Important: Form 201 must be submitted electronically.
Read the program description in the Program Guide for Students and Fellows before you complete the application.
Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants for more information.
Use Form 201 if you are applying for:
If you are interested in an Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship-Doctoral (CGS D), apply for a PGS D. There is no separate application form or process for the CGS D Program. The highest-ranked PGS D applicants will automatically be considered by NSERC for a CGS D.
PGS D applicants
How you apply depends on your status as of the application deadline date and/or your registration status in the year of application. You must apply either through a Canadian university or directly to NSERC. Application deadline dates are different in each scenario. See the Program Guide for Students and Fellows for details.
Applicants must apply directly to NSERC before 8:00 p.m. (ET) on October 15.
If you are contacting your current and/or former institutions to obtain official transcripts and supporting documents, including the Reports on the Applicant, remember that it may take time for them to provide you with the information requested. It is advisable to plan ahead and have your application completed in advance of the application deadline.
Note: If you submit your application directly to NSERC, NSERC will acknowledge receipt of your application by email. If your application is submitted through the university, the status of your application will be reflected on the Portfolio page of your application.
In each page of the online application you will find instructions and tips on how to complete your application. Some of the sections require “free form” text and must be converted to Portable Document Format (PDF) and appended electronically to the application.
You are responsible for submitting a complete application that conforms to the presentation standards established by NSERC. Incomplete applications will be rejected. Applications that do not meet presentation standards may be rejected, or be at a disadvantage, in comparison with those that respect the presentation standards.
With the exception of personal contact information, NSERC will not accept any changes or updates to your application once it has been submitted. Personal contact information may be updated by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, read the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards.
The collection, use and disclosure of personal information provided to NSERC is outlined in the following policy statements:
The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act. NSERC is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in Info Source Publications.
Contact the staff responsible for the program to which you are applying.
Title of proposal
The title will be used for publication purposes. It should describe the subject of the research for which you are seeking support. It should not contain a company or trade name. Spell out scientific symbols and acronyms.
Proposed start date of award
Personal Identification Number (PIN)
All NSERC applicants have received, or will receive, an NSERC PIN. Refer to your PIN each time you apply for an award and in future correspondence with NSERC. If you have not previously applied to NSERC leave the field blank and a PIN will automatically be assigned by the On-line System. If you have previously applied to NSERC and do not remember your PIN, contact the On-line Services Helpdesk. Return to the eConsole page, select Maintain User Profile and enter your PIN. It will then appear on the Person Profile page of the application.
NSERC asks applicants to provide data on their gender and linguistic capability on a purely voluntary basis. This data is not seen or used in NSERC peer review processes. It is used for statistical purposes, and may be used to identify prospective NSERC peer reviewers.
Applicants to some NSERC programs are invited to indicate, on a voluntary basis, whether they are disabled, or belong to a visible minority group. This data is only used by NSERC for statistical purposes.
Applicants to most NSERC scholarship and fellowship programs are invited to indicate, on a voluntary basis, whether they are Aboriginal. Although this data is not seen by NSERC award selection committees, universities are permitted to recommend self-identified Aboriginal applicants above their application quota.
If your current mailing address is temporary, indicate the leaving date. If there is no leaving date indicated, this is the address to which NSERC will send all correspondence.
If your address changes after submitting your application, inform NSERC by sending an email to email@example.com no later than January 1 (for PDF applicants) and March 1 (for PGS D applicants).
Include only current and past programs. If you are currently registered in a program starting in the fall session of the year of application, it must be included here. For degree programs you have completed, provide the date on which all requirements of the degree were met, including successful defence and submission of the corrected copy of your thesis (in accordance with your university's regulations). It is not the conferred or convocation date indicated on your transcript. Your Faculty of Graduate Studies (or its equivalent) may be asked to confirm the date the degree requirements were met.
If you began a master’s degree and transferred to a doctoral degree without completing the master’s, indicate this by selecting the appropriate field. For your doctorate, the start date will be the date on which you were first officially registered in a PhD program.
If you have more than one bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, indicate the natural sciences and engineering degree in the area of research for which you are applying for funding in the appropriate Type of degree section, specifying “Bachelor’s”, “Master’s” or “Doctorate,” and indicate the other degree in the Other degree section. Under “Name of discipline,” indicate the complete, exact title of your Program of study (e.g., PhD in Psychology – Cognitive Psychology).
