Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master's

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 supports 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 Scholarships (CGSM) in health research (CIHR)
  • Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGSM) in natural sciences and engineering research (NSERC)
  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGSM) in social sciences and humanities research (SSHRC)

Value and Duration

  • $17,500 for 12 months, non-renewable

Timeline and Deadlines

  • September 1: Online Application is available in the Research Portal
  • December 1: Application Deadline (before 8:00 p.m. 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


Applicant Eligibility

  •  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 PhD 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
    • 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
  • Academic Eligibility: At Western, an eligible applicant should have achieved a minimum of 80% in each of the last two completed years of full-time study, or equivalent to full-time study. Eligibility averages for competitive scholarship are rounded ONLY to the nearest decimal place. The eligibility averages are based on grades on the transcript(s) up to August 31 of the year of application.
  • Full details in the Eligibility to Apply section of the Tri-Agency CGSM Program Information on the NSERC 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.

Helpful Hints

  • 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 31 is normally a multiple of 4.
  • 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 Arts and Humanities
  • 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

Holding the Award at Western

Acceptance and Activation

  • Accept the offer of award from the agency following the instructions provided in the letter of offer, and then activate it for payment by completing the required agency forms.
  • Initiate the payment process at Western by following these steps:
    • Access the Student Center
    • Select ‘Self Service’ from the main menu, then 'Campus Finances'
    • Select ‘My External Scholarships’ and follow the activation steps for the Vanier CGS
    • Choose the start date that matches the date stipulated by the agency in the offer

Method of Payment

  • At Western University the annual value of an award is divided into three equal installments and each is pre-paid to the award holder’s Student Center account at the start of every term (September, January and May).

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 September 1, 2016 and the Guide is available on NSERC's website. The Guide applies to Tri-Agency research training awards such as Vanier CGS, NSERC PGSD/CGSD, SSHRC DF/CGSD, CIHR CGSD and all CGSM. It contains all the forms that training award holders and the University need to facilitate post-award activities allowed by the Tri-Agencies.
  • Access and review your Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder's Guide and comply with the regulations governing use of the award.