Policies and guidelines

All graduate scholarships and awards administered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies are governed by clearly defined policies and regulations. 

Donor involvement guidelines

The University of Calgary’s current business practice is for award donors to remain at arm’s length in selections for awards at both the undergraduate and graduate studies level.  While donors are encouraged to collaborate with the university to establish appropriate terms of reference, for the award(s) they are supporting, the university must ensure that the process of selecting award recipients is fair and transparent.

In that regard, exceptional circumstances may arise where donors may be asked to participate in award selections. For that reason the following guidelines have been developed to ensure that the arms length relationship between the members of any student awards selection committee and potential award recipients is understood and confirmed by selection committee members.

Policy Scholarships, awards, prizes and bursaries (hereinafter referred to as “awards”) are offered to University of Calgary students on the basis of academic merit. Where specified in the Terms of Reference for a particular award, additional criteria may be considered.

Guidelines for Awards Selection Committee Members including donor or donor designates

All committee members, including the donor or donor designates will receive Award application packages.

It is understood that each committee member will have one vote for each available award. Where consensus cannot be reached the decision will be made by a majority vote. If a decision meeting is scheduled and the donor or designate is unable to attend the meeting, their assessment of applicants will be accepted by mail, e-mail or fax and considered by the selection committee.

Under law, the University of Calgary has and must retain, final authority regarding all disbursements of student awards. In compliance with CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) guidelines, the University of Calgary may choose to accept the advice of the donor/designate/subject matter expert under the structure and guided process of a selection committee whose members are chosen by the University of Calgary.

If for any reason the donor is unable or unwilling to provide advice within the structure of the selection committee, the University of Calgary shall deem it necessary to make the selection without this advice.

Final decisions as to the disbursement of funds for awards reside with the University of Calgary.

Conflict of interest

Selection committee members will speak only to the information contained in the award application package.

Selection committee members, including donors and donor designates will identify at the beginning of the application evaluation any potential conflict of interest as defined by confidential knowledge of an applicant (e.g. working relationship with an applicant, personal relationship with an applicant). Where a conflict of interest is identified this member will assume a non-voting role.

The release of individual rank placements

The internal ranking of all University of Calgary applications for scholarships, whether internal or external (such as federal tri-council competitions), is done by members of the Graduate Scholarship Committee. Those applicants who rank highly enough are so notified.

In the case of internal competitions, they are notified of the award they have received. They are not informed of their ranking among those who received that award. In the case of external competitions, the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) informs all students, immediately following the conclusion of the University of Calgary component, whether or not their applications have been forwarded to the final, external, phase of the competition. In essence, they are informed that their University of Calgary ranking falls within the quota that the external agency has determined for the institution for final adjudication within the national competition.

The policy of the Faculty of Graduate Studies is not to inform applicants of anything more than their success or lack thereof. We do not inform students of their rank within the competition. Students’ ranking is considered to be a matter internal to the Graduate Scholarship Committee, and to FGS processes.

For external competitions, there is the added consideration that applications often need to be categorized according to areas of study determined by the granting agency, and are reviewed, at the national level, within those categories for the allocation of awards. The release of rankings in small categories would inevitably impact the privacy of other individuals in the same group and therefore is refused to all candidates.