For those applying through a Canadian university: This page of the application must be completed before you invite the individual designated by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (or its equivalent) to scan and upload your transcripts.
Indicate if you gained the experience during the course of a program of study.
Scholarships and other awards offered
List only competitive awards based on academic or research excellence and/or leadership or communication abilities. Include NSERC awards and declined awards. You may list up to 10 awards, starting with the most recent.
PGS D applicants
Specify a maximum of three proposed locations of tenure. You may take up your PGS D at any eligible Canadian university. You may also take it up at any eligible foreign university, provided you have received a previous degree from a Canadian university.
Note: Under Program of study, indicate the complete, exact title of the proposed program (for example, PhD in Psychology – Cognitive Psychology). Consult the Eligibility Criteria for Students and Fellows for information on eligibility of the proposed program. If you are registered, or intend to register, in a joint program that includes a professional degree (e.g., MD/PhD), your application will be ineligible.
Specify a maximum of three proposed locations of tenure. If your PhD was granted by an institution outside of Canada, only locations of tenure within Canada will be considered. Applications that do not propose a minimum of one eligible location of tenure will be rejected. Refer to the Where can you hold your fellowship? section in the PDF Program description for more information.
PDF applicants only
In the Scholarship/Fellowship Information page of your application, indicate your choice by selecting the appropriate field.
PGS D applicants
Detailed information on completing this section is found on the Information page of the application.
Note: Even if you are proposing to undertake your doctoral degree at a foreign institution, you may still wish to be considered for a CGS D. By selecting ‘yes’ to the question “If you answered yes to the previous question, do you still want to be considered for an Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship which is tenable only in Canada?”, you will be offered a CGS D if deemed meritorious and will have the option to decline it to accept a PGS D instead. By selecting ‘no’ to this question, you will only be considered for a PGS D.
In the Thesis Information page of your application, provide the full title and summary of your most recent thesis completed or in progress.
If you are applying for a PDF, describe your doctoral thesis in this section.
If you are applying for a PGS D, describe your master’s thesis in this section. If you did not complete a master’s thesis, describe your honours thesis in this section. If you completed neither a master’s nor an honours thesis, you may describe one of your major research projects or papers in this section, or you may describe the work done to date on your doctoral degree. Do not repeat the information provided in the Outline of Proposed Research section.
In the Key Words/Research Subject Code page of your application, choose up to 10 key words and the research subject code that most closely corresponds to your proposed research. Consult the List of Research Subject Codes for Scholarships and Fellowships.
NSERC Scholarships and Fellowships selection committees cover a number of Research Subject Codes within a research discipline. The Research Subject Code entered on the application will determine the selection committee in which the application will be evaluated. NSERC may assign the application to a different committee if it determines that the subject matter is more appropriate for another committee.
Note for Animal Biology and Psychology applicants:
In the Outline of Proposed Research page of your application, provide the requested information according to the guidelines and format standards outlined in the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards.
Applicants must complete this section themselves.
Provide a detailed description of your proposed research project for the period during which you are to hold the award. Be as specific as possible. Provide background information to position your proposed research within the context of the current knowledge in the field. State the objectives and hypothesis, and outline the experimental or theoretical approach to be taken (citing literature pertinent to the proposal), and the methods and procedures to be used. State the significance of the proposed research to a field or fields in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE).
Your research must be part of an overall research program which lies in a field that NSERC supports. For awards held at universities, your research must be supervised by a faculty member whose own research program lies in a field that NSERC supports. In cases where the proposed research is deemed to fall within the mandate of either the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) or the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), NSERC will not accept the application. If you have received previous funding from NSERC, this does not mean that you are automatically deemed eligible for continued NSERC funding. As you advance in your studies, if the focus of your research changes from the natural sciences and engineering to the health or social sciences and humanities areas, you may no longer be eligible for NSERC support. For important information about the eligible fields of research, refer to the Eligibility Criteria for Students and Fellows.
Note: Proposals that include the use of methodologies, tools, techniques and knowledge from the NSE are not automatically considered eligible for NSERC support. The proposed research must clearly be intended to advance knowledge in the NSE.
Complete this section if your research is in a discipline that falls under the mandate of more than one federal granting agency (e.g., psychology, management studies, geography, physical education, bio-medical engineering, health sciences, bioinformatics, biostatistics, etc.).
