Scotia Scholars Award

Cape Breton University – Undergraduate

This competition is now closed. Thank you to all who applied.

The 2021 Scotia Scholars Undergraduate Award provides financial support to students with exceptional potential who are or wish to be engaged in health research at Cape Breton University (CBU). Recipients will participate on a project supported by a research supervisor. This award will support the growth, acquisition, and retention of highly skilled individuals who are advancing and translating knowledge in disease detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, strengthening health care delivery systems, caring for vulnerable populations, and promoting better opportunities for future health and wellbeing.

Funding for this award is provided by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.


To be eligible to apply and hold an award, applicants must:
  • be enrolled full-time in and completed at least two full years of an honours or advanced major undergraduate degree program at CBU.
  • have obtained, over the previous two years of study, a minimum first-class average, full time equivalent (as determined by CBU).
  • Be in good standing for enrollment in the upcoming school year.
To be eligible to hold an award, applicants must:
  • hold only one Scotia Scholar Award at a time.
  • maintain eligibility for award during the full duration of the award. If program completion occurs before end of award recipient can maintain eligibility to hold the award during the period approved by the supervisor and CBU.
  • not exceed any funding caps as determined by CBU. All external funding must be reported to CBU.

Please note: Awards are not transferable. 

Subject Matter Eligibility

Research Nova Scotia uses a mission-oriented approach to research. This means we start with what we want to accomplish, and build a research agenda and coalition of partners and projects to help achieve these goals. We seek to support creativity, diversity and ingenuity in the research community’s responses to our mission challenges: proposed projects and research areas may include foundational/discovery research or applied research, in a wide variety of fields and disciplines.

All submissions considered for funding must reflect the health pillar of Research Nova Scotia’s mission-oriented strategy, which uses research to support a healthy population and strong health care system. Please demonstrate how the project contributes to one or more of the Research Nova Scotia health missions:

  • Advance disease detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention 
  • Strengthen our health care delivery system 
  • Care for vulnerable populations 
  • Promote better opportunities for future health and wellbeing

Additional information on the Research Nova Scotia Health Missions can be found on our website:

Funding Amount and Duration of Award

Awards are valued at up to $5,000 and can be held for a period of a minimum of 10 weeks to a maximum of 16 weeks. Award value will be prorated to the number of weeks and hours as determined by supervisor and CBU. 

Important Dates

The deadline for applications is Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (AST). Applications will not be accepted beyond this date and time. 

All applicants will be notified of decisions in April 2021. Funding may begin post official notification. Final start date will be determined by supervisor and CBU in coordination with recipient.


You must work under the supervision of a person who has been deemed eligible by CBU. An eligible supervisor is a person authorized by CBU to independently supervise students. Co-supervision is welcome. If you have any questions about potential supervisors, please connect with the CBU Office of Research and Graduate Studies @

Application Requirements

To be considered for an undergraduate award, you will need to apply online by Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 11:59 PM AST and have the following items ready to provide via the online application:

  • A short (two pages/1000 words maximum) description/essay describing why you would like to be considered for this research position, including the following:  
    • Why are you interested in the research project?
    • How will your courses (and/or your other experience) provide you with some background to work in the area(s) you have selected?
  • An up to date resume (max 2 pages/1000 words)
  • Confirmation that you are in good academic standing (such as an unofficial transcript).
  • Two letters of reference, one academic and one leadership, sent directly by referee to All letters must be provided by the application deadline. Each letter should be a maximum of 1 page/500 words. More information on content of reference letters is available below. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure reference letters are received by the deadline.

All uploaded documents for review must use minimum 1.0 line spacing, 0.5 inch (1.27 cm) left and right margins, and font must be 11pt minimum, black type. No condensed/narrow font types or spacing.

Academic Letter of Reference
This letter should come from the applicant’s supervisor or potential supervisor and address the applicant’s demonstrated and potential academic and research abilities. Academic letters of reference must be submitted from an institutional email account. If a supervisor has not yet been identified, another faculty member may complete the academic reference letter. Please check with your institutional representative to clarify who is most appropriate for this role. The letter should specifically address the following attributes:

  • Critical thinking – judicious evaluation of all information, regardless of source (i.e., quality of analytical skills)
  • Independence – pursuit of knowledge or acting on own initiative, seeking guidance only when appropriate.
  • Perseverance – determined persistence in pursuit of goals despite obstacles or discouragement.
  • Originality – creativity or ingenuity in problem solving.
  • Organization skills – systematic, careful planning and coordination of activities, including ability to complete projects in timely manner.
  • Interest in discovery – an inquiring mind and a strong desire to pursue new knowledge.
  • Research ability – a natural talent or acquired proficiency for scientific investigation.
  • Communication skills – effective interpersonal and verbal and written communication skills

Leadership Letter of Reference
This letter should come from a person who can address the applicant’s demonstrated and potential leadership abilities. The leadership letter of reference should specifically address the following:

  • Personal achievement – significant achievement in a field other than the area of study; for example, athletic, artistic, cultural, entrepreneurial, volunteerism, civic engagement etc.
  • Specific leadership qualities.
  • Self-management – ability to prioritize and maintain a balance between work and personal life.
  • Integrity – acts consistently according to ethical values and accepts personal accountability for the consequences of his/her actions and decisions.
  • Social skills – develops positive relationships with a diverse range of people, cares about and listens to what others say, is supportive of his/her peers, is well respected, trustworthy and dependable.

How to apply?

Applications must be submitted via Research Nova Scotia’s online submission portal, Jura. Follow the link below to create an account, select the opportunity, and upload all requirements as detailed above. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all the above requirements are provided for consideration. Additional details regarding Jura are available on the submission form.

Jura Online Platform:

Please note: no applications or application components will be accepted after the posted deadline. All materials for review must be provided via the online submission form. Materials will not be accepted via mail or email. 

Review and Selection Process

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

Assessment Criteria 


Academic Excellence

Indicators of research ability and potential:

  • Strength of academic record
  • Quality of academic abilities outlined in academic reference letter
  • Funding, duration and prestige of received scholarships and awards



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 health research


Research Potential and Interest

  • 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 described 
  • Quality and potential impact of research abilities outlined in academic reference letter
  • Relevance of research activity to the Research Nova Scotia health mission and potential impact 
  • Applicants interest in the project and research activity 


Application Support

Inquiries regarding potential supervisors, opportunities, and application creation should be directed to:
CBU Office of Research and Graduate Studies

Technical issues related to application submission via Jura can be directed to:
RNS Jura Helpdesk | 902.424.8430
Jura Helpdesk Hours are 8am-4pm AST Monday to Friday.
Responses will be provided as soon as possible but please allow up to 24 hours for a response.