Home Cana Scholarships Canada Graduate Master’s (CGS-M) Scholarships Program – Application & Eligibility

Canada Graduate Master’s (CGS-M) Scholarships Program – Application & Eligibility

The Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral (CGS D) Program stands as a beacon of support for doctoral students in Canada, offering them the opportunity to pursue their academic passions, push the boundaries of knowledge, and contribute to the nation’s research landscape. This prestigious program, administered by 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), plays a pivotal role in nurturing research excellence across diverse disciplines.


​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.

Funding and Impact

One of the defining features of the CGS D Program is its commitment to offering substantial financial support to its recipients. The scholarships provide both direct financial assistance and opportunities for recipients to collaborate with leading researchers and institutions, facilitating a conducive environment for intellectual growth and research progress.

Recipients of the CGS D scholarships benefit from funding that covers a wide range of expenses, including tuition fees, research-related costs, and living expenses. This financial support ensures that doctoral students can focus their energy and attention on their research endeavors, rather than being burdened by financial constraints. Consequently, they can produce high-quality research outputs that contribute to their fields and have the potential to drive positive change within Canadian society and beyond.

Eligibility and Selection

The CGS D Program’s rigorous selection process seeks to identify the most promising and innovative researchers. Eligible candidates must have a demonstrated commitment to research excellence, possess strong academic credentials, and present research proposals that exhibit intellectual curiosity and a potential for significant impact. The selection committees assess applicants based on their academic achievements, research contributions, leadership abilities, and alignment with the program’s objectives.


To be eligible to apply, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a Protected person under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (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.
  • Respect the internal deadline to apply for admission for your intended program of study-contact the graduate department/unit for admissions application deadlines. 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
    1. either between 0 and 12 months of full-time studies (or full-time equivalent) in the program for which you are requesting funding*, which may be one of the following:
      • a master’s program
      • a doctoral program that you are entering directly from a bachelor’s program without having ever been enrolled in a any graduate programs (direct-entry)
      • a combined master’s-doctoral program
      • a master’s program that will transition to an eligible doctoral program, either before or after award activation, with no master’s degree conferred (fast-track)
      • 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
    2. or between 4 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 held or be currently holding a CGS M scholarship from CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC.
  • 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). Note: At the University of Toronto, exceptions may be made for highly meritorious applicants who are just below the required minimum.
  • 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. Note: nominations to the Vanier CGS program and applications to the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program do not count toward this limit. Other exceptions may apply to CIHR internships.

*Refer to the Tri-agency research training award holder’s guide for details regarding part-time admission.

**All studies credited toward the eligible program will be counted, whether or not they were completed at the degree-granting institution.

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.

Joint programs with a professional degree (for example, MD/PhD, DVM/PhD, JD/MA, JD/PhD, MBA/PhD, MA/MBA) as well as clinically oriented programs of study, including clinical psychology, are eligible if they have a significant autonomous research component, as described above.

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, CEGEP, IB, and high school (Advanced Placement) 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 or their internet browser (e.g., Firefox, Chrome) 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 or original protected digital copy of every uploaded transcript, 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.

Looking Ahead

As the CGS D Program continues to evolve, its impact on Canada’s research landscape remains profound. The scholars it supports represent a collective force for innovation, progress, and societal transformation. By providing doctoral students with the resources and opportunities they need to thrive, the program helps lay the foundation for a future enriched by research breakthroughs, scientific advancements, and a deeper understanding of the world around us.

In an era defined by rapid technological changes and complex global challenges, initiatives like the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral Program play an indispensable role in nurturing the next generation of scholars who will shape the future. As the program’s legacy unfolds, its contributions to research excellence and societal advancement will undoubtedly continue to resonate for generations to come.

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: ​

Janine Harper
Graduate Awards Officer
P: 416-978-3555
[email protected]
Stacey Kwan
Graduate Awards Officer
P: 416-978-2205
[email protected]
Carla Serpe
Acting Graduate Awards Officer
P: 416-978-2386
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
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