Rio Tinto Graduate Scholarship Program


Applicants: Check with graduate program; Graduate program nomination deadline: likely June 2021

Annual Value



Permanent Resident

Degree Level


As part of its ongoing commitment to innovation and research, Rio Tinto offers an $18,000 graduate scholarship for a UBC graduate student in a field of pure or applied science related to Rio Tinto's activities in mining.



To be eligible, applicants must be enrolled or accepted in a first year Master's or first or second year Doctoral studies in 2020-2021 academic year. The scholarship is non-renewable and students who received the scholarship in the past are not eligible to apply again.

Eligible Research Areas

  • Aluminum metallurgy
  • Electrolysis of molten salts
  • Hydrometallurgy
  • Science of the environment
  • Analytical technologies
  • Modeling and control systems
  • Data Science

The programme’s selection committee will consider any research projects in these areas.

Applicants must be enrolled or accepted in a full-time study program for a graduate degree.

Evaluation Criteria

The criteria used by the committee to decide the recipient are:

  • Academic documents including distinctions
  • Publications (depending of the level of advancement)
  • Work experience / Leadership / Social implication
  • Quality of the reference letters
  • Relevance of the topic for the Aluminium industry

Application Procedures

Applicants must check with their graduate program regarding their program’s internal application deadline. Internal application deadlines are often several weeks before the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies nomination deadline.  The following application materials are required. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Applicants submit their application package to their graduate program.

  • Cover letter listing:
    • student name
    • UBC student number
    • UBC graduate program
    • name of UBC supervisor
    • names of those providing letters of recommendation
  • Proof of enrollment or acceptance
    • Current UBC students: You can obtain a proof of enrollment in your SSC account in 'Grades and Records' > 'Proof of Enrollment letters'.
  • Project description: must include proposed timelines. Maximum four pages, double spaced.
  • up-to-date, official academic records for all university-level studies (including studies undertaken but not completed and transfer courses)
    • For UBC transcripts, the applicant's "Academic History" printed from the SISC by the applicant's graduate program will be accepted.  Please note that the SSC student "grade summary" page is not acceptable; please specifically request the "Academic History" document from your graduate program who has access to the SISC staff system (different from the student SSC system).
    • For institutions other than UBC:
      • only official* transcripts will be accepted. These may be original or certified true copies provided by the applicant's graduate program. Please note that students must request certified true copies of transcripts from their graduate program, not from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
      • up-to-date, official* transcripts from eVision (UBC graduate admission system) will be accepted. These should be certified by the applicant's graduate program. Please note that students must request certified copies of transcripts from their graduate program, not from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
        • transcripts on eVision that were uploaded by the applicant (ex. not stamped "G+PS Official") are also acceptable if the "G+PS Official" version is not available and if they are scans of official transcripts.  Transcripts that were uploaded by the applicant that are unofficial (ex. "this is an unofficial transcript" watermark on each page by the issuing institution) are not acceptable.
      • for all transcripts, please ensure that the grading key/legend for the institution is also provided
      • transcripts that are in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by an official English translation.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors or researchers (one of whom must be your research supervisor), who have followed the applicant’s progress during his or her university studies. Only recommendation letters signed by the person providing the reference are acceptable; original, faxed, and scanned copies sent by e-mail are acceptable.
  • Up to date CV (no page limit).

*If official transcripts are not available on eVision: Many universities, including UBC, are not able to provide official paper transcripts at this time.  However, the vast majority of institutions will provide their students/graduates with official transcripts via email or secure digital services (eg. Parchment), either of which will meet the requirement for official transcripts.

Nomination Procedures

Graduate programs are to review and rank all applications submitted from their students. Each graduate program can forward 1 nomination (UBC-Okanagan can submit 2 nominations) to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies via the grad program's Workspace folder. All application materials must be received by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by 4:00pm on Wednesday, 17 June 2020. A complete nomination package must include:

  • Graduate program nomination letter outlining the process for the ranking of applicants, and the rationale for nominating the selected applicant (two pages maximum)
  • Application materials listed above for each nominated student

The program nomination letter and all application materials should be submitted as a PDF files. The following naming conventions should be used:

  • nomination letter: RIOTINTO_DEPT_Nomination.pdf (e.g. RIOTINTO_MECH_Nomination.pdf for Mechanical Engineering)
  • each student's application file: RIOTINTO_DEPT_LastName_FirstName.pdf (e.g. application from Jane Smith from Mechanical Engineering would be named RIOTINTO_MECH_Smith_Jane.pdf).
    • order of files in each application should be:
      1. Cover letter
      2. Proof of enrollment or acceptance
      3. Project description
      4. Transcripts
      5. Two recommendation letters
      6. CV

Adjudication Procedures

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will convene an adjudication commitee composed of UBC faculty members to review nominations submitted by graduate programs and select UBC's nominees to the national competition. Only one fellowship per university will be awarded at any one time. Rio Tinto may decide not to award a fellowship if the project fails to meet the criteria and standards of excellence set by the selection committee.

Further Information

Questions about this award opportunity should be directed to Cady Tran.