%20%
Research PotentialRelevance of academic training and work experience to research activityFunding, duration and prestige of received scholarships and awardsQuality and extent of contribution to research activityQuality and potential impact of research abilities outlined in academic reference letter. Potential for impact of research activity on the health of Nova Scotians and the economy, clinical practice, health policy and/or health services in Nova Scotia10%30%50%

Resources and Assistance

Applicants should contact their institution well in advance of the application deadline with questions related to application content and eligibility:

Acadia UniversityGraduate:
Theresa Starratt
Graduate Studies Officer

Barb Baker
Research Office Administrator
Tel: (902) 585-1498
Cape Breton UniversityZuzana Ištvanková
Research Administration Officer: Major Initiatives
Scholarships Liaison Officer
Dalhousie UniversityCourtney Collins
Scholarships Liaison Officer
Mount Saint Vincent UniversityCathy Lantos
Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies
Saint Mary’s UniversityHeather Taylor
Graduate Studies Officer
St. Francis Xavier UniversityMarie Gillis
Research Administrative Coordinator
Research Services Group

Grants Management System (GMS) Support 

Please click here to download a step by step guide for applicants outlining how to navigate the Grants Management System. 

For technical questions regarding the GMS (including password resets, system navigation), contact the RNS Helpdesk at 902-424-0218 or

Please allow 1-2 business days for a response.

Canadian Common CV (CCV) Support

Looking for your CCV/ RNS PIN? Your PIN is the email address you used to register with GMS. 

Please click here to download a step by step guide for validating your PIN and submitting your CCV. 

For technical questions regarding the CCV (including password and account resets, PINs, CCV submission, etc.), contact the CCV Centralized Helpdesk at 1-888-603-4178 or