Graduate Award Competition

The Graduate Award Competition (GAC) encompasses a broad range of awards funded by donors and the University of Calgary.

At a glance


Between $700 and $36,000

Awards will be paid the following academic year with the majority starting in September




Competition opens November 1. Deadlines vary by program (BISI, EDER, PSYC, ect). Contact your Graduate Program Staff.

Degree type

All students applying to, or enrolled in, a thesis-based graduate degree program are eligible.

Students in course-based and professional degree programs are NOT eligible

GAC successful offers are sent via email and will also be in the MyUofC student portal

Successful students can normally hold one scholarship awarded through the GAC in a given year and are always awarded the highest valued scholarship for which they are eligible.

2024 results will be announced as follows:

  • Izaak Walton Killam - successful results March/April
  • Program Recommended Medicine - May/June
  • Open Doctoral - May to October
  • Special Awards - May to October
  • Alberta Innovates - September to December
  • Unsuccessful notices will not be sent, please check here to see if all results have been announced

Timeline subject to change

Preparing your application

You are encouraged to apply for awards when you have submitted your admissions application and received your University of Calgary student number (UCID). You are not required to meet the eligibility requirements in the terms of reference of an award when you apply, but if successful, you must meet the eligibility requirements at the time the award is paid.

Please ensure that you have completed the following two steps before submitting your application:

Read the terms of reference

Awards are based on merit. It is important to read and understand the award terms of reference listed on this page and/or on the agency, or donor website.

Know your eligibility

Read our guide to discover the polices and regulations that determines a student's award eligibility at the University of Calgary.

Award Guide: Eligibility

Terms of reference


You must meet the eligibility criteria for each award for which you are applying.


*The terms of reference for the Killam award, open doctoral awards, and special awards can be found on the Graduate Awards Database. 

Awards Database

Selection criteria and indicators

To be eligible for the Killam and Open Doctoral categories students must have achieved a first-class average, as determined by the university issuing the transcripts, in the last two completed years of study (full-time equivalent). At the University of Calgary, a student must have achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in the last 2 years of study. Each institution has their own definition of first-class average. The University of Calgary does not convert scales.

Read more


The Graduate Award Competition opens November 1

  1. Go to your Student Centre and click the link Apply for Awards tab on your home screen.
  2. Select the Graduate Award Competition Application.

Only one application is required regardless of the number of awards you are applying for.

Apply here


References for admission may be used toward the scholarship competition as long as they have been written within the eleven months prior to the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ February 1 deadline.

Transcript Requirements

Scholarship requirements may differ from admission requirements. Transcripts will be uploaded to the application by your program.

  • Up-to-date (dated or issued in the fall session of the year of application (if currently registered) or after the last term completed (if not currently registered)).
  • Issued by the institution’s registrar’s office (either in paper or electronic format) either to the student or UCalgary staff. Paper transcripts may be opened and scanned by the student.
  • Transcripts from other sources (printed from the student's personal school account) are not accepted.
  • Scans must:
    • Be high quality and easily legible by reviewers
    • Contain Grading Scales for each institution
    • Be rotated so text is upright and reads from left to right
    • May be in colour or black/white

Contact the Award Office for further support

Attend a Workshop

Set yourself up for success and attend one of our workshops.

FGS Awards workshop

GAC Workshop
The GLC Q&A sessions are supported by a series of informational videos. These videos are intended to completely replace the presentation portion of GAC sessions.

Access the informational videos

Alberta Innovates Workshop

AB Innovates Workshop
Nov 20, 2023 | 2 pm - 3 pm

Participants should view the Alberta Innovates Graduate Student Scholarships (GSS) Program Guidelines in advance and come to the Q&A session with specific questions in mind.

View a Recording of the November 2023 workshop

One-on-one mentoring

The Graduate Leaders Circle (GLC) is hosting scholarship cafes, dedicated one-on-one mentoring sessions for students applying for scholarships. Drop-in and scheduled sessions are available.

If you have eligibility questions or you experience difficulties with the application, please contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies office (


GLC scholarship cafes

Students will be able to register for one 30 minute mentoring session. Signing up for more than one time slot reduces the number of spaces available for students

GAC Cafe #1:
Dec 4, 2023 | 2 pm - 4:30 pm

GAC Cafe #2:
Jan 17, 2024 | 10 am -12:00 noon


GLC scholarship drop-ins

GAC Drop In #1:
Dec 11, 2023 | 10 am - 12:00 noon

GAC Drop In #2:
Jan 4, 2024 | 10 am - 11:30 am

GAC Drop In #3:
Jan 9, 2024 | 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm