Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master's (CGSM)
The objective of the Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master’s Program (CGSM) 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 CGSM Program offers research training awards to 2,500 students annually in all disciplines and is administered jointly by Canada’s three federal granting agencies. The selection and post-award administration are carried out at the university level, under the guidance of the three agencies. Eligible universities receive a CGSM allocation indicating the number of students to whom they can award scholarships; these allocations are divided into broad fields of study that mirror the three agency streams. Successful applicants will win one of the following awards depending on the focus of the research proposed:
- Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGSM) in health research (CIHR)
- Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGSM) in natural sciences and engineering research (NSERC)
- Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGSM) in social sciences and humanities research (SSHRC)
- $17,500 for 12 months, non-renewable
Timeline and Deadlines
- September 1: Tri-Agency opens online application in the Research Portal
- December 1: National application submission deadline (8:00pm EST)
- December 2: Applications become accessible to universities
- December 2 - December 14: SGPS prepares the application records for graduate programs in the three internal CGSM competitions (CIHRM, NSERCM, SSHRCM)
- December 15 – February 1: Graduate programs asses applications for eligibility and adjudicate eligible applications
- February 2 - March 31: SGPS convenes the university CGSM Committee to select the annual 82 CGSM Scholars
- CIHR - 15
- NSERC - 25
- SSHRC - 42
- April 1: SGPS uploads results to the Research Portal
- To be eligible, an applicant must:
- be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;
- be enrolled in, or 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 university with a CGSM allocation;
- respect the internal deadline to apply for admission for the intended program of study;
- have completed as of December 31 of the year of application between 0 and 12 months of full-time studies (or full-time equivalent) in:
- the Master's program for which funding is being requested, or
- the direct-entry doctoral program for which funding is being requested, or
- the ocmbined master's-doctoral program for which funding is being requested, or
- a master's program that was or will be fast-tracked to a doctoral program, and fundign is being requested for up to the first 12 months of this doctoral program;
- not have previously held a CGS M. Note that for CIHR and NSERC, scholarship support for graduate studies is limited to a lifetime maximum of fours years (48 mo.) of full-time equivalency. If an applicant has received the maximum support towards their graduate studies by any of the three federal granting agencies, they may not be eligible to apply for a CGSM;
- have achieved a first-class average - a minimum of 80%, or equivalent, at Western - in each of the last two completed years of full-time study (full-time equivalent). The eligibility averages are based on grades on the transcript(s) up to August 31st of the year of application.
- submit a maximum of one scholarship application per academic year to either CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC. Note: The CGSM application allows an applicant to select up to five (5) universities at which to hold the scholarship, if successful.
- Familiarize yourself with the full details in the Eligibility to Apply section of the Tri-Agency website.
Program of Study Eligibility
- An eligible graduate program must have a significant research component which 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 university level as a requirement for completion of the degree program. Master's programs that are based only on course work are typically not eligible since they do not include a significant research component.
- Joint programs with a professional degree (e.g. MD/PhD, JD/MA, JD/PhD, etc.) are eligible if there is 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 significant research component as described above.
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 three broad fields of research (health, natural sciences and engineering, social sciences and humanities), and this includes research that bridges two or more disciplines or that requires the skills of several disciplines.
- Applicants must ensure that they are each submitting their application to a university that has an allocation for the field of research proposed. Western University has an allocation for each broad field of research (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC).
- An application, deemed to have been matched incorrectly to an agency, could be re-assigned to the appropriate agency by SGPS according to the agency's research subject matter mandate. This could happen by request of the applicant, by the recommendation of the Graduate Chair, or by the Chair of University CGSM Selection Committee.
- It is the student's responsibility to obtain official current transcripts from every university they have attended/are currently attending, and to create a single PDF file of the transcripts and upload it to their own application in the Research Portal, in strict accordance with the agency instructions.
- CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC consider transcripts issued by the Registrar's Office to the applicants to be official transcripts.
- Opening the envelope to scan the transcript will not render it unofficial for Tri-Agency purposes.
- The choice of Field of Research determines what appears in the Department/Division drop-down selection in the Proposed Host Organization section.
- The start date of a graduate program is always September 1, January 1 or May 1; the end date of a graduate program is always August 31, December 31, or April 30.
- The number of months of full-time study completed by December 31st is normally a multiple of 4.
- A Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement could support a successful applicant for a 3-6 month period of research at an international institution during the tenure of the CGSM.
Entry Instructions for Western as the Proposed Host Organization
Faculty – Enter the title of the Faculty that houses your proposed graduate program exactly as it appears in the list below:
- Faculty of Arts and Humanities
- Don Wright Faculty of Music
- Faculty of Education
- Faculty of Engineering
- Faculty of Health Sciences
- Faculty of Information and Media Studies
- Faculty of Law
- Ivey School of Business
- Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry
- Faculty of Science
- Faculty of Social Science
- Brescia University College
- Huron University College
Department/Division – Select the option that matches the name of your proposed graduate program at Western. To eliminate any confusion:
- Biomedical Engineering is housed in the Faculty of Engineering.
- Neuroscience is housed in both the Faculty of Social Science and the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry
- Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism is housed in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities
- Women’s Studies and Feminist Research is housed in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Graduate Program Responsibilities
- To complete the administrative review phase for the CGSM competition, you will require access to:
- The Tri-Agency Research Portal for access to CGSM applications
- Your program's Application Detail Report (Excel) provided by SGPS which is a full listing of your CGSM applications, including those that do not yet appear in the Tracking record i.e. the ‘outliers’ with no Western ID.
- PSHE - the External Scholarship Portfolio in Student Center (Program Assessment) to maintain and track your CGSM applications
The Research Portal
The Detail Report
- SGPS will provide every Graduate Chair and Coordinator/Assistant with a CGSM Application Detail Report that includes applications that appear in the Tracking Record, as well as ‘outliers’ - those that don’t appear because no Western ID yet exists for them.
- Do not make any changes to the Application Detail Report, or alter the format in any way. Save a copy of the Report to use internally and for the committee. Submit the original Report back to SGPS, fully completed, by Feb 1st.
- The Detail Report is a key recruitment focus because it lists students at Western and across Canada who have identified your program as their destination of choice for graduate study.
- All applications listed on your Detail Report must be included in your program’s assessment for eligiblity, and committee adjudication process. All applications must be treated equally and fairly throughout the process, regardless whether appplicants are currently registered Western students or not.
- Once you have your Detail Report, download and save all of your PDF applications to a secure repository for your and your committee’s internal use only. Please note that there are 2 spearate PDFs that must be downloaded and combined for each application. ('Export Application and Attachments to PDF' and 'CCCV-Reviewer Version')
Communicate with Applicants
- Send an email to each applicant on your Detail Report (using the email addresses from your Detail Report) confirming receipt of their CGSM application, and reminding each applicant of the timeline for results. Include application for admission guidelines, where applicable.
- Sample message:
Greetings from Western University!
As the Graduate Program [Assistant] [Coordinator] in the [Department of Biochemistry] at Western, I am writing to confirm that we have received your application for the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program (CGSM) [to support your current Master’s studies next year] [and we are delighted that you have selected Western as a potential host institution for your scholarship should you be successful in the competition].
The period of assessment and adjudication of CGSM applications is underway and by April 1st Western will upload the results to the Research Portal.
[Add messaging regarding application for admission to the program here if applicable]
Best wishes for success and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding the CGSM competition or admission to the [Biochemistry] graduate program.
- Refer to the Eligibility section above and confirm the eligibility of every application listed on your Detail Report.
- When assessing academic eligibility, only consider grades that appear on the transcripts up until August 31st of the year of application.
- If you determine an applicant to be ineligible for competition, it is the responsibility of the program to inform the applicant in a timely manner by email or letter, ideally within 10 business days of making that determination, or at the latest by February 1st.
The External Scholarship Portfolio (The Tracking Record)
- Maintain and track your applications in the Tracking Record on the Program Assessment page. You can locate it by using the following path: Main Menu > Financial Aid > Awards > Graduate External Funding (or Awards) > Program Assessment.
- SGPS sets up the application cohorts for all three CGSM competitions (CIHRM, NSERCM, SSHRCM) but can only populate the cohorts with applications (NEW status) that are linked to existing Western IDs.
- Remember to maintain and track applications in the competitions that may be applicable to your program. Your Detail Report contains the full list.
- The applications that appear in your Program Assessment cohort(s) may include your registered students, your enrolled students on leave, former students and students who have applied recently applied for admission to your program, or who have applied for admission to Western in the past.
