Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s program
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) – Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) – Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships
|Value||$17,500 for 12 months, non-renewable|
|Application deadline||December 1|
|Application procedures||See below.|
|How to apply||To view instructions and other resources, select Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s program resources.|
To create or access an application, select research portal.
To create a Canadian Common CV, select Canadian Common CV.
|For more information||See below.|
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 provides financial support to high-calibre scholars who are engaged in eligible master’s 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 up to 3,000 students annually in all disciplines and is administered jointly by Canada’s three granting agencies: CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC. The selection process and post-award administration are carried out at the institutional level, under the guidance of the three agencies. Students submit their application to the institution at which they intend to hold their award using the research portal.
To be eligible to apply, you must
- be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, as of the application deadline date
- be enrolled in, have applied for or will apply for full-time admission* to an eligible graduate program at the master’s or doctoral level at a Canadian institution with a CGS M allocation
- respect the internal deadline to apply for admission for your intended program of study—contact the faculty of graduate studies (or its equivalent) at the selected Canadian institution(s) for more detailed information
- have completed, as of December 31 of the year of application
- either between zero and 12 months of full-time studies (or full-time equivalent) in the program for which you are requesting funding, which may be one of the following:
- a master’s program
- a doctoral program that you are entering without having ever been enrolled in a master’s program (that is, direct-entry)
- a combined master’s-doctoral program
- a master’s program that will transition to an eligible doctoral program, either before or after award activation, with no master’s degree conferred (that is, fast-track)
- a master’s program for which the degree requirements will be completed before the end of the award, allowing the award to continue into an eligible doctoral program
- or between four and 12 months of full-time study (or full-time equivalent) in an eligible master’s program for which the degree requirements will be completed before activation of the award, allowing it to be activated during the first 12 months of the subsequent doctoral program for which you are requesting funding
- either between zero and 12 months of full-time studies (or full-time equivalent) in the program for which you are requesting funding, which may be one of the following:
- not have previously held a CGS M
- have achieved a first-class average**, as determined by the host institution, in each of the last two completed years of study (full-time equivalent)
- submit a maximum of one scholarship application per academic year to either CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC
*Refer to the Tri-agency research training award holder’s guide for details regarding part-time admission.
**Institutions may, at their discretion, offer a CGS M award to applicants who have not obtained a first-class average.
Program of study eligibility
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.
- Joint programs with a professional degree (for example, MD/PhD, DVM/PhD, JD/MA, JD/PhD, MBA/PhD, MA/MBA) are eligible if they have a significant research component, as described above.
- Clinically oriented programs of study, including clinical psychology, are also eligible programs if they have a significant research component, as described above.
- Master’s programs that are based only on course work are typically not eligible since they do not include a significant research component, as described above.
Given the specific requirements of certain disciplines, institutions are invited to contact the appropriate agency for guidance on the eligibility of programs of study.
Without exception, CGS M awards are tenable only at eligible Canadian institutions.
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, which are divided into broad fields of research (health, natural sciences and engineering, and social sciences and humanities). This includes research that bridges two or more disciplines or that requires the skills of several disciplines.
Applicants must ensure that they are submitting their application to an institution that has an allocation for the field of research they intend to pursue. Applications deemed by a host institution to have been labelled incorrectly will be re-labelled according to the agency’s research subject matter guidelines (refer to Selecting the appropriate federal granting agency). Applicants should contact the faculty of graduate studies (or its equivalent) at the institution where they intend to hold the award for further guidance on subject matter eligibility.
To apply to the CGS M program, applicants must complete and submit an application to up to three institutions using the research portal. Applicants should consult the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s program: Instructions for completing an application.
Eligible Canadian institutions are assigned a separate allocation of awards to offer from each agency. Institutions must respect the agency-specific allocation. Refer to the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s award allocations page for a list of allocations by institution and by agency.
- Application deadline: December 1, before 8:00 p.m. (ET). Complete applications must be submitted by the deadline using the research portal. If the deadline falls on a weekend, applications must be submitted by the following business day before 8:00 p.m. (ET).
- As the application deadline approaches, delays may occur due to a high volume of users on the research portal, which may prevent the timely submission of your application. Requests to submit late applications will not be accepted.
- Results deadline: Competition results will be available in the research portal as of April 1.
The faculty of graduate studies (or its equivalent) at each institution is responsible for coordinating the selection process for the CGS M applications. Refer to Information and instructions for scholarships liaison officers for managing the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s program for more information on the selection process.
The merit review of CGS M applications will be carried out by institutions with an allocation and will be based on the following evaluation criteria:
|Academic excellence||As demonstrated by past academic results, transcripts, awards and distinctions|
Indicators of academic excellence:academic recordscholarships and awards heldduration of previous studiestype of program and courses pursuedcourse loadrelative standing (if available)
|Research potential||As demonstrated by the applicant’s research history, their 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 developmentrelevance of work experience and academic training to field of proposed researchsignificance, feasibility and merit of proposed researchjudgment and ability to think criticallyability to apply skills and knowledgeinitiative and autonomyresearch experience and achievements relative to expectations of someone with the applicant’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 experienceleadership experienceproject management including organizing conferences and meetingsability or potential to communicate theoretical, technical or scientific concepts clearly and logically in written and oral formatsinvolvement in academic lifevolunteerism/community outreach
Notification of results
Offers of awards will be available in the research portal as of April 1. Offers to alternate applicants may be made up until January 31 of the next calendar year. It is the responsibility of the applicant to regularly check the research portal between April 1 and January 31 for results of the competition. Refer to the instructions for completing an application for more information on the notification of results.
Conditions of the award
Location of tenure
Awards must be held at the institution where the offer of award originates. Awards are not intended to be portable; however, at the discretion of the host institution and with agency approval, exceptions may be made in certain circumstances (for example, parental reasons, medical reasons or family-related responsibilities).
Policies and guidelines
Applicants and award holders must comply with the policies and guidelines set out in the Tri-agency research training award holder’s guide and in any other documents related to scholarship applications and awards. In addition, the award is subject to final approval by the relevant agency before funds can be released.
The agencies reserve the right to interpret and enforce the policies and guidelines for their funding opportunities set out in their published materials.
Use and disclosure of information
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 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 Info source – Sources of federal government and employee information, by NSERC in the Use and disclosure of personal information provided to NSERC, by SSHRC in the Collection, use and disclosure of personal information and in the relevant program literature.
Each agency may publish the names and other limited award information of 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 Access to Information Act, and the 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 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.
Applicants may submit their application in the official language of their choice. Institutions must have mechanisms in place to review both English and French applications.
CGS M holders may be eligible for
- Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study supplement
- Department of National Defence Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) scholarship initiative
For more information
The first point of contact regarding the CGS M program is 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 agencies for information about this program. You should communicate with the agency whose mandate corresponds to your field of research.
The agencies aim to respond to inquiries within 48 hours. During peak periods (November to January), response time may be delayed.
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships:
Named after Major-General Georges P. Vanier, the first francophone Governor General of Canada, the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS) program helps Canadian institutions attract highly qualified doctoral students.
- Valued at $50,000 per year for three years during doctoral studies
- Considers three equally weighted selection criteria: Academic Excellence, Research Potential, and Leadership
Spotlight on scholars
Next important date
Anticipated 2021-2022 competition launch: mid-June 2021
Candidates must be nominated by a Canadian institution with a quota (i.e., a predetermined number of applications that can be put forward to the national competition) to host Vanier scholars. Candidates should only seek a nomination from the institution at which they want to study.
- Canadian citizens
- Permanent residents of Canada
- Foreign citizens
Areas of research:
- Health research
- Natural sciences and/or engineering research
- Social sciences and humanities research
Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships:
The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program provides funding to the very best postdoctoral applicants, both nationally and internationally, who will positively contribute to the country’s economic, social, and research-based growth.
The objective of the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program is to:
- attract and retain top-tier postdoctoral talent, both nationally and internationally
- develop their leadership potential
- position them for success as research leaders of tomorrow
70 fellowships are awarded annuallyFootnote1;
approximately 140 awards are active at any time.
Fellowships are distributed equally among:
- the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
- the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
- the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
$70,000 per year (taxable)
2 years (non-renewable)
|April to September 2021||Applicants seek endorsement from host institution to apply, prepare and submit application (institutions may have internal deadlines).|
|September 22, 2021|
|Deadline for complete application submission|
|October to December 2021||Evaluation of applications|
|Mid-February 2022||Anticipated notification of results. Applicants will be notified by email when the results are available on ResearchNet.|
|April to October 2022||Payments begin|
The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program is unique in its emphasis on the synergy between:
- the applicant – their individual merit and potential to launch a successful research-intensive career; and
- the host institution – their commitment to the research program and alignment with the institution’s strategic priorities
An applicant to the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program must complete their application in full collaboration with the proposed host institution.
Should more funds become available, additional fellowships may be awarded.
High-level description of the fellowship, including the scope, value, duration, timelines, and features
Confirm that you and your proposed host institution meet the criteria below before you apply for a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Applications that do not meet all of the eligibility criteria will be deemed ineligible.
This fellowship is not intended for students (including Health Professionals) to complete a degree.
