March 3, 2020

New Elizabeth Cannon Graduate Scholarship in Entrepreneurial Thinking accepting applications

Thesis-based graduate students can apply until March 16

Heads up, grad students: Is your research leading you on a path of innovation? Do you see opportunities for your work to help transform and vitalize our community? If so, this new scholarship may be for you.

The Elizabeth Cannon Graduate Scholarship in Entrepreneurial Thinking is a new graduate award created to support and encourage graduate students engaging in entrepreneurial activities. Five scholarships are available for 2020-2021, each valued at $20,000 per year for two years. Applicants must be current graduate students (Canadians, permanent residents or international) enrolled in a thesis-based program.

To be considered, applicants must show how their research-related entrepreneurial activities will contribute to the growth and vitality of the Calgary community through entrepreneurial research, innovative approaches to solving a complex problem, development and operation of businesses or social enterprises, and/or community building through innovation.

Recognizing Elizabeth Cannon’s leadership

The scholarship is named in recognition of President Emerita Elizabeth Cannon, for her pioneering work commercializing GPS and other technologies around the world, and for her leadership as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary from July 2010 to December 2018.

I am deeply honoured that this scholarship program has been established in my name and delighted that it will support entrepreneurial graduate students, which has always been a passion of mine,” says Cannon. “Leveraging research with the potential to commercialize will undoubtedly result in tremendous opportunities for our graduates and our community.”

Another key support for entrepreneurship

The University of Calgary is a vital part of the entrepreneurship community. As manager of the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ My GradSkills program, Dr. Tara Christie, PhD, has worked with many graduate students growing their startups from ideas into successful ventures. One of her key takeaways is that opportunities for innovation occur across a broad range of UCalgary programs.

“UCalgary graduate students from all programs have contributed to the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Alberta, through the development of innovative technology, and ventures that support the local community and economy,” says Christie.

Alice Reimer, interim executive director of the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking and site lead for Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies, sees the scholarship fitting into a robust network of programs supporting entrepreneurship. “Our bold vision of being the most entrepreneurial university in the most enterprising city means the University of Calgary is a magnet for talented entrepreneurial scholars,” says Reimer.

“Coupled with support from programs at the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, Innovate Calgary and the Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies, this scholarship will make a significant difference to students to get their ideas to market for the betterment of society.”

Anonymous donor

The scholarship was established by an anonymous private donor who shared some thoughts on the motivation behind the award: “What better way to recognize the entrepreneurial thinking and actions of Elizabeth Cannon than through the provision of this graduate scholarship. It’s our way of expressing our admiration for her accomplishments and contribution to the university and the larger Calgary community.”

Graduate students interested in applying for the scholarship must submit a Preliminary Assessment Form by March 16. More information is available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

The anonymous gift to create these scholarships is part of Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High, UCalgary’s $1.3 billion fundraising campaign. Fueled by the generosity of UCalgary’s friends and supporters, we are igniting discovery, creativity and innovation to make lasting positive change at the University of Calgary, in our city and beyond.

Publicly launched in April 2016, the campaign will officially end June 30, 2020.