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

Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program

CIHR – Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships
NSERC – Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships
SSHRC – Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Value $17,500 for 12 months, non-renewable
Application Deadline December 1
Application Procedure See below
How to Apply
  • Canadian Common CV
  • Application
To create a Canadian Common CV, select This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV.

To create or access an application, select Research Portal.

To view instructions, select Instructions.
For More Information See below

Important Information


The objective of the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s (CGS M) Program is to help develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies.


The CGS M Program provide financial support to high caliber scholars who are engaged in eligible Masters or, in some cases, doctoral programs in Canada (refer to Eligibility). This support allows these scholars to fully concentrate on their studies in their chosen fields.

The CGS M Program supports 2,500 students annually in all disciplines and is administered jointly by Canada’s three federal granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The selection process and post-award administration are carried out at the university level, under the guidance of the three agencies. Students submit their application to the university at which they propose to hold their award via the Research Portal.

Qualifying Canadian universities receive a CGS M allocation indicating the number of students to whom they can award scholarships; these allocations are divided by broad fields of study: health, natural sciences and/or engineering and social sciences and/or humanities.



To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;
  • be enrolled in, or intend to apply for full-time admission* to an eligible graduate program at the master’s or doctoral level at a Canadian university with a CGS M allocation;
  • have completed, as of December 31 of the year of application, between zero and 12 months of full-time studies (or full-time equivalent) in:
    • the master’s program for which you are requesting funding; or
    • the doctoral program for which you are requesting funding if you were admitted into a doctoral program directly from your bachelor’s program (you were never registered in a master’s program, or you are registered in a combined Master’s-PhD program); or
    • a master’s program, but are requesting funding for a doctoral program (an example is a student who is fast-track from a master’s to a doctoral program within 12 months of starting their Master’s and is seeking funding for the first 12 months of their doctoral program); and
  • not have previously held a CGS M;
  • have achieved a first-class average, as determined by the host university, in the last two completed years of study (full-time equivalent); and
  • submit a maximum of one CGS M application per year (the Research Portal will allow the application to be submitted to up to five universities – refer to Application Procedure).

* Please refer to the CGS M Award Holder’s Guide for details regarding part-time admission.

Program of Study Eligibility

Applicants to the CGS M Program must be enrolled in, or have applied for full-time admission to, an eligible graduate program at the master’s or doctoral level at a Canadian university with a CGS M allocation.

An eligible graduate program must have a significant research component. A significant research component is considered to be original, autonomous research that leads to the completion of a thesis, major research project, dissertation, scholarly publication, performance, recital and/or exhibit that is merit/expert reviewed at the institutional level as a requirement for completion of the program. Master’s programs that are based only on course work are not eligible since they do not include a significant research component.

Non-traditional Programs of Study

Joint programs with a professional degree (e.g. MD/PhD, DVM/PhD, JD/PhD, MBA/PhD, MA/MBA) are eligible if they have a demonstrated and significant research component as described above.

Clinically-oriented programs of study, including clinical psychology are also eligible programs if they have a demonstrated and significant research component as described above.


Without exception, CGS M awards are tenable only at eligible Canadian universities.

Field of Research and Subject Matter Eligibility

CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC support and promote high-quality research in a wide variety of disciplines and areas. This includes research that bridges two or more disciplines or that requires the skills of several disciplines.

Applicants are asked in the CGS M application to categorize their proposed ”field of research” (i.e., health, natural sciences and engineering, social sciences and humanities). However, the universities are responsible for approving this categorization, and may override it if appropriate. This distinction is important because a university can only award these scholarships according to the agency-specific CGS M allocations they receive.

Applicants must ensure that they are submitting their application to a university that has an allocation for the field of research they wish to pursue. Applications deemed by a host university to have been labeled incorrectly will be re-labeled. Universities must ensure that agency-specific scholarships are awarded to applications eligible under each agency’s research subject matter guidelines (refer to This link will take you to another Web site Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency). Applicants should contact the graduate studies office at the university where they intend to apply for admission, or where they are currently, or will be, registered in and eligible program of study for further guidance on subject matter eligibility.

Application Procedure

To apply for the CGS M scholarships, all applicants must complete and submit an application using the Research Portal. Applicants should consult the instructions when completing their application.

The Research Portal will instruct applicants to select up to five universities where they wish to hold the award. Applicants may select universities on the application where:

  • they are currently enrolled in an eligible program of study and wish to pursue their studies; or
  • they intend to apply for full-time admission to an eligible program of study if not currently enrolled at a university of their choice.


