Upcoming information session will help cure graduate scholarship ‘anxiety’

Pink Piggy Bank with graduation hat on

It’s scholarship season in graduate schools across Canada, and students are busy reading and writing pages and pages for their Ontaro Graduate Scholarship, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada and Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada applications.

Pink Piggy Bank with graduation hat onAt York, it is also the season for scholarship information sessions. The Office of the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies provides sessions each fall to help York students be as competitive as possible with provincial and federal funding opportunities. The Faculty of Graduate Studies is hosting a scholarship session on Wednesday Oct. 3, at 1pm. (See the Faculty of Graduate Studies calendar of events for more information.)

Barbara Crow, dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and associate vice-president graduate, says these sessions are part of the Faculty’s pan-University support, “continuing our commitment to students, research and academic excellence.”

The Office of the Dean,Faculty of Graduate Studies continues to expand it’s support offerings each year, adding more sessions and new topics. Students now have an opportunity to ask direct questions about their research proposals and statements, and receive constructive feedback geared to help them achieve success.

Salvatore Paneduro, research officer for the Faculty of Graduate Studies, points to ever-changing application processes. “Each scholarship has unique processes, eligibility requirements and deadlines,” he says, “and these sessions offer our students an opportunity to ask their specific questions.”

Equally important, according to Paneduro, is that these sessions offer students insight into how to write a quality research statement, what to include and exclude, and how to present their research to give themselves the best opportunity for success in their application. “These sessions let students tap into specific external scholarship program knowledge,” he says, “and they are an opportunity for students to ask questions they might not otherwise have answered through external resources.”

Aziz Guzel, a doctoral student in York’s Graduate Program in Education, says he went to the session to learn which award he should apply to and how to write a proposal for a major award. “I left knowing which award I have the best chance of success with, how to format my proposal, and,” he says, “how to go through this process, step-by-step.”

Paneduro points out that students need to seek help and input from a variety of sources, both in and out of their immediate field of study. Through these sessions, and those offered by many graduate programs, students get feedback from academics across disciplines, “which is important, given the multidisciplinary makeup of scholarship review committees,” he says.