ACUNS established its scholarship program, the Canadian Northern Studies Trust (CNST) in 1982 to advance knowledge and understanding of Canada’s North. The purpose of the CNST is to develop a cadre of scholars and scientists with northern experience and, at the same time, to enhance the educational opportunities available for northern residents. The funds administered by the CNST come from a variety of donors committed to northern research. Look here for more information on the current donors or how to contribute to the CNST.

The CNST award cycle launches October 15 of each year and closes on January 31.


W. Garfield Weston Awards

Archaeology

The W. Garfield Weston Postdoctoral Fellowship in Northern Archaeological Research



Value

$50,000
with an additional $10,000 in conference and northern travel expenses


Goal

This award supports a post-doctoral student who has graduated from a Canadian university that has demonstrated exceptional promise, academic excellence, leadership, and a strong commitment to northern research.


Requirements

  • completed Canadian doctoral program by September OR no more than *two years prior to application
  • approval of proposal
  • ethics approval
  • research licensing

Guiding Criteria

  • academic record,
  • research ability,
  • leadership skills,
  • potential benefit of the research to the North,
  • referees’ reports,
  • applicants’ interest in, and commitment to the North and northern studies

Other

Preference is given to clearly defined projects that are demonstrably relevant to northerners and northern scholarship. Willingness to communicate results to the archaeology, northern and national communities must be demonstrated.

The post-doctoral supervisor must not be the applicant’s PhD supervisor.

Support from the post-doctoral supervisor and host institution must be demonstrated.

Applicants who currently hold a Weston PDF must demonstrate how the previous PDF has come to completion, as well as how the current application differs from previous work.

See full guidelines for information about holding this award internationally.

*This period may be extended to three years if you acquired at least six months of work experience in government or industry after you received your doctorate or six years if you withdrew from active research for parental leave for at least one year after you received your doctorate.

Download Full Guidelines


The W. Garfield Weston Award in Northern Archaeological Research (Doctoral)



Value

$50,000 – two available


Goal

This award supports a doctoral student enrolled at a Canadian university that has demonstrated exceptional promise, academic excellence, leadership, and a strong commitment to northern research and is engaged in archaeological research culminating in a thesis or equivalent.


Requirements

  • second or third year of program
  • approval of proposal
  • ethics approval
  • research licensing

Guiding Criteria

  • academic record,
  • research ability,
  • leadership skills,
  • potential benefit of the research to the North,
  • referees’ reports,
  • applicants’ interest in, and commitment to the North and northern studies

Other

Preference is given to clearly defined projects that are demonstrably relevant to northerners and northern scholarship. Willingness to communicate results to the archaeology, northern and national communities must be demonstrated.

Candidates who have transferred their registration from a master’s to a PhD will be considered to have started their PhD program when they registered for the master’s program. Candidates who transfer their registration from MSc to PhD and who hold or have held The W. Garfield Weston Award in Northern Research at the Master’s level will be eligible for only one further year of support ($20,000) if their application is successful.

Download Full Guidelines


The W. Garfield Weston Award in Northern Archaeological Research (Master's)



Value

$15,000 – two available


Goal

This award supports a Master’s student enrolled at a Canadian university that has demonstrated exceptional promise, academic excellence, leadership, and a strong commitment to northern research and is engaged in archaeological research culminating in a thesis or equivalent.


Requirements

  • first 13 months of program
  • approval of proposal
  • ethics approval
  • research licensing

Guiding Criteria

  • academic record,
  • research ability,
  • leadership skills,
  • potential benefit of the research to the North,
  • referees’ reports,

Other

Preference is given to clearly defined projects that are demonstrably relevant to northerners and northern scholarship. Willingness to communicate results to the archaeology, northern and national communities must be demonstrated.

Download Full Guidelines


Northern Research

The W. Garfield Weston Postdoctoral Fellowship in Northern Research



Value

$50,000 – up to four available
with an additional $10,000 in conference and northern travel expenses


Goal:

This award supports a post-doctoral student who has graduated from a Canadian university that has demonstrated exceptional promise, academic excellence, leadership, and a strong commitment to northern research.


