Research Grants and Scholarships

For more than 50 years, the RCGS has contributed to growing geographical understanding of Canada – its people, places, culture, environment and economic challenges – by funding research to broaden Canadians’ knowledge and appreciation of Canada.

As one of the oldest organizations in Canada funding geographical research, our research grants and scholarships have enabled students to pursue their passion for geography, sometimes leading to ground-breaking results. This much-needed support has also helped launch the careers of Canada’s brightest minds in geography.

Our deadline for submissions is February 14 annually.

Read about the 2021 funded research projects.

Committee members

Lynn Moorman (Chair), James Boxall, Denis St-Onge, Pat Maher, Greg Halseth, Christine Duverger-Harrison

Photo: Dan Clark

Featured research project

2021 RCGS Graduate Research Grant Recipient: Katelyn O’Keefe, University of Calgary

Understanding climate change’s impact on Pauline Cove and its heritage

The heritage features at Pauline Cove (on Qikiqtaruk — Herschel Island), Yukon, include Inuvialuit sod houses and buildings from the whaling industry, fur trade, missionaries, and NWMP. Coastal erosion and flooding associated with climate change are altering Pauline Cove and damaging these features.

O’Keefe’s research aims to comprehend the impact these processes are having through two approaches. First, 2017 and 2019 aerial imagery of Pauline Cove will be compared using visual inspection and change detection analysis using open-source software. This analysis will elucidate the impact of flooding and erosion on the landscape and the main settlement area. The imagery analysis is complemented by the excavation of two damaged sod houses. Results will be compared to previously excavated (intact) sod houses.

RCGS Graduate Research Scholarships

The RCGS Graduate Research Scholarships (up to a total of $13,000 to be allocated to several submissions, with no one submission exceeding $5,000), are awarded annually by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. It is open to both Master’s and Doctoral students registered in a Canadian university. The geographical focus of the research is open to anywhere in Canada.

RCGS Independent Research Grants

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society supports research projects on geographical topics that further the mandate of the Society “to make Canada better known to Canadians and to the world.” Proposals must identify the topic to be addressed, the methods to be used and the nature of the finished product.

The James Maxwell Human Geography Scholarship

The James Maxwell Scholarship in Human Geography is awarded to students enrolled in a Master’s program at a Canadian university and engaged in thesis research on Canadian human geography. This scholarship was named in honour of James Maxwell, a former Executive Director of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

The James Bourque Northern Doctoral Scholarship

The James Bourque Northern Doctoral Scholarship (up to $6,000), is awarded annually by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. It is for students enrolled in a Doctoral program at a Canadian university. The scholarship will be awarded for research leading to a thesis on a subject relating to northern geography.

Past research grant recipients:

RCGS Graduate Research Scholarships

Nicola Angus Shipman (2019)
Abigail Dalton (2019)
Maeva Gauthier (2019)
Kirsten Reid (2019)
Lucas Brehaut (2018)
Blair Cullen (2018)
Katie Goodwin (2018)
Dalal Hanna (2018)
Brian Pentz (2018)
Andrea Reid (2018)
Leah Walker (2018)

The James Bourque Northern Doctoral Scholarship

Caitlynn Beckett (2019)
Annie Lamalice (2018)

The James Maxwell Human Geography Scholarship

Miranda Monosky (2019)
Brittany Main (2018)
Jennifer Yakamovich (2018)