2023 Graduate Student Fellowships Program


Application Process

Number of Fellowships

  • Approximately 32 fellowships (PhD and Master's combined) will be awarded

Value per Award

  • PhD fellowship: $15,000/year
  • Master’s fellowship: $10,000/year

Award Duration

  • One year


  • Launch: January 10, 2023
  • Registration deadline: January 30, 2023, 5:00 p.m. EST
  • Application deadline: February 27, 2023, 5:00 p.m. EST
  • Results announcement: Summer 2023
  • Award start: September 1 or October 1, 2023

A fellowship writing workshop (including information on EDI and SGBA+) will be held on January 17, 2023.

Program Objective

Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives (HBHL) is a high profile, high priority multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral program located at McGill University made possible with support from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) and the Fonds de recherche du Quebec (FRQS, FRQSC and FRQNT). HBHL’s Graduate Student Fellowships Program aims to attract, train and retain top students at the graduate level from across disciplines and around the world to participate in interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral research training opportunities related to brain and mental health research, knowledge translation/mobilization and innovation.


  • The applicant must be enrolled full time at McGill University at the Master’s (MSc/MA1-2) or PhD (PhD1-5) level at the start of the award.
  • The program is open to both Canadian and international students. Applicants must have a McGill supervisor prior to submitting an application. Candidates may wish to consult the Brain@McGill Researcher Database to identify potential supervisors and contact them directly. However, potential supervisors are not limited to those in this database.
  • The proposed research project must be aligned with HBHL’s goals and objectives and tie in to at least one of HBHL’s four Research Themes.
  • The applicant cannot concurrently hold a fellowship from another Canadian federal or provincial funding agency or McGill internal fellowship (e.g., from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences or Integrated Program in Neuroscience (IPN)) and an HBHL award. However, the applicant may concurrently hold an HBHL and a Mitacs fellowship.
  • Current or past HBHL-funded graduate students are eligible to reapply.
  • Prior to registering or submitting an application for an HBHL Fellowship, all applicants must complete:
    1. At least one of CIHR’s Online Training Modules on Integrating Sex and Gender in Health Research (time required: 30-45 minutes); and
    2. Research ethics training, including at least one of the following:

Application Process

Step 1: Registration

Applicants must first register using the online registration form by Monday January 30, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

The registration form includes:

  • Identification of the applicant, supervisor(s) and advisory committee members (if applicable), and
  • Identification of the HBHL Research Theme in which the project best fits as well as up to five keywords to describe the research project.

An electronic certificate of completion, showing your name, from at least one of CIHR’s Online Training Modules on Integrating Sex and Gender in Health Research must be submitted along with the registration form. One training module takes approximately 30-45 minutes to complete.

Guidance on Selecting the Most Relevant CIHR Training Module for You:

  • If your research involves experiments with cells, tissues, animals or other biological samples, select Course 1;
  • If you are collecting data directly from human participants and are able to influence the data being collected, select Course 2;
  • If you are using data collected from human participants that you did not collect yourself or if you do not have influence over the data being collected from human participants, select Course 3.
  • If at any stage of your project you plan to analyze existing data collected from human participants, even if your research is primarily biological in nature, you may wish to also take Course 3 as it contains valuable information about constructing a gender variable, which is the single most common source of errors (and required resubmissions) for HBHL fellowship applicants.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that registration is completed on time. Individuals who do not register by Monday January 30, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. EST will not be eligible to submit a full application.

Step 2: Application

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the full application package as described below is submitted through the online application form before the deadline on Monday February 27, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

Applications submitted after the deadline, or incomplete applications, will not be accepted. Applications submitted by email will not be accepted. If any technical difficulties are experienced with the registration or online application forms, it is the applicant’s responsibility to notify HBHL of this prior to the respective deadline.

Note that no letters of recommendation are required for this application.

Application Package

A complete application package must include documents 1-7 listed below, submitted as a single PDF file through the online application form on the HBHL website.

The filename must be in the following format: ApplicantLastName_ApplicantFirstName.pdf. Please ensure the file size does not exceed 10 MB. The documents must be in the order listed below within the PDF.

1. Applicant Information Form

The applicant information form duly completed, including the signed declarations.

2. Research Project (maximum 2 pages, including text, any figures and references)

The applicant must describe the research project for which funding is requested.


  • Times New Roman 12-point font, single-spaced, with margins of 2.5 cm
  • Indicate the applicant’s name at the top right corner of each page
  • Indicate the Research Project title at the top of the first page.

