Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral program

Overview
Value PGS D: $21,000 per year for three years
Application deadline
(directly to NSERC)
October 17
Application deadline
(through a Canadian institution)
Contact your institution
How to apply See below
Application form Form 201 – Application for a Postgraduate Scholarship or Postdoctoral Fellowship

To create or access an application, select On-line System Login. To view instructions, select PDF Forms and Instructions.
For more information Consult the Contact List.

Refer to the Selection Committee Guide for Postgraduate Scholarships – Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships Programs.

What kind of support do these scholarships provide?

The NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships – Doctoral (PGS D) program provides financial support to high-calibre scholars who are engaged in an eligible doctoral program (see Eligibility Criteria for Students and Fellows) in the natural sciences or engineering. This support allows these scholars to fully concentrate on their studies and seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields.

Applications to the PGS D program will automatically be considered for the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral (CGS D) award, which is offered to the top-ranked applicants; the next tier of meritorious applicants will be offered a PGS D award.

The majority of information about the PGS D program is contained within the tri-agency Canada Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral program description, including important information about:

  • eligibility
  • application procedures
  • Indigenous applicants
  • deadlines
  • notifications of decision
  • conditions of the award

The following information is specific to the NSERC PGS D program and the doctoral award selection process at NSERC.

Note: If you entered your doctoral program directly from your bachelor’s degree (that is, you were never registered in a graduate level program) and have completed between zero and 12 months of studies in the doctoral program, you may be eligible to apply for a Canada Graduate Scholarship-Master’s (CGS M) or for a PGS D. Applying for a CGS M, if you are eligible, will maximize your potential period of funding. You are responsible for choosing the type of award for which you apply.

Are you eligible for scholarship support?

Refer to the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral program description for information on applicant and program of study eligibility. The following pertains specifically to the PGS D award.

Institution

You may take up your PGS D at any eligible Canadian institution. You may also take it up at any eligible foreign institution, provided you have received a previous degree from a Canadian institution.

If you are offered a CGS D but decide to take your award to an eligible foreign institution, and are eligible to do so, you must decline the CGS D to be offered a PGS D award in its place.

Note: If you are a permanent resident of Canada and will be taking up your award outside of Canada, you should contact the relevant Canadian immigration authorities to determine how doing so may affect your Canadian residency status.

Subject matter

To be considered eligible for the PGS D program, your proposed research must clearly lie within the natural sciences and engineering (NSE), rather than the health sciences. If you applied to NSERC and your proposed research falls outside of the agency’s mandate and you are not offered a CGS D award, your application will be deemed ineligible and rejected. Refer to NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for Students and Fellows for additional information.

Indigenous applicants

Refer to the CGS D program description for information on considerations given to self-identified Indigenous applicants to the doctoral funding programs.

How do you apply for a scholarship?

Refer to the CGS D program description for information on applying to the PGS D program.

Application deadlines

Refer to the CGS D program description for information on institutional and agency deadlines.

Review procedures and selection criteria

Institutional and NSERC review

Selection committees evaluate each application (whether submitted directly to the agencies or via the institutional review processes) within one of the following broad discipline categories that correspond to the NSERC Scholarships and Fellowships selection committees:

  • Civil and industrial engineering
  • Chemical, biomedical and materials science engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Computing sciences
  • Mathematical sciences
  • Physics and astronomy
  • Chemistry
  • Earth sciences
  • Evolution and ecology
  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Plant and animal biology
  • Psychology

The research subject code (see List of Research Subject Codes for Scholarships and Fellowships) entered in 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. The selection committees recommend scholarships for the applications they consider to be most meritorious, according to the selection criteria described in the CGS D program description and within the limit of available awards. Note that NSERC may increase equity and diversity among qualified applicants by giving award priority to meritorious applicants who self-identify as Indigenous and/or as a woman, if sufficient funds become available.

NSERC expects selection committee members to consistently guard against the possibility of unconscious bias influencing the decision-making process, whether these biases are based on a school of thought, fundamental versus applied research, certain sub-disciplines, areas of research or approaches (including emerging ones), size or reputation of an institution, age, gender and/or other personal factors of the applicant.

NSERC is acting on the evidence that equity, diversity and inclusion strengthen the scientific and engineering communities and the quality, social relevance and impact of research. Applicants should refer to questions 5 to 7 in the Guide for Applicants: Considering equity, diversity and inclusion in your application for more information. In preparing their application, applicants should consult the Selection criteria and indicators section and Appendix A of the Selection Committee Guide for Postgraduate Scholarships – Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships Programs, which provides useful information on what selection committee members look for in assessing applications. Applicants should also read the Instructions for completing an application – Form 201.

Notification of decision

Refer to the CGS D program description for information on the notification of results.

Conditions of the award

Refer to the Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder's Guide for policies and requirements about holding the award, such as the acceptance, start date, deferment, paid parental leave, holding the award on a part-time basis, etc.