Government is putting money directly into the hands of smart, talented graduate students who are doing research that will help Nova Scotia innovate, grow and succeed. Government will fund 120 innovation and research scholarships for graduate students at Nova Scotia universities this year. The program will be fully phased in over four years, and will eventually fund 310 scholarships a year. “These scholarships will support graduate students as they do their research, and they’ll also boost Nova Scotia’s economy as that research turns into new products and more opportunity,” Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan said today, April 25. “Our universities compete for graduate students from other places, and this program will help our schools attract the best and brightest minds to Nova Scotia.” Scholarships are available for masters and doctoral students. A third type of scholarship will help international graduate students cover differential fees. The annual scholarships are valued at $10,000 to $15,000 each. “It’s virtually impossible to do cutting-edge research without funding,” said Dalhousie University PhD candidate Chris Burns. “Innovative work and developments are continually happening in graduate research, and this new provincial funding recognizes that potential and the need for it in Nova Scotia. “I’ve been lucky enough to do state-of-the-art research at Dalhousie University that will be commercialized through my startup, QNova. With these new scholarship opportunities, I believe others will be encouraged to study, work and innovate in Nova Scotia as well.” Universities will administer the program using existing Canada Graduate Scholarship application processes and selection committees. Universities will report to government annually. Applicants must: be a full-time graduate student enrolled in a non-professional doctoral or masters program with a thesis requirement be researching an area related to Nova Scotia’s priority sectors be supervised by a professor working on research linked to industry, or related to innovation in social policy, or have commercialization potential meet established Canada Graduate Scholarship criteria for academic excellence, research potential and personal characteristics The idea for graduate scholarships was suggested by Students Nova Scotia. The program was developed with input from the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents. “This program is an excellent example of collaboration between the government and our universities,” said Ray Ivany, Acadia president and Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents chair. “The government’s funding commitment will play an important role in attracting and retaining more talented graduate students, thereby further improving the national competitiveness of our province. We commend the government’s vision and demonstrated commitment to higher education in Nova Scotia.” Scholarships will be allocated based on the number of graduate students enrolled at each university. Research can be supervised by professors at different schools, which will encourage more collaboration among universities. Government will invest $3.7 million in the graduate scholarship program annually, once it is fully phased-in. Government has recently announced several new efforts to help students during and after their post-secondary studies, including eliminating the interest on Nova Scotia student loans and more career-related work placements. In the coming months, government will announce details of a new Graduate to Opportunity program.