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: Online Application is available in the Research Portal
- December 1: Application Deadline (before 8:00pm EST)
- December 2: Applications become accessible to universities
- December 2 - December 14: SGPS populates the Competition Cohorts with application records for the three internal CGSM competitions (CIHRM, NSERCM, SSHRCM)
- December 15 – February 1: Graduate Program assessment of application eligibility and adjudication of eligible applications
- February 2 - March 31: SGPS CGSM Selection Committee convenes for selection of the new 91 CGSM Scholars-Elect
- April 1: SGPS posts 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, and eligible graduate program at the master's or doctoral level at a Canadian university with a CGSM allocation.Important Note: CGSM applicants must have applied for admission by the deadline of their intended graduate program or by March 15, whichever comes first.
- 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 and is seeking funding for Master's-level support
- the Master's program, has fast-tracked to the Ph.D. within 12 months of the start of the Master's and is seeking funding for Doctoral-level support
- the Doctoral program if the applicant was admitted directly into the Doctoral program from the Bachelor's program and is seeking funding for Doctoral-level support
- not have previously held a CGS M
- have achieved a minimum of 80%, or equivalent, in each of the last two completed years of full-time study, or equivalent. The eligibility averages are based on grades on the transcript(s) up to August 31st of the year of application.
- submit no more than one CGS M application per year. Note: It is within the application that an applicant may choose up to five (5) universities at which to hold the CGS M 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.
- 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 there is a demonstrated and 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).
- Any application deemed by Western to have been labeled incorrectly will be re-labeled by SGPS according to the agency's research subject matter mandate either on the recommendation of the Graduate Chair or of 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.
- 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 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 would 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.
- Neurosciences is housed in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry
- Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism is housed in the Faculty of Social Science
- Women’s Studies and Feminist Research is housed in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities
- Division of Food and Nutritional Sciences is housed in Brescia University College
- Faculty of Theology is housed in Huron University College
Graduate Program Responsibilities
- To complete the administrative review phase for the CGSM Competition, you will require access to:
- The agency Research Portal for access to all CGSM Applications
- A 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.
- Western’s External Scholarship Portfolio in Student Center to maintain and track your CGSM Applications
The Research Portal
- Create an account in the Research Portal https://portal-portail.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/s/login.aspx using your Western email address
- Notify SGPS when your account has been created by sending a message to email@example.com
- You will be assigned Scholarship Liaison Officer (SLO) Assistant access and receive an automated email from the Research Portal confirming that your access is open.
The Detail Report
- SGPS will provide every Graduate Chair and Assistant a CGSM Application Detail Report. This is a full listing (Excel) of a program’s CGSM applications, and includes applications that appear in the Tracking Record as well as ‘outliers’ or those that don’t appear because no Western ID# yet exists for them.
- This Report is a key recruitment focus because it lists students at Western and elsewhere who have identified your program at Western as their destination of choice, or one of them, for graduate study.
- All applications listed on your Detail Report must be included in your program’s assessment and adjudication process and all must be treated equally and fairly throughout the process, regardless whether they are currently registered student 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
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, 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 Host Organization for your scholarship should you be successful in the competition].
The period of assessment and adjudication of CGSM applications is underway and on April 1st Western will upload its results, along with all other universities, 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, before February 1 2016, either by phone call, email or letter.
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 ID#s.
- Remember to maintain and track application in the competitions that may be applicable to your program. Your Detail Report contains the comprehensive listing.
- The applications that appear in your Tracking Record cohorts(s) may include your registered students, your enrolled students on leave, former students and students who have applied to Western in the past.
- Applications that do not appear in the Tracking Record are from students with no previous affiliation with Western and therefore no ID#s yet. Remember that these ‘outliers’ 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 = 2017
- 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
IMPORTANT NOTE: Complete fully both the tracking record(s) and the Detail Report PLUS complete the Rating (Column Y) on the Detail Report for every ranked and recommended application (either Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Average or Below Average). The Detail Report and the tracking record(s) for a graduate program may not match if any applicant(s) have not yet applied for admission by Feb 1st, have no prior affiliation with Western and therefore have no Western ID number. A CGSM applicant has until March 15th to apply for admission to any university he/she identified in the scholarship application.
In both the tracking record(s) and the Detail Report:
- Enter the Averages (% only). LY represents the last year's average, 2LY represents the second last year's average. Both must be 80% or higher for an application to be eligible.
- Enter Proposed Degree Level (either M or D since a student may be directly entering a PhD)
- Do NOT enter Committee code or Discipline Code (disregard any default info 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 1, 2016.
- 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 SGPS for further competition. This status will generate an auto-email message to the student.
- 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. This status will generate an auto-email to the student.
- Monitor your CGSM cohort(s) regularly. 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). This will happen when a student applies to a different program than intended in their original application.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT Cancel or Add applications. 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 and the adjustment will be made.
Graduate Program Committee
- The merit review of each CGSM application will be carried out by the Graduate Program 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.
- Currently registered students cannot be considered more favourably than students who may be applying for admission.
- Rankings must reflect academic merit.
- Before February 1, 2016, provide the Graduate Program Assistant with the final results i.e. a list of all recommended and ranked applications per competition, as well as a list of any that are not recommended.
SGPS DEADLINE to finalize all tasks and submit the completed Detail Report to Paula Menzies is February 1, 2016 (5pm 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 91 and is split as follows:
- CIHR – 25
- NSERC – 25
- SSHRC - 51
- A preliminary review and ranking of applications will take place in the graduate programs during December and January.
- 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 recipients.
- Results will be posted by all universities to the Research Portal on April 1 every year.
Terms and Conditions
NEW! 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 are 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-Agencies. It is the responsibility of the research training award holder to access and review the Guide and comply with the regulations governing use of the award.
Updated September 1, 2016