- Application records that do not appear in Program Assessment are 'outliers' - students with no previous affiliation with Western and therefore no ID. They are identified on your Detail Report.
- The program must retain a PDF of every application on the Detail Report.
To access your CGSM Applications in Program Assessment:
- Select Maintain Existing Applications and All Students and use the following fields:
- Aid Year = 2019
- Competition = either CIHRM, NSERCM or SSHRCM
- Career is always GRAD (if it does not automatically appear, select GRAD only)
- Application Cohort = e.g. BIOCHM
- Select Populate Students
Maintaining Applications and Which Fields to Use
Once you have completed your Detail Report for submission to SGPS, please complete the following fields in Program Assessment:
- Enter the Averages (% only). LY represents the last year's average, 2LY represents the second last year's average. Each must be 80% or higher for an application to be eligible.
- Enter Proposed Degree Level (either M, or D since a student may be a direct-entry PhD student)
- Do NOT enter Committee code or Discipline Code. Please remove any default data that may appear in these two columns.
- Enter the Rank and Pool number for each application in the tracking record once you receive the results from your committee. The pool number is equal to the total number of ranked and recommended applications in a competition cohort.
- If an application is not eligible or not recommended you must still enter the two averages.
- Status all applicants appropriately i.e. Not Eligible, Recommended or Not Recommended. No applicant should remain in NEW status after February 1st.
- Not Eligible means that you have deemed the applicant to be ineligible for competition. Communicate the reason to the applicant prior to entering the status into the tracking record
- Recommended means that the application is eligible and has been assigned a ranking by the committee and will go forward to the university competition.
- Not Recommended means that the application is eligible has gone to committee for ranking and/or review but will not go forward to SGPS and is therefore not ranked.
- As CGSM applicants apply for admission to Western, SGPS will enter applications into the appropriate cohorts. You may see your cohort numbers increase as this happens. You may also see new CGSM applications added to your cohort(s). SGPS will advise when this happens. An applicant mnay apply for admission to a different program than identified in their scholarship application.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT cancel or add application records. Use only the statuses indicated above and enter only the data requested above. If your program feels an application should be removed from your competition cohort and/or Detail Report, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the adjustment.
Graduate Program Committee
- The merit review of each CGSM application will be carried out by your committee and will be based on the following evaluation criteria:
- Academic Excellence 50%
- Research Potential 30%
- Personal Characteristics & Interpersonal Skills 20%
- Committee members must rank all applications listed in the Detail Report and all applications must be assessed on an equal playing field.
- Members must use the Criteria Scorecard that is embedded in the Detail Report. Currently registered students must not be considered more favourably than students who may be applying for admission.
- Rankings must reflect academic merit based solely on the contents of the applications.
- Members must also assign a rating for each ranked application (Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Average, Poor).
- Before February 1st, provide the Graduate Program Assistant with the final results i.e. a ranked list of all recommended applications, as well as a list of any that are not recommended.
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)
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 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 and autonomy
· 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
SGPS DEADLINE to finalize all tasks and submit the completed Detail Report to Paula Menzies is February 1, 2018 (4pm EST).
SGPS CGSM Selection Committee
- Western University has a CGSM allocation indicating the number of scholarships available to be won at Western; the allocation is divided by broad fields of study: health, natural sciences and/or engineering and social sciences and/or humanities.
- Western’s current allocation is 82 and is split as follows:
- CIHR – 15
- NSERC – 25
- SSHRC - 42
- The SGPS CGSM Selection Committee, comprised of three (3) sub-committees representing each of the three agency mandates, will convene in February to begin the process of adjudication of ranked applications and the selection of 82 recipients, as well as a ranked waitlist.
- Results will be posted to the Research Portal as of April 1st every year.
Terms and Conditions
The Tri-Agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) have harmonized their post-award policies (where possible) for research training programs and have incorporated these policies into a harmonized Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder's Guide. These policies became effective as of September 1, 2016 and the Guide is available on NSERC's website. The Guide applies to Tri-Agency directly-funded training award holders. It contains all the forms that training award holders and the University need to facilitate post-award activities allowed by the Tri-Agency. It is the responsibility of the research training award holder to access and review the Guide and to comply with the regulations governing use of the award.
Updated December 14, 2017