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Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements

Instructions for completing an NSERC application - CGS-MSFSS form

General information

About the supplement

Important: The CGS-MSFSS form must be completed using the online system, but cannot be submitted electronically.

Read the supplement description in the program guides for students and fellows before you complete the application.

Where to submit your application

Submit your application to the faculty of graduate studies (or its equivalent) at your institution. For a complete application, include the CGS-MSFSS form, the outline of proposed research while abroad and two letters of support.

Presentation standards

On each page of the online application, you will find instructions and tips on how to complete your application.

Personal information

The collection, use and disclosure of personal information provided to NSERC are outlined in the following policy statements

The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act. NSERC is subject to 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. The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in This link will take you to another Web site Information about programs and information holdings.

Help with supplement information

Contact the staff responsible for the supplement to which you are applying.

Help with the NSERC online system

  • Consult the frequently asked questions on how to use the online system.
  • Review the instructions available in the application.
  • Contact the online services helpdesk. Send an email to or call 1-855-275-2861. Include your email address and telephone number.

Completing the application

Application profile

Title of proposal

The title will be used for publication purposes. It should describe the subject of the research for which you are seeking support. It should not contain a company or trade name. Spell out scientific symbols and acronyms.

Person profile

Personal identification number (PIN)

All NSERC applicants have received, or will receive, an NSERC PIN. Refer to your PIN each time you apply for an award and in future correspondence with NSERC. If your NSERC PIN is unknown, leave the field blank.

All information submitted as part of the CGS application (including the answers to the self-identification and consent questions) may be used in the administration of the CGS-MSFSS.


If your current mailing address is temporary, indicate the leaving date. If there is no leaving date indicated, this is the address to which NSERC will send all correspondence.

If you move after submitting your application, inform NSERC by sending an email to

Scholarship information

Active scholarship

From the dropdown list, select the active CGS that you currently hold or that you will take up before the start date of your research study period abroad.

End date of active scholarship

Indicate the end date of your active CGS.

Where you hold the scholarship

From the dropdown list, select the name of the Canadian institution and the department where you hold, or have accepted, your CGS.

Start and end dates of the research study period abroad

Complete the appropriate fields for the start and end dates as well as the number of months of support requested for your research study period abroad.

  • You must start your research study period abroad after the application deadline date but within one year of receiving the notice of award for the CGS-MSFSS. These notifications will be sent in August and December for the June and October application deadlines, respectively.
  • Your research study period abroad must begin before the end date of your active CGS.

Ethical conduct for research involving humans

Does your proposal involve the use of human beings as research subjects? If so, and if the research differs from the initial proposal approved by the research ethics board of your organization, resubmit the proposal for approval. You must also ensure that an ethics review is conducted in the host country (as per the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans).

Location of research study period abroad

Indicate the location where you plan to undertake your research study period abroad. The location in this section might be different from the host supervisor’s home institution if, for example, the location of study is a field station, observatory, etc. Details on the host supervisor’s institution will be requested in the following section.


Provide contact information for both your current and host supervisors. You must indicate the institution where your host supervisor is employed and can be contacted. This may differ from the location abroad indicated, but the connection should be explained in your research proposal.

Budget proposal

The supplement will cover costs associated with travel, living and other expenses (such as accommodation, meals, tuition, travel or study visas, insurance and other necessary costs) unrelated to research during the research study period abroad.

Enter amounts rounded up to the nearest dollar without any spaces or commas. The total estimated costs of the research study period abroad may exceed $6,000; however, the amount requested from NSERC cannot exceed $6,000. The total budget and amount requested from NSERC may also be less than $6,000.

You should be aware that there is significant variability in costs by location (notably living costs), and you are advised to get more information before completing this page.

Outline of proposed research while abroad

The attachment must be a maximum of two pages.

Write in plain language. Your outline should be readable by someone with a background in the discipline but with no specialized knowledge of the particular field of research. Ensure that your proposal includes the following:

  • a detailed description of your proposed research activities during your research study period abroad
    • state the specific objectives, methodology and expected outcomes, and provide an indication as to how this relates to and enhances your graduate research studies supported by your CGS
  • a description of the potential benefits you will derive from the proposed research study period abroad in relation to your current research objectives 
  • timelines regarding your research study period abroad; these should include start and end dates for the tasks involved to bring the research to fruition

Letters of support

Two letters of support are required and are limited to one page each:

  • a letter (original, scanned or sent by email) from your current research supervisor supporting your research study period abroad
  • a letter (original, scanned or sent by email) from your potential host supervisor supporting your research study period abroad and indicating that they will commit the required resources—financial (if any), supervision time, equipment, library access, etc.—to support your planned research activities

All letters must be signed and written on institution letterhead. Emails should be sent from an institution address (personal email addresses will not be accepted).


Before you can submit your application to NSERC, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions listed on the Terms and conditions of applying form. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed terms and conditions for your records.


The signatures of the institutional authorities (if applicable) certify that the institution will abide by the roles and responsibilities as set out in the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with the three federal granting agencies.

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