McMaster celebrates six new Vanier Scholars

A grid of six people's headshots laid out in two rows of three.

Canada's most prestigious graduate scholarship recognizes academic excellence, exceptional research potential and leadership skills. McMaster's 2024 Vanier Graduate Scholarship recipients are: Upper row, left to right: Bridget Marsdin, Zachary Kroezen; David Martinez. Lower row, left to right: Akansha Prasad, Arnav Agarwal, Monika Dutt.

Six doctoral students from across McMaster are receiving this year’s Vanier Graduate Scholarship, Canada’s most prestigious graduate award.

Vanier Scholars are recognized for their academic excellence, research potential, and leadership skills — qualities known to be a hallmark of McMaster’s vibrant graduate and postdoctoral community, says Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Steve Hranilovic.

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship was launched in 2008 and is open to students from Canada and abroad, with the goal of attracting top-tier graduate researchers from around the globe. Award recipients receive $50,000 annually for up to three years.

Since the inception of the program, the Vanier Scholarship has been awarded to 119 students at McMaster — a testament to the exceptional quality of graduate programs across the university.

The newest scholars follow in the footsteps of those who came before them — exceptional students who promise to leave a lasting impact on McMaster’s long tradition of research excellence, Hranilovic says.

“To our six new Vanier Scholars, welcome. This is an important and well-deserved recognition of your extraordinary academic accomplishments, as well as your research and leadership potential,” says Hranilovic.

“Your research is bringing innovative solutions to real-world challenges we face across our communities. You truly are making a difference in the lives of so many people.”

The 2024 Vanier Scholars

Arnav Agarwal | Health Research Methodology

headshot of Arnav AgarwalAgarwal’s research focuses on the development of an international ‘living’ guideline that incorporates the best available evidence on drug therapies for adults with type 2 diabetes.

Click here to learn more about Arnav Agarwal.

Monika Dutt | Health Policy

headshot of Monika DuttDutt’s research focuses on policies around paid versus unpaid sick leaves. She hopes to use her findings to inform labour justice organizing and public health practice.

Click here to learn more about Monika Dutt.

Zachary Kroezen | Chemical Biology

headshot of Zachary KroezenKroezen’s research focuses on using metabolomics to provide better insights into childhood obesity and what exposures in early life may contribute to obesity in adults.

Click here to learn more about Zachary.


Bridget Marsdin | Social Work

headshot of Bridget MarsdinIn collaboration with Six Nations of the Grand River, Marsdin’s research will look at the unique Haudenosaunee cultural approaches to sexual health and well-being, with a goal to enhancing community sexual health and well-being.

Click here to learn more about Bridget Marsdin.

David Gonzalez Martinez | Chemistry

Gonzales Martinez is looking at ways to use 3D bioprinting to create a model of a lung that stretches as lung tissue stretches during breathing, leading to more effective treatments for lung cancer.

Click here to learn more about David Gonzalez Martinez.

Akansha Prasad | Biomedical Engineering

headshot of Akansha PrasadPrasad is working on the development of smart food packaging to help curb food waste in Canada. Smart packaging aims to monitor product spoilage in real time.

Click here to learn more about Akansha Prasad.