International Doctoral Fellowship


Please confirm the deadline with your graduate program.

Eligibility of Citizenship: International
Degree Level: Doctoral
Award Status: Closed


Quick Facts

The International Doctoral Fellowship (IDF) program supports top international students who are starting UBCO doctoral programs. The fellowship provides funding for a total of four years: a $25,000 stipend plus tuition for four years from the College of Graduate Studies; also, each recipient’s supervisor, department, or Faculty may wish to provide additional funds (top-ups) comprised of awards, teaching assistantships and/or research assistantships in any or all of the four years of the Fellowship.

Annual Value: $25,000 stipend + tuition
Deadline: confirm with graduate program


  • Hold a valid student visa and be registered full time when they begin their UBCO doctoral program
  • Be starting a UBCO doctoral program in September 2018
  • For fast-track students (who advance/transfer from a master’s to a doctoral program without completing their master’s degree), the effective date of transfer to the doctoral program must be September 2018
  • Have an admission GPA of first class standing


  • International

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Applicant Status

  • Incoming students

Evaluation Criteria

Academic excellence – 30%

  • Academic record
  • Scholarships and awards held
  • Duration of previous studies

Research ability or potential – 50%

  • Quality of contributions to research and development
  • Relevance of work experience and academic training to field of proposed research
  • Significance, feasibility, and merit of proposed research, and justification for location of tenure
  • Ability to think critically
  • Ability to apply skills and knowledge
  • Judgment
  • Originality
  • Initiative and autonomy
  • Enthusiasm for research
  • Determination and ability to complete projects within an appropriate period of time

Communication, interpersonal, and leadership abilities – 20%

  • The ability or potential to communicate scientific/academic concepts clearly and logically in written and oral formats. For example, this could include:
    • Quality of the application’s presentation
    • Participation in preparing publications
    • Awards for oral presentations or papers
  • Professional and relevant extracurricular interactions and collaborations. For example, this could include:
    • Mentoring
    • Teaching
    • Supervisory experience
    • Project management
    • Chairing committees
    • Organizing conferences and meetings
    • Elected positions held

Application Procedures

Route A: Submitting New Application For PHD Admission 

Applicants for admission to the September 2018 intake must meet their proposed graduate program’s internal IDF deadline. Deadlines will vary from mid November to mid January; applicants are to contact their proposed graduate program to confirm that program’s internal IDF deadline.

Students must complete an International Doctoral Fellowship application by the deadline date specified by their graduate program. Applications must be submitted directly to the graduate program in which the student will be registered. Graduate programs must determine an internal deadline for students in their program. It is important for graduate programs to establish a deadline that will allow sufficient time to provide nominations for the annual College of Graduate Studies deadline of February 2, 2018.

On the basis of the submitted admission application materials, graduate programs will select a maximum of two nominees to the campus wide IDF competition. Graduate Programs are responsible for submitting the nomination package to the College of Graduate Studies for those  nominated to the campus wide competition. Each nomination must include the IDF application form (posted below). Two reference letters and transcripts from the online admission application plus the IDF application form will comprise the application file to be  considered by the Scholarship & Awards Committee.

Route B: Fast-Track/Transfer From Master’s Program To PHD Program(No Admission Application)

Master’s students who intend to fast-track/transfer from their Master’s program to the PhD program as of September 2018 must contact their graduate program to indicate their interest in being considered for the IDF competition by their graduate program’s internal IDF deadline. Deadlines vary by graduate program and range from mid November to mid January. Applicants are to contact their proposed graduate program to confirm that program’s internal IDF deadline. Those nominated to the campus wide competition are required to submit an IDF application form to their Graduate Program (posted below). The graduate program will use reference letters from the applicant’s previous admission application. The IDF application, two references and all transcripts will comprise the nomination file to be considered by the Scholarship & Awards Committee.

Nomination Procedures

Graduate programs will provide a maximum of two nominations for the IDF competition from  amongst their applicants for new admission in the PhD program or from fast-track/transfer from Master’s to PhD program for September 2018. Graduate programs will select their  nominees, assemble the nomination files (see application procedures above) and submit complete nomination files, via email, to the College of Graduate Studies by 4 p.m. on February 2, 2018.

Please note: the expectation is that graduate programs intend (as best they know at the time of nomination) to make an offer of admission to their incoming IDF nominees; it is not required  that an offer of admission has, in fact, been made as of the IDF nomination deadline. Admission timelines vary by graduate program and many graduate programs make their admission offers after the end of January.

A complete nomination file comprises the following:

  • Signed IDF nomination form
  • IDF application form
  • Two reference forms
    • For new PhD admits, will be taken from the admission application
    • For fast-track/transfer students from Master’s to PhD, taken from the applicant’s previous admission application
  • All postsecondary transcripts
    • For new PhD admits, will be taken from admission application
    • For fast-track/transfer students, will be taken from the admission application
    • For UBCO/UBC record, the SISC Academic History can be submitted in place of an official UBC transcript

Submitting nomination files to the College of Graduate Studies:

Graduate programs will email their nomination files, as a single PDF document for each nomination, to by February 2, 2018.

Adjudication Procedures

With a focus on recruitment of incoming doctoral students, International Doctoral Fellowship recipients will be selected through a cross campus competition from amongst nominations submitted by graduate programs to the College of Graduate Studies in late January. The College of Graduate Studies Scholarship and Awards Committee will adjudicate the fellowship applications. Funding offers will be made in late February/ early March.

The Dean of the College of Graduate Studies will approve the recommendations of the CoGS Scholarship and Awards Committee.

Conditions For Award Holders

Confirmation of Condition of Admission

  • The IDF will be processed without confirming that the condition of admission was met. However, students are still responsible to meet the condition of their admission by the deadline specified in their offer letter (typically within 12 weeks of starting their program). If the condition of admission is not met, the UBC award will be cancelled, and the student will be required to repay all funds received from the award.

Satisfactory Progress

  • Award holders must maintain satisfactory progress in their program of study and remain registered as a full-time student for each term of the scholarship payment.


  • Students can only defer their International Doctoral Fellowship until January (Winter Term 2) of the same academic year the award was offered. If they are unable to take up their admission for Winter Term 2, they will not receive the award and it will go to the next recipient from the adjudication process. However, they are still eligible for nomination by their graduate program for the following September adjudication process if they meet all the criteria.

Leave of Absence

  • Students granted leave of absence or parental leave retain the full value of any university graduate fellowship or other award whose terms and conditions are established by the College of Graduate Studies. Awards will be suspended at the onset of the leave, and reinstated at the termination of the leave period, provided the student returns to full-time study within the same academic year. Other awards will be paid according to the conditions established by the donor or granting agency.

Transferring to Another Area of Study

  • If an award holder “transfers” out of the program that nominated them for the award (i.e. from one department to another), the student may retain the full scholarship payment only if both departments are in agreement.


  • If an award holder withdraws from the program that nominated them for the fellowship, the funding received during the term for which the withdrawal is processed, will be recovered by the College of Graduate Studies and returned to the nominating program for further allocation.

Other Funding

  • Students offered both IDF funding and external scholarship funding will be required to accept the external scholarship funding. If the value of the external scholarship funding is greater than the value of the IDF, the student will not receive the IDF only for the period when the student is receiving the external scholarship.
  • In order to receive the IDF, the total of a student’s external scholarship funding (excluding research allowance) and IDF may not be greater than $25,000/year. If the total of a student’s external scholarship funding and IDF is greater than $25,000, the IDF will be reduced accordingly.
  • Students who receive funding to pay their tuition (third-party sponsorship or scholarship funding) will not be eligible to receive an IDF.
  • Students may receive internal funding, on top of the IDF, through UBC Research Assistantships, Teaching Assistantships, or other UBC internal awards.IDF holders who later become permanent residents of Canada will no longer be eligible for IDF funding and will be required to apply each year for CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC graduate scholarship funding, if they are eligible to do so.


Further Information

Questions? Please contact: