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.

Recipients of a University of Alberta Graduate Entrance Scholarship are encouraged to apply for CGS-M funding if they meet the eligibility requirements.

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

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a Canadian citizen or 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
  • Must be in a graduate program with a significant research component
  • Must 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
  • Must have completed, as of December 31 of the year of application
           - 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 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
    - 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
  • 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

*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.
**Spring/summer terms (course and thesis-based graduate programs) are normally counted as full-time  

IMPORTANT NOTE: Where special circumstances exist that affected students' research, professional career, record of academic or research achievement, or completion of degrees, students are to address such in the Leaves of absence and impact on research section of the CCV.

For complete eligibility consult the CGS-M website.

Contact FGSR Award Services at if further clarification regarding the eligibility requirements is required. Note that Awards Services will not pre-calculate GPA's or review transcripts to confirm eligibility.

Application Procedures

Applications submitted this Fall 2022 term are for awards to start May or September 2023, or January 2024 (2023 CGS-M competition year).

1) Review the complete CGS-M Program details and requirements, and all deadlines. Prospective UAlberta graduate students are to note program admission deadlines stated below.

Both prospective and current University of Alberta apply online through the CGS-M 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; submitted applications are reviewed by the institution at which they propose to hold their award. FGSR will access University of Alberta applications following the Tri-Agency application deadline of December 1, 2022.

2) Start the CGS-M Online Application:
Students are to complete a full application entirely online in the Research Portal by following CGS-M’s Instructions for completing an application. It is the student's responsibility to read all instructions and be familiar with the application process before applying. 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.

References: students should consider requesting letters of recommendation (CGS-M's Reference Assessment Forms) as early as possible in order to meet the application submission deadline of December 1, 2022. It is highly recommended students give their referees a deadline at least 2 weeks prior to any application deadline in order to avoid possible delays/changes. Students are responsible for ensuring their references have completed and successfully submitted the Reference Assessment Forms via the CGS-M Research Portal by the deadline.

Transcripts: it is the student’s responsibility to obtain and upload copies of official up-to-date transcripts to the Research Portal for up to three Canadian post-secondary institutions to view. It is the students’ responsibility to follow Tri-Council's Instructions for completing an application for transcript requirement guidelines (ex. definition of up-to-date; ALL postsecondary coursework undertaken, etc). These instructions are imperative, as non-compliance with transcript-related guidelines is the primary reason for the rejection of applications.

FGSR will not provide copies of transcripts from student records held at UAlberta (includes transcripts from other Canadian/international post- secondary institutions, UAlberta transcripts, and transcripts included in former, recent, or in progress admission/award applications), nor can FGSR upload transcripts to the Research Portal on students’ behalf.  

Transcripts deemed incomplete, missing, illegible, or unofficial may result in the applicant being removed from the competition. Self-produced transcripts or marksheets from institutions’ self-served student systems (includes UAlberta transcripts produced from BearTracks) are considered unofficial and will not be considered. The following are required:

1) An up to date official UAlberta transcript for all study at this university. Registered and newly admitted students must show current Fall 2022 full time registration (courses/thesis in progress).

- Visit the Office of the Registrar's website to easily obtain an official transcript: How to Request Official University of Alberta Transcripts. Either a scanned paper copy or e-Transcript are acceptable. 
- If ordering an e-Transcript, select the download PDF option for a “blue ribbon” PDF (the associated fee must be paid). Do not add a password or expiry date. Students need to share the link with themselves (choose the send a link option to their own email). By accessing the shared link (login through the link they are sent), they can then have the option to download it from there. Adobe9 or higher is required to view the e transcript.
- To combine the e-Transcript with other transcripts, open it in a browser and print it to pdf (not download and save); students should be able to get the unsecured PDF in order to combine with other documents. The blue ribbon will be removed if combined with other transcripts and this is acceptable for uploading purposes to the portal; include the UofA Official Document Cover Page and Transcript Legend as this retains authenticity.
- Students are to retain the original blue ribbon e-transcript as they could be asked to provide it for verification purposes.
- Transcripts shared/sent to FGSR’s email address or shared via the organization recipient option will not be accepted.
*Contact the Office of the Registrar for questions or issues with e-Transcripts issued through MyCreds™ system.
2) Official, up-to-date transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies undertaken. Transcripts associated with transfer credit MUST be included. 
- all foreign transcripts
- all transfer credit transcripts (even if they were transferred to UAlberta)
- all transcripts of incomplete work/non-degree study/qualifying years, etc.


