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Government of Canada invests in talented graduate scholars and postdoctoral researchers

General news Students

January 12, 2022

Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers play a crucial role in Canada’s research ecosystem by pushing the frontiers of knowledge. Their discoveries and innovations help ensure that Canada is healthier, more equitable, more prosperous and greener.

That is why today, the Government of Canada announced that the three federal research granting agencies, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), are providing $260 million for the latest cohort of scholarship and fellowship recipients.

This investment will allow these world-class students and emerging researchers to further develop their research skills and build global links under the mentorship of research leaders across Canada and internationally.
In total, more than 5,300 scholarships and fellowships have been awarded for research training under the following programs:

The Canada Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral program (CGS D) will also provide a prestigious distinction to a select number of award holders through the Canada Graduate Scholarships to Honour Nelson Mandela. Each year, up to 12 doctoral students are recognized with this honour from CIHR and SSHRC.

The scholarship and fellowship recipients are exploring various topics that have an impact on Canadians, including climate change and the future of global food security, Indigenous language revitalization, family resilience during COVID-19, neurodegenerative diseases, traumatic brain injuries, the ethics of artificial intelligence, water quality and manufacturing technologies.

This support allows doctoral students to seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields and to contribute to the Canadian research ecosystem during and beyond the tenure of their awards.

Awards and programs

  • The CIHR Doctoral Foreign Study Award (DFSA) provides special recognition and support to students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in a health-related field abroad. This award is valued at up to $35,000 per year for up to three years. For 2021, nine doctoral students were awarded a DFSA. Learn more about CIHR’s other health research training award programs.
  • The CIHR Fellowship Program provides support for highly-qualified candidates at the postdoctoral (post-PhD) or post-health professional degree stages to add to their experience by engaging in health research either in Canada or abroad. These fellowships are valued at up to $60,000 per year for up to five years.
  • The Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s (CGS M) program helps develop research skills and assists in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies. A CGS M is valued at $17,500 for one year.
  • The Canada Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral (CGS D) program supports and promotes research excellence in a wide variety of disciplines and broad fields of health, natural sciences and engineering, and social sciences and humanities, including interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research. This support allows scholars to fully concentrate on their doctoral studies, to seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields and to contribute to the Canadian research ecosystem during and beyond the tenure of their awards. 
  • The Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements provide additional supplements of up to $6,000 to active CGS (master’s or doctoral) holders or eligible Vanier CGS holders to help offset the costs of undertaking research studies outside Canada for a defined period. The supplement supports high-calibre Canadian graduate students in building global links and international networks through the pursuit of exceptional research experiences at research institutions abroad.
  • The Canada Graduate Scholarships to Honour Nelson Mandela are jointly administered by CIHR and SSHRC and are an honorary mention that applies for the duration of the CGS D award. They recognize and support graduate students conducting research in one or more of the five areas that Nelson Mandela championed during his lifetime: national unity; democracy, freedom and human rights; leadership; children’s participation in society; and children’s health. Each year, SSHRC awards the honour to up to 10 CGS D recipients, and CIHR will award the honour to two CGS D recipients.
  • The NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowships program provides support to a core of the most promising researchers at a pivotal time in their careers. The fellowships are also intended to secure a supply of highly qualified Canadians with leading-edge scientific and research skills for Canadian industry, government, and institutions. NSERC encourages Indigenous researchers who are interested in the program to apply.
  • The SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships support the most promising Canadian new scholars in the social sciences and humanities, and assist them in establishing a research base at an important time in their research careers. The purpose of these fellowships is to provide stipendiary support to recent PhD graduates who are undertaking original research, publishing research findings, developing and expanding personal research networks, broadening their teaching experience, preparing for research-intensive careers within and beyond academia, and preparing to become competitive in national research grant competitions.


“Great as our challenges are now, we need to also keep a long-term outlook and build the talent infrastructure Canada needs for the decades ahead. I am pleased that the granting agencies are supporting these top-notch grad students and postdoc fellows as they develop their skills and take up their positions as research leaders for the future.
Alejandro Adem, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

“This is an important and valuable investment in Canada's top talent in the social sciences and humanities. By supporting new generations of Canadian researchers who are addressing current and emerging challenges, we ensure a brighter future ahead for all Canadians.”
Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

“It is a pleasure for me to congratulate the highly qualified recipients of these awards. The granting agencies are proud to support your contributions to advancing knowledge in health care and other sectors and look forward to seeing your accomplishments.”
Michael Strong, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

About CIHR

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.


NSERC invests over $1.2 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries—valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 12,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect the makers and users of discoveries. Research partnerships established by NSERC help inform research and development and solve scale-up challenges.

NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada.


SSHRC is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports research and research training in the humanities and social sciences. Through its Talent, Insight and Connection programs, and through partnerships and collaborations, SSHRC strategically supports world-leading initiatives that reflect a commitment to ensuring a better future for Canada and the world.

SSHRC helps Canada’s researchers do what they do best: train the next generation of talented, creative thinkers and doers; build knowledge and understanding about people, cultures and societies; and drive the innovations that address the challenges of today and tomorrow.

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