Scholarships and Awards

Northern Scientific Training Grants Program

October 13, 2016

In 1961, the federal government established the Northern Scientific Training Grants Program to encourage Canadian universities to train northern specialists to meet national needs. Today, it is the Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP) and provides supplementary funding to over 300 students annually at over 35 universities across Canada. The program is administered by POLAR as part of its mandate to foster science and technology in Canada‚Äôs North.

Applications for the Northern Scientific Training Program funding must be made by the Chairperson of a Northern Studies Committee at a Canadian university or the equivalent. The committee must be officially recognized by the President of the university. Applications from individuals are not accepted. If a student's university does not have a recognized Northern Studies Committee, the candidate may apply through a participating university.

Selection Process:

Every year, an inter-governmental committee reviews the applications and allocates funding on the following basis:

  • the extent to which the application fits within program guidelines
  • the evaluation of past performance and future research
  • the training component of the application, and
  • the contribution to the development of northern specialists at the university.

This committee is also responsible for ensuring the effective use of funds allocated in the previous year.


  • Be enrolled in a degree program at a Canadian university.
  • Funds are available in support of graduate students. However, senior undergraduate students entering their final year and intending to undertake an honours thesis based on northern fieldwork or research, which will be continued in subsequent graduate studies, are also eligible.
  • Students supported by training funds must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Summer and winter projects are eligible.
  • Post-doctoral studies are not supported.

The deadline for endorsed applications to the Northern Scientific Training Program is December 1 of each year. Students should be informed of the earlier deadlines set within each university by their respective Northern Studies Committee. Applications are being accepted for the 2017 field season. For more details please see here.

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