Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master's (CGS-M) Competition

The Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master's Program (CGS-M) has a single, harmonized application process for the three federal granting agencies: the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). These three agencies are also referred to as the "Tri-Council".

The CGS-M selection process and post-award administration are carried out at the institutional level, under the guidance of the three agencies. Eligible Canadian institutions receive a CGS-M allocation indicating the number of students to whom they can offer scholarships; these allocations are divided by broad fields of study: health, natural sciences and/or engineering, and social sciences and/or humanities.

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  • Value

    The CGS-M is valued at $17,500 for 12 months. It is not renewable.

  • Eligibility

    Eligibility requirements:

    • Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
    • Must be in a graduate program with a significant research component
    • Must have completed no more than 12 months of full-time studies in the graduate program as of December 31, 2020
    • Must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher in each of the last two completed years of study (full-time equivalent)
    • Must not have received any other Tri-Agency funding for a master's program
    • A complete application as outlined on CGS-M website and as stated under Application Procedures below. Failure to correctly follow instructions and properly upload transcripts may deem an application ineligible and therefore be removed from the competition.

    For complete eligibility please consult the CGS-M website.

    Please contact FGSR Award Services at if you require clarification regarding the eligibility requirements. Note that Awards Services will not pre-calculate GPAs to confirm eligibility.

  • Application Procedures

    Students apply online through the Research Portal, which is the Tri-Agency's electronic system for creating, managing and submitting applications for funding. Students may apply for up to three Canadian post-secondary institutions. FGSR will access University of Alberta applications following the Tri-Agency deadline.

    Applicants are expected to carefully read and follow the Instructions for Completing an Application. A complete application must include the following materials:

    • An outline of proposed research (One page MAXIMUM. One page MAXIMUM for citations. DO NOT exceed one page for the research proposal).
    • CV (to be completed on the Canadian Common CV online system)
    • Two letters of reference (to be uploaded online by referees before December 1st)
    • Up-to-date transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (scanned and uploaded). This includes (but is not limited to):
    - all foreign transcripts
    - all transfer credit transcripts (even if they were transferred to this university)
    - OFFICIAL University of Alberta transcripts for all study here (including current registration in which grades are in progress)
    - all transcripts of incomplete work/non-degree study/qualifying years, etc.
    - Do NOT include unofficial or self-produced transcripts or marksheets (includes UofA transcripts produced from BearTracks).

    It is the students' responsibility to obtain and upload transcripts to the Research Portal for up to three Canadian post-secondary institutions to view. FGSR will not provide copies of transcripts from student records held at the University of Alberta (includes transcripts from other Canadian/international post- secondary institutions and UofA transcripts), nor will FGSR upload transcripts on students' behalf.

    IMPORTANT: FGSR does not have access to the Research Portal prior to the deadline and cannot assist students with application materials. After complete applications have been submitted online to the Research Portal by the deadline, they cannot be adjusted.

    NOTE FOR 2021 COMPETITION ONLY: Due to the ongoing global pandemic, for the 2021 competition year only, unofficial transcripts will be accepted if official ones are hard to obtain. Transcripts must still be uploaded and not missing.

  • Nomination Procedures
    Departments are requested to review the application process in the REVISED 2021 CGS-M Memo to Departments.
  • Adjudication Procedures

    Applications will be reviewed in two stages: first by the FGSR for eligibility and completeness; then by the Graduate Scholarship Committee for selection of winners. Any change of status, including the official notice for winners will come via the Research Portal.

    Winners will receive notification on April 1st, which is the earliest date on which institutions are permitted to offer the award. Winners may receive offers from multiple institutions, but may accept only one CGS-M offer.

  • Deadlines

    December 1st, 2020 before 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)/ 6:00 p.m. (Mountain Time): Deadline for students to submit their completed application and CCV through the Research Portal. Prospective students must apply for admission to a UAlberta graduate program by their proposed Department program deadline, or by February 8th, 2021, whichever comes first, in order to be considered for a CGS-M at UAlberta. Note: this is for May 1, 2021, July 1, 2021, September 1, 2021, and January 2022 admission intakes. Recipients of a CGS-M are eligible to take up the award in either May or September 2021, or January 2022.

    February 8th, 2021: If not yet admitted to a graduate program, prospective students must apply for admission no later than February 8th in order to be considered for the CGSM at UAlberta. Prospective students only need to submit an application for admission; complete admission decisions are not required for the CGS-M competition, and thus are included in the full nomination review. Prospective students who haven’t applied for admission by this date will have their applications removed from the competition.

    Mid-February 2021 – end of March 2021: FGSR Graduate Scholarship Committee reviews and adjudicates eligible applications.

    April 1st, 2021: Applicants are notified of results on the online Research Portal.

  • Additional Information
    Each university has a set allocation for each granting agency. The allocation is the total number of scholarships that the university is allowed to offer in the annual competition. The University of Alberta's 2021-22 allocations are as follows:
    • NSERC: 61
    • SSHRC: 59
    • CIHR: 24
    Students who hold a CGS-M may want to consider applying for the Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement.