Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral (CGS D​) Program​

Award Overview

Purpose

The Canada Graduate Scholarships—Doctoral (CGS D) program is a federal program of scholarships awarded through national competitions by the granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The program aims to promote continued excellence in Canadian research by rewarding and retaining high-calibre doctoral students at Canadian institutions. By providing support for a high-quality research training experience to awardees, the CGS D program strives to foster impacts within and beyond the research environment.​

Eligibility

Please refer to the Tri-Agency CGS D website for complete eligibility requirements.

Applicants must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, as of the application deadline date;
  • have completed no more than 24 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31st of the year of application (no more than 36 months if transferred directly from Bachelors to a PhD or enrolled in joint program, e.g., MD/PhD, MA/PhD)
  • submit only one doctoral award application in a given academic year. Nominations to the Vanier CGS program do not count towards this limit;
  • not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC.
  • Reminder – first-class average in each of the last two years of completed study is no longer an eligibility criterion. Universities are to continue to recommend the top-ranked applications to the Tri-Agency.

Please refer to the appropriate literature for CIHRNSERC and SSHRC for further details on the agency specific doctoral awards as eligibility requirements may vary, e.g. tenable at foreign institutions, months of study.

Notes:

The agencies count all studies toward the doctoral degree for which funding is requested, whether or not they were completed at the degree-granting institution.

Clarification: Fast-track students (those who transferred from a master’s to a PhD program without receiving a master’s degree/diploma) must have completed no more than 24 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31st of the year of application.

New for SSHRC:

1) SSHRC applicants who are beyond the eligible months of study for the CGS D, may continue to apply up until their 48th month of study (as of December 31st) and will be considered for a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship.

2) The months of study completed are calculated starting from the date on which an applicant is officially registered in the doctoral program; this also applies to applicants:

  • registered in a Master’s program and subsequently transferred to a doctoral program (fast-track); or
  • registered in a doctoral program, even if a Master’s degree is obtained as part of the program (e.g., MA/PhD).

3) Undergraduate students applying to a direct entry doctoral program (i.e. never enrolled in a master’s program) should apply for a CGS M to hold in their first year as they are ineligible to apply for a CGS D until they are registered in the doctoral program. In other words, students in a direct entry doctoral program must wait until they are registered in their first year of their doctoral studies in order to apply for a CGS D.

Subject Matter Eligibility

NSERC and SSHRC applicants whose subject matter has a link, overlap, or future application to health (in particular drug discovery, disease diagnosis, treatment/prevention, development of medical devices, collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, disease population, therapy or health systems), should email NSERC or SSHRC with a one page summary of their research proposal well in advance of submitting an application to seek clarification or a ruling. NSERC/SSHRC typically responds to these types of inquiries within 3-4 business days.

Applicants working in research areas where boundaries overlap or are interdisciplinary are strongly advised to write a compelling justification in their application as to why they believe their proposal is appropriate for support by the agency to which the application is being submitted.

NSERC applicants are encouraged to consult the Addendum to the guidelines for the eligibility of applications related to health, which has additional information and specific examples relating to subject matter eligibility.

SSHRC applicants are encouraged to review SSHRC’s website, which has additional information and some examples relating to subject matter eligibility. Note, the use of social sciences or humanities theories, methodologies and hypotheses is, in and of itself, not sufficient to make a proposal eligible for SSHRC funding.

Selection Criteria

(New) The evaluation of CGS D applications is based on the following criteria:

  • 50% for research ability or potential
  • 50% relevant experiences and achievements obtained within and beyond academia​

For full description, refer to the CGS D website.​

Note: Indigenous SSHRC applicants are encouraged to complete the “Allowable Inclusion” section of their application form to describe special circumstances that may have had an impact on their academic or career paths (e.g. cultural or community responsibilities, and/or challenging socio-economic contexts). This information should be taken into account by selection committee members.

Application Process

Students registered in a U of T graduate degree program at any time between January 1- December 31, 2019, or on an approved leave of absence must complete the appropriate agency’s online application form submit through their current or proposed graduate program at the University of Toronto. Applicants are to contact the unit’s graduate administrator directly regarding the submission deadline and process.

In addition to the CGS D, each agency offers its own doctoral awards. Applicants complete and submit one application to be considered for both a CGS D scholarship and an agency doctoral award. CGS D scholarships are offered to top-ranked eligible applicants.

Applicants must access the online application through the respective granting agency’s portal:

  1. CIHR CGS D: ResearchNet; see CIHR instructions.
  2. NSERC CGS D: NSERC On-line System; see NSERC instructions.
  3. SSHRC CGS D: SSHRC Online System; see SSHRC instructions.​

Please note the following reminders:

Transcripts: The inclusion and completeness of transcripts are essential for the Tri-Agency to determine eligibility/confirm current registration, and is an integral part of the evaluation material reviewed by the selection committees. As such, in addition to transcripts for all previous degree programs (complete or incomplete), applicants must order and include their transcript for the fall session of the year of application (i.e. Fall 2019) even when no grades are available. It is the applicants’ responsibility to ensure that transcripts are complete and legible once uploaded, even if a university official (graduate administrator) is responsible for uploading the transcripts (e.g. NSERC). ​

Collection of Self-Identification Data: Beginning in August 2018, the Tri-Agency has been asking all applicants to self-identify with information on age, gender, Indigenous identity, disability and visible minority status. Though completing the self-identification form will be mandatory for applicants and co-applicants, each category has a “I prefer not to answer” option.​​

Indigenous applicants [First Nations (North American Indian – Status and Non-Status), Métis, or Inuit] are encouraged to self-identify their status on their application form as universities are permitted to recommend an unlimited number of self-identified Indigenous applicants above their application quota to the national competition. Self-identification data are not seen or used by Tri-Agency selection committee members or by the applicant’s references.

  • NSERC and SSHRC applicants must provide consent within the application form to share this information with their institutions and the Tri-Agency.
  • CIHR applicants should email their graduate unit separately to notify the university that they have self-identified their status on their CIHR application as this information is not disclosed by CIHR to the universities.

Additional Info

Fall 2019 School of Graduate Studies Information Session Slides for Students

CIHR Doctoral

NSERC Doctoral

SSHRC Doctoral

Fall 2019 NSERC Representatives’ Information Session Slides for Students

NSERC CGS M, PGS/CGS D, & Post-Doctoral Fellowships

Award Holder Information

Accepting an Award & Payment Activation:

Please ensure your are familiar with the policies and follow the acceptance and payment activation procedures as outlined in the Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder’s Guide.

Students who are currently registered in the degree program for which the award has been granted, should start the award at the earliest possible start date, i.e., May or September (please contact your graduate department for advice as a May start date may impact any current departmental funding for the same period). Students not currently registered, should start the award upon first registration into the program (September or January).

Please contact the respective granting agency directly by email to request and receive approval for any change to your start date.

CIHR Doctoral Awards

Successful CIHR doctoral award applicants who indicated U of T as their institution paid will activate their award through the office of Research and Innovation. Contact the Research Funding Administrator at the Research Services Office (listed at the bottom of the Research and Innovation page) regarding the institutional signature on the Response to Offer Form. Students who need a confirmation of registration letter to send to CIHR may contact graduate.awards@utoronto.ca.

NSERC Doctoral Awards

To arrange for payment of an NSERC doctoral award, the Request for First Instalment and Reinstatement of Award Paid by Canadian Institution form must be completed, signed by your graduate unit, and emailed to schol@nserc-crsng.gc.ca, copying the SGS Federal Awards Officer at p.papathanasakis@utoronto.ca, starting six weeks in advance of the start date of the award. Funds can only be issued once NSERC has processed the form and transferred funds to the University which usually takes six weeks.

Please note, the signature in Part 4 from an “SLO or equivalent official in the faculty of graduate studies or its equivalent” should be the graduate coordinator/director/administrator from your graduate unit/department. If you have requested and received approval from NSERC for a change in start date, please also forward a copy of NSERC’s approval to p.papathanasakis@utoronto.ca.

SSHRC Doctoral Awards

To accept the award, email fellowships@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca of your decision by May 22, 2020. To arrange for payment of a SSHRC doctoral award, the Request for First Instalment and Reinstatement of Award Paid by Canadian Institution must be completed, signed by your graduate unit, and submitted to fellowships@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca, copying the SGS Federal Awards Officer at p.papathanasakis@utoronto.ca, starting six weeks in advance of the start date of the award. Funds can only be issued once SSHRC has processed the form and transferred funds to the University which usually takes six weeks.

Please note, the signature in Part 4 from an “SLO or equivalent official in the faculty of graduate studies or its equivalent” should be the graduate coordinator/director/administrator from your graduate unit/department. If you have requested and received approval from SSHRC for a change in start date, please also forward a copy of SSHRC’s approval to p.papathanasakis@utoronto.ca.

Progress Reports (to Initiate the Subsequent Year(s) of Funding)​

NSERC and SSHRC doctoral award holders with multi-year awards must renew their award annually by completing the Annual Progress Report for NSERC/SSHRC Award Holders form. This completed form is due to your graduate administrator at least one month before the annual start date of your award; i.e., August for September starts, April for May starts, and December for January starts.

Early completions

Award holders who complete their program of study early (e.g. submit their final thesis to SGS before the end of the last session of their award) must ensure they remain registered until the end of their session or may risk having their last instalment cancelled. As award holders are given funds at the beginning of each session, those who complete early or withdraw part away through a session may be required to repay funds already received depending on the sessional registration.  It is recommended that award holders keep the minimum registration duration requirement in mind when planning the dates of Final Oral Examinations and the subsequent final thesis submission. Questions regarding the approved thesis submission date can be directed to the Doctoral Office at SGS.​

Contacts & Resources

For more information, visit the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral Program Website

(housed on the NSERC website), and/or contact appropriate Awards Officer at the SGS Graduate Awards Office:

 

CIHR CGS D

Olivera Joksimovic

Graduate Awards Officer

P: 416-946-0808

o.joksimovic@utoronto.ca

 

 

NSERC CGS D

Pascal Papathanasakis

Graduate Awards Officer

P: 416-978-8260

p.papathanasakis@utoronto.ca

 

SSHRC CGS D

Stacey Kwan

Graduate Awards Officer

P: 416-978-2205

staceym.kwan@utoronto.ca

 

CIHR:

support-soutien@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

CIHR Doctoral Research Award Programs Website

NSERC:

schol@nserc-crsng.gc.ca

NSERC PGS D Website

SSHRC:

fellowships@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca

SSHRC Doctoral Awards Website