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SSHRC 2010


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#901 dramanda

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:00 PM

Thank you for posting this info! I think this is reassuring - I guess no news is good news for now. Did they give July as an approximate time frame?

Best of luck to you too!


Nope, July was just my best guess. I feel bad bothering them all the time, so I try to space out my phone calls/emails. :)
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#902 ChanEcon

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:04 PM

I was going through the 2010-2011 doctoral scholarship results (http://www.sshrc.ca/...s/docs_2010.xls), and there are a couple of weird things.

There was this big hype on "business related topics". If we compare the number of scholarships attributed to the econ & co committee in 2010-2011 (140) to the number of scholarships attributed to a similar committtee (formerly known as public and private policy studies) in 2008-2009 (153), there are actually fewer scholarships going to that committee. Obviously, there was a lot of effort to sale the "business related topics" category by saying that it would be interpreted widely, but the bulk of these scholarships should have gone to the econ & co committee. Yet, there are 13 scholarships fewer than before the money was announced. So much for the excitement...

The 13 "missing" scholarships are actually missing in all committees. While there were 1 018 scholarships awarded last year and 1 105 for 2008-2009, there are only 930 for 2010-2011. That's about a 15 percent decrease from 08-09, while at the same time there was more money invested through the "business related topics" initiative. It could be that there would have been more 1st year students awarded scholarships this year, but the distribution is pretty much the same across the 3 years. Actually, there were more 1st year students in 08-09 than in 10-11. Are more CGS awarded? It would have to be a major shift to explain the difference, because 4 CGSs are about the equivalent to 5 SSHRCs at least for 1st year students? The final possibility is that there could be less budget given to PhD scholarships.

There is a part in me saying that at, the end of the day, there will be as many scholarship this year, it's just that SSHRC is slow in sending the cash. Based on last year, there would be at least 88 letters (not counting the refusals) to be sent, which means about 15 in the econ&co committee, which means I'm in! That will keep me waiting for another week.

Any thoughts on this?
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#903 dramanda

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 07:56 PM

I was going through the 2010-2011 doctoral scholarship results (http://www.sshrc.ca/...s/docs_2010.xls), and there are a couple of weird things.

There was this big hype on "business related topics". If we compare the number of scholarships attributed to the econ & co committee in 2010-2011 (140) to the number of scholarships attributed to a similar committtee (formerly known as public and private policy studies) in 2008-2009 (153), there are actually fewer scholarships going to that committee. Obviously, there was a lot of effort to sale the "business related topics" category by saying that it would be interpreted widely, but the bulk of these scholarships should have gone to the econ & co committee. Yet, there are 13 scholarships fewer than before the money was announced. So much for the excitement...

The 13 "missing" scholarships are actually missing in all committees. While there were 1 018 scholarships awarded last year and 1 105 for 2008-2009, there are only 930 for 2010-2011. That's about a 15 percent decrease from 08-09, while at the same time there was more money invested through the "business related topics" initiative. It could be that there would have been more 1st year students awarded scholarships this year, but the distribution is pretty much the same across the 3 years. Actually, there were more 1st year students in 08-09 than in 10-11. Are more CGS awarded? It would have to be a major shift to explain the difference, because 4 CGSs are about the equivalent to 5 SSHRCs at least for 1st year students? The final possibility is that there could be less budget given to PhD scholarships.

There is a part in me saying that at, the end of the day, there will be as many scholarship this year, it's just that SSHRC is slow in sending the cash. Based on last year, there would be at least 88 letters (not counting the refusals) to be sent, which means about 15 in the econ&co committee, which means I'm in! That will keep me waiting for another week.

Any thoughts on this?


I have no idea, but I appreciate and will cling to your hope :)
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#904 Canuckonomist

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 02:02 PM

I was going through the 2010-2011 doctoral scholarship results (http://www.sshrc.ca/...s/docs_2010.xls), and there are a couple of weird things.

There was this big hype on "business related topics". If we compare the number of scholarships attributed to the econ & co committee in 2010-2011 (140) to the number of scholarships attributed to a similar committtee (formerly known as public and private policy studies) in 2008-2009 (153), there are actually fewer scholarships going to that committee. Obviously, there was a lot of effort to sale the "business related topics" category by saying that it would be interpreted widely, but the bulk of these scholarships should have gone to the econ & co committee. Yet, there are 13 scholarships fewer than before the money was announced. So much for the excitement...

The 13 "missing" scholarships are actually missing in all committees. While there were 1 018 scholarships awarded last year and 1 105 for 2008-2009, there are only 930 for 2010-2011. That's about a 15 percent decrease from 08-09, while at the same time there was more money invested through the "business related topics" initiative. It could be that there would have been more 1st year students awarded scholarships this year, but the distribution is pretty much the same across the 3 years. Actually, there were more 1st year students in 08-09 than in 10-11. Are more CGS awarded? It would have to be a major shift to explain the difference, because 4 CGSs are about the equivalent to 5 SSHRCs at least for 1st year students? The final possibility is that there could be less budget given to PhD scholarships.

There is a part in me saying that at, the end of the day, there will be as many scholarship this year, it's just that SSHRC is slow in sending the cash. Based on last year, there would be at least 88 letters (not counting the refusals) to be sent, which means about 15 in the econ&co committee, which means I'm in! That will keep me waiting for another week.

Any thoughts on this?


I think we all appreciate your optimism. It's good to still believe that you've got a shot, but remember not to hang your future on it. Some would say I've already got one, but I'm not willing to believe it until I see it. Treat your situation as a lottery ticket that you didn't have to pay for, and don't be too disappointed if things don't end up in the green. The last thing you want is to fall victim to a version of the Machina Paradox (something that might happen to me, for different reasons).
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#905 mudlark

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:29 PM

I was going through the 2010-2011 doctoral scholarship results (http://www.sshrc.ca/...s/docs_2010.xls), and there are a couple of weird things.

There was this big hype on "business related topics". If we compare the number of scholarships attributed to the econ & co committee in 2010-2011 (140) to the number of scholarships attributed to a similar committtee (formerly known as public and private policy studies) in 2008-2009 (153), there are actually fewer scholarships going to that committee. Obviously, there was a lot of effort to sale the "business related topics" category by saying that it would be interpreted widely, but the bulk of these scholarships should have gone to the econ & co committee. Yet, there are 13 scholarships fewer than before the money was announced. So much for the excitement...

The 13 "missing" scholarships are actually missing in all committees. While there were 1 018 scholarships awarded last year and 1 105 for 2008-2009, there are only 930 for 2010-2011. That's about a 15 percent decrease from 08-09, while at the same time there was more money invested through the "business related topics" initiative. It could be that there would have been more 1st year students awarded scholarships this year, but the distribution is pretty much the same across the 3 years. Actually, there were more 1st year students in 08-09 than in 10-11. Are more CGS awarded? It would have to be a major shift to explain the difference, because 4 CGSs are about the equivalent to 5 SSHRCs at least for 1st year students? The final possibility is that there could be less budget given to PhD scholarships.

There is a part in me saying that at, the end of the day, there will be as many scholarship this year, it's just that SSHRC is slow in sending the cash. Based on last year, there would be at least 88 letters (not counting the refusals) to be sent, which means about 15 in the econ&co committee, which means I'm in! That will keep me waiting for another week.

Any thoughts on this?


Given a choice between the explanation being that 88 awards have been mysteriously delayed for unclear reasons, and the explanation being that 88 fewer awards are being given out because the economy is shit, I'd go with the simpler explanation. I think there are just fewer awards. "Missing" awards are only "missing" if you assume that SSHRC gives out a constant number of awards every year, and I don't think that's a valid premise.
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#906 Canuckonomist

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:33 PM

Given a choice between the explanation being that 88 awards have been mysteriously delayed for unclear reasons, and the explanation being that 88 fewer awards are being given out because the economy is shit, I'd go with the simpler explanation. I think there are just fewer awards. "Missing" awards are only "missing" if you assume that SSHRC gives out a constant number of awards every year, and I don't think that's a valid premise.


Your degree of bluntness is almost a turn on. Didn't have the heart to be nearly as forward.

Still though, as in previous years, sometimes more funding becomes available, and so more awards are declared later. I doubt, however, that it will be 88. I think more than one per committee might even be a stretch.

Edited by Canuckonomist, 16 June 2010 - 04:34 PM.

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#907 ChanEcon

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 07:05 PM

Given a choice between the explanation being that 88 awards have been mysteriously delayed for unclear reasons, and the explanation being that 88 fewer awards are being given out because the economy is shit, I'd go with the simpler explanation. I think there are just fewer awards. "Missing" awards are only "missing" if you assume that SSHRC gives out a constant number of awards every year, and I don't think that's a valid premise.