Requirements

  • completed Canadian doctoral program by September OR no more than *two years prior to application
  • approval of proposal
  • ethics approval
  • research licensing

Guiding Criteria

  • academic record,
  • research ability,
  • leadership skills,
  • potential benefit of the research to the North,
  • referees’ reports,
  • applicants’ interest in, and commitment to the North and northern studies

Other

Preference is given to clearly defined projects that are demonstrably relevant to northerners and northern scholarship. Willingness to communicate results to the scientific, northern and national communities through academic conferences and meetings, as well as promote the importance of northern research to the public, must be demonstrated.

The post-doctoral supervisor must not be the applicant’s PhD supervisor.

Support from the post-doctoral supervisor and host institution must be demonstrated.

Applicants who currently hold a Weston PDF must demonstrate how the previous PDF has come to completion, as well as how the current application differs from previous work.

See full guidelines for information about holding this award internationally.

*This period may be extended to three years if you acquired at least six months of work experience in government or industry after you received your doctorate or six years if you withdrew from active research for parental leave for at least one year after you received your doctorate.

Download Full Guidelines


The W. Garfield Weston Award in Northern Research (Doctoral)



Value

$50,000 – two available


Goal

This award supports a doctoral student enrolled at a Canadian university that has demonstrated exceptional promise, academic excellence, leadership, and a strong commitment to northern research and is engaged in natural science research culminating in a thesis or equivalent.


Requirements

  • second or third year of program
  • approval of proposal
  • ethics approval
  • research licensing

Guiding Criteria

  • academic record,
  • research ability,
  • leadership skills,
  • potential benefit of the research to the North,
  • referees’ reports,
  • applicants’ interest in, and commitment to the North and northern studies

Other

Preference is given to clearly defined projects that are demonstrably relevant to northerners and northern scholarship. Willingness to communicate results to the scientific, northern and national communities must be demonstrated.

Candidates who have transferred their registration from a master’s to a PhD will be considered to have started their PhD program when they registered for the master’s program. Candidates who transfer their registration from MSc to PhD and who hold or have held The W. Garfield Weston Award in Northern Research at the Master’s level will be eligible for only one further year of support ($20,000) if their application is successful.

Download Full Guidelines


The W. Garfield Weston Award in Northern Research (Master’s)



Value

$15,000 – up to 15 available


Goal

This award supports a Master’s student enrolled at a Canadian university in the natural sciences that involves northern research.


Requirements

  • first 13 months of program
  • approval of proposal
  • ethics approval
  • research licensing

Guiding Criteria

  • academic record,
  • research ability,
  • leadership skills,
  • potential benefit of the research to the North,
  • referees’ reports,
  • applicants’ interest in, and commitment to the North and northern studies

Other

Preference is given to clearly defined projects that are demonstrably relevant to northerners and northern scholarship. Willingness to communicate results to the scientific, northern and national communities must be demonstrated.

Download Full Guidelines



POLAR Scholarships

POLAR Scholarship



Value

$10,000


Donor

Polar Knowledge Canada


Goal

This award supports a full-time doctoral student enrolled at a Canadian university that has demonstrated excellence in polar studies and is engaged in interdisciplinary research culminating in a thesis or equivalent. Willingness to communicate results in a major national or northern forum must be demonstrated.


Guiding Criteria

  • academic record,
  • potential benefits of the proposed research,
  • originality,
  • innovative approach,
  • commitment to polar studies.

Other

Proposals must demonstrate a contribution to Polar Knowledge Canada’s mandate.

Download Full Guidelines


POLAR Northern Resident Scholarship (Graduate)



Value

$10,000 – four awards available


Donor

Polar Knowledge Canada


Goal

This award supports full-time college or university students that are long-term residents (minimum of eight years) of Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, or the Provincial North, as identified by the Northern Boundary Map, and engaged in research that culminates in a thesis or equivalent.


Guiding Criteria

  • academic record,
  • quality of written application,
  • potential benefits of the proposed research,
  • referees’ reports,
  • proposed community outreach activity,
  • applicants’ commitment to the North and northern studies.

