Vector Scholarships in Artificial Intelligence (VSAI)

The 2019-20 Competition is now now closed. The successful nominees and the programs in which they will undertake their master’s study will be notified on April 26, 2019.  All the best to all candidates!

The Vector Scholarships in Artificial Intelligence are merit-based awards that recognize top candidates pursuing AI-related studies in master’s programs recognized by the Vector Institute or who are following an individualized study path that is demonstrably AI-focused in Ontario, Canada. Scholarships will be awarded to students in both core technical programs and complementary fields such as business or health care.

In order to be considered for a scholarship, students planning to enroll in an AI master’s program in the 2019-20 academic year must meet eligibility criteria including the submission of all necessary documentation to the administrator of the master’s program to which they have applied by the date set by the program. Contact the program’s graduate administrator to confirm the date by which documents must be received.

University programs submit nominations to the Vector Institute. The Vector Institute does not accept applications directly from prospective students.

Scholarship details and eligibility follow and can also be found here.

Information for Students

Note: Students cannot directly apply for the scholarship. Interested students should contact the graduate administrator of the AI-related master’s program to which they have applied to indicate their interest in being considered for nomination and to confirm the date by which documents must be received.

The Vector Institute will award up to 115 scholarships to meritorious students who pursue a full-time AI-related master’s degree in the Province of Ontario in the 2019-20 academic year. Scholarships are valued at $17,500 CAD for one full year of study.

To be considered for a scholarship, students must hold a GPA equivalent to a first class standing (A-) and take the following actions:

  1. Apply and be accepted for full-time study in an AI-related master’s program for the 2019-20 academic year in the province of Ontario that is: A) recognized by the Vector Institute; or B) in an AI-related discipline that offers individualized study paths that are demonstrably AI-focused
  2. Submit a 250-word (maximum) statement outlining the reason for pursuing a master’s in AI, relevant AI-related experience, and career aspirations. Statements must be submitted directly to the program to which the student has applied and which has offered the student admission.
  3. Acquire references from two referees, one of whom must be an academic. Reference forms (*Depending on your computer you may have to download Acobat Reader DC to save information to this PDF, which can be obtained here) must be submitted directly by the referee to the administrator of the program to which the student has applied and which has offered the student admission. Students must complete the top part of the form BEFORE emailing it to their referees.

Key Dates:

Submission deadlines vary by university and by program; candidates should confirm deadlines with the graduate administrator of the program to which they have applied. Programs must submit nominations to the Vector Institute by April 5, 2019; 250-word student statement and the two referee reports must therefore be submitted to the program well in advance of this date and by the deadline provided by the program of study.

Scholarship decisions will be announced on April 26, 2019.

List of Recognized AI-Related Programs:

Frequently Asked Questions – Students

Can candidates apply directly for a Vector Scholarship?

Programs can nominate eligible candidates who have received an offer of admission, candidates cannot apply directly for a Vector Scholarship. However, to support the nomination, candidates must supply a short statement and solicit two referee reports to be sent directly to the program in which the candidate received an offer of admission. Prospective students should alert the program of their interest in being nominated for a Vector Scholarship.

I have submitted my application for AI-related master’s study – do I need to do anything more to be considered for a Vector Scholarship?

Yes. You should contact the program to which you have applied to in order to 1) let them know that you are interested in being nominated for a Vector Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence; and 2) confirm the deadline for submission of your statement and referee reports, and be sure to find out to whom  the materials should be sent (program contact name and email address). You are required to submit a 250-word statement and contact two referees willing to provide a reference using the Vector Scholarship referee report form (*Depending on your computer you may have to download Acobat Reader DC to save information to this PDF, which can be obtained here). Note that you must complete the top portion of the Vector Scholarship referee report BEFORE emailing the form to your referees for them to fill out.

I have applied to a master’s program and will pursue AI-related study; how can I make sure I am considered for a Vector Scholarship?

Be sure that you inform the program to which you have applied that you wish to be considered for nomination for a Vector Scholarship. You will need to complete a short statement and have two referees each submit a referee’s report to the program’s graduate office contact by the program’s stated deadline. The Vector Scholarship referee report can be found here (*Depending on your computer you may have to download Acobat Reader DC to save information to this PDF, which can be obtained here)

I am currently a master’s student studying in an AI-related field – am I eligible to apply or to be nominated?

No, the scholarships are for AI-related master’s students who will register and begin their studies in the 2019-20 academic year; others are not eligible.

I am an international applicant with an offer of admission from an Ontario University, can I be nominated for a Vector Scholarship?

Yes, providing you: 1) meet all the eligibility requirements, and 2) the program that offered you admission nominates you. Note that you must provide a 250-word statement and arrange for two suitable referees to complete and submit references using the Vector Scholarship referee report form (*Depending on your computer you may have to download Acobat Reader DC to save information to this PDF, which can be obtained here). These documents are required for the program to complete a nomination package. (See Q & A number 2 above)

I have applied to a master’s program in a Canadian university outside of Ontario, can I be nominated for a Vector Scholarship?

No, the scholarships are restricted to AI master’s students studying in an Ontario university.

If I am awarded a scholarship and decide to accept an offer of admission into a different master’s program, can I keep the scholarship?

No, the scholarship is awarded to the candidate for study in the master’s program that submitted the nomination; it cannot be transferred to another program of study or to a similar program at a different university.

If you have additional questions, email: aimasters@vectorinstitute.ai

Information for Program Administrators and Faculty

To assist universities in recruiting top talent and deepening applicant pools, Vector has introduced the Vector Scholarships in Artificial Intelligence. These merit-based awards recognize top candidates pursuing studies in a recognized AI-related master’s program or an individualized study path that is demonstrably AI-focused. Candidates must be nominated by their program; they cannot apply directly. Students are advised to notify the intended programs of study regarding their interest in being considered for a scholarship and to confirm the program’s deadline for submission of their statement and their referees’ reference forms (see below).