The project description must include the following sections, clearly separated with sub-headings:

  • Background and rationale
  • Research plan and methods
  • Expected outcomes and benefits
  • Alignment with HBHL
    • A description of the project’s alignment with HBHL’s goals and objectives, and how it ties into at least one of HBHL’s four Research Themes.
  • Sex- and gender-based analysis plus (SGBA+)
    • A description of how sex as a biological variable, gender as a socio-cultural determinant of health and/or other relevant factors (e.g., race, age, Indigeneity, ability) will be integrated into the proposed project (if applicable). If none of the above factors will be considered, provide an evidence-based justification for this decision.
    • N.B. This section will be reviewed separately by SGBA+ experts and a mark of ‘sufficient and appropriate’ is a prerequisite for funding. Please apply what you learn from the CIHR training modules when formulating your response.

3. Applicant's Letter of Motivation (maximum 1 page)

The applicant must describe their career goals for the coming years and why this fellowship will assist in achieving those goals (maximum 1 page).

4. Description of Impacts of the on-going COVID-19 Pandemic on Research and/or Training (optional, maximum half a page)

Applicants are invited to report any impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their research productivity, grades or education/career path (maximum half a page).

This may include, but is not limited to, family care or health-related circumstances, and/or changes in access to the facilities, materials and/or participants required to progress in the applicant’s research project. Applicants are not required to provide details regarding their personal situation or information they would consider confidential. It is acceptable to indicate the nature of the circumstances without providing personal details. This information will be included in the application package that is sent to reviewers to ensure the equitable assessment of the applicant’s record.

5. Explanation of Leave(s), Interruption(s) and/or Other Personal Circumstances (optional, maximum half a page)

Applicants are invited to signal any non-COVID-related leave, interruption and/or other personal circumstances that affected research productivity or grades, or that have had an effect on their education/career path (maximum half a page).

This may include, but is not limited to, family care or health-related circumstances. Applicants are not required to provide details about their personal situation or information they would consider confidential. It is acceptable to indicate the nature of the circumstances without providing personal details. This information will be included in the application package that is sent to reviewers to ensure the equitable assessment of the applicant’s record.

6. Copy of Applicant's Official Transcripts and cGPA

Attach all university transcripts (undergraduate and graduate). This includes McGill transcripts, even if you have started at McGill but do not yet have grades—the transcript is confirmation of your status as a current student. Official electronic or scanned transcripts are required. Applications that include unofficial or outdated transcripts will not be considered.

  • Along with any non-North American transcripts, please provide a grade conversion as calculated by your program during your application to McGill. Please ask your program administration for this calculation if you do not have it already.

7. Demonstration of Completion of Training in Research Ethics

This may be either an electronic certificate of completion or a university transcript showing completion of one of the following:

  1. NEUR705, PHGY604, EPIB625, PHAR609 or equivalent graduate-level university course in research ethics; or
  2. McGill University Animal Care Committee theory course; or
  3. TCPS 2: CORE (Course on Research Ethics) from the Government of Canada. This is an online course focused on research involving human participants, and is available free of charge for all (time required: 3 hours).

The document must show your name and date completed. If your research ethics training is on your transcript, please attach a second copy of only the page listing the ethics course, with the ethics course highlighted.


All eligible applications will be assessed by an evaluation committee consisting of McGill neuroscience faculty. The weighting of each application component is below:

  • Research project (50%)
  • Applicant’s letter of motivation (20%)
  • Applicant’s publications, honours and transcripts/degrees (30%)
    • Note: For Master’s students, transcripts and honours are weighed higher than publications. For PhD students, publications and honours are weighed higher than transcripts.

Applicants with the highest rankings from multiple independent evaluations will be considered for an award.

Contact us

Please send any inquires to the andrzej.tereszkowski [at] mcgill.ca (HBHL's Program Officer)

HBHL is committed to equity and diversity within its community and values academic rigour and excellence. We welcome and strongly encourage applications from racialized persons/visible minorities, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities and persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as from all eligible applicants with the skills and knowledge to engage productively with diverse communities.

At McGill, research that reflects diverse intellectual traditions, methodologies, and modes of dissemination and translation is valued and encouraged. Applicants are invited to demonstrate their research impact both within and across academic disciplines and in other sectors, such as government, communities or industry.

HBHL further recognizes and fairly considers the impact of leaves (e.g., family care or health-related) that may contribute to career/education interruptions or slowdowns. Applicants are encouraged to signal any leave that affected productivity, or that may have had an effect on their education/career path. This information will be considered to ensure the equitable assessment of the applicant’s record.

HBHL has an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan and encourages members of designated equity groups to self-identify. It further seeks to ensure the equitable treatment and full inclusion of persons with disabilities by striving for the implementation of universal design principles transversally, across all facets of the University community, and through accommodation policies and procedures. hbhl [at] mcgill.ca (Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations for any part of the application process may contact us in confidence).


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