Information for

David R. Cheriton Graduate Scholarship


Dr. David Ross Cheriton is a distinguished Computer Science alumnus of the University of Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics. Dr. Cheriton received his MMath and PhD in Computer Science from Waterloo in 1974 and 1978, respectively. A Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, he heads the Stanford University Distributed Systems Group. He is widely known for his extraordinary research contributions in high-performance scalable distributed systems, Internet architecture and hardware-software interaction, and the successful commercialization of his research results.

David R. Cheriton Graduate Scholarships, valued between $10,000 and $20,000, are awarded annually to forty to seventy-five full-time Waterloo graduate students in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science and are open to Canadian and International students holding a student visa.


  • Cheriton Scholarships are awarded to our best students, on the basis of scholastic excellence and a demonstrated interest in research that addresses problems associated with designing and implementing efficient and reliable computing systems, along with their effective integration. This includes research problems that span traditional areas of Computer Science from scientific computing to algorithms to distributed systems and networks.
  • There are two types of Cheriton scholarships:

    Type 1: These scholarships provide a $10,000 salary supplement to the student, with the supervisor providing the usual amount of RA support. These go to our very top students on the basis of academic excellence. They can be awarded both as entrance scholarships and as scholarships to continuing students. Approximately 80% of the Cheriton Graduate Scholarship Funds will be used to fund about 60 Type I scholarships.

    Type II: These scholarships provide $10,000 to students to partially defray the RA support that would normally be provided by their supervisor(s). These go to our very top incoming students on the basis of academic excellence of the student and financial need of the supervisor. They will be awarded only as entrance scholarships. Approximately 20% of the Cheriton Graduate Scholarship Funds will be used to fund about 15 Type II scholarships.

  • Both types of scholarships are normally intended to be two-year awards and both types of scholarships will be awarded primarily to PhD students. In exceptional cases, we might award 2 scholarships, one of each type, to the same student, for a total value of $20,000 per year. Renewal of a scholarship for a 2nd year is subject to satisfactory performance in the first year.

  • Students receiving Cheriton Scholarships can choose to reduce the number of units of teaching assistantships they receive each year by 1 unit. A reduction of 1 unit of teaching assistantships will cause a corresponding reduction in their TA funding, of course.

  • Any continuing PhD student can apply for a Cheriton Scholarship. The maximum duration of a continuing Cheriton Scholarship will be 2 years. Renewal of a scholarship for a 2nd year is subject to satisfactory performance in the first year. A PhD student who has received an entrance Cheriton Scholarship can apply for a continuing Cheriton Scholarship which will begin after his or her entrance scholarship has terminated.

  • Students who are currently holding or have held a Cheriton Scholarship can re-apply once for a Cheriton Scholarship regardless of whether the initial award was an entrance award or a continuing award. Thus, a maximum of 4 years (2+2) of Cheriton funding is permitted.

  • Students cannot simultaneously hold an NSERC scholarship and a Type II Cheriton Scholarship.

  • Students cannot simultaneously hold a GO-Bell Graduate Scholarship and a Cheriton Type I scholarship. 


  • Recipients of Cheriton Scholarships will be selected by a committee chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science with membership as appointed by the Director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science.
  • All incoming students will automatically be considered for entrance Cheriton Scholarships.
  • A faculty member who wants to accept an excellent graduate student, but who does not have sufficient grant funds to do so, may request that a student be considered for a Type II Cheriton scholarship. This request should be made to The Associate Director for Graduate Studies (Admissions). The faculty member should briefly provide justification of financial need based on their current grant funding and commitments. A Type II scholarship will be awarded only if a convincing case of financial need is provided, and the student is of excellent quality. An average of 85% would be considered necessary for a student to be considered for a Type II scholarship.
  • A continuing PhD student must be nominated for a Type I Cheriton Scholarship by the supervisor.  Each term faculty and PhD students will receive an email invitation from the Director of Graduate Studies to submit a nomination for this scholarship using the School's on-line application for graduate scholarships.