Newest Vector AI scholarship recipients join growing talent pool in Ontario

May 10, 2021

2021 Blog Program Scholarship

May 10, 2021

Today, the Vector Institute announced the winners of the 2021-22 Vector Institute Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence (VSAI), 109 individuals who will join Ontario’s growing pool of workforce-ready AI talent. The VSAI attracts top talent to AI master’s programs offered across the province, which provide the AI skills and competencies sought by employers. The VSAI is part of a suite of Vector programs connecting top talent with Ontario-based employers.

It is expected that more than 1,000 students will graduate from AI master’s programs in Ontario this year alone, ahead of the province’s target to graduate 1,000 AI master’s students per year by 2023. To date, more than 500 students from Vector-recognized programs and AI study paths, including VSAI recipients winners, have been hired by Ontario employers.

“I know Toronto and the surrounding areas are a central hub for tech companies and where my shot at a great career in AI would be,” says Hunter Plowman from Manitoba, who will be pursuing a Master of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Waterloo. “The Vector scholarship will be very impactful to my studies and my future in AI.”

Valued at $17,500, these merit-based scholarships recognize top candidates pursuing studies in either Vector-recognized AI-related master’s programs or individual AI study paths in Ontario, including programs in core technical and complementary areas such as business and health. Of these 22 recognized programs, four are brand new degree programs and 12 are programs whose curricula have been updated to offer AI-specific minors, concentrations, and courses.

“The scholarship directly contributed to the introduction of a new Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence in the Smith School of Business and the addition of a new AI stream to the School of Computing,” says Fahim Quadir, Vice-Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies & Professor of Global Developmental Studies at Queens University. [It also] allowed a number of graduate programs in Computing, Electrical and Computing Engineering, Physics, and Management to attract highly competitive students to pursue cutting-edge research in AI.”

Scholarship recipients and students enrolled in master’s programs recognized by Vector are given the opportunity to attend events and talks that put them face-to-face with top AI researchers, clinicians, and teams from top employers, providing unique access to job opportunities. The master’s students also receive access to Vector’s Digital Talent Hub, career development and networking events, and AI-specific career support programs.

“Ontario’s AI ecosystem offers numerous opportunities to collaborate, lead, and learn from the best of the best in AI or AI related career fields” says Revthi Jayarajan Palangat, a 2019-20 VSAI recipient currently working as an analyst at RBC. “The opportunities in analytics across multiple industries right here in Toronto was especially appealing.” 

This fourth round of Vector scholarship recipients represents 13 universities across Ontario. There have been 351 scholarships awarded since the program launched in 2018.

“The Ontario government is committed to advancing innovation and technologies that are ‘Ontario Made’, which is why I am proud that Ontario is advancing and thriving in its advancement of AI innovations and bringing in investments and innovations here in Ontario for business and the healthcare sector that will help people throughout Canada. As companies seek to hire external AI talent and commercialize the technology within their organizations, I know that Ontario’s 1,000 AI master’s students and Vector’s scholarship winners are well-placed to enter the workforce, drive digital innovation, and foster economic development. This will help us continue positioning Ontario as an international leader in research.”

– Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities

“Ontario has a thriving AI ecosystem with close to $2 billion in venture capital investment last year, and a growing talent base that includes Vector’s newest scholarship recipients. AI master’s graduates in Ontario join a sector that has created approximately 20,000 AI jobs and hundreds of AI-enabled companies, which  is good news for the future success of the sector and important for the province’s economic recovery and growth.”

–      Vic Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Vector will launch the 2022-23 scholarship competition dates in Fall 2021. Learn more:

Industry Sponsors, health organizations, government Ministries and Agencies, Ontario universities, and Ontario Start Ups interested in posting AI related roles on the Digital Talent Hub should contact

About the Vector Institute

The Vector Institute drives excellence and leadership in Canada’s knowledge, creation, and use of AI to foster economic growth and improve the lives of Canadians. Vector’s Three-Year Strategy aims to advance AI research, increase adoption in industry and health through programs for talent, commercialization, and application, and lead Canada towards the responsible use of AI. Programs for industry, led by top AI practitioners, offer foundations for applications in products and processes, company-specific guidance, training for professionals, and connections to workforce-ready talent. Vector is funded by the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada through the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, and industry sponsors.