I'm fine with the idea that my post includes whishful thinking at the end. However, the facts are that more money was put in the scholarship program, and there are 88 scholarships fewer than before the money was put in. That's strange. Furthermore, the "business related money" money was invested in SSHRC because the economy was going through a downturn. To say that the downturn would cause a reduction in SSHRC budget seems counter-intuitive, since there was a policy effort to do exactly the opposite. I am not sure whether assuming that policy-makers contradict themselves in such a blunt fashion is a much better premise than thinking that scholarships are "missing".

Again, it is possible that there are fewer scholarships, but it doesn't make that much sense, especially not to that extent.

We'll see.
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#908 transboundary

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 07:09 PM

hey all...lurker coming out here. you folks have been great! just thought i'd contribute to the waitlist discussion. me: PhD, score: 16.8, 4th on waitlist in my sub-committee. i got this response from SSHRC staff yesterday:

"I would recommend sending an email to SSHRC in 3-4 weeks to see if there has been any movement on the waiting list. There is a small possibility that you may receive a grant, we will have a better idea in a couple of weeks."


not holding my breath, but there is hope!
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#909 Canuckonomist

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 07:18 PM

I'm fine with the idea that my post includes whishful thinking at the end. However, the facts are that more money was put in the scholarship program, and there are 88 scholarships fewer than before the money was put in. That's strange. Furthermore, the "business related money" money was invested in SSHRC because the economy was going through a downturn. To say that the downturn would cause a reduction in SSHRC budget seems counter-intuitive, since there was a policy effort to do exactly the opposite. I am not sure whether assuming that policy-makers contradict themselves in such a blunt fashion is a much better premise than thinking that scholarships are "missing".

Again, it is possible that there are fewer scholarships, but it doesn't make that much sense, especially not to that extent.

We'll see.


What mudlark is pointing out, is that more money does not imply more scholarships. More money is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for that. In fact, because there is more 'business money' that may contribute to the fewer scholarships than you'd expect, because I'm pretty sure that business money was in the form of CGS awards, which take up a considerably larger sum than a regular SSHRC. Not to mention, if there were more CGS awards given out, the number of scholarships goes down. Perhaps the effort in the downturn was to keep more students with awards in Canada, and hence the distinct possibility that the number of CGS-type awards went up. Also, the number of single and double-year awards could have also decreased in favour of more awards of the three and four-year variety. This doesn't contradict with what the policymakers say, though policymakers, if as an economist, you've known any, are far from completely reliable.

Not trying to crap on your sundae, just ironing out what I think Mudlark's case is. Here's hoping you're right though.
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#910 ChanEcon

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 02:51 PM

The Small/Big SSHRC argument doesn't hold the road. According to the info from SSHRC, we know the distribution of awards by year of doctoral studies (http://www.sshrc.ca/...s/docs_2010.xls) for both 2008-2009 and 2010-2011. Furthermore we know the number of CGS awarded in 2008-2009 was 422 (http://www.outil.ost...vLangue=Anglais). Let's now make a couple of simplifying assumptions:

1) the CGS awarded in 2008-2009 were all given to 1st year students. I'm trying to minimize as much as possible the budget of 2008-2009.
2) all the 1st and 2nd year students in 2010-2011 received CGS (3rd and 4th year students cannot receive CGS). I'm trying to maximize as much as possible the budget fo 2010-2011.

The budget for 2008-2009: 376*105+47*105+252*60+276*40+144*20=73387
The budget for 2010-2011: 307*105+279*105+195*40+139*20=72121

According to my assumptions that largely exagerate the budget for 2010-2011 and largely understate the budget for 2008-2009, and considering the fact that new money was invested for 2010-2011 in comparison to 2008-2009, there is still a 1 million dollar missing in 2010-2011. The small/big SSHRC doesn't hold the road. The difference between the two awards is just not big enough to account for the difference in scholarships. More money doesn't mean more scholarships, but in this case, it does. I still believe there are scholarships missing, because I don't think there was a budget cut.

