Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s (CGS-M) Program

Award Overview

Purpose

​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

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada as of the application deadline date;
  • 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 institution with a CGS M allocation. *Note: Applicants who are not currently enrolled in their intended graduate program at the University of Toronto must submit an application for admission by the deadline for their intended graduate program or by March 15, whichever comes first;
  • have completed, as of December 31, 2020:
    1. either between zero and 12 months of full-time studies (or full-time equivalent) in the program for which you are requesting funding, which may be:
      • a master’s program; or
      • a doctoral program that you are entering without having ever been enrolled in a master’s program (that is, direct-entry); or
      • a combined master’s-doctoral program; or
      • a master’s program that will transition to an eligible doctoral program, either before or after award activation, with no master’s degree conferred (that is, fast-track); or
      • a master’s program for which the degree requirements will be completed before the end of the award, allowing the award to continue into an eligible doctoral program or
    2. or between four and 12 months of full-time study (or full-time equivalent) in an eligible master’s program for which the degree requirements will be completed before activation of the award, allowing it to be activated during the first 12 months of the subsequent doctoral program for which you are requesting funding;
  • not have previously held a CGS M award;
  • 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 scholarship application per academic year to either CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC (Research Portal will allow the application to be submitted to up to three institutions). Students are not permitted to apply for a CGS M and a Tri-Agency doctoral award in the same academic year.

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 as 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 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 (written in lay language)
    • Activity details
  2. Attachments
    • Outline of proposed research (as PDF attachment)
    • All up-to-date official academic transcripts from undergraduate, graduate, and exchange/transfer host institutions where the grade does not appear on the home institution transcript (scanned together as a single PDF document)**
  3. Canadian Common CV (uploaded as a confirmation number)
  4. Completed reference assessments (x2)—invitation initiated and form completed electronically.

**Transcripts (attachment)

A complete application includes a copy of all up-to-date official transcripts (or other proof of registration in certain circumstances), as described below. Transcripts are a mandatory requirement to demonstrate applicant eligibility and are an integral part of the evaluation material reviewed by selection committees. The University of Toronto will not accept transcripts submitted under separate cover.  Applications that are missing official transcripts needed to determine eligibility will be deemed ineligible.

Important guidelines for all applicants

  • Up-to-date transcripts are defined as official transcripts dated or issued in the fall session of the year of application (if currently registered) or after the last term completed (if not currently registered).
  • Official transcripts are defined as transcripts issued by the institution’s registrar’s office. Transcripts from other sources, such as those printed from the student’s account on the institution’s website, are not official. Opening the transcript envelope and scanning the transcript will not render the transcript unofficial for the purpose of Tri-Agency competitions.
  • If you are registered in a degree program starting in the fall session of the year of application, you must provide an up-to-date transcript to demonstrate registration in your program, even if there are no grades or course registration.
  • If a transcript includes transfer credits from another institution, the grades for these credits must be shown. If a submitted transcript includes transfer credits without grades shown, the original transcript from the other institution must be included in the application.
    Exception: Canadian college and CEGEP transcripts are not required (even if they contain transfer credits).
  • Transcripts must be scanned and uploaded as a single PDF file. Official e-transcripts are acceptable but any encryption may need to be removed before uploading or combining with other transcript files. Students may use freely available PDF software such as Adobe Acrobat Reader to “print to PDF” in order to create an unencrypted “copy” of the file, which remain acceptable.
  • Transcript text orientation should be upright (if possible) and must be readable on a computer monitor without any adjustment by the viewer.
  • One copy of the legend (reverse of each transcript) must be included. Do not scan the legend multiple times.
  • Transcripts written in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by a certified English or French translation.

Note: Retain the paper copy(ies) of any uploaded transcripts, as you may be asked to provide these for verification purposes at any point in the process.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your transcripts are complete and legible once uploaded. This is particularly relevant for transcripts with security features in place to prevent duplication. In all cases, you are responsible for ensuring that the application is complete by reviewing the final version of the online application before it is submitted.