For a list of eligible health professions, please see CIHR’s webpage.
Citizenship and location of host institution
Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and foreign citizens are eligible to apply, provided they meet the following conditions:
- Applicants who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada may only hold their Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at a Canadian institution.
- Applicants who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and who obtained their PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree from a foreign university may only hold their Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at a Canadian institution.
- Applicants who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and who obtained their PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree from a Canadian university may hold their Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at either a Canadian institution or an institution outside of Canada.
Eligibility window for degree completion
Applicants to the 2021-22 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program must fulfill or have fulfilled all degree requirements for a PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree:
- between September 15, 2018 and September 30, 2022 (inclusively), and
- before the start date of their award.
Applicants who have not fulfilled all requirements for their degree at the time of application must submit proof no later than October 15, 2022.
For applicants who have completed more than one PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree, the eligibility window applies to the most recent of these degrees.
Allowable extensions to eligibility window
The window of eligibility could be extended by a cumulative maximum of three years if the applicant had their career interrupted for extenuating circumstances, such as parental leave, illness, health-related family responsibilities, mandatory military service, disruptions due to war, civil conflicts and/or natural disasters in the country of residence, socio-economic reasons/lack of research opportunities, etc. It will only be extended by the duration of the eligible delay(s)/interruption(s).
“Career interruption” refers to a period of time when the applicant was not working (full-time or part-time) and when their research output was completely interrupted.
Additionally, for health professionals who have engaged in post-degree non-research-related clinical training (e.g., residency), the eligibility window can be extended by the duration of this training.
For other professions that require post-degree, non-research-related training to be certified by a professional body, please consult the Vanier-Banting Secretariat to confirm whether an extension to the eligibility window is allowable.
Interruptions used to extend the eligibility window for degree completion must have occurred after the fulfilment of your degree requirements and before the application submission deadline.
Justification must be provided in the Special circumstances attachment.
“Fulfilled all requirements of the degree” refers to the date that the applicant completed all the steps required for obtaining their degree. Although these requirements may vary by institution and degree type, they normally include thesis defence corrections and thesis deposition. Note that convocation is not considered a degree requirement.
Host institution eligibility
Institutions eligible to host a Banting postdoctoral researcher include Canadian and foreign universities, affiliated research hospitals, colleges and not-for-profit organizations with a strong research mandate and capacity.
Canadian governments (federal, provincial, municipal) and all for-profit organizations are not eligible to participate as host institutions.
Questions regarding institutional eligibility should be directed to the Vanier-Banting Secretariat well in advance of the submission deadline.
Other eligibility restrictions
- Applicants who currently hold or have held agency-specific (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) awards at the postdoctoral level are eligible to apply to the 2021-22 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program only if the term of that funding officially ends on or before September 30, 2022 and prior to the start of the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship. Early termination of the agency-specific postdoctoral award for the purpose of application to the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program is not permitted.
- Applicants can apply for both the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program and other agency-specific postdoctoral fellowships programs (whether to the same or a different federal granting agency) at the same time, provided that the research proposed in each application falls within the mandate of the federal granting agency to which the application is submitted. For more information, please refer to Identify area of research.
*Applicants who are successful in both competitions will have to choose which award to accept.
- Applicants must not hold a tenure-track or tenured faculty position, nor can they be on leave from such a positionFootnote1.
- Only in rare circumstances will a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship be awarded to an applicant who is staying at the same institution or within the same research environment where they completed their PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree. If an applicant chooses to apply in collaboration with the same institution (or its affiliated hospitals, research centres and other laboratories) or within the same research environment from which they obtained their PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree, a solid justification must be provided in the Special circumstances attachment. Examples of valid justifications are scientific reasons (e.g., availability of specialized equipment/infrastructure or expertise), family reasons (e.g., family obligations), health reasons (e.g., proximity to health care facilities), applicants conducting research with Indigenous communities, and/or reasons related to community or cultural responsibilities.
- Applicants can submit only one application per competition year to the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program.
- Without exception, Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships:
- are tenable only at the institution that supported the original application for the program;
- must be taken up no earlier than April 1st and no later than October 1st following the year of application;
- are for two years;
- cannot be held concurrently with another Tri-Agency training award; and
- can only be held once in a lifetime.
Generally, “tenure or tenure-track” refers to an open-ended academic position in which the holder can form a research group, apply for externally funded research as a principal investigator, and teach. (If unsure, please contact the Vanier-Banting Secretariat.)
Detailed task-by-task guide to applying for a fellowship
Background information about the role and responsibilities of host institutions
Information referees need in order to complete their assessments
The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that all trainees have equitable access to research funding and career support.
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