Awards and Scholarships

2018-19 Scholarship Information

There are a variety of opportunities for funding over and above what comes as "university funding" as outlined in your letter of offer. The Department of Geography and Western University offers a variety of internal scholarships to reward academic excellence and support graduate student research. The School of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies (SGPS) provides a list that complements what is on this page. Eligible students should also apply for Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS), Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) scholarships (see the SGPS Funding Opportunities page on these and other funding opportunities).

Departmental Awards

The Brian Luckman Award

Based on academic achievement, this award is for Canadian graduate students in Physical Geography. Applicants must meet Ontario residency requirements. Preference will be given to applicants not holding a major external scholarship; therefore, recipients will be chosen in May after the Tri-Council/OGS awards are announced.

  • Value $1,100
  • Deadline: May 1

How to apply?

Fill out the attached application and return it to the Graduate Administrator. The department's Graduate Awards Committee adjudicates these awards. Contact the Graduate Administrator for details.

The Allen K. Philbrick Scholarship in Cultural Geography

Awarded to a full-time PhD student in good standing who is studying Cultural Geography, based on academic achievement (min. 80% average). To be eligible, a student must be in Years 2 to 4 of a PhD program and be undertaking research on some cultural process or cultural phenomena's spatial impact on the on the human environment. A committee in the Department of Geography, with at least one representative who is a current member of the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies will select the recipient.

  • Value $1,600
  • Deadline: May 1

How to apply?

Fill out the attached application and return it to the Graduate Administrator. The department's Graduate Awards Committee adjudicates these awards. Contact the Graduate Administrator for details.

The Michael Troughton Bursary

This bursary was established by friends and family through Foundation Western to honour Michael J. Troughton (PhD Geography '70) who, upon his retirement, was the longest-serving member of the Geography Department at Western. Awarded to a full-time graduate student in Geography based on academic achievement (minimum 78% average), preference will be given to a student in Year 2 of the Master's program or Years 2 to 4 of the PhD program, who is conducting research in the area of environment and sustainability within a rural context. Applicants cannot hold a major external scholarship. Recipients will be chosen in May after the Tri-Council/OGS awards are announced.

  • Value $1,500
  • Deadline: May 1

How to apply?

Fill out the attached application and return to the Graduate Administrator. The department's Graduate Awards Committee adjudicates these awards. Contact the Graduate Administrator for details.

The Edward G. Pleva Fellowship

The Edward G. Pleva Fellowship is awarded in April each year to a full-time student enrolled in a graduate program in Geography in order of the following priorities:

  • Graduates of UWO Honours Geography enrolled in the first year program leading to degree of Master of Arts or Master of Science.
  • Graduates of any university enrolled as per (i) above.
  • Holders of a Master's degree from UWO or other university who are enrolled in the first year of a program of full-time studies at UWO leading to the degree Doctor of Philosophy in Geography.
  • A student entering second year of the Master's degree program enumerated above in (i) (ii) and (iii).
  • A student entering second year of the PhD program in (iii) above.

A student may hold the award only once in each degree program.

  • Value 2 at up to $1,000

How to apply?

The recipient is selected by the Scholarship Committee of the Department of Geography.

ESRI GIS Award (Faculty Award)

The Faculty of Social Science is pleased to announce the renewal of a new graduate award sponsored by ESRI Canada Ltd. This was formerly a Departmental award, but is now offered to all students in Social Science. The recipient must be a student in a Faculty of Social Science graduate program who has enrolled in a graduate GIS course and/or is using advanced GIS analysis to conduct/support their graduate thesis research. In selecting the recipient, two factors will be considered:

1) Academic achievement (minimum 78% average) as reflected in transcripts (50% weight). This will be provided by the Department.

2) A 250-500 word statement that describes how the applicants research will benefit from, or is innovative in, the use of GIS software. This submission must be double spaced in 12-point font, and include the applicant’s student and SIN numbers.

3) A letter of support from your supervisor.

4) CV

The scholarship consists of the following:

  • A one-time payment of $1,500
  • Complimentary student licenses of ArcGIS software including:
  • ArcEditor ArcScan Maplex
  • Spatial Analyst 3D-Analyst Geostatistical Analyst
  • Network Analyst ArcGIS Publisher ArcInfo
  • 1 copy of “Modeling Our World”
  • 1 copy of “The ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis”
  • 1 copy of “Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop”
  • Access to ESRI’s Virtual Campus for one year
  • Complimentary registration for one ESRI Regional User Conference
  • Value $5,000
  • Deadline: First Monday in March to Graduate Administrator

How to apply?

