Scotia Scholars Award Program Requirements

Objective
Participating Universities 
Research Trainees
Funding Details
Eligibility
Process to Apply
Deadlines
Application Components
Supplemental Awards:

Colleen Elliott Award: Excellence in Cancer Research
George Turnbull Student Award: Excellence in Parkinson's Research
The Quest - The John Ruedy Award: Excellence in Health Research

Evaluation Criteria
Review Process
Award Notification
Funded Applicants
Institutional Contact Information
NSHRF Contact Information
Administrative Regulations
Acknowledgement and Accountability

Objective

The Scotia Scholars OM* Awards are intended to provide financial support to high caliber research trainees engaged in health research related academic study at Nova Scotia universities. The goal of the Scotia ScholarsOM Award is to support the development of the next generation of highly qualified health researchers and leaders in the Nova Scotia health research enterprise, as well as encourage continued interest in health research careers.

Funded applicants have the distinct honour of carrying the designation of Scotia Scholar. 

Participating Universities

Universities participating in the Scotia ScholarsOM Program include:

  •  Acadia University
  •  Cape Breton University
  •  Dalhousie University
  •  Mount Saint Vincent University
  •  Saint Francis Xavier University
  •  Saint Mary’s University

There are three available levels of Scotia Scholar Awards. Availability is determined yearly by each university:

  •  Scotia ScholarsOM Award (Undergraduate Level) - in 2016/17, undergraduate level awards are being offered by Acadia, CBU and St. FX
  •  Scotia ScholarsOM Award (Master’s Level)
  •  Scotia ScholarsOM Award (Doctorate Level)

Scotia ScholarsOM Award funding is allocated as a quota specific to each institution. Allocations were based on the number of students funded by NSHRF at each institution when the program was created in 2011 (i.e., Student Research Awards between 2000 and 2010), with each university having a minimum quota of one scholarship annually.

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Research Trainees

Specifically for the Scotia ScholarsOM Awards, the NSHRF considers research trainees to be students and fellows:

  •  enrolled at Nova Scotia universities or academic institutions, and
  •  engaged in research activities relevant to the NSHRF mandate, and either:
  •  completing thesis-based degree programs (Master’s or Doctorate), or
  •  completing honours or advanced major degree programs (Undergraduate), or
  •  training as ‘academic’ post-doctoral candidates, ‘academic’ as defined by the institution in which the trainee is enrolled

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Funding Details 

Scotia ScholarsOM Awards are offered annually at participating Nova Scotia institutions. Each Scotia ScholarsOM Award has a pre-determined value and duration according to the following categories:

  •  Undergraduate Level Award: $5,000 per 8 month period. Non-renewable.
  •  Master’s Level Award: $10,000 per 12 month period. Non-renewable.
  •  Doctorate Level Award: $10,000 per 12 month period. Renewable for a second 12 month period.

A student may hold a Scotia ScholarsOM Award once per level of study. 

Funding caps exist for each award level. Additional external funding received by an award holder should be discussed with the award holder’s host institution. Funding caps are listed below:

  •   Undergraduate Level Award Funding Cap: $15,000
  •   Master’s Level Award Funding Cap: $20,000
  •   Doctorate Level Award Funding Cap: $25,000

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Eligibility

NSHRF determines eligibility to hold an award; eligibility of trainees to apply is reviewed and assessed by their institution.

General Eligibility Requirements

To qualify to apply for all Scotia Scholars Awards, you must:

  • not have previously held a Scotia Scholars Award for the degree level you will be enrolled in during the tenure of the current award for which you are applying; and
  • demonstrate in your application that the research activity you will complete as part of your degree requirements relates to health research and is relevant to the mandate of the NSHRF and the NSHRF’s health research priority areas.

Undergraduate Award Eligibility:

To qualify to apply for this award, you must:

  • be registered in an honours stream or advanced major undergraduate degree program and have completed at least two years of an undergraduate degree;
  • have achieved a first-class average, as determined by your university, in the current undergraduate degree program; and
  • be in good standing for continued enrollment in an honours stream or advanced major undergraduate degree program as of September 2016.

