Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS-M) Program

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Award Overview

​Student Deadline:​

December 3, 2018

Graduate Unit Deadline:

​January 31, 2019—final day to submit candidate list to SGS

​Value & Duration:

CGS M - $17,500 for one year​

​Level of Study:

To support master’s or, in some cases, doctoral programs in Canada​

Required Legal Status:

Domestic (Canadian citizen or permanent resident)


​The objective of 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 Tri-council allocates CGS M awards to universities specifying the number of awards that each may offer to their students annually. CGS M awards can only be offered to students pursing graduate studies at eligible Canadian universities, and the award must be held at the university that has made the offer.

Eligibility of Applicant​

To be eligible, applicants 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 university with a CGS M allocation; please refer to the list U of T graduate departments that are eligible​​ for CGS M at the University of Toronto; *Note: Applicants who are not currently enrolled in their intended graduate program must submit an application for admission by the deadline for their intended graduate program or by March 15, whichever comes first; ​

    1. as of December 31, 2018​, 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; or


      • a master's program for which the degree requirements will be completed before the end of the award, allowing the remaining balance of the award (1 or 2 sessions) to continue into the eligible doctoral program at the same institution; or

    2. ​​as of December 31, 2018 between four and 12 months of full-time study (or full-time equivalent) in a master’s program for which the degree requirements will be completed before activation of the award, allowing it to be activated during the subsequent doctoral program for which you are requesting funding (CIHR and NSERC only). SSHRC CGS M recipients must activate and hold the award as a master’s student for a minimum of one session (i.e. summer 2019);​
  • not have previously held a CGS M award; 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 (3.5​ GPA or A- average at U of T), in each of the last two completed years of study (full-time equivalent); and

  • submit a maximum of one CGS M application per year to either CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC (Research Portal will allow the application to be submitted to a maximum of three ​institutions).

For full eligibility criteria, visit the Tri-agency Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Program website.

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 one of the following:  thesis, major research project, dissertation, scholarly publication, performance, recital and/or exhibit that is merit/expert reviewed at the institutional level and is 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.​​

Clarification for SSHRC CGS M eligible programs: Programs formerly deemed eligible for SSHRC funding will continue to be considered eligible in the new harmonized program, more specifically, if the Master's program is an acceptable basis for admission to the related PhD program (that is eligible for funding by SSHRC), SSHRC would consider the Master's program to be an eligible program of study…".

Application Process

Applicants must complete and submit the online application using the Research Portal. Students should refer to the CGS M application instructions currently housed on NSERC's website for details on how to complete their application. Additionally, the Canadian Common CV (CCV) must be completed and the confirmation number uploaded to the CGS M application on the Research Portal.

When completing a CGS M application, students may select up to 3 separate universities (one graduate department per university) where they intend to pursue graduate studies and hold the award. Once completed and submitted online, the application will be accessible by all proposed universities the student has identified. Students applying for an award at U of T are not required to submit a paper application. ​

A completed CGS M application will include the following:

  1. Completed three-part online application

    • Identification

    • Summary of proposal

    • Activity details

  2. Outline of proposed research (as PDF attachment);

  3. Canadian Common CV (uploaded as a confirmation number);

  4. All official academic transcripts, undergraduate and graduate (as PDF attachment)**;

  5. Completed reference assessments (x2)—invitation initiated and form completed electronically.

** registered students must provide official transcripts showing Fall 2018 registration

Selection Process

At the University of Toronto, CGS M applications are first received by the graduate unit (department) where the student is registered or as indicated on the application. The graduate unit staff review the applications for eligibility and all eligible applications are then adjudicated by the graduate unit's awards committee comprised of graduate faculty members from the graduate unit. Each application is reviewed and scored as per the selection criteria set out by the Tri-Agency. Graduate units are given quotas by their Faculty Graduate Dean's office or the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), within which they nominate their top ranked candidates to SGS for central adjudication.

SGS receives applications from all eligible graduate units for each of its three centrally adjudicated competitions (one per research area): health sciences (CIHR), natural science & engineering (NSERC), and social sciences & humanities (SSHRC). Each application is reviewed and scored by three faculty members on the SGS Awards Committee. This Committee is comprised of graduate faculty administrators (Graduate Coordinators) and graduate appointed faculty from departments in all disciplines.​  No member shall review or score an application submitted by their own home department or where there is a conflict of interest. Members use the selection criteria set out by the Tri-Agency to determine and submit scores for all applications assigned. SGS collects and tallies the scores. Members then participate in an in-person review meeting where scores are discussed and final rankings are determined and confirmed. SGS and graduate units perform final eligibility checks and results are released on Research Portal on April 1st of each year.​

Resources & Contacts

Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Program Instructions for Completing an Application

Canadian Common CV—How to Complete the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Version

U of T graduate departments list eligible for CGS M

For more information, visit the CGS M website (housed within the NSERC's website), and/or contact the Graduate Awards Office at, the appropriate Awards Officer at SGS, or the granting council agency whose mandate corresponds to the field of research: ​


Stacey Kwan,
Graduate Awards Officer (Provincial)​
416-978-2205 ​


Pascal Papathanasakis,
Graduate Awards Officer (Federal)
416-978-8260                        ​p.papathanasakis​


​Fong Di Caterina,
Manager, Graduate Awards Office​