The Vector Institute will award up to 115 scholarships to meritorious students who pursue a full-time AI-related master’s degree in the Province of Ontario in the 2019-20 academic year. Scholarship details and the nomination process can be found here

Forms:

Nomination Form A To be used by recognized AI-master’s programs only (Deadline has past)

Nomination Form B To be used for all other AI-related programs in which students may pursue individualized AI-focused study plans  (Deadline has past)

Referee report form Completed forms are to be submitted DIRECTLY to the program of study, therefore students will require 1) the name and email address of the graduate administrative contact in the program; and 2) the deadline for submission of the reports
*Depending on your computer you may have to download Acobat Reader DC to save information to this PDF, which can be obtained here

Ranked list of nominees table

Key Dates:

To be determined by program: Deadline for student to submit their 250-word statement and for referee reports to be submitted

April 5, 2019 (4:00pm EDT): Deadline for programs to upload nomination package and rankings

April 26, 2019: Notification of scholarship recipients

Frequently Asked Questions – Program Administrators and Faculty

Please review the scholarship details and nomination process here to address many of your questions

Can candidates apply directly for a VSAI?

Programs can nominate eligible candidates who have received an offer of admission, candidates cannot apply directly for a VSAI. However, to support the nomination, candidates must supply a short statement and solicit two referee reports to be sent directly to the program in which the candidate received an offer of admission. Prospective students should alert the program of their interest in being nominated for a VSAI.

Can current master’s students studying in an AI-related field be nominated for a VSAI?

No, the scholarships are for AI-related master’s students who will register and begin their studies in the 2019-20 academic year; others are not eligible.

Can international applicants with an offer of admission from an Ontario University be nominated for a VSAI?

Yes, providing they meet all the eligibility requirements as described in the VSAI details and they are highly qualified to merit nomination by the intended program of study.

How can programs support the VSAI process?

VSAI’s are intended to attract strong applicants and students to your program; as such, making applicants and prospective applicants aware of these awards is important. In terms of the process, programs are responsible for nominating incoming AI master’s students as described in the VSAI details. This involves:

1) ensuring that eligible applicants to your program who have been offered admission have been instructed to provide their 250-word statement and seek references from two referees using the VSAI referee report form (*Depending on your computer you may have to download Acobat Reader DC to save information to this PDF, which can be obtained here);

2) providing the prospective student with the name and email address of your program contact and the deadline date by which the contact must receive the statement and referee reports (as per #1);

3) ensure that the deadline for submission of material is far enough in advance of Vector’s submission deadline of April 5, 2019 to allow for the ranking of nominees and the collation of the nomination package; and

4) complete and submit the appropriate nomination form (see VSAI details) along with the nomination package collated in a single PDF file following the instructions included in the terms of reference document.

Can referee reports be submitted directly to Vector?

No, the reports must be sent directly to the program contact from the program in which the candidate will be enrolled. Programs must collect reports by the deadline that they have set that is in advance of Vector’s submission deadline of April 5, 2019 to allow time for the ranking of nominees and collation of the nomination package.

Do referee reports need to be completed using the VSAI referee report form?

Yes. The fillable PDF form is available here. Applicants to your program who are candidates for a VSAI should be advised as soon as possible that they must provide a 250-word statement [see eligibility requirement #5] and seek references from two referees using the VSAI referee report form (*Depending on your computer you may have to download Acobat Reader DC to save information to this PDF, which can be obtained here). Students must complete the top portion of the VSAI referee report BEFORE emailing the form to their referees. To do this, they must provide the name and email address of the program contact of the master’s program to which they have applied and the deadline by which their statement and referee reports must be submitted. [Note that the referees submit their reports directly to the program contact, not via the student.]

If applicants and prospective applicants have questions about the VSAI, where can I direct them?

Please direct them to the VSAI FAQ (for students) and also to the VSAI details. If, after reading these documents, they have additional questions they should send their question(s) in an email to: aimasters@vectorinstitute.ai

Is there a limit to the number of nominees that a program can put forward?

While there is no restriction imposed at this time, the VSAI are merit-based and programs should restrict their nominations to only those candidates ranking in the top echelon.

Do AI-related programs that are in the process of seeking recognition, but are not yet listed among Vector’s recognized programs nominate students using Form A?

No, only programs that have been recognized and are listed can use Form A (see list: https://vectorinstitute.ai/list-of-recognized-ai-related-programs/); all others, including those ‘in progress’, must use Form B.

If prospective students intend to enroll in a program that is not on the list of recognized programs and do not yet have a plan of study can they be nominated?

Candidates can be nominated by programs that are not on the list of recognized programs using nomination form B; however, the nomination must include a study plan for each candidate that is demonstrably AI-focused, else the nomination will not be considered.

I have agreed to supervise an incoming student who will be doing research in an AI-related area, can I nominate her?

Nominations are made by the program or department, not individual faculty members. Inform your graduate chair or coordinator that you have a potential nominee so that their eligibility can be assessed, and the required documents collected.

Are VSAI paid directly to the recipient?

Funds are transferred to the universities and paid out through the Faculty/School of Graduate Studies student awards system in installments. All funds go directly to and in full to the recipients providing they maintain full-time enrollment and are in good standing.

If a student nominated by my program is awarded a scholarship and then decides to accept an offer of admission into a different master’s program, can they keep the scholarship?

No, the scholarship is awarded to the candidate for study in the master’s program that submitted the nomination; it cannot be transferred to another program of study in either the same university or a different university. In such cases, the scholarship reverts to Vector for possible re-allocation.

If you have additional questions, email: aimasters@vectorinstitute.ai

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