Refer to the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Award Allocations page for a list of allocations by university and by agency.


There are three deadline dates associated with the CGS M Program:

  • Application deadline (date by which the complete application must be submitted by the applicant): December 1.
    Your application must be submitted before 8:00 p.m. (ET) on the deadline date. If the deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, your application must be submitted by the following working day.
  • Results deadline (date the universities post the competition results using the Research Portal): April 1 of the following calendar year.
  • Acceptance and declines of offers: Applicants will have three weeks to respond to offers of awards. Offers not accepted will be deemed to have been declined.

Review Procedures

The Faculty of Graduate Studies (or equivalent) at each Canadian university is responsible for coordinating the selection process for the CGS M applications, and for communicating the results to the applicants and agencies. The university selection committees evaluate each CGS M application. Universities could have more than one selection committee.

Each qualifying university is assigned a separate allocation for CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC representing the number of scholarships that it may award on behalf of each agency. Universities must respect the agency-specific allocation.

Selection Criteria

The merit review of CGS M applications will be carried out by universities with an allocation, and will be based on the following evaluation criteria:

Criteria Description Weight
Academic Excellence As demonstrated by past academic results, transcripts, awards and distinctions.

Indicators of Academic Excellence:
  • Academic record (first class average)
  • Scholarships and awards held
  • Duration of previous studies
  • Type of program and courses pursued
  • Course load
  • Relative standing (if available)
Research Potential As demonstrated by the applicant’s research history, his/her interest in discovery, the proposed research, its potential contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the field, and any anticipated outcomes.

Indicators of Research Potential:
  • Quality and originality of contributions to research and development
  • Relevance of work experience and academic training to field of proposed research
  • Significance, feasibility, and merit of proposed research
  • Judgment and ability to think critically
  • Ability to apply skills and knowledge
  • Initiative, autonomy and independence
  • Research experience and achievements relative to expectations of someone with the candidate’s academic experience

Personal Characteristics and Interpersonal Skills

As demonstrated by the applicant’s past professional and relevant extracurricular interactions and collaborations.

Indicators of Personal Characteristics and Interpersonal Skills:
  • Work experience
  • Leadership experience
  • Project management including organizing conferences and meetings
  • The ability or potential to communicate theoretical, technical and/or scientific concepts clearly and logically in written and oral formats
  • Involvement in academic life
  • Volunteerism/community outreach

Notification of Decision

For each competition year, the CGS M announcements of results will be made by all universities during the first week of April. The results and offers of awards will be made by the university, on behalf of one of the three agencies, via the Research Portal. Following the one week window that university administrators will have to post their offers, applicants will have three weeks to Accept or Decline the offers. Universities may make subsequent offers should some of the offers be declined, until it has no scholarships remaining.

A student may only accept one CGS M offer. If they accept an offer, they will be deemed to have declined any other pending offers (if applicable), and they will not be eligible to receive further offers.

Applicants are not eligible to receive or accept a CGS M offer from a university where they are not enrolled in nor applied for admission to an eligible program of study.

Conditions of the Award

Awards must be held at the university where the offer of award originates. Awards are not intended to be portable between universities; however exceptions may be made in extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the host university, according to the academic and administrative regulations of the host university. Awards may be portable within the host university and within the same field (e.g. change of department) as long as award eligibility requirements continue to be met, and at the discretion of the host university.

The agencies reserve the right to interpret and enforce the policies and guidelines governing their funding opportunities set out in their published materials.

All applicants and scholarship holders must comply with the policies and guidelines set out in the CGS M Award Holder’s Guide and in any other documents related to scholarship applications and awards.

Refer to the CGS M 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.

Use and Disclosure of Information by the Agencies

All personal information collected as part of this program is used by the agencies and by the relevant officials in the eligible research institutions to review applications, 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 SSHRC in the This link will take you to another Web site Protection and Disclosure of Personal Information, and in the relevant program literature.

Each agency may publish the names and other limited award information of scholarship recipients 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.

Official Languages

Applications can be submitted via the Research Portal in either official language; therefore, universities should have mechanisms in place to review both English and French applications.

Related Opportunities

CGS M holders may be eligible to apply for a Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement.

For More Information

The first point of contact regarding the CGS M Program should be the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the university where you intend to apply for admission, or where you are currently, or will be, registered in and eligible program of study.

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

CGS M Award Program Delivery Coordinator
Tel.: 613-952-0763

Contact List

Tel.: 613-943-7777

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