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




Competition opens November 1. Deadlines vary by program. Contact your Graduate Program Administrator.

Degree type

All students applying to, or enrolled in, a graduate degree program are eligible

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

You can apply for internal awards using our online scholarship application.

  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 Graduate Award Competition as long as they have been written within the last eleven months prior to the competition deadline.


GAC competition opens November 1. Deadlines to submit award applications are set individually by graduate programs. To confirm the deadline for your program, check your GAC online application or contact your Graduate Program Administrator. Late applications will not be accepted.


Results will be announced as follows:

  • Recruitment – March - April (successful students only)
  • Izaak Walton Killam – April (successful students only)
  • Open Doctoral – May - June (successful students only)
  • Alberta Innovates – May - November (successful students only)
  • Special Awards – May - June (successful students only)
  • Unsuccessful notices for all award categories  – June - July

Attend a Workshop

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

FGS Awards 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



GLC scholarship drop-ins