Master’s Award Eligibility

To qualify to apply for this award, you must:

  • be enrolled in or accepted in a thesis-based graduate degree program;
  • have achieved a first-class average, as determined by your university, in the last two years of full time study; and
  • be in good standing for continued enrollment in a thesis-based graduate degree program as of September 2016.

Applicants who enter a doctorate program directly upon completion of a Bachelor degree may apply for the Master’s level scholarship provided they will not have completed more than 12 months of the Doctorate degree prior to September 2016.

Doctorate Award Eligibility

To qualify to apply for this award, you must:

  • at the time of application, be enrolled in or accepted in a thesis-based graduate degree program;
  • have achieved a first-class average, as determined by your university, in the last two years of full time study; and
  • be in good standing for continued enrollment in a thesis-based graduate degree program as of September 2016.

Applicants who enter a doctorate program directly upon completion of a Bachelor degree may apply for the Master’s level scholarship provided they will not have completed more than 12 months of the doctorate degree prior to September 2016.

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Process to Apply

All Scotia ScholarsOM Awards applications are processed and reviewed by participating institutions. Please contact your institution to learn more about internal processes to apply and institutional-specific deadlines for submission.
 

Deadlines

Deadlines for applicants to submit vary by institution but are generally between October - December (undergraduate) and January - March annually (graduate). Contact your institution’s graduate studies office to confirm the deadlines.
 

Award

Deadline for Institutions to Submit Recommendations to NSHRF

Scotia ScholarsOM Award (Undergraduate Level)

January 20, 2017

Scotia ScholarsOM Award (Master’s Level)

April 25, 2016

Scotia ScholarsOM Award (Doctorate Level)

April 25, 2016

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Application Components

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure all required documents are provided to the institution before the institutional deadline. All application documents must adhere to the following format (.doc or .pdf):

  •  Format: 11 pt font (minimum), 1.5 line spacing, 0.5 inch (1.27 cm) left and right margins
  •  Applicant’s full name and individual university student identification number must be in the top right corner of the page header
  •  References are not included in the page limit and are to immediately follow the one page Plain Language Summary and Statement of Promise

There are 6 required components for all Scotia ScholarsOM Award applications:

 

1. Scotia Scholars Award General Application Form

For the 2016-17 Scotia Scholars General Application Form, click here

 

2. Up-to-Date Curriculum Vitae

  • Undergraduate Applicants: The CV must be compliant with the NSHRF format.
  • Master’s Applicants: Canadian Common CV (CCV) validated for the NSHRF, entitled: "Scotia Scholars Masters ONLY." Instructions for the CCV validation process can be found here.
  • Doctorate Applicants: Canadian Common CV (CCV) validated for the NSHRF. Instructions for the CCV validation process can be found here

Please note: CCVs are not required for applicants’ supervisors.
 

3. Transcripts from All Academic Training

Transcripts are required for all current and past academic training. An electronic PDF copy of your transcript for your current institution is acceptable (including one page of the legends and transfer credits) and will be validated by your institution to ensure authenticity.  PDF copies of official transcripts are required for all past academic training at other institutions.

4. Plain Language Summary

Page Limit: One Page

Write a Plain Language Summary, for a non-scientific audience, which demonstrates how the prospective research activity you will undertake as part of your degree program relates to health research and is relevant to the NSHRF’s mandate and health research priority areas. Include in this section details of the potentially unique impact you see these activities having on the field of health research and the health of Nova Scotians.

5. Statement of Promise

Page Limit: One Page 

Write a Statement of Promise, for a non-scientific audience, which demonstrates how your past experiences have contributed to your interest in discovery, how you will contribute to the field of health research, what your future career plans are (including long term goals and career expectations) and how you are and/or will be a leader within the health research community.

6. Letters of Reference

Two letters of reference are required:

i) One academic letter from your supervisor who can address your demonstrated and potential academic and research abilities. The academic letter of reference should address the following:

  • Critical thinking - judicious evaluation of all information, regardless of source (i.e., quality of analytical skills).
  • Independence - pursuit of knowledge or taking action on own initiative, seeking guidance only when appropriate.
  • Perseverance - determined persistence in pursuit of goals despite obstacles or discouragement.
  • Originality - imagination or ingenuity in problem solving.
  • Organization skills - systematic, careful planning and coordination of activities, including ability to complete projects within an appropriate period of time.
  • 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 as well as verbal and written communication skills, as noted from daily correspondence and/or the quality of conference presentations, scholarly publications and teaching and mentoring abilities.