And even if we assume that these numbers are correct and that the budget was cut by at least $1 million, it still means that a lot of students studying abroad received CGS and will have to decline them. For every 4 students refusing a CGS and declining it, there is one small SSHRC that becomes available for a 1st or 2nd year student. If students at the top of the waiting list are starting their 3rd or 4th year, it will go even faster. Your pessimistic arguments with CGS actually lead to an optimistic end. I need two people taking the Vanier, and at most 12 people with CGS studying abroad.

I am looking forward to my sundae...

Edited by ChanEcon, 17 June 2010 - 02:54 PM.

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#911 Canuckonomist

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 03:38 PM

... I need two people taking the Vanier, and at most 12 people with CGS studying abroad.


I wager you mean "at least", here. And this is in our subcommittee alone. What happens in other subcommittees doesn't help us. 2 were offered Vaniers, and 34 others combined for the SSHRC/CGS awards in that subcommittee. From what I've heard from SSHRC, someone declining a Vanier may be detrimental to us, as from what I gather, the award is not necessarily 'passed on' in that subcommittee -and what's more, they get a Small SSHRC from somewhere if they decline the Vanier. That said, I hope you're right about all this, because your getting an award is a sufficient condition for my getting one. Further, it's possible that if all this happens, I may win a CGS, and I haven't even won a small SSHRC yet. Where were you on the waitlist (just out of curiousity)?

Your calculations do lead to a more optimistic view, but a number with this view have been burned by admissions/scholarship committees not giving full information, as tends to be common. For those who applied for the 2009-2010 academic year to the UChicago Econ Ph.D program, they might remember this all too well.

We applied being told by their website, and by admins that there were the usual 25 funded spots, and because they're Chicago, 85 spots in total (they like to give a number of students a chance, and take their money while they're at it.) After applying, and waiting, we hear from an admin that 'the economy' had forced them to cut the number of funded spots to 15. So, at the end of the day, there were 25% more applicants, and 40% less spots. Would have been nice if they had told us that at the beginning, so that some of us wouldn't have wasted the $120 to apply (UChicago is a gold mine for admin fees).

Again, not trying to say you won't get one, but you've given this more thought than I think might be good for your ability to cope with rejection, should that be the ultimate, and unfortunate outcome. It's not uncommon for budgets to change mid-year for all sorts of reasons, and who knows what happened this year. That said, a member of my program this year didn't initially win an award, but received a 'business CGS' in July. Anything is possible, it's true.

Canuck
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#912 mudlark

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 04:57 PM

Your degree of bluntness is almost a turn on. Didn't have the heart to be nearly as forward.


Hah! Sorry, it's a bad habit. Would you believe I'm actually much more tactful than I used to be? :)

ChanEcon, I'm not awake enough to plow through your numbers, so I'm going to assume that they're right and plausible. I hope you get an award. For me, there's still the question of why SSHRC would choose to deliberately delay a certain number of awards, especially when they delay releasing results every year so that they can get all of the notifications out at the same time. Also, there's the possibility that the extra funding going to SSHRC is being spent on administrative and clerical salaries, increasing costs for maintaining the office space, or just some government red tape clusterfuckery. *shrug* Not trying to be an asshole, just feeling like we don't know enough about how SSHRC works to make the assumptions that you're basing your argument on.

Of course, I'm happy to eat crow when you come back to wave your notice of award in my face. :)
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#913 ChanEcon

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 05:46 PM

I'm not sure how this multiquoting goes, so I'll just do it the old way.

@Mudlark: SSHRC is not deliberately delaying awards. I think they just don't know how much money they have, and they are being extremely conservative and slow at approvals. That's how the civil service works. Fear is the "driving" force of the Canadian civil service.

@Canuck: I just got a publication out in a refereed journal, so I am semi preparing next year's application. You have to know that I am a bored civil servant with lots of time on my hands. Also, I was kind of annoyed to get these bogus arguments from both of you, so I was ready to invest some time to prove you wrong! ;) By the way, I am fifth on the waiting list, but I have been working 3 years outside university so the letters were probably kind of rusty, and the only comment I received from a prof was "looks okay". Overall, I am really happy with my standing considering the competition and the circumstances.

I'll keep you posted.
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#914 Phalène

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 06:57 PM

Just popping in to say that no special business PhD SSHRCs were given out this year (that was a 2009-10 only thing, though the MA business awards go on for 2 years). Not sure if this makes a difference to any of the arguments, lol.

