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CIHR, NSERC & SSHRC

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 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.
  • 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 requested.
  • It is advisable to plan ahead as submission delays may occur due to a high volume of users on the Research Portal which may prevent the timely submission of your application. Allow enough time for your reference assessments and your application to be completed in advance of the application deadline. It is your responsibility to follow up with your references.
  • The Research Portal will not permit the submission of incomplete applications. Refer to Completing the Application.
  • Requests to submit late applications after the deadline date will not be accepted under any circumstances.
  • No changes or updates can be made to an application once it has been submitted. Personal contact information may be updated through your Research Portal account. The status of your application can be verified by logging into the Research Portal.

Presentation Standards

In each section of the Research Portal application, you will find instructions and tips on how to complete your application. All documents uploaded as attachments must be in Portable Document Format (PDF) 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 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.
  • In addition, if you have transcripts or related documentation written in a language other than English or French, you must provide a certified English or French translation.

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. Pages in excess of the number permitted will not be assessed by the selection committee.  

Although this list is not exclusive, the following examples of software can be used to convert the required attachments into PDF files:

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro
  • PDF Creator
  • Word (for example, the Outline of Proposed Research document can be saved as a .pdf extension)

It is also important to note that some web browsers may not be compatible with the Research Portal. In the event that you or your references experience technical challenges while completing any portion of the application, ensure that you are using the most recent version of your web browser or try testing the use of a different one. For more information on web browsers supported by the Research Portal, contact the Helpdesk or complete an On-line Services Support Request.

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 the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (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 websites 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. In addition, for SSHRC funded scholarships, SSHRC will provide to the Fonds de recherche du Québec-Société et culture (FRQSC) the same information as the one above in advance of the public announcement of awards, for its administrative purposes and in accordance with the memorandum of understanding between SSHRC and FRQSC.

Whom Should I Contact for Help?

For matters related to the Research Portal, contact the This link will take you to another Web site Helpdesk, or complete an On-line Services Support Request.

For program-related information, contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies (or its equivalent) at the institution(s) where you intend to hold the award.

You can also contact any of Canada’s three federal granting agencies for information about this program. You should communicate with the agency whose mandate corresponds to your Field of Research.

During normal business hours, it is the intent of the agencies to respond to inquiries as quickly as possible. During peak periods (November to January), the response time may be delayed.

CIHR
CGS M Award Program Delivery Coordinator
Tel.: 613-952-0763
Email: cgsma@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

NSERC
Contact List
Email: fischol@nserc-crsng.gc.ca

SSHRC
Tel.: 613-943-7777
Email: fellowships@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca

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.

A complete application includes the following documents:

  • the application form;
  • the outline of the proposed research (including the bibliography and citations);
  • all required undergraduate and graduate transcripts;
  • the CGS M Canadian Common CV (CCV);
  • two reference assessments.

A green checkmark will appear for each completed section that has been saved and validated. The Submit button will only become available once all sections of the application have been completed.

It is important that you view your application before you submit it by clicking on Export application and attachments to PDF. This will allow you to confirm if all sections of the application have been duly completed and if your attachments have been uploaded successfully. Although you will not be able to view the Reference Assessment Forms submitted on your behalf, the status on your Application Overview page will confirm their completion.

Note: The Research Portal has a time-out period after 20 minutes of inactivity within each section. You must remember to Save and Validate frequently, otherwise the information you have entered will be lost. After 60 minutes of inactivity, you will be logged out of the Research Portal.

You must click the Submit button before the deadline of December 1, 8:00 p.m. (ET) in order for your application to be received successfully by the institution(s).

Application Overview

Identification

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 Science.gc.ca.

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. In your CGS M application, indicate if you consider applying for this supplement should you be successful in obtaining the award. 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 intend 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.

* Refer to the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Award Holder’s Guide for details regarding part-time admission.

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 (maximum of 1,500 characters) 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

Themes

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 consists of two separate sections:

  • Outline of proposed research (maximum of one page); and
  • Bibliography/citations (maximum of one page).

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.

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, a 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 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 must 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 be scanned in accordance with the following presentation standards and uploaded by the applicant in the appropriate section of the application:

  • PDF file (.pdf extension); unprotected.
  • Must be scanned as a single document.
  • 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).
  • 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.

If you have transcripts written in a language other than English or French, you must provide a certified English or French translation.

Up-to-date official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies must be included in the 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). Since recent or current undergraduate or graduate studies may not have been completed, up-to-date transcripts may not include new entries or grades.
  • Official transcripts are defined as transcripts issued by the Registrar’s Office to applicants. Opening the envelope to scan the transcript will not render it unofficial for Tri-Agency purposes. However, transcripts printed from the student’s or staff members' accounts on the institution's website are not considered official. 
  • 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.

Up-to-date official transcripts are required to determine if an applicant has achieved a first-class average in each of the last two completed years of study (full-time equivalent) and meets this criterion for eligibility. Your application will be considered ineligible if first-class standing cannot be confirmed from the transcripts in your submitted application.

Since 50% of the overall score is allotted to academic excellence (as indicated, in part, by the academic record, the duration of previous studies, the type of program and courses pursued, and the course load), failure to upload up-to-date official transcripts for all programs of study listed in the CCV (even if the studies have not been completed) in your application will provide the merit review selection committee(s) with less information on which to base their assessment and may put your application at a disadvantage in comparison to those who have respected the requirement.

To demonstrate registration in your program of study, you must provide up-to-date official transcripts for:  

  • The program of study in which you are registered at the time of application, including programs of study which began in the fall session of the year of application.
  • A degree program that does not have any course work.

This will allow the institution(s) where you intend to hold your award to confirm your registration status.

Note: Retain the paper copy of any uploaded transcripts, as you may be asked to provide it for verification purposes at any point in the process.

Canadian Common CV (CCV)

Applicants are required to complete the CGS M CCV template (CV Type) 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 (CV Type) 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.

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.

Note: 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 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 supervisor 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 time for the submission deadline of the application. 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.

Signatures

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 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.

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