Internships, networking, and the Vector Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence are core components of Vector Institute’s AI Master’s initiative, supported by the Province of Ontario, to develop and connect Ontario’s AI workforce to fuel AI-based economic development and job creation.

Congratulations to the 2021-22 cohort of Vector Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence recipients*:

Program Name
MSc in Computer Science Grantham, Karl
MASc in Electrical and Computer Engineering Tran, Anh Khoa
MSc in Computer Science – AI Specialization
Gad, Gad
Gupta, Yash
Zaman, Mohammad Nafees Bin
Master of Information Technology Security- AI
Jeelani, Omar Farshad
Shah, Prithvi
MSc in Computer Science
Dehghani, Roya
MASc in Electrical and Computer Engineering (AI)
Das, Sayantan
Kitor, Benjamin
MSc in Computer Science (AI)
Little, Connor
Morgan, Ella
Ritcey, Emma
Sauve, Annabelle
Sha, Chengyuan
Master of Management Analytics
Wei, Jiale
Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence
Brezner, Royi
Ojo, Remi
MSc in Data Science and Analytics
Bera, Swayami
Ghosh, Biraj
MASc in Engineering (Collaborative Specialization in AI)
Qi, Jiaju
Thompson, Rylee
Jakub, Cameron
MASC in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Applied AI)
Dantas, Ycaro
Giroux, James
MSc in Computer Science (Applied AI)
Benning, Oliver
Dzeha, Eric
Guo, Rongchen
M.Eng in Electrical and Computer Engineering Liu, Tianran
MASc in Aerospace Science and Engineering
Sehn, Jordy
Thomas, Mia
Bhattarai, Sampanna
Zhou, Jiachen
MASC in Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Chu, Jamal
Ward-Bond, Jesse
Master of Health Informatics
Guo, Julia (Yu Jia)
Jain, Tanya
Jiao, Tina
Sheikh, Yusuf
Dietrich, Julia
MSc in Applied Computing
Singh, Diljot
Abdollahpouri Hosseini, Seyed Ahmad
Banthia, Shreyansh
Chaiwachirasak, Teerapat
Farghadani, Soroush
Gupta, Pranav
Pokhrel, Aslesha
Sharma, Vasudev
LeMesurier, Carey
MSc in Computer Science
Cui, Alexander
Hosseini Khorasgani, Salar
MSc in Health Services Research
Kember, Allan
MSc in Medical Biophysics
Saderi, Moujan
Master of Management Analytics
Chaudhary, Prerit
Lin, Zhihao
Nasir, Sadia
Ong, Jia Yi
Shulman, Cole
Zhu, Ziqing
Robinson, Richard
Ailavadi, Prakriti
M.Math in Computer Science
Shi, Xinyu
Bie, Alex
Wang, Yiping
Master of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence
Lu, Jesse
Plowman, Hunter
Dionne-Laforest, Salomé
Nguyen, Vincent Kinh Khoa
Master of Science in Computer Science- Artificial Intelligence [with/without Co-Operative Education]
Fazli Khojir, Hamid
MSc in Computer Science
Dodda, Naga Jyothirmayee
Master of Data Analytics, AI
Adarsh, Riswin Deenadayalan
Gaonkar, Shrita
MESc in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Lacroix, Kyle
MSc in Computer Science
Wong, Anthony
Meshkinnejad, Rouzbeh
Salimnia, Amir Hesam
MSc in Neuroscience
Tafakkor, Ali
Master of Business Analytics
Fernandes, Dylan
Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence
Dhotre, Kasturi
MSc in Computer Science
Heyman, Alex
Pakdaman Savoji, Sajjad
Wyke, Chester

*Please note all recipients have granted us permission to post their names on the Vector website until they have enrolled full-time in their programs. As such, their names will not appear in the above table until their enrollment is confirmed.



Vector Institute announces nearly $2 million in scholarships for top Ontario AI graduate students

Two people sitting at a table. Left individual is writing on a notepad, the right individual has their hand on a laptop

Top Ontario students pursuing graduate studies in AI receive nearly $2 million in scholarships from Vector


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