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Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Program Instructions for Completing an Application

General Information

About the Program

Read the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program (CGS M) description before you complete the application.

Application Deadlines

The program description has information concerning application deadlines. However, in preparing to meet these deadlines, the following points may affect timing of applications and should be taken into account:

  • If you are contacting former institutions to obtain official transcripts and supporting documents, remember that it may take time for them to provide you with the information you need for your application. It is also advisable to plan ahead and allow enough time for your reference assessments to be completed in advance of the application deadline.
  • If you select Health as your Field of Research, you must provide a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Personal Identification Number (PIN). It takes up to one full working day to process your CIHR PIN request.
  • The Research Portal will not permit the submission of incomplete applications. Late applications will not be accepted for any reason.
  • No changes or updates can be made to an application once it has been submitted. Personal contact information may be updated through your online account. The status of your application can be verified by logging into the Research Portal.

Presentation Standards

In each section of the online application, you will find instructions and tips on how to complete your application. All documents uploaded as attachments must be in PDF format and must conform to the following presentation standards. See also Transcripts (Attachment) for related presentation standards.

  • Text must be single-spaced, with no more than six lines per inch.
  • The acceptable font is Times New Roman (regular, minimum 12-pt.) or a comparable serif font.
  • Condensed type is not acceptable.
  • Set margins at a minimum of 2 cm (3/4 of an inch) all around.
  • Use a left-justified, standard page layout.
  • Include your name in the page header (on every page).
  • For multipage attachments, number the pages sequentially.
  • The maximum number of pages permitted is indicated in each section of the application. Pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed.

In addition, if you have transcripts or related documentation written in a language other than English or French, you must provide a translated and certified version.

Applications that do not meet presentation standards may be deemed ineligible, or be at a disadvantage, in comparison with those that respect the presentation standards.

Collection and Use of Personal Information

All personal information collected as part of this program is used by the agencies and by the relevant officials in the eligible institutions to review applications and to administer and monitor awards. It may also be used to determine the most appropriate funding jurisdiction, or to monitor overlap in federal support. Details on the use and disclosure of this information by the agencies are described by CIHR in This link will take you to another Web site Info Source, by NSERC in the Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to NSERC, by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in the This link will take you to another Web site Protection and Disclosure of Personal Information: Fellowships and Scholarships, and in the relevant program literature.

Each agency may publish the names and other limited award information of scholarship award holders on their Web sites in accordance with the agencies' policies on disclosure under the Access to Information Act and their Privacy Act policies and guidelines related to the collection, use, retention and disposal of personal information. For more information, consult the  This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act and the This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act.

Whom Should I Contact for Help?

  • For program-related information, contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies (or its equivalent) at the institution(s) where you wish to hold the award.
  • For matters related to the Research Portal, contact the Helpdesk, or complete an On-line Services Support Request.

Completing the Application

Create an Application

In the Research Portal, after signing in, click on Create Applications to gain access to the funding opportunities (programs) available. Select the CGS M Program from the list and click on Create.

Application Overview


Your selections and entries in the following sections may be used for identification purposes, to determine eligibility, to assign your application to reviewers and/or to evaluate your application.

Application Title

The title will be used for publication purposes. It should describe the research to be carried out during your graduate program. It should not contain a company or trade name. Spell out scientific symbols and acronyms.

Field of Research

You must select the Field of Research (Health, Natural Sciences and/or Engineering, or Social Sciences and/or Humanities) for the proposal. Each Field of Research is associated with a list of research or discipline codes, and a list of institutions to which the application may be submitted.

A single selection must be made even if your proposed research is inter- or multidisciplinary in nature and/or appears to span the mandates of two or more of the federal granting agencies. Additional information on mandate and subject matter eligibility is available on This link will take you to another Web site

Each institution has an agency-specific allocation for the CGS M Program. Institutions are responsible for ensuring that successful applicants are funded by the most relevant agency.

Scholarships Liaison Officers at institutions may modify the applicants’ selections for Field of Research if they are deemed to be incorrect. Applicants can contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies (or its equivalent) at the appropriate institution for guidance.

Start Date or Proposed Start Date of Program of Study

Indicate the date you enrolled or expect to enroll in the program for which you are seeking support.

Number of Months of Graduate Studies Completed as of December 31 of Year of Application

Enter the number of months, as of December 31 of the year of application, you will have completed in the eligible program of study indicated in the application. If you are not currently enrolled in a program of study, indicate this by entering 0 months.

Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements

These supplements are available to active CGS (master’s or doctoral) or eligible Vanier CGS holders to help offset the costs of undertaking research studies outside Canada for a defined period. For more information, refer to the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements Program.

Proposed Host Institution

You must indicate the institution at which you intend to hold the award. You can select up to five institutions; however, you may select only institutions where:

  • you are currently enrolled full-time in an eligible program of study and wish to pursue your studies; or
  • you will apply for full-time admission to an eligible program of study by the deadline set for your intended graduate program or by March 15, whichever comes first.

