Rio Tinto Graduate Scholarship Program


Likely in June 2024

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 2022-2023 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 following criteria are used by the committee to select the nominees:

  • Academic record
  • Relevance of research proposal to Rio Tinto’s “eligible research areas”
  • Publications and awards, relative to the applicant's stage of study
  • Work and Leadership experience
  • Quality of the reference letters

Application Procedures

Check with your graduate program regarding your program’s internal application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Submit your application package to your graduate program.

The following application materials are required:

  • Cover letter listing:
    • Student name
    • UBC student number
    • UBC graduate program
    • Name of UBC supervisor
    • Names of referees providing letters of recommendation
    • Note: Please do not provide any additional information other than the items requested above.  Extraneous additional information will be blocked off.
  • 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'.
  • Research project description
    • Must include proposed timelines. Maximum four pages, must be double-spaced.
  • Up-to-date, official transcripts for all university-level studies (including studies undertaken but not completed)
    • For UBC transcripts, your "Academic History" document printed by your graduate program will be accepted (official transcript ordered through your SSC account is also acceptable). 
      • Please note that the SSC student "grade summary" page is not acceptable,
    • For institutions other than UBC:
      • Only official transcripts will be accepted. Rio Tinto does not accept unofficial transcripts.
      • Acceptable:
        • Original or certified true copies provided by your graduate program (ie. Obtained by the graduate program from the eVision admission system or from the graduate program’s own electronic records).
        • Your personal student copies of official transcripts.
      • Not Acceptable:
        • Screenshots of grades from the online student account.
        • Transcripts labelled “unofficial” on each page by the issuing institution.
    • 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.
    • “Transcripts for all university-level studies”: includes transcripts from transfer credit courses and exchange or study abroad terms.
    • “Up to date” transcripts: Transcripts should be printed in Summer 2022 term (if currently registered) or after the final term completed (if graduated).
    • It remains your responsibility as the applicant to ensure that you are submitting your complete, up to date transcript package as part of your award application.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors or researchers (one of whom must be your research supervisor), who have followed your progress during your university studies.
  • Up to date CV (no page limit).

Presentation standards for free-form documents: Minimum 10 point font.

Nomination Procedures

Graduate programs are to set an internal application deadline and review and rank all applications submitted from their students. Each UBC-Vancouver graduate program can forward one nomination (UBC-Okanagan can submit two nominations in total) to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies via your department’s UBC Sharepoint folder (within the umbrella folder ‘Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies – Programs – Folder Structure”)(named “FACULTY – DEPT“; e.g., “ARTS – PSYC”).

All application materials must be received by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by 4:00 pm PT on Wednesday, 15 June 2022. 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 (one page 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).

Adjudication Procedures

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will convene an adjudication committee composed of UBC faculty members to review nominations submitted by graduate programs and select UBC's three nominees to the national competition. Only one fellowship per university will be awarded per year. 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.

Rio Tinto typically announces the results of the award competition in late August.

Further Information

Questions about this award opportunity should be directed to Joan Toledo.


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