3) Application Deadline - December 1st, 2022 before 6:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)/8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time): Deadline for students to submit their completed application and CCV through the Research Portal.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their application well ahead of the deadline. As the deadline approaches, delays may occur due to high traffic on the research portal; this may prevent the timely submission of student’s applications, and they should plan accordingly.
  • Requests to submit late applications will not be accepted. FGSR cannot assist with issues students may encounter with the external Research Portal.
  • Applications cannot be revised or adjusted after submission in the Research Portal.

4) Application Review - December 1 – February 7, 2023: FGSR accesses UAlberta applications, and completes its initial preliminary review to verify eligibility and completeness.

  • Prospective students must apply for admission to a UAlberta graduate program by their proposed Department program deadline, or by February 7th, 2023, whichever comes first, in order to be considered for a CGS-M at UAlberta. Note: this is for May 1, 2023, July 1, 2023, September 1, 2023, and January 2024 admission intakes.
  • 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.
  • Departments may contact promising CGS-M applicants who have not applied for admission and encourage them to apply

5) Application for Admission Deadline - February 7, 2023: If not yet admitted to a graduate program, prospective students must apply for admission no later than February 7th in order to be considered for the CGSM at UAlberta. Prospective students who haven’t applied for admission by this date will have their applications removed from the competition.

6) UAlberta Adjudication - Mid-February 2023 – end of March 2023: the FGSR Graduate Scholarship Committee reviews and adjudicates eligible applications.

7) Final Results - April 1st, 2023: Applicants are notified of results in the online Research Portal.

Nomination Procedures

Departmental nomination is not required for the CGS-M competition, however departments should inform their prospective students of their internal application for admission deadline. Students are not required to submit their CGS-M application to their department or to their proposed department of study. Departments are requested to review the 2023 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.

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 2023-24 allocations are as follows:

  • CIHR: 35
  • NSERC: 55
  • SSHRC: 47

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.


See Application Procedures for complete details on the application submission requirements.

December 1, 2022 before 6:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)/8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time): Deadline for students to submit their completed application and CCV through the Research Portal. 

February 7, 2023: If not yet admitted to a graduate program, prospective students must apply for admission no later than February 7th in order to be considered for the CGSM at UAlberta. 

Mid-February 2023 – end of March 2023: FGSR Graduate Scholarship Committee reviews and adjudicates eligible applications.

April 1, 2023: Applicants are notified of results on the online Research Portal.

Additional Information

Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement: Active CGS-M holders who wish to undertake research outside of Canada for a defined period of time may consider applying for this supplement.

Indigenous Scholars Awards and Supplements Pilot Initiative
The Indigenous Scholars Awards and Supplements Pilot Initiative will provide financial support to meritorious Indigenous students who have applied to the Canada Graduate Scholars—Master’s program (CGS M).

Fisheries and Oceans Canada Aquatic Science Supplements and the Supplement for Research in Field Impact Assessment: Active NSERC CGS-M awards holders with research in the areas of ocean science and impact assessment are eligible for these supplements. NSERC will identify applications from amongst active award holders; no further application is required for these supplements. Offers will be made to award holders from NSERC. Payments will be made in the same manner as the award: via FGSR.

Department of National Defence MINDS Scholarship Initiative: This initiative offers research training awards and supplements to master’s and doctoral students in the social sciences and humanities whose work is related to one or more of the MINDS Policy Challenges and/or Canada’s defence policy Strong, Secure, Engaged. Students are to refer to SSHRC's website for eligibility and application details. Offers will be made to award holders from SSHRC. Depending on the offer, payments may be made in the same manner as the award: via FGSR.