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


$11,000 master's and $15,000 doctoral





Degree type

All students enrolled in a graduate degree program are eligible

Preparing your application

Students with a UCalgary student number (UCID) may apply for awards after submitting an application for admission. You do not need to be accepted into your program before you apply for awards.

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 2020 Graduate Award Competition is closed. 

The 2021 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.


February 1 to your Graduate Program Administrator, unless your program has an earlier deadline. Confirm your program’s deadline as 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 – Pending Provincial Budget (successful students only)
  • Special Awards – May - June (successful students only)

Unsuccessful notices for all award categories have been sent to students as of June 2020

Attend a Workshop

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

FGS Awards workshop (Foothills)

Date and time for next workshop TBA

FGS Awards workshop (Main)

Date and time for next workshop TBA

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

Schedule for cafes TBA


GLC scholarship drop-ins

Schedule for drop-in sessions TBA