Walter C. Sumner Memorial Fellowship


Wednesday, 08 April 2020

Annual Value




Degree Level


The Walter C. Sumner Memorial Fellowships are available to Canadian citizens engaged in or about to start doctoral studies in Chemistry, Physics, Electrical Engineering or Computer Science.



Applicants must:

  • be engaged in or about to start doctoral studies in either Chemistry, Physics, Electrical Engineering or Computer Science at one of the following institutions: Dalhousie University, McGill University, Queen’s University at Kingston, the University of Toronto, the University of Saskatchewan or the University of British Columbia
  • be Canadian citizens
  • be domiciled in Canada, although at the time of application a candidate may be studying outside the country
  • hold a degree from a Canadian university other than the one at which the doctoral studies will be conducted during the tenure of the fellowship
  • if only a degree at the Bachelor’s level is held, the applicant must have at least two years experience in either teaching or industry in the chosen field of study
  • if awarded a Tri-Agency Canada Graduate Scholarship, participants must inform the Walter C. Sumner Foundation
  • preference will be given to those born in Nova Scotia, followed by those born in any of the other Atlantic Provinces

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation criteria are as follows: background preparation, originality, research ability or potential, industry, judgment, all-round scientific ability, oral and written communication skills, and interpersonal and leadership abilities.

Application Procedures

Complete applications must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by 4:00pm on Wednesday, 8 April 2020.  Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.  Applications can be emailed to

New applicants: Students must submit a complete application package to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by the application deadline. The application form can be downloaded below under "Further Information". The application form provides instructions regarding additional required materials such as transcripts and reference letters.

Second year applicants (award renewal applicants): Second year applicants do not have to submit an application form, but the following documentation must be provided by the application deadline.

  • The student must submit a one page report with information on: (a) the research completed, (b) any papers in press or published, (c) a transcript showing results of any course work, (d) papers or posters presented, and (e) any other relevant information.
  • The student must submit a letter from their research supervisor, indicating that in their view satisfactory progress has been made by the student. This letter must also be signed by the Dean of Graduate Studies for the applicable university. Finally, the letter must disclose whether the applicant has been awarded a Tri-Agency Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGSD) for his/her second year of study.


  • Students are strongly encouraged to submit all their application materials together in one emailed PDF (excluding references)
  • Students must submit up-to-date transcripts for all post-secondary studies, including exchange terms
  • References are confidential and should not be viewed by the applicant.  Applicants should advise their referees to email their "Confidential Report on Candidate" directly to  Referees should indicate the name of the award competition (Sumner) and the applicant's first and last name so that the reference can be matched to the student's application.  It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all parts of their applicaiton, including the references, are received by the application deadline.
  • Part III-B would be completed by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, should the application be selected to be nominated to the national competition.

Nomination Procedures

PART III-A of the application form is to be completed by the Chair of the department where the applicant is undertaking (or will undertake) his/her doctoral studies.

Adjudication Procedures

Candidates must be nominated by UBC. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will review and rank the applications and forward the qualified nominations to the Walter C. Sumner Foundation by April 15. A selection committee of senior scientists who are not from the participating universities will make recommendations to the Foundation.  At the discretion of the Foundation, the amount and value of the fellowships awarded could vary each year depending on applicant pool.

Successful candidates will be notified by the Foundation by mid-May. Fellowships will initially be for one year, but may be extended for a second year.

Further Information

Questions about this award opportunity should be directed to