Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral (CGS D) and NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral (PGS D)
The Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral (CGS D)/NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral (PGS D) program offers research training awards that provide financial support to high calibre scholars who are engaged in doctoral research in the natural sciences and engineering.
Value and Duration
Through one application, a student can win one of the following:
CGS D: $35,000 a year for 2 or 3 years
PGS D: $21,000 a year for 2 or 3 years
Timeline and Deadlines
July – Online Application opens
October – Application Deadlines. Deadlines vary among Graduate Programs.
November 1 – SGPS Deadline for Graduate Programs to submit ranked recommendations to SGPS. Ensure any returned applications are re-submitted online by this date.
Early November – SGPS Selection Committee Convenes
November 25 – Agency Deadline for Universities to submit quotas of A-list applications
By Apr 1 – Results released to students and universities
Form 201– Application for a Postgraduate Scholarship or Postdoctoral Fellowship
provide all official and final transcripts, as required, to the graduate program in advance of the program’s deadline
confirm that the subject matter of the research proposed in the application is eligible for NSERC support
submit a complete application online by the program’s deadline
Graduate Program Responsibilities
Set your graduate program’s application deadline in consultation with your Graduate Chair. Leave enough time for your graduate committee to do its work i.e. the review and ranking of eligible candidates before the Nov 1 SGPS deadline.
Communicate the deadline to your current and prospective students, and to your program’s faculty and staff
Register for online access to the NSERC E-Console, using your Western email address, so that SGPS can give you access to the applications in the NSERC E-Console
Log into the E-Console to access applications in the competition.
Instruct your students on the appropriate selection of Faculty and Department name in the online application to avoid missing applications that you must include in your internal review
Return any application to a student for correction with comments and a ‘resubmit by’ date.
Access only your own program’s applications in the E-Console. If there is confusion over where an application belongs, consult SGPS to determine the appropriate decision.
The inclusion and completeness of each applicant’s complete academic record, which includes ordered and legible scans of all official final university transcripts and current registration, is an important part of the evaluation material reviewed by selection committees.
As the Graduate Program Coordinator you are the ‘University Designate’ whom your students identify in the application as the person responsible for uploading their transcript files (single PDF each).
Create a single PDF file of each applicant’s complete academic record for each transcript upload request you receive, and upload the PDF to the application. Prepare each PDF as follows:
Ensure you have all final transcripts of an applicant's complete academic record to date.
For an applicant already registered in your program at the time of application who has not provided an official Western transcript, you may use an Academic Record (it is landscaped and reflects the look and size of the Western official transcript). A scan of the legend must accompany it.
Scan, in black and white only, each page of a transcript and one scan of the legend and do this for each university (e.g. Western: Page 1, Page 2, Legend; Queen’s Page 1, Legend; UBC: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Legend)
Combine all transcripts into a single PDF file, ordered from least recent to most recent/currently attending.
The NSERC Online System will only accept a PDF transcript file in which all pages are in portrait orientation.
Upload it to the student’s on-line application
Enter the application in NEW status into the External Funding Portfolio tracking record. Go to Program Assessment and select the NSERC Competition for Aid Year 2019
As of the graduate program’s application deadline, an applicant must
Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada
Hold, or expect to hold when taking up the award, a degree in science or engineering from a university whose standing is recognized by NSERC
Intend to pursue, in the following year, full-time doctoral studies and research in an eligible program in the natural sciences or engineering supported by NSERC. See Eligibility Criteria
Time in Program Eligibility
An applicant must have enough time left in the proposed program to be able to hold the award if successful. The determination is measured as of Dec 31st of the year of application.
For a PhD, an applicant must have spent between 0 and 6 terms (24 months) in the program for which the funding is being requested.
For a direct-entry PhD, an applicant must have spent between 1 and 9 terms (4 and 36 months) in the program for which funding is being requested.
If an applicant was registered in a master’s degree and subsequently transferred to the PhD, the time in the doctoral program will be calculated starting from the date of official transfer to the PhD.
In the evaluation of eligibility, NSERC will consider all studies counted toward the graduate degree for which funding is requested, whether completed at the degree-granting institution or not.
Two sessions of part-time study equal one session of full-time study.
Also, an applicant
must not have previously taken up an NSERC PGS B, PGS D, CGS D, IPS 2,* or a Vanier CGS; and
must not hold, or have held, a scholarship or fellowship from SSHRC, NSERC or CIHR to undertake or complete a doctoral program.
To be eligible to apply, an applicant must have achieved a minimum of 80%, or equivalent, in each of the last two completed years of full-time study, or equivalent. Please contact James Taron for assistance with transcript assessments and grade calculations.
The eligibility averages are based on grades on the transcript(s) up to August 31st of the year of application.
Preparation of Applications for Submission Online to SGPS
Applications will show as either In Progress, Completed or Submitted in the E-Console. Completed means that all application tasks have been finished but that the applicant has not yet completed the process of submission.
Ensure the application records in the external scholarship tracking record are accurate.
Enter the rank and pool number in the External Funding Portfolio for each application your graduate program committee is recommending to the university competition.
By November 1, all applications statuses in the External Scholarship Portfolio tracking record must be finalized (Not Eligible, Recommended, or Not Recommended).
No application entries should remain in NEW status after November 1.
Administering the NSERC Results
Announcement of Results
Individual notification letters are sent from NSERC to all applicants. The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) notifies all Western candidates with applications in the national competition of their individual result in Student Center.
The results are available by April 1 .
Viewing Results in GradNet
Access the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) GradNet.
Log in using your Western personal computer account information.*
Under the Launch Menu, select External Scholarships, then the criteria you would like to view (e.g. competition, aid year, cohort)
*If you have any difficulty accessing the information, please contact Tom Broniewicz (SGPS).
Each entry on the results listing is identified by certain descriptors where applicable: the name of the student, the student number, the student’s home faculty and program, the competition result, the type of award offered, the maximum value of the award and the duration in months.
Select the criteria you would like to view (e.g. competition, aid year, cohort)
Select "Populate Students"
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.
Activation of the Award
To accept a new award with NSERC, the student must follow the instructions found in their Guide (see above). To activate their award for payment at Western, the student follows these steps:
Select ‘Self Service’ from the main menu, then 'Campus Finances'
Select 'My External Scholarships' and follow the activation steps for your NSERC award.
Publicizing the Results
Every year NSERC asks that universities keep the results of the scholarship and fellowship competitions confidential until the government makes the annual funding announcement later in the spring or summer.
NSERC Annual Progress Report:
Doctoral Scholarship holders must complete the annual Form
The annual deadline for students to complete is one month prior to the end of each 12 month period that they hold that scholarship, either August 1, December 1 or April 1, depending on the start date of the scholarship.