Any institution may only be selected once. Additionally, only one department per institution may be selected.

Applicants are not eligible to receive CGS M offers from institutions where they are not enrolled or have not applied for admission to an eligible program of study. If you select an institution but have not met the above criteria, your application will be deemed ineligible at that institution.

Summary of Proposal

Provide a summary of your project in a language that the public can understand. This plain language summary will be available to the public if your application is successful.

Activity Details


If you select Health as your Field of Research, you must make a selection from the following list:

  • Biomedical
  • Clinical
  • Health systems services
  • Social, cultural, environmental and population health

CIHR Personal Identification Number

If you select Health as your Field of Research, you must provide a CIHR Personal Identification Number (PIN). To register for a CIHR PIN, you must first register for a ResearchNet account. If you do not already have an account, access This link will take you to another Web site ResearchNet to create an account and request a PIN.

It takes up to one full working day to process your CIHR PIN request.

Certification Requirements

The following questions relate to certification requirements that may apply:

  • Does the proposed research involve humans as research participants?
  • Does the proposed research involve animals?
  • Does the proposed research involve human pluripotent stem cells?
  • Does the proposed research involve controlled drugs and/or substances?
  • Does the proposed research involve Aboriginal peoples? (for statistical purposes only)

Consult This link will take you to another Web site section 2.4 of the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research for additional details.

Sex- and Gender-Based Analysis

The following questions relate to sex- and gender-based analysis that may apply:

  • Are sex (biological) considerations taken into account in this proposal? Indicate whether sex (biological) considerations are taken into account in this proposal.
  • Are gender (socio-cultural) considerations taken into account in this study? Indicate whether gender (socio-cultural) considerations are taken into account in this proposal.

Describe how sex and/or gender considerations will be considered in your research study. (Note: This question will appear only if you have selected yes to either of the above two questions.)

For a guide to sex- and gender-based analysis, consult the This link will take you to another Web site CIHR website.

Keywords, Primary Field of Study and Secondary Field of Study

Select the Field(s) of Study that most closely corresponds to your proposed research. The list of available Fields of Study will change depending on your selected Field of Research.

Use keywords to further describe your proposed field of study.

Outline of Proposed Research (Attachment)

The attachment has a limit of two pages and must adhere to the following:

  • a maximum of one page can be used for the outline of proposed research; and
  • a maximum of one page can be used for bibliography/citations.

Provide a detailed description of your proposed research project for the period during which you will 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 health sciences, natural sciences and/or engineering or social sciences and/or humanities, as appropriate.

For SSHRC only:

  • If the output of your degree program is an artistic creation rather than a thesis, indicate clearly the research component of your proposed work. Outline the objectives of your research, the context, methodology, and contribution to the advancement of knowledge;
  • If your degree program does not involve a thesis, major research paper/essay, or a major research project, remember to outline clearly the research component of the degree.

If you have not yet decided on a specific project, you must still provide a detailed description of a research project that interests you. You are not bound by this project. You may change your research direction or activities during the course of the award. Certain restrictions may apply. Refer to the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s (CGS M) Award Holder’s Guide.

In addition:

  • Applicants are expected to write their own outline of proposed research independently. Ideas and/or text belonging to others are to be properly referenced.
  • Include all relevant information in the outline. Do not refer reviewers to URLs or other publications for supplemental information.
  • In the Outline of Proposed Research, provide the requested information according to the guidelines and format standards outlined in the Presentation Standards.

Transcripts (Attachment)

Transcripts must conform to the following presentation standards: 

  • PDF format (.pdf extension); unprotected
  • Maximum file size of 10 mb (black and white recommended)
  • Page size 8 ½ in. x 11 in. (216 mm x 279 mm) or A4 (210 mm x 297 mm)
  • Must be scanned as a single document
  • Transcript text orientation should be upright (if possible) and must be readable on a computer monitor without any adjustment by the viewer.
  • One copy of the legend (reverse of each transcript) must be included. Do not scan the legend multiple times.

Up-to-date official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies must be scanned as indicated above and uploaded by the applicant in the appropriate section of the application. CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC consider transcripts issued by the Registrar’s Office to the applicants to be official transcripts. Opening the envelope to scan the transcript will not render it unofficial for Tri-Agency purposes. However, transcripts printed from the student’s account on the institution website are not considered official.

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.

  • 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.
  • Up-to-date transcripts are defined as transcripts dated or issued in the fall session of the year of application (if currently registered) or after the last term completed (if not currently registered). As new studies may not have been completed, up-to-date transcripts may not include new entries or grades.
  • If you are registered in a degree program that does not have any course work, you must still provide an up-to-date transcript to demonstrate registration in your program.
  • All programs of study listed in the CCV, even if not completed, must be accompanied by an up-to-date transcript.
  • If your institution does not provide transcripts, you must submit, in lieu of a transcript, a letter bearing the official institution seal/stamp or a letter signed by the Dean of Graduate Studies or its equivalent confirming 1) your program of study, 2) your registration status and 3) the fact that the institution does not provide transcripts.