Please note: If a supervisor has not yet been identified, another faculty member may be appropriate to complete the academic reference letter and provide feedback on your academic/research abilities. Please check with your institutional representative to clarify who is most appropriate and eligible for your specific situation.

ii) One leadership letter from a person who can address your demonstrated and potential leadership abilities. The leadership letter of reference should 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.
  • Leadership qualities - qualities that are outstanding amongst the applicant’s peers with demonstrable examples.
  • Self-management - ability to prioritize and maintain a balance between work and personal life.
  • Integrity - acts consistently with ethical values and convictions 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.

Please note: 

  • The same person cannot provide both letters of reference
  • Referees should be advised that their assessments are not confidential and are subject to the Nova Scotia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • Each letter is limited to a maximum of two pages
  • It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the referees are aware of the requirements for the letters of reference
  • The two letters can be sent to your institution via email directly from the referee's email address. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure both letters are received before the institution’s internal deadline

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Supplemental Awards 

The NSHRF offers three supplemental awards that are selected from Scotia Scholars applicants. Only Graduate students are eligible for these awards.

Colleen Elliott and George Turnbull Awards

Students on the Recommended or Alternate lists submitted by their institutions will be considered for the Colleen Elliot Award and the George Turnbull Student Award. Applicants must complete an additional application in order to be considered. Both awards are reviewed by committees selected by the NSHRF. To learn more about the awards and download the application requirements, please see the PDF documents below:

Colleen Elliott Award: Excellence in Cancer Research (.PDF)
George Turnbull Student Award: Excellence in Parkinson's Research (.PDF)

The Quest Award

The NSHRF offers the Quest Award annually to the Scotia Scholar who demonstrates the greatest promise and potential for excellence in health research. Each university may nominate one candidate to the NSHRF for consideration. No additional information is required from the applicant for this award. To learn more about the Quest Award, see the PDF document below.

The Quest Award (.PDF)

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Evaluation Criteria

University selection committees use the following evaluation criteria to evaluate Scotia ScholarsOM applications. 

Scotia ScholarsOM Evaluation Criteria, Indicators and Evidence (Undergraduate, Master’s and Doctorate)

Criterion

Indicators

Evidence

Academic Excellence

Academic record

University transcripts

Scholarships/awards (competitive, amount, duration and prestige)

CV Sections: Distinctions/Awards/Credentials

CCV Sections: Recognitions and Research Funding History, if applicable

Duration of previous studies

CV Sections: Academic Background and Interruptions and Delays section of Research Contributions.

CCV sections: Education and Leaves of Absence (under Employment section)

Leadership

Leadership qualities (personal achievements, self-management, integrity, social skills) and relative comparison to peer group

Leadership Letter of Reference

Past experiences

CV Sections: Work Experience, Activities and Contributions Section of Research Contributions

CCV Sections: Employment, Activities and Contributions

Future career plans

Statement of Promise

Research Potential

Scholarships/awards (competitiveness, amount, duration and prestige)

CV Sections: Distinctions, Awards and Credentials

CCV sections: Recognitions and Research Funding History

Duration of previous studies

CV Sections: Academic Background, Interruptions and Delays Section of Research Contributions

CCV Sections: Education and Leaves of Absence Section of Employment

Academic training and relevant work experience

CV Sections: Academic Background and Work Experience

CCV Sections: Education and Employment

Statement of Promise

Contribution to research and development (publications, patents, reports, posters)

CV Sections: Activities and Contributions section of Research Contributions

CCV Sections: Activities and Contributions

Critical thinking, independence, perseverance, originality, organization skills, interest in discovery, research ability, communication skills

Academic Letter of Reference

Quality of presentation of application

Plain Language Summary

Statement of Promise

 

Weighting of Evaluation Criteria

Criterion

Undergraduate

Master’s

Doctorate

Academic Excellence

55%

50%

30%

Leadership

35%

20%

20%

Research Potential

10%

30%

50%

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Review Process

Each institution evaluates all applications internally in accordance with NSHRF eligibility and evaluation criteria listed in the program requirements. Each institution will establish three categories for its applicants:

  • Applicant(s) recommended for funding,
  • Applicant(s) recommended should funds become available (alternate list)
  • Applicant(s) not recommended for funding

When the review process is complete, the university notifies applicants of their status. The university then submits all recommended and alternate list applicants to the NSHRF for review, verification and final decisions.  

Award Notification

When all final decisions have been made by the NSHRF, all award applicants will be notified of the final results by email. The process to accept an award will be sent to the applicant at this time.

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Funded Applicants

During the period of drawing the Award funding, funded applicants must:

  • be registered as a full-time undergraduate student or graduate student in either a honours or advanced major degree program, or a Master’s or Doctorate level thesis-based degree program at the university that endorsed the application;
  • not hold full-time employment during the tenure of the award; and
  • return any unused funds if the degree program requirements are completed prior to the end date of the award period.

Please note:

Scotia ScholarsOM Awards are non-transferrable.  Therefore, if you transfer to a program of studies at another institution, your award will be canceled. 

Any additional awards received by the student while she/he holds a Scotia Scholars Award must be reported to the institution. It is the responsibility of the student to alert his/her institution if additional funding is received. The institution will notify the NSHRF of any changes regarding the award amount (as a result of the student exceeding the NSHRF's award funding cap.

Funded Scotia Scholars are encouraged to view the report templates page of the NSHRF website to view final and progress report templates related to your award.

Institutional Contact Information 

Please contact your Graduate Studies office for more information about your institution's specific internal deadlines and application submission process. For support or questions regarding eligibility, application content or funded applicant award changes, please contact your institution.

Institution

Contact 

Acadia University

Theresa Starratt
Graduate Studies Officer
Phone: (902) 585-1914
theresa.starratt@acadiau.ca

Cape Breton University

Sander Taylor
Research Officer
Phone: (902) 563.1338
sander_taylor@cbu.ca

Dalhousie University 

Danielle Pottie
Scholarships Liaison Officer
Phone: (902) 494-6246
fgs.slo@dal.ca

Mount Saint Vincent University 

Office of Graduate Studies
Phone: (902) 457-6400
graduate@msvu.ca

St. Francis Xavier University

Elizabeth Leighton
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (902) 867-2393
eleighto@stfx.ca

St. Mary's University

Heather Taylor
Graduate Studies Officer
Phone: (902) 420-5069
heather.taylor@smu.ca

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NSHRF Contact Information

For general inquiries about the award, please contact the NSHRF Corporate Iniatives Coordinator

Administrative Regulations

The NSHRF reserves the right to determine the eligibility of applications based on the information provided therein. We also reserve the right to interpret the program regulations set out in our published materials. 

University administrative officials must certify their institution will:

  • ensure applicants have met and will meet the eligibility to apply for and hold an award
  • administer any award distributed as a result of an application, according to the program requirements outlined on the NSHRF website
  • investigate, by appropriate procedures, any allegations of conduct inconsistent with NSHRF program requirements in connection with the use of NSHRF funds
  • report to NSHRF  the results of any investigation of a recipient of NSHRF funds who has been found to have infringed the program requirements
  • ensure that research conducted by recipients of NSHRF awards respects national ethics policies and guidelines and that ethics approval will be acquired from a duly constituted Research Ethics Board

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Acknowledgement and Accountability

The NSHRF’s support for health research is an investment by Nova Scotia taxpayers. Therefore, we are responsible for keeping the public informed about who receives support, the type of health research that is being conducted, the centres conducting the research, and how the funds are being administered.

NSHRF-funded researchers are expected to proactively disseminate their findings through peer reviewed publications in quality journals, the media and other mechanisms so that their work will have maximum impact and utility. It is expected that the support of NSHRF will be acknowledged in an appropriate manner. Please notify the NSHRF Communications Officer regarding media enquiries.

The NSHRF logo must be used on all posters, signage, and other print materials. Verbal/written acknowledgement should be provided at conferences, workshops, in journal submissions and in media interviews. Communications material including the NSHRF electronic logo is available by contacting the Communications Officer. For more information about acknowledging NSHRF funding, please click here

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*SCOTIA SCHOLARS is an Official Mark of the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.