Provide the 250-word statement both in hard-copy and electronic formats to the Graduate Administrator before the due date - the Graduate Administrator will forward with transcript to the Associate Dean - OR send your transcript and statement directly to the Associate Dean, Graduate Education. Award winners may be asked to provide a presentation to ESRI about how the software supports(ed) their research. The selection committee will be chosen by the Associate Dean, Graduate Education, Policy and Planning, Faculty of Social Science, who will also be an ex-officio member of the committee.

The E. G. Pleva Prize for Excellence as a Graduate Teaching Assistant

Awarded annually to the best two students enrolled in a Geography graduate program who have been judged to be the best Teaching Assistants during the previous academic year. Students may not win the award more than twice.

  • Value up to $450

How to apply?

The recipients are selected by the Geography Department based on the Teaching Assistant evaluations conducted each term. Award winners are announced in May.

CAG Memberships

Awarded to the current President or Co-Presidents of the Geograd Society. Awarded in May.

  • Value $45

How to apply?

Please direct inquiries on fellowships and scholarships to the Graduate Administrator
Phone: 519-661-2111, Ext. 85033

Conference Travel Funds

All Geography graduate students are eligible and encouraged to apply for Graduate Student Travel Funds. Monies are provided to support student research presentations at professional conferences. Amounts will vary, depending on application numbers and funds available. Students must apply by April 1.

Internal Western University Funding

Faculty of Social Science Graduate Research Awards Fund

The Faculty of Social Science Graduate Research Awards Fund (GRAF) is designed to support the costs of research undertaken by full-time graduate students enrolled in an approved graduate program leading to a research degree. Applicants must be engaged in doing research as part of their degree requirements to be eligible for a GRAF award. Students past their normal funding period are not eligible. Further details can be found here.

  • Value $750 (varies from year to year)
  • Deadline: First Friday in March to the Graduate Administrator

How to apply?

For information please visit the Social Science graduate student awards page.

The Graduate Alumni Scholarships Competition

Awarded to graduate students registered in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and enrolled in any graduate program in the Faculty of Social Sciences who can demonstrate financial need and are maintaining a minimum 78% average. Recipients will be selected by the Dean of Social Science upon consultation with the Department Chairs and committees within the Faculty of Social Science. Recipients must meet OSOTF eligibility requirements. Value: 4 at $3000 each.
Students must meet the following :
1) Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or protected person and resident of Ontario for 12 consecutive months prior to the beginning of post-secondary studies.
2) Pass a needs criteria. This means that anyone HOLDING a major scholarship (i.e., from tri-council, OGS, Trudeau etc.) are not eligible.

  • Value $3,000 (varies from year to year)
  • Deadline: First Monday in May

Application Materials:

  • Transcripts (Western academic record) (GPA of 78%+)
  • CV/Resume
  • Signed statement of financial need (200 word max.)
  • Signed statement that the student meets OSOTF Ontario residency requirements (identify which of the three criteria is met)*
  • ONE letter of support – from the supervisor or equivalent

All submissions are made to the Graduate Administrator.

One candidate is forwarded to the Dean.

External Awards

CAG Student Travel Grant

Membership runs from January to December. For complete details see the website

Also see Membership Benefits

Tri-Council Awards

The Province (OGS, OGSST) and federal Tri-Council Agencies (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) provide very substantial and prestigious awards. SGPS provides two good, overlapping summaries of these awards - a summary of awards for faculty/staff and a summary of awards for graduate students - the latter in particular has information on application procedures for these key agencies along with other awards.

How to apply?

Complete the forms (see SGPS external awards page) and submit to Geography's Graduate awards committee (via the

Application Deadlines for External Scholarship applications to Graduate Administrator will be provided as soon as they are known. Typically they are in early October, so you have to get started in early September.


Trillium Scholarship

Please see the website for information.

Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship

Please see the website for details.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

Please see the website for details.


"Through unique research and training programs, Mitacs is developing the next generation of innovators with vital scientific and business skills. In partnership with companies, government and academia, Mitacs is supporting a new economy using Canada's most valuable resource - its people."
A partnership with businesses/non-profit organizations for one term of research. No deadline.

Apply directly to Mitacs with your supervisor.

Supervisors are encouraged to contact Gregor Lawson from MITACS before starting an application.


Other External Funds

Those doing international work should, among other sources, consider IDRC- UWO Geographers have had good success with this agency. There is no internal IDRC application deadline like there is for the other agencies mentioned here. There is also a federal government list of international scholarships, some of which are country-of-origin specific.