Other

Projects including field research outside of Canada must indicate the relevance and benefit to Canadian northern.

Download Full Guidelines


POLAR Northern Resident Award (Undergraduate)



Value

$5,000 – eight awards available


Donor

Polar Knowledge Canada


Goal

This award supports full-time college or university students that are long-term residents (minimum of eight years) of Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, or the Provincial North, as identified by the Northern Boundary Map.


Guiding Criteria

  • academic record,
  • quality of written application,
  • potential benefits of the proposed research,
  • referees’ reports,
  • proposed community outreach activity,
  • applicants’ commitment to the North and northern studies.

Other

The outreach activity can take several formats, including:

  • a final report distributed to the community in which (or about which) the research project took place,
  • a presentation of the research project results (a seminar or other public demonstration),
  • a comprehensive bibliography or text contribution to a heritage archive,
  • volunteer hours.

Preference will be given to directed study projects.
Download Full Guidelines



Other Awards

CNST Scholarship



Value

$10,000


Donor

Canadian Northern Studies Trust


Goal

This award supports any researcher engaged in research culminating in a thesis or equivalent, including interdisciplinary and comparative studies.


Guiding Criteria

  • academic record,
  • quality of application,
  • potential benefit of the research,
  • originality,
  • referee’s reports, and
  • applicants’ interest in, and commitment to, the North and northern scholarship.

Other

Focus on programs that are relevant to northern challenges or issues.

Download Full Guidelines


Research Support Opportunity in Arctic Environmental Studies



Value

365 days of logistical support at Eureka High Arctic Weather Station (within a three-year period)


Donor

Prairie and Northern Atmospheric Monitoring Section of the Meteorological Service of Canada


Goal

This award supports an early stage graduate student at a Canadian university, in any appropriate environmental discipline in the physical and/or biological sciences. Eligibility not confined to weather-related studies.


Guiding Criteria

  • demonstrated that the HAWS location on Ellesmere Island is advantageous to the project
  • a satisfactory level of personal and physical suitability and compatibility

Other

Recipients will be required to enlist as volunteer members of the HAWS support staff for up to four hours per day, five days per week during stays at the station.

Download Full Guidelines


Dr. Jim McDonald Scholarship for Northern Research


Value

$5,000


Donor

ACUNS


Goal

The award supports graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities relevant to Canada’s north and its inhabitants that culminates in a thesis or equivalent. Community-based-research, interdisciplinary research and local Indigenous collaboration will be given special consideration, as will those that can demonstrate specific focus and contribution to the North.


Guiding Criteria

  • academic record,
  • quality of application,
  • potential benefit of the research,
  • referee’s reports, and
  • the applicants’ interest in, and commitment to, the North and northern scholarship.

Other

Recipient will demonstrate leadership in northern scholarship

Download Full Guidelines


Arctic Co-operatives



Value

$2,500


Donor

Arctic Co-Operatives Limited and the Arctic Co-Operative Development Fund


Goal

This award supports the understanding and development of the ARCTIC CO-OPERATIVES LTD through studies with relevance to the operation of all or one of the ARCTIC CO-OPERATIVES LTD in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and/or northern Manitoba.


Other

Preference will be given to northern residents of Canada.

Download Full Guidelines


Gunther Abrahamson Research and Management Award



Value

$1,500


Donor

The Caribou Management Scholarship Fund
Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board (BQCMB)


Goal

This award supports research that contributes to the understanding of barren ground caribou and their habitat, or that would have application to caribou conservation and management. Traditional knowledge studies as well as scientific studies are encouraged to apply.


Guiding Criteria

  • individuals who normally reside in one of the communities on the range of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq barren ground caribou herds;
  • students furthering education/training in natural resources, preferably related to caribou;
  • students who are conducting research on one or both of these caribou herds or their habitat; and
  • students conducting research on barren ground caribou generally.

Other considerations

  • quality of the application,
  • potential benefit of the research,
  • relevant experience and future aspirations,
  • the referee’s reports.

Other

The final amount of the award will be determined by the BQCMB based on the relevance and merits of the proposed work. Fieldwork is not required for this award.

Download Full Guidelines