Dates & Deadlines

Application Process

Review Process

Assessment Criteria

Resources and Assistance


The Undergraduate Scotia ScholarsOM Awards provide financial support to high caliber research trainees engaged in health research at select Nova Scotian 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.

Participating Institutions
Acadia University
Cape Breton University
Mount Saint Vincent University
St. Francis Xavier University
The institution determines annually how many awards at each level of study will be issued.


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

  • 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 employed full-time.

Students will not be eligible to receive Scotia Scholars Award funding past the end of Year 4 of an Undergraduate program, as outlined below:

Enrollment Status at Time of ApplicationMaximum Eligible Funding Available
Applied to/Accepted in program Ineligible to apply
In Year 1 or 2 of program Ineligible to apply
In Year 3 of program$5,000/8 months
In Year 4 of program or laterIneligible to apply

Funding Amount and Duration

Up to $5,000/8 months, non-renewable.

Student Funding Caps

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

Dates and Deadlines

Application open in GMS:  November 29, 2019
Application deadline: January 31, 2020 by 2:00 PM (AT)
Communication of funding decisions to students: March 2020
Anticipated funding start date: May 2020 or September 2020 for most students 

Application 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 (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 http://gms.nshrf.ca 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 (Trish.Cormier@researchns.ca) 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:                                           

Academic Excellence
  • Strength of academic record
  • Quality of academic abilities outlined in academic reference letter
  • Funding, duration and prestige of received scholarships and awards
  • Clarity of explanation for any academic interruptions and delays
Leadership Qualities
  • Extent to which past and current employment, volunteer, extracurricular experiences and research contributions demonstrate leadership skills
  • Quality and potential impact of leadership abilities outlined in leadership reference letter
  • Relevance of future plans to career in health research
Research Potential
  • Relevance of academic training and work experience to research activity
  • Funding, duration and prestige of received scholarships and awards
  • Quality and extent of contribution to research activity
  • Quality 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 Scotia

Resources and Assistance

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

Institution Contacts
Acadia UniversityDonna Dillman
Research Office Administrator
Cape Breton UniversityNicole MacDougall
Research Administration Officer: Facilitation and Outreach
Mount Saint Vincent UniversityCathy Lantos
Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies
St. Francis Xavier UniversityJacqueline MacDonald
Research Administrative Coordinator
Research Services Group

Grants Management System (GMS) Support 

Download the 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 Helpdesk@researchns.ca

Please allow 1-2 business days for a response.

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