Canadian Common CV (CCV)

Applicants are required to complete the CGS M CCV template from the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV website for this program. A complete CCV must be linked to the application by following the instructions provided in the Canadian Common CV – How to Complete the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Version.

The CGS M CCV template was designed to cover the breadth of candidates to the program. Certain fields of entry in the template may not be applicable to your specific circumstances. In those instances, the sections should be left blank.

Information concerning language ability is used for statistical purposes, and may be used to identify prospective reviewers for this or other CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC programs. Where appropriate and depending on your discipline, language ability may also be used to assess your capacity to pursue the research proposed, for example, if the subject matter requires the study of foreign texts.

Applicants are invited to indicate, on a voluntary basis, whether they are part of a designated group (Aboriginal, disabled or visible minority). These data are used only for statistical purposes.

In the Leaves of Absence and/or Special Circumstances Impacting on Research section, describe any special considerations that have had an effect on your performance or productivity. Include any considerations that may have resulted in delays in disseminating your research results, such as health problems, family responsibilities, disabilities or other circumstances (for example, the time necessary to complete a monograph, file a patent, or commercialize an industrial process or product). Explain any gaps in the chronology of your experience. The selection committee will take these circumstances into consideration when evaluating your application. If your current supervisor is unable to provide you with a reference letter, you may use this section to provide an explanation.

Reference Assessments

Each application must be accompanied by two reference assessments.

These must be completed by persons capable of making an informed assessment, and they cannot be completed by a proposed supervisor unless that person is, or has been, your supervisor.

One assessment should be from a person very familiar with your research and other abilities, e.g., current academic research supervisor or industrial supervisor (in the case of co-op students), previous academic research or industrial supervisor. The second assessment should be from a person sufficiently familiar with your research and other abilities to provide a meaningful commentary.

You must contact your proposed references to ensure they are willing to complete an assessment for you. In the appropriate section of your application, enter the required information for each of the references. Once the information is saved, an email containing the appropriate links will be forwarded to them so that the assessment may be completed. The status of the request can be verified on this page, where it will appear in the following sequence: “Invitation sent but not yet accepted” or “Invitation declined”; “Invitation accepted but not yet completed”; and “Invitation accepted and completed”.

You will not be able to submit your application until these assessments have been completed and linked to your application.


There is no need for original signatures on applications or other documents submitted electronically using the Research Portal.

Before you, as an applicant, submit your application, you must read and agree to the following terms and conditions.

By submitting your application, you are certifying that:

  • You have provided true, complete, accurate information in your funding application and related documents, and you have represented yourself, your research and your accomplishments in a manner consistent with the norms of the relevant field.
  • You are not currently ineligible to apply for and/or hold funds from CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC or any other research or research funding organization worldwide for reasons of breach of policies on responsible conduct of research, such as ethics, integrity or financial management policies. If at any time you become ineligible for any of these reasons, you will advise your institutional officials and the appropriate federal granting agency (CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC) immediately, in writing.
  • You will comply with all of the policies, conditions and regulations referenced in the following documents, including, but not limited to, the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program; the  This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research; and the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. This includes informing the appropriate federal granting agency of any notification of inspection or investigation by Health Canada in the case of an application for a clinical trial and the forwarding of a copy of any ensuing report to the agencies immediately upon receipt.
  • If you are or have been (at any time during the past 12 months) a federal public servant, you have complied with and will continue to respect the  This link will take you to another Web site Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector.
  • In the event of any change in your eligibility status, you will inform your institutional officials immediately, in writing. They will, in turn, inform the appropriate federal granting agency (CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC).
  • You consent to the sharing among the three federal granting agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) and with any academic institution to which you are, or may become, affiliated, of any and all information, including personal information, in any way related to the application and to the award.
  • You understand that the following documents pertain to the information the federal granting agencies collect from and about you: the This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act; the This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act; and the Use and Disclosure of Personal Information.

If you fail to comply with any of the above, you may be subject to the process and recourse outlined in the  This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research.

By submitting your application, you are also confirming that, during tenure of the award, you will comply with the terms and conditions of the award.

Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information: You understand that maintaining public trust in the integrity of researchers is fundamental to building a knowledge-based society. By submitting any application, by linking your Canadian Common CV as a co-applicant to an application, or by accepting funding from CIHR, NSERC and/or SSHRC, you affirm that you have read and you agree to respect all the policies of these agencies that are relevant to your research, including the  This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research. In case of a serious breach of agency policy, the agency may publicly disclose your name, the nature of the breach, the institution with which you were affiliated at the time of the breach and the institution with which you are currently affiliated. You accept this as a condition of applying for, or receiving, agency funding, and you consent to such disclosure. If you do not agree to the disclosure of your personal information, you cannot participate in this application.

Note: If you have any concerns about your ability to comply with the terms and conditions listed above, contact your institutional official or the appropriate granting agency’s staff responsible for the program immediately. Do not agree to the terms and conditions and do not submit your application until you are certain that you can and will comply with all of the requirements.

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