COVID-19 Allowances for Transcripts for the fall 2020 scholarships and fellowships competitions

Canada’s three granting agencies—the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)—acknowledge that the widespread disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may hinder the ability of some institutions to provide applicants with official and up-to-date transcripts in advance of the deadline date, particularly at institutions which do not currently provide official electronic versions of these documents. Therefore, for the fall 2020 scholarships and fellowships competitions, the agencies will accept unofficial transcripts if official transcripts cannot be obtained. If an official transcript cannot be obtained, the applicant must provide a letter from the institution’s transcript office which states that the institution is not able to provide an official transcript at this time along with an unofficial version of the transcript.

Submission of an application will continue to serve as a formal attestation that the applicant has provided true, complete, and accurate information in the application and its related documents.

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.​

Results

Results are made available to applicants only through Research Portal as of April 1. Offers to alternate applicants may be made until January 31 of the next calendar year.

Additional Info

NSERCTube: Scholarships & Fellowships Program Application Tutorials 

Fall 2020 SGS Information Sessions Recordings for Students: Quercus link to recorded sessions

Fall 2020 School of Graduate Studies Information Session Slides for Students

Canada Graduate Scholarship-Master’s (CGS M)

Award Holder Information

Step 1. Read the Tri-Agency Award Holder’s Guide

Verify that you meet the terms and conditions to hold your federal award and understand the responsibilities of award holders as described in the Tri-Agency Award Holder’s Guide. 

If you do not meet all the terms and conditions to hold the award, you will need to decline the award (see Step 4-B for instructions). 

Step 2. Review the SGS Payment Policy

Review the SGS Payment Policy posted on the SGS website for detailed information on how award payments are made, when the payments are made, and the method of the payments. 

Federal awards are paid in equal instalments. September instalments are released directly to recipients, while January and May instalments are initially put towards any outstanding charges on your fees account and only the remaining amount is released to recipients. It is recommended that students set up direct deposit and a current mailing address on ACORN so that payments arrive as timely as possible.  

Step 3. Activate UTORID & set up UTORmail account online with the T-Card Office. 

(Incoming students only, returning students can skip to Step 4)

Beginning June 1, 2020, the TCard Services Offices will be issuing UTORid activation codes to new students who have accepted their invitation for the Fall 2020 session.  Please visit the TCard Services Offices website for more instructions on how to obtain and activate your UTORID once they are posted in May.  

Both your UTORID and UTORmail must be activated before you can complete the SGS Award Payment Activation From. Instructions are provided on the UTORID webpage: https://www.utorid.utoronto.ca  

Step 4.

A. Activating Your Award

If you meet all the terms and conditions to hold the award, activate your award by completing the online SGS Award Payment Activation Form through the SGS Portal. Note: Incoming students will not be able to complete the form until they are invited to register for Fall 2020, this usually occurs on July 15th each year. Current students can complete the form at their earliest convenience.

Once you submit the form, a copy will be electronically forwarded to your graduate unit (department) where you are currently registered.  The graduate unit will be required to approve and provide additional information to the form, after which the form will be sent to the Graduate Awards Office. Only once the student and graduate unit steps have been completed will your award be considered ready for processing. 

Payment activation forms can take up to 2 weeks to process from the date of receipt. It is recommended that you submit the online SGS Award Payment Activation Form as soon as possible, as it can take some time for the form to be approved by your graduate unit and for SGS to set up your initial instalment. 

For the contact information for your graduate unit’s graduate administrator, please consult the Graduate Unit Directory 

B. Declining Your Award

If you do not meet the terms and conditions, please decline as soon as possible by emailing the appropriate Graduate Awards Officer listed below. Please indicate the reason you are declining the award in your email. 

Contacts & Resources

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

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

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

C​GS M SSHRC
Stacey Kwan,
Graduate Awards Officer (Provincial)​
416-978-2205
staceym.kwan@utoronto.ca​
CGS M NSERC
Pascal Papathanasakis,
Graduate Awards Officer (Federal)
416-978-8260
​p.papathanasakis​@utoronto.ca
CGS M CIHR
Olivera Joksimovic
Graduate Awards Office​r
416-946-0808
o.joksimovic@utoronto.ca
SSHRC
fellowships@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca
NSERC
schol@nserc-crsng.gc.ca
CIHR
cgsma@cihr-irsc.gc.ca