Scholarships & Awards

Award Overview – 2019-2020 NSERC CGS and PGS Doctoral Competition

MSE Deadline: September 28, 2018 (in addition to online submission, submit hardcopy plus official transcripts to Maria no later than September 28, 4:30 p.m.)
Value/Duration: PGS D – $21,000 per year for 2 or 3 years
CGS D – $35,000 per year for 2 or 3 years
Level of study: Doctoral
Required Legal Status: Domestic (Canadian citizen or permanent resident)
Results: March 31, 2019, directly from NSERC via e-mail


Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral (CGS D) and NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral (PGS D) provide financial support to high calibre scholars who are engaged in a doctoral program within the natural sciences or engineering. This support allows these students to focus on their studies and to seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields.

Eligibility to Apply

In order to be eligible, applicants must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;
  • intend to pursue, in the following year, full-time graduate studies and research at the doctoral level in an eligible program (see Eligibility Criteria) in one of the areas of the natural sciences and engineering supported by NSERC;
  • must have completed, as of December 31 of the year of application, between zero and 24 months (between four and 36 months if admitted to the doctoral program directly from your bachelor’s program) of studies (full-time equivalent) in the doctoral program for which funding is requested; and
  • you must not hold, or have held, a scholarship or fellowship from SSHRC, NSERC, or CIHR to undertake or complete a doctoral program.

 Applicants are expected to review the full eligibility requirements as outlined on the NSERC website.

NEW: Applicants may apply to both the Vanier CGS program and another doctoral-level scholarship/fellowship program (e.g. NSERC PGS D) under the same or different federal granting agency in the same academic year, provided that the research proposed in each application falls within the mandate of the federal granting agency to which the application is submitted. For more information, please refer to the Vanier website.

Application Process:

Students can access the application through NSERC’s On-line System Login. Students should refer to the PGS application instructions on NSERC’s website for detailed guidelines on how to complete Form 201 and the other application components. Students may submit an application to only one federal tri-council agency (NSERC, SSHRC or CIHR) in each competition year.

Registered University of Toronto students must submit their application through their current or proposed graduate program at the University of Toronto. Applicants are to contact the unit’s graduate administrator directly regarding submission process.

Completed applications include the following:

1.               Form 201
2.               Outline of proposed research
3.               Contributions and statements
4.               Justification for Eligibility of Proposed Research
5.               All up-to-date official academic transcripts (undergraduate and graduate)**
6.               Reports on the Applicant (two required)
7.               Appendices if appropriate

**The inclusion and completeness of each applicant’s transcripts is essential for NSERC to determine eligibility/confirm current registration, and is an integral part of the evaluation material reviewed by the selection committees. As such, students must order and provide transcripts for programs of study in the fall session of the year of application (i.e. Fall 2018) even when no grades are available. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that transcripts are complete and legible once uploaded, even if a university official (graduate administrator) is responsible for uploading the transcripts.

NEW: Collection of Self-Identification Data:  Beginning in August 2018, NSERC (in coordination with SSHRC and CIHR) will be asking all applicants to self-identify with information on age, gender, Indigenous identity, disability and visible minority status. Completing the new self-identification form will be mandatory for applicants and co-applicants but for each category there is an option “I prefer not to answer.”

As in previous years, applicants who are Indigenous [First Nations (North American Indian – Status and Non-Status), Métis, or Inuit] are encouraged to self-identify their status on their NSERC CGS and PGS D application form as universities are permitted to recommend an unlimited number of self-identified Indigenous applicants above their application quota to the national competition. New this year, in order to be considered for this, Indigenous applicants must provide consent within the application form to share this information with their institutions and NSERC. Self-identification data are not seen or used by NSERC’s selection committee members or by the applicant’s references.

NEW: In addition to Indigenous applicants providing consent, a similar consent will also be required so that NSERC may increase equity and diversity among qualified applicants by giving award priority to meritorious applicants who self-identify as Indigenous and/or as a woman if sufficient funds become available.


The SGS Graduate Awards Office will notify those who were forwarded to SGS the University competition results in late-November. The results of the national competition are communicated directly by NSERC via e-mail in late-March/early-April 2019.

Contacts & Resources:

Full details are available at: NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral Program and Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral Program

Detailed instructions for completing an application are available from NSERC.

For more information, please contact:

Graduate Awards Office
Tel.: 416-978-8260

NSERC inquiries
Tel.: 613-995-5521

MSE Contact

Ms Maria Fryman,Graduate Program Counsellor & Administrator
T: 416.978.1374 | E: | Office: WB 140