[Opportunity] Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program

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 2,500 students annually in all disciplines and is administered jointly by Canada’s three federal 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.

Eligible Canadian institutions receive a CGS M allocation indicating the number of students to whom they can offer 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, 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, 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 direct-entry doctoral program for which you are requesting funding; or
    • the combined master’s-doctoral program for which you are requesting funding; or
    • a master’s program that was or will be fast-tracked to a doctoral program, and you are requesting funding for the first 12 months of this doctoral program; and
  • not have previously held a CGS M; note that for CIHR and NSERC, scholarship support for graduate studies (master’s and doctoral) is limited to a lifetime maximum of four years (48 months) of full-time equivalency. If you have received the maximum support toward your graduate-level studies by any of the three federal granting agencies, you may not be eligible to apply for 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); and
  • submit a maximum of one scholarship application per academic year to either CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC (the Research Portal will allow the application to be submitted to up to five institutions – refer to Application Procedures).

* Refer to the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Award Holder’s Guide for details regarding part-time admission.

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. Master’s programs that are based only on course work are typically not eligible since they do not include a significant research component. Given the specific requirements of certain disciplines, institutions are invited to contact the appropriate agency for guidance on the eligibility of programs of study.

Non-traditional Programs of Study

Joint programs with a professional degree (e.g., MD/PhD, DVM/PhD, JD/MA, 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 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/or engineering, and social sciences and/or humanities). This includes research that bridges two or more disciplines or that requires the skills of several disciplines.

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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 labeled incorrectly will be re-labeled 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.

Application Procedures

To apply to the CGS M Program, applicants must complete and submit an application using the Research Portal. Applicants should consult the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program Instructions for Completing an Application.

The Research Portal will instruct applicants to select up to five institutions where they intend to hold the award. Applicants must only select institutions where:

  • they are currently admitted or enrolled full-time in an eligible program of study and intend to pursue their studies; or
  • they will apply for full-time admission to an eligible program of study by the internal deadline set by the institution(s).

Note: For some institutions, the selection process is carried out at the departmental level; therefore, it is important that the department you select in your application be the same as the department to which you will apply for admission. Otherwise, your application might not be considered. Contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies (or its equivalent) at the selected Canadian institution(s) for more detailed information.


Each eligible institution is 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 (date by which the complete application must be submitted by the applicant): December 1, before 8:00 p.m. (ET). 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).
  • Results deadline (date on which institutions may begin posting their competition results using the Research Portal): April 1 of the following calendar year.
  • Acceptance and declines of offers: Applicants will have 21 days from the date of each offer of award to accept or decline. If an offer of award is accepted, the system will automatically set all other offers and Alternate statuses to Declined. The status of offers not accepted or declined within the 21 days will also automatically be set to Declined.

Note: As the deadline date 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 under any circumstances.

Selection Process

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

Selection Criteria

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:

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 Results

Institutions will establish a list of applicants to whom awards will be offered as of April 1. The offers of awards will be made using the Research Portal, where applicants will have 21 days to accept or decline the offers. Should some of the offers be declined, institutions may make subsequent offers until they have no awards remaining. These subsequent offers must be made no later than January 31, 11:59 p.m. (ET) of the following calendar year. If the deadline for offers of awards falls on a weekend, offers must be made by the following business day before 11:59 p.m. (ET).

It is the responsibility of the applicant to regularly verify the Research Portal between April 1 and January 31 for results of the competition.

Recipients of offers of awards must accept them using the Research Portal within 21 days of the date of the award offer by a host institution. The status of offers not accepted within that period of time will automatically be set to Declined on the Research Portal, and the offer will be considered cancelled. This change in status is irreversible.

Applicants may accept only one CGS M offer. If they accept an offer, any other potential or actual offers (if applicable) will be declined automatically by the Research Portal, and they will not be eligible to receive further offers.

Conditions of the Award

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, according to their academic and administrative regulations, exceptions may be made for the following reasons:

  • extenuating circumstances (as determined by the host institution);
  • change of department or supervisor within the institution, as long as the award falls within the same field of research (Health, Natural Sciences and/or Engineering, or Social Sciences and/or Humanities) and the award eligibility requirements continue to be met.

Applicants and award holders must comply with the policies and guidelines set out in the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s 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

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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, by NSERC in the Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to NSERC, by SSHRC in the  Protection and Disclosure of Personal Information: Fellowships and Scholarships, and in the relevant program literature.

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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 the one 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.

Official Languages

The main body of the application should be written in either English or French and not in a mix of both official languages. Institutions must have mechanisms in place to review both English and French applications.

Related Opportunities

CGS M holders may be eligible for a:

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 federal granting agencies for information about this program. You should communicate with the agency whose mandate corresponds to your field of research.

It is the intent of the agencies to respond to inquiries within 48 hours. During peak periods (November to January), the response time may be delayed.

Tel.: 613-952-0763
Email: cgsma@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

Contact List
Email: schol@nserc-crsng.gc.ca

Tel.: 613-943-7777
Email: fellowships@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca

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