Also, I'm in my first year of my PhD and got the regular SSHRC... so definitely not all PhD1 students received a CGS. (am hoping but not expecting to be bumped, of course!)
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#915 ChanEcon

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 07:15 PM

Just popping in to say that no special business PhD SSHRCs were given out this year (that was a 2009-10 only thing, though the MA business awards go on for 2 years). Not sure if this makes a difference to any of the arguments, lol.

Also, I'm in my first year of my PhD and got the regular SSHRC... so definitely not all PhD1 students received a CGS. (am hoping but not expecting to be bumped, of course!)


That was just an extreme case to show that shifting CGS to regular SSHRC cannot explain the change in the number of scholarships. As to the "business related" money, here's what I found first:

"In Budget 2009, the Government of Canada announced a temporary increase of $17.5 million to SSHRC's budget to fund additional Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGSs for business-related research. This temporary increase allows SSHRC to award, over two years, 400 additional master's and 100 additional doctoral scholarships for research related to business."

but then,

"In Budget 2009, the Government of Canada allocated $17.5 million over three years to SSHRC to fund additional Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) focused on business-related research. One hundred business-related CGS doctoral scholarships are being awarded in the current competition (2009), and SSHRC will offer 200 business-related master's awards this summer through a special call for applications."

So I really cannot understand why there were fewer PhD scholarships in 2009-2010 than in 2008-2009. Maybe the special CGS are not accounted for...
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#916 dramanda

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 07:26 PM

To add to the hope....

I was also 'recommended but not funded' last year. I emailed in July and found out that I was #13 on the waitlist for my subcommittee on July 16th. By September 1st, I was #10. So, at least in the past, there has been *some* movement over the summer, and even that late in the summer.
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#917 ChanEcon

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 07:34 PM

To add to the hope....

I was also 'recommended but not funded' last year. I emailed in July and found out that I was #13 on the waitlist for my subcommittee on July 16th. By September 1st, I was #10. So, at least in the past, there has been *some* movement over the summer, and even that late in the summer.


Thanks for the hope!
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#918 Phalène

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 08:00 PM

"Additional funding for 100 CGS Doctoral Scholarships for business-related research –fiscal year 2009-2010 only" (this is from the presentation SSHRC gave to my uni)

^^ I would think that would imply that they were only given out last year, especially given that it mentions additional MA awards for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

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#919 Canuckonomist

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 03:29 PM

...I just got a publication out in a refereed journal.


Congrats! Not an easy thing to do.

Also, I was kind of annoyed to get these bogus arguments from both of you, so I was ready to invest some time to prove you wrong!


I don't think these arguments are entirely bogus, especially when your arguments and numbers are based on the really heavy assumption about a perfect information framework, which is oversimplifying the situation considerably. I don't have the time to crunch through your numbers, but the argument that there is so much red tape to pay for does hold water. The fact that you've provided 2 quotes from SSHRC that differ considerably from one time to the other, show that the pieces of information we get from SSHRC are only noisy signals of the truth, and so we can't entirely base our 'proofs' on those noisy signals.

Something tells me that if the money is indeed delayed, it's delayed because it's uncertain, and there is a positive probability not equal to one that the funding will not actually be clawed back. (TransitCity in Toronto is a loose example of money that is promised by government bodies to a project, when it later gets retracted before it can be used).

Still, all these things aside, you're 5th on the waiting list, when my initial impression was that you said somewhere that you were 15th, -a point on which I am obviously mistaken. My cautionary advice was only in that context, where I figured that your research didn't prove with any concreteness that the waitlist would move 15 spots. Given that you are 5th, I see no reason why it isn't likely that the 2 Vaniers would accept, and 3 of 34 would decline. So I'm with you on this one, and hopefully in not too short a time, we'll both be drinking moderately-priced wine on a government bill.
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#920 LogicBomb

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 06:32 PM

Hey,

Thought I would let the hopefuls know that I was bumped from a regular sshrc to a CGS a week or two ago. My PHD is going to be starting in September and is in history. My score was 20.40. I don't know where I was on a wait list or anything as I just assumed that I would be eventually bumped up with my score.

I was told via email and confirmed via email. I was also told t expect a letter.<br><br>EDIT: I forgot to add that I know someone who has a lower score and they did not have any movement. I also know of people who, in years past, found out in August. For you MA students, I have a friend who was awarded a CGS MA award in January, after applying for the previous May.<br>

Edited by LogicBomb, 20 June 2010 - 06:35 PM.

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