I am very honored and grateful to be one of eight provincial recipients of the annual Sir James Lougheed Awards of Distinction from the Government of Alberta! This prestigious award recognizes outstanding academic achievement for Albertan students and awards $20,000 for 8 doctoral students studying outside of the province. Here is some information about the award from their website for those planning to apply next year:
Sponsored by: Established in honour of Sir James Lougheed, a Calgary lawyer, parliamentarian, senator and cabinet minister who served in several federal parliaments in the 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Purpose: To recognize academic achievement and provide Albertans with the opportunity for advanced study at educational institutions outside of Alberta.
Value: Masters Level – 7 scholarships of $15,000 Doctoral Level – 8 scholarships of $20,000
Eligibility: Applicants must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada, be Alberta residents, and be enrolled or planning to enroll full-time in a graduate program at an institution outside of Alberta. There is a lifetime maximum of two awards per student. At the doctoral level, students must have completed at least one full year of graduate study or a master’s degree.
2021 Update: Since posting this in 2015, I have had questions regarding advice for the award. Since this post seems to be frequently viewed, I thought I would offer my insight on the program of study for potential applicants seeking information:
TIP #1 – Highlight Professional Goals
It is important to first set the stage by explaining your professional goals and how your program of study will help you accomplish them. Whether you are just beginning or have are already in your graduate program, this will frame the rest of your program of study and give the jury a picture of where you a going, what you plan on accomplishing, and why this is important for funding.
TIP #2 – Why did you choose this program
In addition to telling the panel what you plan on accomplishing, I included a brief about why I chose the program and contextualized it in my academic and personal journey. Is this program one of its kind? Are there any reasons why you chose this instead of other related programs in comparable universities? Since this award is for studies outside Alberta, it will be also helpful to explain why you have chosen an out-of-province program and the benefits that it will bring to your professional development.
TIP #3 – What will you accomplish
Now that you have set the stage with some preamble, the bulk of the statement should concern what you will accomplish (or have currently accomplished) in this program of study. This is the chance to go into detail about projects or research that you plan to undertake at the program. Again, link it with your professional goals from before to show the relevance of your studies.
TIP #4 – Personal but Professional
Telling a story but in a professional way. The jury will read hundreds of applications so you want your program of study to standout in a good way. Maintain focus on your proposed program but also tell them why this is personally important. Your C.V. will paint a professional picture of your academic career thus far, and this is the chance to make a personal but professional statement on what is important to you. Good luck!