This section provides you with the opportunity to explain why you have chosen to apply to NSERC as opposed to one of the other federal granting agencies (CIHR or SSHRC). It will be used only by NSERC staff to review eligibility. It will not be shared with the selection committee.
Describe the NSE research challenges of the project on which you propose to work during the tenure of your scholarship or fellowship. Clearly explain what you will be doing and why it should be considered research that is predominantly NSE.
Points to consider
Consult NSERC's Eligibility Criteria for Students and Fellows, including the Eligibility Criteria for proposed research and programs of study, and carefully read the Government of Canada’s guidelines on Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency. Particular attention should be given to the Government’s Guidelines for the Eligibility of Applications Related to Health and its Guidelines for the Eligibility of Applications in Psychology, if they are applicable to your research.
In the Contributions/Statements page of your application, provide the requested information according to the guidelines and format standards outlined in the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards.
Given the page limits, be selective and summarize information where appropriate. You must provide information in the three sections listed below. The maximum number of pages that you are permitted to use in total, for all three sections, is:
Provide the required information using the specified headings below in the order indicated.
Part I – Contributions to research and development
Begin with your most recent contributions and list each entry on a new line. Do not include any articles that are currently in preparation or those on which you do not appear as an author. Use the following headings in the order indicated:
Use the following format:
I. Contributions to research and development
Li, H., Applicant, X.X., and Kay, M. (1994) Protein-structure interactions in cell membranes. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 269: 1120-1124 (PhD work).
Part II – Most significant contributions to research and development
From the contributions listed in Part I, choose up to three that you judge to be your most significant contributions to research and development. Comment on the importance of these contributions to the research area.
For each contribution:
Part III – Applicant's statement
In this section, group your comments under the following headings:
For uploading purposes, all the documents in this section must be saved into a single PDF file.
A complete application includes a copy of all up-to-date official transcripts (or other proof of registration in certain circumstances), as described below The inclusion and completeness of these documents are essential for NSERC staff to determine your eligibility and are an integral part of the evaluation material reviewed by Scholarship and Fellowship selection committees. NSERC will not accept transcripts submitted under separate cover.
Important guidelines for all applicants
Note: Retain the paper copy(ies) of any uploaded transcripts, as you may be asked to provide these for verification purposes at any point in the process.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your transcripts are complete and legible once uploaded, even if you apply through a university where a university official is responsible for uploading the transcripts. This is particularly relevant for transcripts with security features in place to prevent duplication. In all cases, the applicant is responsible for ensuring that the application is complete by reviewing the final version of the online application before it is submitted to NSERC.
Applications with transcripts that do not respect these requirements and those listed in the relevant section below will be rejected.
PGS D applicants
If you are already registered in your program of study at the time of application, you must submit a transcript for this program, regardless of the number of months completed, to demonstrate registration in the program. This requirement also applies to programs of study started in the fall session of the year of application.
All programs of study listed in the application, even if not completed, must be accompanied by an up-to-date transcript.
PGS D applicants applying through the university
Up-to-date transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies must be scanned and uploaded, in the Transcripts - University page of your application, by the individual designated by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (or its equivalent) at your institution, as follows. First, ensure the Academic Background page of the application has been completed. Second, enter the name and email address of the individual designated by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (or its equivalent) in the Transcripts - University page of your application. Once the information is saved, an email containing the appropriate links will be forwarded to this individual. Finally, ensure that the designated individual at the university has an up-to-date transcript for each of the degree programs listed under Academic Background. The status of the request can be verified on this page.
PGS D applicants applying directly to NSERC
Up-to-date transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies must be scanned and uploaded by the applicant in the Transcripts - Direct page of the application.
Up-to-date transcripts of doctoral studies only must be scanned and uploaded to the application by the applicant in the Transcripts - Direct page of the application.
Each application submitted to NSERC must be accompanied by two Reports on the Applicant.
The reports must be completed by persons capable of making an informed assessment.
Note: A Report on the Applicant cannot be completed by a proposed supervisor unless that person is currently your supervisor or has been your supervisor in the past.
What you should do:
This page offers three functionalities:
NSERC does not require original signatures on applications or other documents submitted electronically through its On-line System. The electronic submission of applications through this system represents approval and replaces the traditional “physical” or “wet” signatures.
Before you, as an applicant, can submit your application to NSERC, you must read and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Applying that appear in a pop-up window during the submission process. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed Terms and Conditions for your records.
Use the following list to make sure your application is complete.