Scholarships and Awards

Doctoral Tri-Council Scholarships

Students are encouraged to seek funding from Canada's three major research grant agencies: the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC); the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC); and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). In addition to the information provided below, students should always check the agency website for detailed instructions and requirements on applying for, activating, holding, and renewing awards.

NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral (CGS-D)/Postgraduate Scholarship - Doctoral (PGS-D) Competition 

There are two levels of NSERC funding for doctoral students:

• The Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral Program (CGS-D), and
• The NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship – Doctoral Program (PGS-D).

There is one application process for these two scholarships – students apply for the PGS-D and the highest ranked PGS-D applicants are automatically considered for the CGS-D.

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  • Value
    The CGS-D is valued at $35,000/year, for two or three years.*

    The PGS-D is valued at $21,000/year, for two or three years.*

    *Please note that recipients of doctoral Tri-Council scholarships will also receive Top-Up funding in the form of the President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction. NSERC recipients may also be eligible for additional Top-Up funding from Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures. Students should consult our AITF page for eligibility and application rules.
  • Eligibility

    Eligibility requirements:

    • Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
    • Must have completed or expect to complete a degree in science or engineering (other fields may be considered at NSERC's discretion)
    • Must intend to pursue, in the following year, a full-time doctoral program for which you are requesting funding as of December 31st, 2017
    • If you were a direct entry from a bachelor's program to a doctoral program, you must have completed between four and 36 months of studies in the doctoral program for which you are requesting funds as of December 31st, 2017
    • Must have a first-class standing (GPA of 3.5 or higher) in each of the last two completed years of study (full-time equivalent)

    For complete eligibility requirements, please visit the NSERC Website.

  • Selection Criteria

    Applicants are evaluated and selected according to criteria in the following categories:

    • Academic excellence
    • Research ability or potential
    • Communication, interpersonal, and leadership abilities

    For complete selection criteria, please visit the NSERC Website.

  • Application Procedures

    Students must complete applications on the NSERC online system, and submit any required official, up-to-date transcripts to their department by the departmental deadline. University of Alberta transcripts are not required. All applicants must notify departments of intention to apply in order to be considered.

    At this point in the application process, transcripts are not uploaded and you cannot click “submit” online. Once all required documentation has been submitted by departments, the FGSR does an initial check for applicant eligibility and completeness. Departments will be notified of ineligible and incomplete applications. After this review, FGSR will upload students' transcripts onto their online applications and will advise departments once this process has been completed. At this stage, applicants can click “submit” online.

    Note: If FGSR has up-to-date official transcripts required for their NSERC application on file (example: submitted and all conditions cleared for Admissions purposes), applicants are not required to re-submit them.
  • Nomination Procedures
    Students must contact their department to indicate their intent to apply and be considered for the NSERC doctoral awards. Departments forward necessary students’ transcripts and an alphabetical list of eligible applicants (including Student ID numbers) to the FGSR by October 16, 2017.
  • Adjudication Procedures

    After the departmental deadline passes, FGSR receives the list of recommended applications with their transcripts. All complete and eligible applications are then reviewed by the Graduate Scholarship Committee. A list of recommended applications is chosen and sent to NSERC for final adjudication at the national level by November 25th, 2017. The University of Alberta’s quota for recommended applications for the 2017 competition is 73.

    NSERC will notify all recommended applicants of final decisions by March 31, 2018.

  • Deadline

    Each department sets its own internal deadline for receipt of applications and students are encouraged to apply well in advance. Contact the department for their deadline information.

    The deadline for departments to forward students’ transcripts and an alphabetical list of eligible applicants (including Student ID numbers) to the FGSR is October 16, 2017.
  • Additional Information
    Students renewing their CGS-D or PGS-D must complete a Progress Report and it must be submitted to FGSR at least 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the renewal year.

SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral (CGS-D)/Doctoral Fellowship Competition

There are two levels of SSHRC funding for doctoral students:

• the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral Program (CGS-D),and
• the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships Program.

There is one application process for these two scholarships; students apply for the Doctoral Fellowship and are automatically considered for the CGS-D if eligible.

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  • Value
    The CGS-D is valued at $35,000/year, for three years.*

    The Doctoral Fellowship is valued at $20,000/year, for one, two, three, or four years.*

    *Please note that recipients of doctoral Tri-Council scholarships will also receive additional Top-Up funding in the form of the President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction.
  • Eligibility

    Eligibility requirements:

    • Must be applying for support to pursue your first PhD (or equivalent);
    • Must be pursuing doctoral studies in the social sciences or humanities;
    • Must not have already received a scholarship or fellowship from SSHRC, NSERC or CIHR to undertake or complete a doctoral degree or combined MA/PhD;
    • For students in combined MA/PhD, fast-track or direct-entry PhD programs, additional rules apply.

    For complete eligibility, please see the SSHRC website.

  • Selection Criteria

    Applicants are evaluated solely on academic merit, measured by:

    • Past academic results, as demonstrated by transcripts, awards and distinctions;
    • The program of study and its potential contribution to the advancement of knowledge;
    • Relevant professional and academic experience, including research training, as demonstrated by conference presentations and scholarly publications;
    • Two written evaluations from referees; and
    • The departmental appraisal
  • Application Procedures

    Students must complete applications using the SSHRC Web-based Forms. Applications must be submitted as hard copies to students’ departments by the departmental internal deadline.

    Students should contact their department to find out their deadline. Departments must forward ranked applications to the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research by October 31, 2017.

    A complete application must include the following materials:

    • Application checklist
    • Completed application form
    • Program of Study (two pages maximum, plus bibliography - five pages maximum)
    • Research Contributions (one page maximum)
    • Official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended
    • Two Letters of Appraisal (completed using the web-based form)
    • Departmental Appraisal (to be completed by the department)
    • Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information form.
  • Adjudication Procedures

    Once the FGSR receives ranked applications from departments, they are reviewed by the Graduate Scholarship Committee, and a list of recommended applications is chosen and forwarded to SSHRC for final adjudication at the national level by January 9, 2018. The University of Alberta’s quota for recommended applications for 2017 is 75.

    SSHRC will notify all recommended applicants of final decisions in Spring 2018.

  • Deadline
    Students should contact their department to find out their deadline. Departments must forward ranked applications to the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research by October 31, 2017.
  • Additional Information
    Students who need to renew their CGS-D or Doctoral Fellowship must complete a Progress Report and submit such to FGSR at least 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the renewal year.

CIHR Doctoral Research Awards Competition

The Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Awards (CGS-D) and Doctoral Foreign Study Awards are not administered by the FGSR. For more detailed information, students can contact the Research Facilitator in their faculty/department.

Please note that recipients of doctoral CIHR scholarships are also eligible to receive additional Top-Up funding. Doctoral CIHR award-holders should provide the FGSR with a copy of their Notification of Award from CIHR in order to receive this additional Top-Up funding.

President's Doctoral Prize of Distinction

The President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction (PDPD) is a Top-Up award given to students registered full-time in a doctoral degree program who have won one of the eligible major doctoral-level scholarships listed below under 'Eligibility'.

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  • Value

    The President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction is valued at $10,000 (Year 1) and is valued at least equivalent to tuition and fees for a Canadian student for an academic year (9 credits in each of Fall and Winter terms and 6 credits in each of Spring and Summer terms) in subsequent years that the major doctoral award is held. In 2017-2018, Year 2, 3, and 4 PDPD's are valued at $5,800.

    A student may receive the President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction valued at $10,000 only once during their doctoral program and may hold only one President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction per year.

  • Eligibility

    Eligible Doctoral Awards are as follows:

    • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS)
    • NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral (NSERC CGS-D)
    • NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS-D)
    • SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral (SSHRC CGS-D)
    • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship
    • CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral (CIHR CGS-D)*
    • Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship

    *CIHR Industry-Partnered, Priority Announcement and Strategic Initiative Doctoral Research Awards are not eligible for the President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction.

  • Application Procedures

    Recipients of eligible NSERC and SSHRC scholarships will be awarded the President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction upon receipt of the NSERC/SSHRC Payment Activation form or the NSERC/SSHRC Progress Report in the FGSR. There is no application form.

    Recipients of eligible CIHR awards and the Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship will be awarded the President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction after submitting a copy of their Notification of Award to the FGSR. The Notification of Award must be submitted at least six weeks prior to the start date of the eligible major award