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Systematics Research graduate supplement

This supplement is available to you only if you are awarded a Canada Graduate Scholarship, an NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship – Doctoral or a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Value Up to $5,000 per year for up to three years
Application deadline April 30
Application procedures See below
Contact See below


The purpose of the Systematics Research graduate supplement is to:

  • promote graduate research in systematics* in Canada
  • encourage and support graduate students to carry out all or part of their research at centres of excellence in systematics research
  • maintain and strengthen the base of expertise for systematics research in Canada
  • provide practical work experience with natural history collections within a professional setting


This supplement provides financial support to high-calibre students working towards a master's or doctoral degree in systematics. The number of supplements available will depend on the sponsoring organizations.


At the time of your application for this scholarship supplement, you must be studying or planning to study in an institution that provides the opportunity to engage in a research project directly related to an area of systematics, such as taxonomy, evolution, biogeography, phylogeny and crystal chemistry, within the disciplines of zoology, botany, paleontology or mineralogy.

In addition, a faculty member or staff research scientist from one of the sponsoring organizations must be on your supervisory committee, and you must carry out all or part of your research in conjunction with one of the following organizations (see the note below for further details):

Note: The list of sponsoring organizations is subject to change; for example, an organization that has renewed a supplement may not have the resources to offer a new supplement the same year, so they would be removed from the list for that year. Therefore, if you are interested in being sponsored by a particular organization, you should contact the Canadian Museum of Nature at the address below to verify that the organization is still participating in the program.

Supplement value

The sponsoring organization will supplement your scholarship by up to $5,000 per year. The supplement is renewable annually for as long as you hold your scholarship.

Application procedures

Successful NSERC postgraduate scholars who meet the eligibility requirements as stated above are encouraged to apply for this supplement. You should contact the sponsoring organization you wish to work with to enquire about the availability of a supplement. If a supplement is available, you must submit the following to the Canadian Museum of Nature (see address below) by April 30 of the year in which you receive your scholarship:

  • A copy of your notification of results from NSERC
  • A copy of your successful scholarship application
  • A 200-word essay on the importance of the facility's specimen collection to your work
  • Complete contact information to receive the results of the supplement review

Selection process

Applications are sent to the sponsoring organizations, and each organization is responsible for its own review. When the review is complete, you will be contacted by a representative of the organization. Results will be known within a month of receipt of the documents.

Notification of results

You will be notified by the end of May if your application is successful. The sponsoring organizations will contact both those who are successful and unsuccessful directly.


The sponsoring organizations are responsible for releasing the scholarship supplement. They must also ensure that recipients of the supplement continue to hold a scholarship and meet the other requirements of the supplement.


Dr. Jeffery Saarela
Research and Collections
Canadian Museum of Nature
P.O. Box 3443, Station D
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 6P4

Tel.: 613-364-4080

*Systematics is the science that deals with the naming and classification of living and fossil species, and minerals. Systematics research tells us how these entities evolved, how they are related to others, where they are found and how they go about (or in the case of fossil species, used to go about) making a living.

The knowledge gained from this research is basic to resource management decisions and in applications that use natural resources. Canada's systematics expertise is decreasing. It is vital that a country so rich in natural resources maintain this expertise.