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Applying for External Funding

All prospective students, both Canadian and International are encouraged to apply for external funding. This includes fellowships and awards allocated by government departments and agencies, foundations and private companies.

External funding is handled by the student, sometimes with the support of the academic unit. In some cases, the prospective student should investigate this avenue before even applying to the university, because the timelines can be quite long. In other cases, students can apply for external funding after they have already begun their studies.

When do I apply for external funding?

In some cases, academic units (departments, schools or institutes) require that you apply for this funding before applying to McGill. You should visit your department’s website to find out more or refer to the sample funding questions you may want to ask your department. You should apply for external funding as soon as you have made your decision to pursue graduate studies. For many external fellowships, you need to apply one year before your program begins. The majority of external fellowship application deadlines fall between October and November, for fellowships available in September of the following year. These awards are often renewable. McGill offers students a series of information sessions and workshops on applications to external agencies in September of every year.

For a collection of scholarships and awards from organizations outside McGill who do not rely on departmental nominations, please visit the CaPS External Scholarship Database. The listings are categorized by level of studies and disciplines.

Which award is right for me?

Click chart to enlarge

* The Government of Canada provides a description of the types of research these fields include
** by nomination only

The following list includes some of the major external fellowships available to you. Please note that there may be other external fellowships available that are not listed here. Follow the links to learn about each award including application dates, guidelines and forms.


Provincial (Quebec)


More information

For more information on funding opportunities, view the Graduate Fellowships & Awards Calendar.

Need more help?

After you review the information available on the agency links, if you still have questions on external funding, please contact graduatefunding [dot] gps [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies). We are here to support you in applying to external agency fellowships.

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