Walter C. Sumner Memorial Fellowship


Likely March 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, or Electronics (including Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) at UBC.



Applicants must:

  • be engaged in or about to start doctoral studies in either Chemistry, Physics, or Electronics (including Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) and 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

Students must submit a complete application package to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by 4:00pm on Friday, March 1, 2019. The application form can be downloaded below. The application form provides instructions regarding additional required materials such as transcripts and reference letters.

Second year applicants do not have to submit an application form, but the following documentation must be provided. 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. In addition, 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 package. Envelopes containing transcripts and reference letters must not be opened by the student – these must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in their original, sealed envelopes from the issuing institution (transcripts) and referee (reference letters). When requesting transcripts and reference letters, ask that the address clearly indicate that the materials are for the “Walter Sumner Memorial Fellowship competition.”

Please note that students must submit up-to-date, official transcripts for all post-secondary studies (i.e., including an official UBC transcript). Furthermore, students must provide complete contact information including an email address or phone number where they can be reached after April 1.

Students are advised to submit their application materials in advance of the deadline if possible and to confirm with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies that all required application materials have been received.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Nomination Procedures

PART III-A of the application form is to be completed by the Chair of the department where the applicant is undertaking (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 March 15. A selection committee of senior scientists who are not from the participating universities will make recommendations to the Foundation. Approximately 25 fellowships, valued at $8,000 each, will be awarded each year. The fellowships may be distributed unevenly among the participating universities. Successful candidates will be notified by the Foundation in late April and must indicate acceptance in late May. Fellowships will initially be for one year, but may be extended for a second year.

Further Information

Questions about this award opportinity should be directed to Joanne Tsui.